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Beauty and Mr. Romantic: Episodes 31-40 (Drama Hangout)

Welcome to the Drama Hangout for KBS’s family weekender Beauty and Mr. Romantic, where Im Soo-hyang is a troubled/troublesome top actress, and Ji Hyun-woo is the rookie PD she’s working with.

This is your place to chat about the drama as it airs.


Beware of spoilers! This thread is for discussing the entire series.

 
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The physical violence in ep 30 just sickened me. This has to stop. How is this appropriate viewing in a family context? I dreaded its possibility and when it sadly eventuated, just felt disgusted. Enough is enough.

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I agree

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Episodes 29 and 30 were frankly painful. Our villains are completely unchanged- and Jin-dan is about to throw everything away- but that will happen sometime in the next few episodes.

But mostly these episodes were about the reveal of Pil-seung's birth secret, which was handled with so much violence that it overshadowed the actual fact in question. I strongly disliked these episodes for that reason- anger certainly made dramatic sense but what about also being grownups? It seemed like the only mature conversation about this was the one between Mari and her mom by the river.

Has anybody noticed that Mari's wardrobe has changed? Also, a reduction of scenes with her in pigtails?

Where is Do-jun? I believe that the only time I saw him was for one family meal.

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Yup, they need to cut out the physical violence. It would have dramatically worked better with the emotional hurt and anger portrayed without them constantly assaulting her.

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I agree. It’s abhorrent. How could this be appropriate in the current era? I find it inexcusable that this kind of violence is normalised. It also has this gendered element - the revolting so called catfights- so enough already. It has put me off so much that I am seriously considering dropping this.

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I know that this sort of violence is actually not normal in Korean society. I wonder if the fact that the actor playing Do-jun is in other shows and maybe was suddenly not available forced the inclusion of some of these scenes as a sort of filler in order to keep up dramatic interest?

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Who knows but it was just revolting and intolerable. I lost count of how many times I paused and ff’ed.

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That was very hard to watch. So much hair pulling; so little maturity. There is no “adult” in Pil-seung’s household — other than him. Evidently Myeong-dong reserved whatever backbone she had for persisting in her writing career and has nothing left when it comes to curbing her mother’s worst instincts. The only upside is that they’re incredibly bad at keeping secrets. Pil-seung and Do-ra need to have all the facts before they can make a judgment about whom they truly consider family.

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For sure. And, Myeongdong has become a waste of space. Such poor and inconsistent writing. One minute, she and Dushik are dating and in love, and, then, zip. How could the hideous grandmother character take up so much oxygen (rhetorical)? Just exasperating and deeply unenjoyable.

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Myeongdong eventually getting together with Do-shik would have to be classifies ad a horror story and this show may not be ready to go there (I hope).

The adult who is truly falling down on the job of putting his mom in her place is her son, not Myeongdong. That is clearly part of his role as the man who is head of his family in a Confucian society. As far as I am concerned, he has absolutely deserted is post: Filial Piety is not the only Confucian virtue after all.

I have made a resolution to use the FF button whenever hairpulling begins. I do not care who is the puller and who the pullee (or is that pulley?).

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I am not enjoying how clueless and helpless they are making Ji Yeong after the DoRa revelation. I understand that she will be very confused, and not know who to trust, but they seem to have also made her loose a large portion of her brain cells, spunkiness and strength of character. They have turned her into an unappealing apologising doormat. Thumbs down. We've had enough of those kinds of FLs, please move away from this (hopefully very) temporary development asap. I mean, she could easily find out with a click of the mouse that DoRa was engaged to Jin Dan and Ji Yeong knows what kind of man Jin Dan is even without her memories. So why the hell would she not question her mum's version of the story? Even her brothers are now saying that her mum made DoRa miserable. Ji Yeong also knew what kind of horrible person CEO Baek is before the DoRa revelation. Shouldn't she be asking questions? Why have they suddenly made her so passive and clueless? I am hoping for a swift resolution! Please!

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Neither am I. The excessive deference, the doe-eyed constant looks, the way she speaks, etc. It is a nadir for sure. She doesn’t need a saviour. She can and should save herself but tge toxic filial piety is the other antagonist.

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I do not think this has to do with filial piety.

It is precisely because she does not have her memories that she is rendered helpless- and I all she really knows is that her mom is her mom- so for the moment her mom gets to hide behind the normal expectations that Ji-young would have of a mother as opposed to the sociopath who gave birth to Do-ra. The most chilling line in episode 30 was her mom saying "She is my daughter; I can do what I want with her".

We have two characters in this show who have suffered traumatic brain injuries: Do-ra and Mari. Ma-ri has had twenty years to learn to deal with hers and find ways to deal with the world. Do-ra does not even have most of her memories to draw upon to do that. She acts helpless because she actually is- but in time that should change. She may not yet have listened to her brothers, but Pilseung hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that her mom must have read the contract and knew better than to send her to that nightclub: The seeds of doubt have been planted.

It is only after she has experienced a rude awakening that she would feel a need to go onto the internet to research Do-ra's past. However, it would speed things up a great deal if Pilseung or Do-jun would recommend that she do that.

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You're right re: "The most chilling line in episode 30 was her mom saying "She is my daughter; I can do what I want with her". "

If only Do-Jun would stop being so busy with other acting projects and come back to save the drama with his big biceps! I mean, with his intact moral judgement and screen presence of course. And the writers must know we are all shipping Ma Ri and Do Jun. More seriously (if any of this is at all serious), Do Ra is believing her mum over Pil Seung at the moment, which is why I think Do Jun is needed, if only the actor was more available.

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I also really pray that Lee Sang-jun (who plays Do-jun) can be freed sufficiently to put some real time into this show. I know that he also has a supporting role in the currently broadcasting show CONNECTION.

I actually suspect that our second 'hair pulling' incident was added to replace a scene where he would have appeared (preferably with Mari).

One of the reasons Do-jun is truly needed is that he is the only good example of rejecting Do-ra's toxic, lying sociopath of a mother. He is clearly in a much better position to help Do-ra than Pilseung is when it comes to their mom, just as Mari is in a better position to help our leads with her uncle.

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But I think it does. She has been deferring to her psychopath of a mother not only because she is pathetically happy to be reunited with her biological family but is undoubtedly influenced by filial piety to be an obedient daughter. We’ve seen how Mija has weaponised this against her children, particularly Dora. Dora/Jiyoung needs to throw away the shackles of filial piety and liberate herself whether or not she will regain her memories.

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30: Both moms meeting again and again was hard to watch. Just stay apart and calm down people!

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I’m hoping with the speed this drama is hitting plot points that the hair pulling doesn’t plight too many more episodes.🤞

I’m also hoping one of Do Ra/Ji Yeong’s brothers takes her aside and has a talk about her life before. At the moment she’s only got the memories of how her Grandmother cares for her and probably expects her Mum to be as warm.
And Wow! Jin Dan is really in denial about his actions towards Do Ra! Will his actions ever come to light?

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This show is still hitting plot points fast so logically Jin-dan's past misdeeds must come to light- and I suspect that Ma-ri will be the one who overhears something that gets that process started. But first his engagement will probably blow up again over our FL. There is no way the Do-shik will go into the detail Do-ra needs but Do-jun will- and perhaps it will be because of what Ma-ri tells him.

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I'm sure it will, but when and how is the question. Following up on my previous post long ago, I am pretty sure now that nobody else knows that Jin Dan set Do Ra up at the hotel, resulting in her downfall. I am also pretty sure now that Do Ra did not tell Pil Seung about what happened the night her mum dumped her with Jin Dan. Pil Seung was only told that she has had a very hard time because of her mum, but he does not know the details. Only the two villains now, and they are both in denial that they caused Do Ra any harm.

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Typo! Only the two villains know...

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PS found out that JD set her up at the hotel. He found out after she was “dead”. He found the guy that played the part in the hotel and filmed the meeting.
So that’s a positive for DR/JY!

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Jindan is the embodiment of systemic brutality/violence against disempowered women. Deny and deny, obfuscate, sabotage and always always try to present the victim as being at fault, lacking and ungrateful.

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He is even more the embodiment of someone who cannot get over his inferiority complex. That is the root cause of this behavior. This is a psychological phenomenon.

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We spent half of episode 31 with more wallowing in pain and anger (but not hair pulling) until Mari, always the moral compass of the show, finally showed up to ask Pilseung’s mom to forgive his birth mom and old friend. She was treated so shabbily that she leaves in tears and – unable to rise to her feet we finally see Do-jun who is there to literally pick her up and princess carry her to the car (Foreshadowing maybe?).

For the first time we actually saw Pilseung’s grandmother caring for someone- and it was Ma-ri. She even helps her family accept Ma-ri as Pilseung’s sister.

That must have been the most perfunctory Meeting of the Families ever. Jindan’s fiancé and her family cannot have been on the screen for more than a minute.

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Such a relief that the screeching quotient was much lower.
If only the grandmother’s character had been more nuanced from the beginning but alas that didn’t seem to be a priority. The awful and sexist harridan archetype is the go to in these weekenders I have seen so far.
Jindan is a waste of space and a complete bore even if he is still malevolent and dangerous. Why would any half-decent woman want to hitch a ride to that abomination - a rhetorical question.
And, Mari has become the moral compass. I am envisaging that somewhat predictably, her mum’s forthcoming confession will result in her mum’s banishment and fall from grace so the stage will be set for an eventual reconciliation between the bio mum and PS and no doubt/hopefully, Mari will play a big part in it. How Dora/Jiyoung will come to support PS will be important. Maybe, that will be the trigger to end her KD amnesia.

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Mari is the connection for many things in this show. She will also probably be the means to reconcile her mom with her father as well. Do-jun is also a major part of that bridge between Pilseung and his birth mother- but through his friendship with Mari. Meanwhile the Mari and Do-jun partnership is part of what will break Jin-dan. A lot will flow through their partnership. We saw that brief moment when Do-jun first picked Ma-ri up - and realizes that he is holding a woman in his arms. Ma-ri is already impressed with er friend's body and his intellect- and has no trouble at all coming into his personal space. At this moment they are friends, but it would not be hard for them to become more.

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We have long been wondering if Ma Ri and Do Jun will end up as a couple, but with all the shenanigans going on in the APP Group family, is there also a possibility that Do Jun ends up being the heir?

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If he turns into their SIL, then the predictable managerial trajectory could eventuate but Dojun wants to be an architect so he will be trapped.

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The awful screeching harridan archetype adds nothing to any drama. Unfortunately, it seems to have become a fashion. Just like Jin-dan's character which is also a sexist archetype. We do not need either. Give me a more human and complex person please- particularly for a villain. Would it not be better to have a 2ML who genuinely desired the person of the FL- and not just the image he projects on to her? Someone who could be genuinely conflicted about what he wants and the choices that he makes? And even more, be aware of the impact of those choices? This is the problem with using a stereotype: It results in a two-dimensional cardboard cutout character and that adds little dramatic value.

At least we are finally seeing our harridan change and even become the voice of reason, even if only for one episode (we will hope for this to last).

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From your wise lips to the KD Goddess’ ears!

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And, I am a broken record on this but I continue to miss Pilseung’s curly hair style. That was a loss which I can’t forget as it somehow humanised the character from the get go, softened the actor’s stark features and endeared him to me. Pity it got nixed.

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I agree.

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The wardrobe department went from styling him 15 years younger than his age to 10 years older than his age, even though it was only a time gap of 2 years. 😂

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Oof, and that new tenant. Who could that be? I have an idea but I hope they won’t go there.
Aaaand, like clockwork, the loan sharks are back. Groan. We can all see where this is going to go and it is boring as all get out but also horrible as the deal with the devil in order to pay the loan+interest will usher in another unpleasant viewing experience but hopefully for the last time in this disappointing weekender. Btw, I wonder how loan sharks really dress in SK as these outfits are too ludicrous to be believed.

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I think hose outfits are intended as visual humor.

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Tbf if I was a loan shark watching these dramas, I'd always be cracking up lol.

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Wish I could join in the conversation, but Ep 31 is still not out on Viki yet where live.

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Viki is so late but they’re volunteers so... I recently discovered that kocowa+ has become available in my region and the subscription fee is quite cheap so signed up. They post the un-subbed version 4 hours after the Korean broadcast and the subbed version another 3-4 hours.

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Thanks for the tip and Kocowa is indeed suddenly also available in my region. Never was before. I've signed up for a free trial.

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Did anyone else notice the woman in the pic in the wallet? There might be yet another birth secret!!

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Good question.

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She is definitely Jin Dan's mother.

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Not a prediction, but I would love it if judgmental great aunt turned out to have some sort of shocking secret in her past.

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She lived in the US, so I vote she was the ringleader of a giant Tupperware pyramid scheme or something.

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What if she had a secret son in the US who turns out to be Pil-seung’s biological dad? Her son grew up in a different family and no one has made the connection … yet.

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That would be another layer of this mess. I think the other shoe might drop with respect to where xxxxxx’s “bloodline” (yuck. Gross to even write this) comes from. The shit will hit the fan then if that’s where they intend to go.

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That is a fun conjecture. Having a past would explain why she is such a strict follower of tradition now.

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I remembered PS bio mum mentioning that the bio dad had died though.

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I, and many others, really hate idiotic separations, noble or not. Episode 32 commence with the stupidest one ever committed in a Kdrama: Rather than confess to her husband that Pil-seung is her son Mari’s mom just tells her husband that she is divorcing him- with absolutely no explanation at all. And, sure enough, it is Ma-ri who confronts her about how selfish her decision is (our moral compass is still pointing True North) and confronts her with the basic facts. Which Ma-ri follows with action that drives the truth of what she said home.

Question: When did Mari acquire that Little Black Dress for her trip to the nightclub? At least it was appropriate attire for the occasion.

Do-jun was upset with her for not telling him about leaving home and they had a very significant conversation in the parking garage in which she promises to turn to him first when she is scared and devastated. Bit by bit their relationship continues to grow- which is imperative if they are going to be able to help our ML and FL.

Loan sharks again- and you just know how Do-ra’s mom will handle this. I am not looking forward to a repeat of her past follies.

I have suspicions as to the identity of the new tenant at Pilseung’s house but will wait and see more because I could be way off base.

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Mari seems to have a huge spending budget. Remember all the expensive gifts she got for Pilseung and his family? The weekender didn’t show that someone else had bought them for Mari so I assumed she had bought that dress herself.
And, I have my suspicions too about that person as noted above.

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The new tenet is an interesting development! He seems to be related to JD’s mother…there was a quick shot of a picture in his wallet.

I too think that MR is one of the best characters in the drama.

Question: she is so self-aware (I think she getting smarter) and knows she’s not capable of being fully independent… shouldn’t she realize that 28 year olds (she said her age outside the club) should not carry a teddy bear around…especially to a night club.

I am really dreading the DR/JY merry go round if it happens again with JD. Hopefully this time her grandmother will protect her because her mom will definitely not.

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I have been catching up with Beauty and after ep.30 I'm so frustrated that I'm not sure I will continue (and reading your comments from latest episodes don't encourage me either). I feel like we are back to square one... and I can't stand all that abuse again.
First horrible Pilseung's Pseudo Grandmother meddling whenever she could.... then Terrible Selfish Predator Mom using Dora whenever she can again!!, showing absolutely no remorse... and Oppa, you disappointed me hugely, I had thought you were on a different path now. Also, where is the Jiyeong who could defend herself well and would never ever go to a club?!
We also got that painful reveal of the birth secret and all that physical drama... this all is NOT why I watch weekenders. I want back some cuteness and proper stories of various couples (we are so often stagnant there). At this stage I may even prefer watching Hyoshim cooking curry... and Teamin brooding, in a suit, of course 😊.

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I was super frustrated during episodes 29-30 but found episodes 31-32 a huge improvement. No more hair pulling. The couples are moving very slowly but surely.

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Oh, that's good to hear.
(I just don't like the loan sharks. 😒)
I may steel myself and plough through. For Mari.

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Ma Ri continues to be lovely and has a lot of screen time.

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Ma-ri deserves the screentime. And Do-jun is back- so we are hopefully done with hairpulling.

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I hate the loan sharks + Dora's mom plotline.

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You could call it a plot circle because we get the same thing over and over again. 😫

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Tae-min in a suit. 🤩

The way I figure it, we need a place to climb up from (again) in our last 18 episodes. At this point, we're actually only talking about a normal drama-length...or WAY shorter if one only watches scenes with Pil-seung and Ji-young. 😂 I don't even watch those with Ma-ri unless they're not in that stupid house of hers...

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For me the problem is they spend minimal time on other stories - where is the story of Struggling Screenwriter learning to write a good story? Where are dialogues between Her and Oppa?
Where is the story of Dreaming Architect with big plans (perhaps units for assisted living for people with some limitations?) and learning from Mari some interesting points of view?
Instead, we are watching Annoying Grandma and Abusive Mom, on repeat. And a break up of a friendship with a lot of hairpulling. Le sigh.

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I completely agree. This structure puzzles me and has been quite alienating. Is this structure imposed by the network for budgetary and habitual reasons or is this just the writer’s manifest shortcoming and lack of imagination?

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Now that he is freed up from his supporting role in CONNECTION maybe we will get your dreaming architect story after all.

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Now, I'm completely dissatisfied and want to watch your weekender, @dorotka. 😕

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I found Ep31-32 much better than last weekend. Country halmeoni turned up to give Pil Seung (and Do Ra) some time off (ironically, she is taking up time, but in doing so is giving him much needed time off his problems!). Isn't it interesting that the two characters who are kind, honest and really see (the important) things as they are are Ma Ri and country Halmeoni?

Do Jun! Hello! Yes, use those strong biceps.

There were some good scenes between Ma Ri, Pil Seung and their bio mum and watching how each of them deal with the reveal and fallout. It was also good to see that interfering halmeoni turns out to genuinely care for Ma Ri, even if she remains interfering and annoying. The purpose of the character is obviously to reveal all the secrets. Pil Seung's bio mum continues to wreck havoc by making wrong decisions again, which are only hurting her kind and loving husband and totally innocent Ma Ri.

Although it is looking like everything will go around in a circle again regarding Do Ra, I think (hope) it will be different this time around because of country halmeoni and Do Jun's presence (and also a somewhat reformed Do Shik). Ji Yeong is also now beginning to see for herself that Pil Seung is genuinely good man (has she fallen for him 5 times now? As a kid, before she realised he is Dae Chung, after she realises, after she became Ji Yeong and now seeing how kind and caring he is).

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One thing that I wish they were much more careful with is her dementia. The reality is that she won’t be able to live by herself even if she has lucid moments as she will wonder even if people do know her in her hometown, can set the house on fire and hurt herself. And, how could she run a restaurant in that shape?

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The story plays fast and loose with the whole concept of dementia. Because you are absolutely right.

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Mari dealing with her mom and her family shows just how much of a central (if supporting) character she is. Her intervention was crucial.

It is significant that it was followed by a heart to heart between her and Do-jun. That established that Do-jun has come to care deeply about Mari- and now she knows this. Even more, he has established a foundational rule to their relationship: From now on she is to turn to him when she has a crisis. That is crucial to the over-all story because it is the moment when they have truly formed the partnership which will help defeat Do-ra's mom and Mari's uncle. And maybe also lead to a future for them as well.

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Mari may yet make Do-jun’s heart explode. 😘 I’m just relieved to see one couple communicating in a mature fashion with each other.

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Of course she will (figuratively). How else is he going to realize that he loves her?

And isn't it remarkable that despite their relative youth and even Ma-ri's neurologial situation this couple could teach lessons in how to hold a mature, adult conversation to everyone else in this show.

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I think Ma-Ro maybe the “conscience” of the show.
(At least in the world she’s a part of!)
And she seems to be getting smarter…slowly!

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One three-day trip to Paris, and you're willing overthrow deep-seated tradition and make friends with just about anyone!!!! 😂

I felt that episodes 31-32 were the most "weekender-y" yet. It's easy to skip the scenes that you want to skip and it's fun when someone comes in and just says a fact that needs to be said at that moment.

Also, I'm growing very fond of Do-sik with his game attitude towards Country Granny...but Myeong-dong is starting to respect her own mother's wily nature (how?? 어떻게?) so I hope she either snaps out of it or Do-sik finds someone nicer.

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For half a second I thought maybe Myeong-dong was being sarcastic when she praised her mom for being smart … but nope. 🤦🏻‍♀️

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A large part of the script for Myeong Dong involves her standing behind her mother looking disapprovingly at someone. Surely they can do something better with her part.

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I feel sorry for these lower tier actors. It must be so unrewarding to have to do these roles for a pay-check. It is hard to imagine any job satisfaction when the role is so repetitive and one-dimensional. The adoptive dad’s character is the worst among the lot. The actor also just seems to act by rote and is just a screen filler. I often wonder the dynamics behind the scene when a group of actors are largely the background characters for a family member, such as Pilseung here, who is one of the main leads of the drama. There must be professional resentments even if they have to collaborate.

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Doshik first needs to stand firmly behind Dora and defend her against Mom to deserve a bit of my fondness...

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It is about time he did that. So far, he has proven to be a spineless wonder

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Mija is incontrovertibly immoral and loathsome. They should just kill her off and release her poor children from the burden and stigma of her existence. She has blighted their lives. This character is irredeemable. They could and should have had a much more nuanced character who was capable of self-awareness and contrition but no. Instead, this is probably grist to the mill of korean misogynists who accuse women of causing male suicides by virtue of existing and surviving, and who must see these weekenders as factual and evidence based given their ignorance and hatred of women.

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I doubt that Mija's character would have any effect on Misogynists any more than Jin-dan's character feeds the fantasies of women who hate men. The truth is that this show has real balance in its villains: What we see are two Sociopaths, one male and one female, both equally irredeemable.

Where is the White Truck of Doom when it is truly needed?

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Dora reminding herself of all the “reasons” she had to be grateful to Jin-dan and accept him as her boyfriend was so hard to watch. She can’t get her memory back too soon. And the way Mi-ja frames her actions — it’s always about saving her sons — shows she will always put her daughter last.

The one positive I can find is that the secrets with the power to affect the protagonists have been revealed, except for Ji-yeong’s identity. So perhaps it’s almost time for the antagonists’ dirty laundry to come to light.

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Hello Everyone! I'm almost caught up again.
to be honest, I struggled with Do-Ra's mum just being So Awful to her in the first 16 episodes. It was a struggle to get through them, and such a relief to have her as JYhappily trying to make her way in the big city... And now they have thrown me back into the terrible mother and clueless daughter! Arrrrrgh! I hope it does not last tooooo long...

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Just finished watching episode 33 and had this interesting thought about the new character. What if he’s Jin Dan’s actual father?🤔
He is more of a contemporary to Ae Kyo and seems to have known her in the past. Certainly with all the birth secrets we’ve had so far it seems possible. It would also mean Jin Dan is not the heir to AAP.

It just seems very late to be adding a character unless they have a big effect on the plot.

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I understand that but misogyny is systemic/baked into the system in contrast to hatred of men which is personalised. I was also reacting to the horrific comments made by a Seoul Council member against women per se and was speculating on the views of the older demographic that watches these weekenders domestically.
On a different note, the actor playing Mija seems inconsistent to me in this thankless role. She seems to drop the ball in some scenes where her reactions are just on the nose. I am just tired of this kind of one note villain.

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I think you’re right. The show hides it well because the women drive the story so thoroughly, but the misogyny is there. The relationship between Pil-seung and Do-ra is already very paternalistic, and Jin-dan is one awful man amongst a cast of mostly mellow, placid, reactive men. By contrast, Mi-ja is a harridan, but Pil-seung’s mother/grandmother, Jin-dan’s mother and aunt all join her in being actively unreasonable and cruel. There’s a very holistic image being built about how (older) women are, and though Ma-ri & Do-ra are more kindly written, there’s still a “protector-dependent” dynamic with the men they’re in relationships with.

Strangely enough, I actually really love Cha Hwa-Yeon as Mija haha. It’s very pantomime and goofy, but she’s so expressive it’s kind of entertaining to watch. I get the feeling that she doesn’t take the role/show seriously, which, honestly, fair enough lol.

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I have noticed the pattern you mention too. Misogyny is woven into the legal, cultural, social, economic and political fabrics of human society to varying degrees. In SK, this struggle against misogyny and for equality has a very long way to go despite SK being an economic super-power in the region and a cultural force. It is devastating but not surprising.
These weekenders ate aimed at older viewers and horrifyingly they keep perpetrating particularly hateful images of women while they treat the majority of male protagonists rather benignly. And, one of the reasons I have been enjoying this less and less is Pilseung’s paternalistic attitude and JiYoung’s increasing lack of agency. I shouldn’t have expected more but I did.

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She sure seems to be having fun even if it’s not working for me.

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Sure enough. In episode 33 her mom has sold Do-ra again. But of our two villain’s Jin-dan is actually the very worst. Do-ra’s mom is desperate, Jin-dan is absolutely not.

OK, so when did Kdrama writers decide that DNA tests can be done instantaneously (rather than the minimum of three weeks)?

We had a couple of cute moments with Mari in Episode 33, serving to break up the heaviness. First some bonding time with her Oppa. Then when Do-jun backs off a man hitting on her by announcing that he is Mari’s boyfriend. Do-jun tells her that from now on she is to tell people she has a boyfriend. At the end of that vignette, she is asking “Do I have a boyfriend now, then?” Yes, Mari, you do- except he doesn't realize it yet.

And now Mari's dad has found out the big secret. Ma-ri will have her work cut out for her.

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The DNA test itself is only a few minutes I believe. All the rest of the time is admin.
-I'm seeing 2-7 days quoted in the ads I'm being served (not three weeks)
-I'm sure you can pay extra for express services

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Actually, even with the recent advances in technology to speed up the replication step I believe that the bare minimum is still at least a day even for a rush situation. The sequencing through electrophoresis takes place in just minutes but first you need to have enough DNA to do that- hence the need for a replication step because no sample actually has enough DNA to take the next step- first it must be "replicated" (the DNA is literally multiplied many many times over) so that there is enough material to perform the next step. This replication step has apparently now been speeded up BUT it still has to take many hours if no longer days. Once that step has occurred the electrophoresis step does indeed just take minutes and the computerized comparison of the results is very fast indeed. That is why most of the literature I have just scanned calls for two to three days, but a few say one day for a rush. The only admin delay I can think of is whether or not the appropriate supervising authority at the lab is available to sign off on the official report.

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explanation- I was including scheduling in 'admin delays' Eg. the DNA test will take a month because they already have 3 weeks worth of tests ahead of you...

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I can promise you that this is indeed exactly what does happen. You test stands in line behind the others that arrived before yours. I have this directly from the mouth of the former director of LABCORP which is one of the largest labs (possibly the very largest) doing such work (and other things as well) in the US.

It used to be that when we saw genetic testing done in a K-drama there was a much more realistic depiction: One submitted the samples and eventually one received the results by mail. In real life this has been exactly my experience- except that I was not carrying in the samples, rather they were taken by a technician who also took a high-quality photo of the individuals in question. The sealed samples went to the lab with proper chain of custody documentation (the actual admin work occurs up front).

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I’m deeply amused by this DNA lab that seems to be happy testing any toothbrush presented to it.

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That is a Kdrama fiction. In fact, Korean law highly restricts who can obtain and submit a sample for testing.

Also, a toothbrush is NOT a good source of DNA. There is very good reason why a cheek swab is preferred (way more material to start with).

If someone thoroughly rinsed it off there may be no DNA on that toothbrush. Or the chemicals in the toothpaste may have damaged the DNA.

What if someone else was in a hurry and used it by mistake?

OK, so what about hair on a comb? Or yanked from the head? No good unless you got the hair follicle- the actual strand of hair has no DNA. And are you sure no one else used that comb?

Kdramas are way to slapdash when it comes to DNA testing.

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DNA test is a magic in k-dramas :). Anyone can bring whatever and they will test it for you within a day. As I work in the field I wish it was that easy in real life :).
On more practical note, when stealing a toothbrush from the bathroom how did she know that it was a correct one? They are family of 5 so must have been 5 toothbrushes?

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Episode 34 saw everything blow up for Mari’s mom when her dad was not willing to listen to her at all- he is in shock. The news of Pilseung’s birth has Jin-dan engaged in a truly paranoid fantasy thanks to his mom’s description of the situation. Yet Jin-dan has already fallen into a trap of his own making by insisting on dating Ji-young (Do-ra) while he is engaged to Tae-hee. His insane decision to destroy Pil-seung is yet another gigantic misstep because objectively Pil-seung being Ma-ri’s half-brother is irrelevant to Jin-dan’s position.

Actually Jin-dan's mom asked the question that makes Jin-dan's actions not just irrational but insane: If Ma-ri's parent's divorce what stops Mari's dad from marrying a young woman and having another child?

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I am sporadically seeing episodes since my local KBS America channel is loose and fast in airing its dramas. The last one I saw ended with ML asking the family if he was "abandoned." In this episode, the term "foundling" was used . . . meaning, an abandoned child.

In pre-modern Korea, there was no such thing as a truly abandoned child as the bloodline was never legally severed even if the child was placed in an orphanage, a temple, a foster home, or put up for adoption. Prior to 2008, all Korean adoptions were simple adoptions, meaning that biological parental-child rights were not eliminated (which includes inheritance). There was always the possibility that a biological parent would come back to reclaim their child. In modern Korea, to counter the national guilt of decades of post-war human trafficking of infants to foreign adoptions, the government has set up an agency to reunite separated family members. In 2020, a US adoptee won a Korean court paternity test case to put herself on her Korean parents family registry, which would give her inheritance and citizenship rights.

This is why I found Sun-Young’s hysterical anger towards Soo-Yeon’s secret misplaced and over-the-top. SY found a baby and took him in as her own. She probably registered him on the family register because only recently it was changed to require birth certificates (to combat the “ghost baby” problem). Even if she attempted to “adopt” him, at that time, it would not have eliminated Soo-Yeon’s rights to her son (no lack of consent or terminational of parental rights).
Yes, the Go family spent decades supporting and raising Pil-Seung, and the moral outrage that a woman abandoning a newborn is heinous, but it was not rare or even frowned upon by Korean society. But from day one, Sun-Young and her husband knew or should have known that the birth mother could show up and reclaim her baby. Also, the idea that Go family was “used” and made fools for raising a friend’s child is also off-base because the simple fact was it was Sun-Young’s voluntary choice to do so since she could have taken the abandoned child to the authorities to be put into state care.

The Go family can yell, scream and claim the moral high ground on the situation, but legally it means very little. It does open the door for Pil-Seung to inherit half of Soo-Yeon’s wealth (which most likely include half of Gong Jin-Taek’s fortune if he predeceases her.)

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Thanks for the social and historical context. The Go family’s reactions have seemed over-the-top, and no one has ever heard of empathy, apparently, but I suppose that’s to make things extra dramatic.

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Surely his handsome bio dad should have had curly hair?

Sigh. This started out as a fast paced drama with good chemistry between interesting leads. Now it's just the typical OTT draggy going-round-in-circles weekender plot with the chemistry (and character development) between the leads noticeably diminishing with each episode. What a waste of all the actors' talents. I'm not sure which is worse: the previous weekender nosediving for me with only two episodes to go, or this one with a third to go?

Someone wake me up when she regains her memory. Zzzzzzzz.......

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You’re so right. I’m just puzzled by the degeneration which could have been avoided but instead, it seems now to have been predestined. The over-emphasis on the adoptive grandma, JiYoung’s disempowerment and debasement, the change in Pilseung from likeable and empathetic to a boring guy with hierarchical and patronising tendencies and the disgusting Miju rinse and repeat ark are all just hallmarks of extremely pedestrian and indifferent writing.

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Episode 35 was the crazy aunt episode- Jin-teak’s aunt suggests that he should adopt his younger ‘illegitimate’ half-brother as his son. Somehow this would make him more attractive to Tae-hee’s family? It cements his succession to APP group? The first is not needed as he is already engaged to Tae-hee and the second one would make absolutely no difference whatsoever under current Korean Law as I understand it. With all due respect Auntie: WTF? Apparently, the author needed to do this in order to further raise the stakes for Jin-dan? Particularly idiotic was the suggestion that Ma-ri would be disinherited by this move.

Ma-ri’s parents getting divorced trigger’s Ma-ri’s PTSD from her childhood accident. Seeing Ma-ri hysterical was extremely unpleasant for me.

Jin-dan’s tantrums are different- He is an educated man in full health. There is no excuse for him- but really there never was. This artificial inflation of what he will supposedly lose when his folly comes to light was dramatically unnecessary.

Is Jin-dan’s mom now actively cavorting with Jin-dan’s true baby daddy? Wait until this blows up in our crazy aunt’s face.

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Episode 36 was a discontinuous mess as the story progression and editing was all over the place. Having dragged out Dora’s amnesia, they suddenly decided to —— her —— without any further ado. It was jarring. And, the sped up fling Jindan’s mother is having with that dude brought forward what we all knew was coming. He will have a complete meltdown. For the zillionth time.
And, they suddenly must have remembered that Myeondong and Dooshik are still in a relationship after having ignored that recently.
What a structural mess and we had such moderate hopes for this at the beginning.
The only good things were seeing Mari’s unrealistic but welcome improvement and seeing the possibility if a reconciliation between her parents. I hope that they move out of that toxic den of a house and live together as a nuclear family which will throw open their door to Pilseung, Dora, halmeoni and Dojun. And, maybe Dooshik if he can keep growing his spine.

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