JUST BETWEEN LOVERS community watch/rewatch

episodes 5

This was the first episode I started really enjoying the show. We are past the initial setup, and the extreme over the top victimization, and into a solid story.

This episode was all Junho, and I loved it. That first scene in the rain, and again the last few scenes, how he depicted his triggered panic in both occasions, felt so real and so heartbreaking.

He is just so natural in this role, and became a lot more down-to-earth and tangible this episode. When he is in the car, when he grumbles that a memorial should be simple so that dumb people like him can understand it, when he easily shows how kind he is (instead of us having to deduct it), I love this KangDu.

Episode 6

This episode had too many scenes that weren’t as good as the previous episode, but KD’s trauma, and his need for pain and scream is so palpable that it is very hard to watch.

The highlight of this hour is when he pushes MS to shout.

I didn’t like how it was immediately followed by them just casually drinking though. It felt very anti-climatic. Also one of the fundamental reasons I have trouble wirh these two is that KD knows who she is, but she doesn’t know who he is… And this makes some of the vulnerable scenes very difficult to watch for me.

I have loved Park Hee Bon in nearly every drama I have seen her. In JBL she too started very ott. It felt like I couldn’t place her in the story so I couldn’t connect with her.
By episode 5 though, like KD, she has settled down and I’m liking her a lot.
(Irrelevant side note: Her role in Bubblegum is one of my top most favorite written and acted second female leads ever)

Epilogue:
Shout-out to the Queen of Melonia! @sicarius

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      Great comments and great GIFS. especally the ice cream one. It’s nice to see something that brings him pure joy in the show.

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      Hey guys..So I had an accident and now my forehead has 12 stitches 🙃. So I’m not gonna be there for a week atleast..I’m really sorry..I will update after recovering. I don’t think I’ll be able to do next weeks summary..the timing 😪..I really wanted to…I guess someone else can do it or I’ll do it one week later…My head is exploding and I’m living on painkillers…so bye..I’ll come back later. I’m really sorry again

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        @seeker @claire2009
        Forgot to tag you in the comment. I’m really sorry for the inconvenience. If I’m okay by the time I’ll do it.

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        Oh no, I hope it’s not too serious. Don’t worry about the post, I will do it. Just rest well and take care of yourself and come back here with us to have fun as soon as you can. And don’t be sorry. I’m relieved you can still type. Wish you a speedy recovery ❤️❤️❤️

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        Please take care and recover well. You can join as and when convenient. No worries I will do the post next week. Prioritize your health. 🙏

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        Sending you a warm hug and healing vibes. This may not even be a drama to watch when you’re down. 😅 Please relax and recover. Join only when you are comfortable and we will welcome you and your war trophies same as before. Take care. ❤

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        Omg how scary! I hope you recover very soon!

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    Thank you Midnight for this post. ❤

    It is indeed a hard drama to watch because every character’s trauma hits such strong emotional notes. Yes Kang-doo knows who Moon-so is but he’s still that teenage boy who has had neither the time, emotional support or (I’m using the term loosely) the luxury to move on. He is still that scared little boy buried in the debris and scared that she will leave and forget him again. He wants he to connect but doesn’t know how. The very fact that he asks Halemoni whether he should tell her or not means he’s conflicted. He knows he shouldn’t tell her and knows she’s suffering too but he also wants to be able to share with her.

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      Yes, it is very heartbreaking to witness how he is still that teenage boy trapped in his terror. Even in the most normal events of a normal day his first instinct is always panic for survival.

      No, I don’t mean I wish he had told her. He can’t. He really can’t. But I wish the story was written in a way that they were on the same level, and she somehow found out by herself early on.

      That is probably why I love his scenes with Kang Hanna. They both know everything they should about each other, and interact on exactly the same level with the same mutual respect and mutual ease.

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        💯 Even though as audience we know the shared trauma of the OTP and don’t necessarily know much about Kang Hanna’s character but it is enough to understand her. Junho and her interactions are perhaps the most beautiful ML and 2FL scenes I have seen. 😀

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          Junho and her interactions are perhaps the most beautiful ML and 2FL scenes I have seen.

          This is actually my thing. Lovely relationship between ML and 2FM in dramas is one of the key points that seriously elevates a drama for me.

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    Yes, them fighting one minute and then drinking was a bit off. But I enjoyed the flirting especially the carrot thing. And like @seeker mentioned he’s fallen for her but hasn’t realized it yet. Also scared he’ll lose her.

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    Thank you, Midnight.

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    Your screencaps and gifs are just perfect. 👍👌

    His eyes and even his back hold such unspoken secrets. We often talked about Kim Young-kwang’s “back acting” in Call It Love but Junho’s back acting is equally spectacular in *all* his dramas.

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      We often talked about Kim Young-kwang’s “back acting” in Call It Love but Junho’s back acting is equally spectacular in *all* his dramas.

      Exactly!

      Although I have to put in a word for KYK here. His back acting is also spectacular in all his dramas!

      Thank you for your never ceasing encouragements!

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        💯 I just meant it’s more talked about for that particular drama because it had a lot of lingering shots but yes his back game is not only spectacular it is its own character. 😂 It is more than just body language.

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          👌👌

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          And didn’t it have a line too? Lee Sungkyung’s character said “His back looks sad?”, didn’t she?

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            Yes she did. The opening lines were a beautiful poem about watching someone.

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            “There was a poet who once said the following: That if you want to understand, if you want to forgive, and if you want to love someone, you should observe how they look from the back for a long while. That if you do just that, you don’t have to unnecessarily try to understand, forgive, or love them because their lonely shadow will have made you cry without you even knowing.”

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            This was a voice-over from the radio but KYK really lived these lines.

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            While I never warmed up to the FL’s sis she did have a great line about the truly lonely people being those “who can’t even say they’re lonely“.

            Guess that applies to Kang-doo, Moon-soo, Joo Won, Yoo Jin and even Yoo Taek.

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    Thank you, Midnight 🫰

    Wonderful GIFs, and that ice cream bar!! Is that a Melonia bar? I found very similar bars at my local supermarkets but not Melonia ones.

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      Thank you for your compliment! 😅🫰

      Yes, it’s a Melonia bar 😊

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    Thanks @Mindnight!!

    and his need for pain and scream is so palpable that it is very hard to watch.

    In the last recap, this was the part I was talking about. I was stunned by how beautifully this scene was crafted. I will be back with my thoughts, but it was somewhere here this show went from being a tragedy to JunHo trauma show. While all characters and situations were good, I was mesmerised by Jun Ho.

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    **Incoming rant, so if no one actually ends up reading this as not to ruin your experiences with this drama, I totally get it 😅**

    I think you just put into word why I didn’t like nor connect with the drama as much as other Beanies did during the drama’s initial broadcast & live-watch:
    The victimization and subliminal (self) pity from all directions. It put me off so much.

    *DON’T READ this next part if you don’t find yourself needing to know my life story 😅
    I had totally thought that if nothing else—most of which, empathy— then I would be able to sympathize with the characters and the things they went through and why they are the way they are in the present timeline, but nope, I didn’t feel it, not at all. I’m a person who’s also been through quite a bit (born w/ a disability and had to go through multiple surgeries then found out later in life that I can’t have children which is something I’d always, ALWAYS hoped and prayed for; I’ve had people leave me, found out that I was never a wanted person in some peoples’ lives— most of which, my dad never even wanted me as his child— and I’ve had people die on me in very tragic ways (i.e. getting murdered).
    /end

    So for a drama that has it’s primary premise being in the midst of tragedy, doom & gloom, and the result (PTSD) of all of that, I was thinking, “What happened?” because NONE of it spoke to me and the taste that was left in my mouth was just “ugh” because, personally, I think this is how NOT to do a drama based on all of the above (tragedy, sadness, PTSD, etc.) but there are way better examples,
    i.e Marriage Contract

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      Thank you for sharing your story; it takes a lot of courage to open up like that. It’s understandable why you would expect to connect with the characters, given your experiences. I haven’t seen “Marriage Contract.” Are there any other dramas or shows that have resonated more with you in these aspects?
      My Cousin got married in early 20s and found out she can’t conceive. She tried IVF by borrowing her sibling’s eggs. It din work. People suggested to adopt pets to fill the void, even that din help. She use to cry everytime she saw a child. After a long wait, she and her husband got a chance to adopt a beautiful angel. But it took them 5 years to find that happiness. I’m not saying you to adopt as well. Just saying that everyone as their own timeline to get there so don’t give up. I really hope and pray you get there soon. Good Luck🍀

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        Thank you for your kind words ♥️
        Every person’s story is different, even if there may be shared experiences or feelings. It has taken me more than 10 years to reconcile some of the things I’ve struggled with due to one reason or another (but honestly, a majority of the reason is trauma and social norms and backhanded comments from family perpetuating it all). Personally, the thing I had struggled with the longest was having to tell myself that it is okay that I have not reached X milestone or accomplished X in life as society dictates as a “social norm” (and even with family and their backhanded commentary about MY life, in their trying to live vicariously through me because they never had some experiences for themselves, being immigrants and refugees). As the years go by, I’ve been able to breathe a little more and feel less guilt about going my own way, about paving my own path, and doing the things I want to do and what I want to accomplish in life and knowing that it is okay to say “No” to family because I’m not responsible for living their life for them. My current state (33, single— not even dating) still leaves room for some things to be desired— I’ve previously had long nights of crying in bed by myself about not having a partner and then not being able to have children— but I’ve learned to just take those things 1 step at a time and day by day and to also be okay with the fact that every day is going to be different in my thoughts and in my stirring of emotions. It’s not like even if I were to find someone now that I am going to marry and have children (human babies or fur babies) with them in the next 24 hours LOL

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          Thank you—again— for being sensitive and sympathetic even in your comments about adoption, because it’s not that simple, especially for a person who cannot conceive or will have major, MAJOR complications if they so choose to conceive or came to have children later in life than the “norm”. More often than not, the most innocent and well-meaning comments can actually do more harm than good, and there is a time and place for everything. At the end of the day, it isn’t simply about the life of a baby/child, it’s also about the life that the little human will have come into contact with, too— mothers, fathers, (extended) families—regardless if that little one is an adopted one or is born and raised in their own biological family

          I highly recommend “Marriage Contract”— despite the synopsis and initial premise, it’s actually a drama that much more about hope and living in the moment than it is about mulling in limbo because of past or present/ongoing tragedies and difficulties.
          Melodramas are nothing new in the K-drama world, but I find that the ones which have resonated with me are the ones that go deeper than just simply the characters mulling in the emotions of sadness and pity and depression themselves, which I find is what “Just Between Lovers” does. As shared above, I highly recommend “Marriage Contract”, and other melo Kdramas that I’d say have the same sort of melo feel and which I was able to enjoy are Winter Sonata (an older drama— circa 2002– so the tropes are a bit OTT, but the root of the drama is good), and then other melo dramas I remember liking at the time I watched them are A Thousand Day Promise, A Piece of Your Mind (I actually still adore this one to this day), Queen for Seven Days (historical), Scarlet Heart: Ryeo (historical), The Hymn of Death (movie), The Princess’ Man (historical). If you do decide to tackle something from this list, I hope you’ll find something you’ll like and in which will stick with you for a long time 😊

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            Thank you, Bebe, for sharing with us your story ❤️

            I had a troubled and rebellious youth, when I went out of my family’s expectations and “norms”. There were many times I felt suffocated living with my own parents and siblings, and like you said, it’s not like they meant something ill. They always meant well, but that doesn’t guarantee that family never hurt each other. I once read something along the line of “when parents belittle their kids, the kids will never hate their parents, but they will hate themselves”. I carried the struggle with myself into my marriage, and it took me longer than I care to admit to understand and make peace with myself, and I am now thankfully in a better place than I was years ago.

            I loved The Hymn of Death and Winter Sonata ❤️

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            No Kdrama has the answers to all our questions about life, but each drama will have bits and pieces of the answers we are looking for, and that’s Kdramas’ magic. And a lot of times, we find the answers in our conversations with our fellow beanies, that’s why DB is a magical place to me <3

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          I want to add a comment to mine- when I said I didn’t like the way they have taken 10 years- that does not reference that it has taken them so long- I don’t know if they have done anything to try to get fixed. Just been living in pain every day. They fact you have been working so hard to be in a place where you can live with your pain and emotions shows hard work and change happening all the time. Life trauma is life- it’s not going to go away, but you need to come to your point
          “but I’ve learned to just take those things 1 step at a time and day by day and to also be okay with the fact that every day is going to be different in my thoughts and in my stirring of emotions. “

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      The victimization and subliminal (self) pity from all directions. It put me off so much.

      THIS. EXACTLY.

      On my first watch, some of the victimization brought me to rage actually. Exactly as you said, this is how NOT to depict tragedy.

      This time around I am actively ignoring/fast-forwarding all the parts that I know will enrage me, and focusing single-mindedly, and detachedly, on parts that I can like.

      Also worth mentioning as I noted in the previous recap, knowing now that this drama came out after severe censorship, as a tribute to a disaster makes me look at it a bit more forgivingly. Yes, it is doing exactly what it is itself preaching not to do: how NOT to pay tribute. But still, I am doing my best.

      You are so so brave to share your story. I hope you can find joy and companionship in the best way possible.

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        P.s. I don’t know if you have noticed, that I’m the Beanie whose previous posts started with: Reason no. 567853 that I dislike JBL! 😅😅
        I am still determined enough to continue. 😅😁

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        ♥️♥️♥️

        Yes, if my memory serves me correctly, this drama is a fictionalized story about a real life event, and it was an attempt at telling the impact and some of the stories that may have come out of the aftermath of the incident. Sadly, it was poorly executed— almost to an insulting level, I’d even dare to say. It basically degraded death, dying, trauma, and shared trauma into mere Kdrama tropes screams. The scene near the end of the drama wherein the ML (Junho) has a nosebleed?? I wanted to throw something— I found it so grossly annoying that they tried to tie it to a form of physical implication of what happened to him even though it’s really just another sick Kdrama trope had it been a nosebleed scene in any other drama 🙄
        On a social justice level, it perpetuates that those who have suffered, those who have experienced loss, those who have been “mixed up in something big and powerful” are the ones who will be forever lost in their own ways and will never make it out nor make it big nor have the lifestyle that S.Korea so heavily promotes (but is soooooo superficial)— i.e. material riches and success— just simply because that event that happened and which you’re a part of is now a part of your story and is a mark on your life which makes it that no one will ever wanna approach you nor wanna give you any opportunities ugh
        You’re braver than I am in revisiting this drama. I just can’t 🥺

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          The first 2 episodes took me 4 days to watch. I was only able to watch 3&4 the next week because of how much the Beanies encouraged me to be frank with whatever I’m feeling. It took away the pressure.

          With these two episodes, I promised myself that I will hit ff immediately when I start disliking any scene. I still don’t know if I will be able to finish it. But these CWs are amazing in how one suddenly finds so many like-minded or different views.

          The reason I revisited JBL was that (warning! Longish story coming!) I watched Doctor Slump a few months ago when I was at a low point. It spoke to my deepest depths like no other show had done, and I knew that it was because of my mindset at the time, not the show itself. Immediately after that I watched Thirty-nine, which again affected me so so deeply, although I rarely ever connect to grim slice-of-life shows. Again, my mindset, which was still at its lowest.

          That was when I started thinking about JBL, and if I hadn’t been in the right mindset for it the first time. So I decided to give it another try.
          I knew even before the first episode ended that it hadn’t been because of my mindset.🙃

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            The drama watching experience is fascinating like that, isn’t it? We think or feel one thing, watching the drama may make us feel another thing— or so we hope, sometimes— but then hindsight about the same drama may make us discover something completely unexpected, whether it be about the drama or about ourselves. I think the dramas that have stuck with me and in which are timeless for me and my own personal life experiences are definitely the ones I can return to and the drama still feels brand spanking new and wherein I can always find a different/unnoticed detail from my last run (re-watching) with it and which will always make me feel something different and new with it, too 🥰 There’s only a handful of dramas that I’ve watched which is like this for me— some are even quite dated dramas too (like from the early 2000s), which then tells me that those dramas are keepers for my drama memory bank

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            @bebeswtz 😚🫰

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      Of course we would want to hear your story!. If you are willing to share such a personal life tale then we are here to listen and give you a virtual hug. Thank you for you openness.
      I would imagine you found a way in your life to work through all of the pain, suffering and trauma that you experienced. And of course that was very personal and probably avery different way then they are doing on this show.
      I also have a hard time with the 10 years of pain. I am not the kind of person who would allow that in my life- I would have figured out how to fix it. And so I find myself impatient with their process. Their process does not have to be mine- but I also don’t have to connect with the show either. That’s my prerogative.

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        ♥️ ♥️ ♥️
        The pain was easier to handle and to resolve because it manifested onto the surface level for the most part. The harder part was dealing with all of the trauma and PTSD which was underneath the surface and very safely and deeply buried. The PTSD— and the realization that I even had it— didn’t come out until I received counselling and had the safe and open space to finally see it, process it, and vocalize it to myself…. The cons of having to emotionally grow up faster than my own peers and also not having much of a childhood due to all that was happening around me and TO me, I guess 😅
        I can’t say that I now have a clean bill of health in terms of my trauma— I absolutely don’t— but approaching it day by day, seeing it, identifying it, and taking control to not let the “norms” of society and the perpetuating behaviours of family (whom I can’t be rid of, because… family) take over does help a great deal. How I deal with it all— at the end of the day— is making sure that I am at least OKAY with myself, if not at 💯 there for myself. At least being okay with myself and my own life choices is a step forward and a level above and better than not being okay at all and just stirring in the negative energy.
        I don’t mind pain and death and dying and angst in my shows as long as it is done right. This drama just wasn’t right, and on SO MANY fronts, too

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      One of the many, many reasons I have come to love DB is because I know and learn from people like you. I am speechless, and honoured that you chose to share a part of yourself with us. The choices you have had to make because of forces out of control, and the conscious decision of not burdening yourself with what ifs for you future takes a lot of courage. You are still very young, and you have come very far. You are very brave and have done so much for yourself that I can only say that judging by your 100% positive posts no one could have ever guessed that the cliched ‘pain behind the smile’ analogy could apply to you.

      At the end of the day, it isn’t simply about the life of a baby/child, it’s also about the life that the little human will have come into contact with, too— mothers, fathers, (extended) families—regardless if that little one is an adopted one or is born and raised in their own biological family

      Sometimes it’s worse to have family than not have them, and I don’t say this lightly. However, just like everything else, if the time ever came, you would know if it’s the right thing for you.

      Out of these I only watched Princess’s Man. It’s is an astounding piece of work and I wish it was remade. I never saw it in the light of trauma. Someone asked me to write a fan-fic on it and I tried my hand at it, but could not. But it inspired me to write a new story altogether.

      I am very curious – did you watch Doctor Slump? What did you think about it?

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      I echo all Beanies here to thank you for sharing your life  challenges. You are very very brave. I 💯 agree with taking one day at a time and living your own life your way and not letting yourself be weighed down by others expectations of you, your life, your experiences.

      There are some moments / times / instances / interactions when I feel low and hopeless but then I remind myself it is just a weak moment not a lack of strength. It is indeed a struggle and some days (especially when I was younger) the “why me” disease struck me a bit too often than I would have liked. Thankfully with the guidance of a chosen few I was able to put that aside for good however the weak moments do still strike now and again especially when unexpected. I have over the years learned / developed coping mechanisms which work for me. As you said it is different for everyone but being able to live, share our experiences and perhaps help others like the help we received when we were desperately in need is a blessing I am greatful for. That is precisely why I want to decorate my Fanwall as well as my life with happy, life affirming thoughts and pictures which make one smile and be happy even if and especially when one is having a hard day and hard few days, weeks, months or years.

      Till it was pointed out to me I never realized how far I have come in my non-comforming to society rules journey. While it was never easy, it is just that I can cope better now.

      Thank you for all the love and support you give to all of us in DB. ❤

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      Again I 💯 agree that this is not how trauma works but I cannot deny that Junho mesmerized me. Much like JBL I didn’t choose to watch Marriage Contract – it chose me. I consciously avoid angst in my dramas (there is enough and more IRL 😅) – but both these drama did tough me in different ways.

      I like JBL because although it is totally unrealistic in its depiction of trauma and how it works, the emotions it evokes or rather what Kang-doo evokes are real – for me at least.

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        🥰

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        * touch not tough 🤦‍♀️

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        Again I 💯 agree that this is not how trauma works but I cannot deny that Junho mesmerized me.

        I don’t know if it is necessarily true. I firmly believe trauma works differently for different people. However, what this show got wrong is that it gave almost the same trauma to everyone, making it a one long pity party which made it unrealistic, and got monotonous after a while.

        In my long post (coming up) I am going to write about a person who I looked up to since childhood (she was a famous Bollywood choreographer). During #metoo movement, she made statements that were terribly misogynistic and alienated a lot of people, including me. But then I saw a documentary on her, heard her story, and realised – some traumas never resolve themselves.

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      This is precisely what I love about DB. Thanks to you and Midnight sharing your views about why you both couldn’t connect with JBL I am also able to express my feelings about what touched me about the show.

      I do feel (which I didn’t understand before) that it is 💯 Junho and his sincerity which reached out 😉 and connected with me more than the drama per se.

      As Minnie so beautifully said Junho may not be the best of actors but on his day he can stand up to the best of them. Ultimately JLB is much better if called a Junho show.

      Talking of Reach of Sincerity even though it is neither Lee Dong-wook’s best written or best acted drama it has a very special place in my heart because of its very sincerity. I thought I would post something about it and before I knew it it became a goodly number of posts. Obviously some Beanies were bewildered as to why am I talking so much about “not a very good show” as per them😅 Again some parts of it were excellent.

      The special thing about K-dramas is that even in the most odd dramas one will find some exceptional things – a shot, writing of a scene, directorial choices, framing, or just the look in the eyes which touch us with the sincerity. The drama name of both Just Between Lovers and Reach of Sincerity do not translate well into English and both are rather uninspiring but both dramas have a unique special pull I have not felt in other dramas.

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    What I see in Just Between Lovers

    What I Want to see by the end of Just Between Lovers

    I am liking this drama more each week. Or maybe I should say I am liking JunHo more every week. I know that it’s not just the writing of the FL role, because Won Jin-A was a hard watch in Melting Me Softly. Her lead there, Ji Chang-Wook, was-as in this show- very strong. Normally this is the point I would drop- but because of the group and JunHo, I will continue on as I know I will find good in their healing process.

    As the pictures show, the top picture is so sad. Definitely where we are in the show at this point. I wonder- remember I have not seen this- how long he will be able to be the strong one of the couple. While now he wants to be there for her, that won’t last long if she can’t find some healing of her own. I love the second picture. They both look so healthy- both body and soul. Won Jin-A has a beautiful look about her, which she is missing in the show. I am thinking this photo is not from the show but from a manufactured photoshoot to go with it. I made a list of things that I’m seeing this week

    1. Need at this point to fast forward at this point when FL Mom is on screen. I just can’t see her story improving ours at this point.
    2. Why do they need to show the collapse again in Ep. 5. I remember what happened and it’s really uncomfortable.
    3. Guilt- The guilt engulfs this show with darkness. Why did they survive? Why could he not help the other boy? Why didn’t I stay with sister? Why her/him and not me? She can’t remember what her sister looks like. He remembers too much of everything. Survivors guilt is so hard and I am sure takes years of therapy usually to get over it. It’s so sad that they didn’t have this.

    Now the positive! His relationships with others! The Granny and Dong-Chan are definitely the best part of the show. For her to have found him is his miracle. The love and respect they have for each other is so good. At one point she says

    “He may look sloppy, but he has a strong sense of responsibility. He’s thoughtful and he can take care of himself. I can always be proud of him”

    So beautiful. I also love the relationship with him and the club owner. She can see the potential in him. She is his safe space.

    Sorry for the essay. I took notes this week. 😃 One last picture. His tiny smiles are what lights up this show.

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      She is his safe space.

      Yes! Hers was another role I couldn’t place in the story and connect with on my first watch. But this time, I can feel the deep sense of comfort and relief he feels when he is with her.

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    The only PPL that matters~
    Viva Melonia.

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    Just between Lovers Episodes 5 & 6 – My thoughts

    @Minniegupta1 @Seeker @23new2kdrama @Skiee @Claire2009 @Isagc @Koalatown @Ceciliedk @Mazarin @Indyfan @Kas61 @Snowflower @Angelshadows50 @DramaticFoodie

    I have wanted to write about these two episodes so much, but in a rare case of writer’s block, I just don’t have the right words to organise my thoughts so that everything would make sense, like a gift wrapped in a bow. Still, let me try.

    A lot went on in my mind after watching these episodes. I have tried to coalesce the thoughts and the takeaway – and it all boiled to this one, huge depressing feeling – of trauma.

    Especially Kang Do and Moon Soo.

    Being survivors wasn’t enough. They also both have to share the guilt of causing the death of that one person – she because she changed the venue, and he because his life came at the dead boy’s expense…..

    I am starting to feel a bit restless about everything in this drama that connects back to one traumatic moment or another. There is no respite. Every character is in a sinkhole – a pit full of trauma vipers that keep injecting venom every step of the way.

    # Look out of the window and see how beautiful the sky is?
    Connect it to the last time your sister showed it to you. Every single time.
    # Wear Lip Gloss?
    Hah! Of course, it has to connect to an even deeper layer of trauma.
    # Go and find survivors of the trauma?
    No shining light here. No one said, yes, I suffered, I hate it, I will never forgive them, but hey, I still made it……

    I get antsy about shows that don’t give me hope.

    These two episodes shed light on everyone, and we realise that all of them, at some level, suffer from the trauma that originates from the same source—the building collapse. They react to it somewhat differently from each other, but nonetheless, it is the driving force behind their actions.

    MoonSoo has given up living her own life and spends it caring for others – her Mom, her father, now Kang Doo and even JonWon.

    KangDoo’s life unravels every time he turns and tries to smile. The poor guy cannot even wear a tie and keep it.

    Jon Won second-guesses himself about everything. And who is he now interested in? Once more, a woman who is already out of his reach. Some people have all the luck.

    Then, the one twist that swung from the left field – the entire makeup fiasco. I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t realise that MoonSoo never wears makeup because her mother would not let her. Her mother is drowning in guilt over the past, clinging to the belief that if she hadn’t ‘beautified’ her little daughter, she would still be alive. The pretty flower dies early. This guilt festers into a living wound, making her act irrationally when she sees MoonSoo with lip gloss, terrified it might somehow manifest into losing her other daughter as well.

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      Some scenes made me smile. For example, we see Halmoni telling MoonSoo about this guy, loudly proclaiming her trust, praising his responsibility and reliability, her face puffing in pride. This is immediately followed by the object of her pride kicking a vending machine to get soda cans without paying. Again!

      This is a rare, blink-and-you-miss-it humour moment.

      Kang Doo going John Wick on the sleazeball pineapple seller? Yeh, give me more (though honestly, which pineapple seller would do that to a customer inside a restaurant no less in a drama that is supposed to be real life…..crafting of some scenes were head-scratching).

      I loved how he told her to scream out her frustrations. But as other beanies pointed out, the scene became kind of anticlimactic after that.

      The highlights:

      # Kang Do realising and articulating about how memorials should be heartfelt, and not ostentatious just for the heck of it.
      # Lee JunHo, finding that body will be etched in my mind for a long time.
      # Surprise! Halmoni owns the 1/5th land,
      and
      # She is trying to play Cupid between two people who are already halfway there.
      # Ki Min Kyu? Nice.

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      Thank you Minnie. I love how your comment are usually so structured and precise but who can react like that in the face of relentless trauma. In a way it is comforting to watch this drama together (not sure if I could have done it alone) precisely because of this intensity. Somewhere down the line, many months after watching the drama I realized that it is more about loss, processing the grief and moving on and living life than the mall tragedy per se which is used as a leitmotif to (in a misguided attempt) to connect all characters in a common shared trauma.

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        It’s definitely that. I didn’t have issues with how everyone processed their grief. It’s just the there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. It’s like a whirlpool of sorrow that keeps swirling and gets more intense, as if we are reaching the eye to be swallowed whole.

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          I’m not really sure if a weekly watch is better than a binge because as and when you come back we as viewers are also drawn into the woe me attitude. It does get better 🤞 I hope it does and sometimes coming up for air after a heart-wrenching cry is more satisfying but then we cannot always be crying all the time or wearing our traumas as a cloak.

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          Agreed I want my characters to *fight* to overcome their traumas. Each person has their own path and coping mechanisms but I want to be inspired to come out not pushed back into traumas.

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      I do think a lot of disconnect we feel with Moon-soo happens because of the enigmatic actress. Perhaps in a novel I would have been more behind her but there was something lost in the onscreen transition and also Junho who overshadowed all. Except of course our eponymous Loanshark with a Heart of Gold, after all nobody puts Halemoni in the corner. 😊❤🙌

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      Being survivors wasn’t enough

      EXACTLY!

      I am starting to feel a bit restless about everything in this drama that connects back to one traumatic moment or another. There is no respite.

      EXACTLY!

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      This was quite frustrating to see, the mothers guilt and her’s that didn’t allow her to enjoy such pleasures of life.

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      Thank you, Minnie and everyone else for sharing your thoughts. I’m way behind everyone this week.

      I guess I’m the only one who likes Won Jinah from the beginning and has no complaint about her performance so far. I came in watching this show with an expectation that everyone has their own way to cope with grief and trauma, and I found Juwon’s jadedness and seemingly resignedness and Moonsoo’s efforts to go day after day having to bear a burden larger than her shoulders touching me as much as Kangdoo’s struggle.

      For Moonsoo’s mom, there are definitely good days and bad days in her daily life, but it’s quite depressing we’ve only got to see mostly bad days.

      I loved Junho in all other scenes but the shouting is a bit OTT and doesn’t feel natural to me. The pineapple incident is of course the trigger, but I kind of expected he would show his disagreement with her way of coping with things in a firm but more quiet manner. She could still have burst out, but him shouting at her first felt out of nowhere.

      And Junho sending Moonsoo a picture of the ice-cream sticks is cute, but he didn’t have a stomach ache after eating those all at once? 😂

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    (I’m sorry I’m very late to this week’s party)

    I loved Junho the most at quiet moments with his penetrating gaze, like after he saw her crying, he said that the customer had cancelled their appointment, so instead they should be having some fun for the day. He didn’t pressure her into it, just hesistantly suggesting, but at the same time, was firm enough for her to not say NO.

    Do you think at more OTT moments like the shouting, his facial expressions, like the way he shouts, don’t feel as natural? I noticed the same thing in Chief Kim. I think it’s not the acting, but, let’s say his facial structural that made it appear like that?

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      I don’t know, but that is exactly how he looks like when he is himself in 2PM videos 😄 so maybe the facial structure comment is correct!

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      Honestly, I like JunHo, quiet, loud, brooding, yelling et all…lol!

      But as an actor, JunHo needs everyone to pitch in for him to make a difference (true for most actors, but more true for some like him). He is a director’s actor, and if that part is weak, discerning eyes will stray.

      There is this scene in The Red Sleeve, where he yells at his attendants to bring Deok-Im to his chambers at night – basically announcing to the world that he is making her his concubine. That shout was a mixture of fear, rage, anticipation and resolve. As a result, she was basically delivered to him wrapped in a bow, even though it was something she had actively fought against all her life. He overruled he for the fear of someone hurting her because of jealousy.

      That shout was a stand out moment for me in that series.

      I think it depends on the context. That ‘yell’ was beautifully crafted, while in JBL the scene was followed by their drinking soju which basically made his screaming look out of place.

      Unrelated, but I am currently watching Connection – and my eyes are popping out looking at Ji Sung. Was I living under a rock or was I living under a rock! What an actor. Even his shoulders act. Like wow.

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