Beanie level: Errand boy

The visual overload in APAD! Can’t decide who looks better, JDY or LJH. I also can’t decide whose funnier, Min-ho or Jae-wook.

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Watching Mtopia. Kai and Baekhyun make a great comedy duo.

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    They are HILARIOUS!

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      We’ve all known Baekhyun was hilarious for years, but watching Kai on variety shows in the past few years has been a lovely treat. He’s a natural! I feel like EXO should’ve been cranking out variety content for years and I’m now even more salty that they didn’t

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        Right! I’ve been in an EXO rabbit hole the past month and I am surprised they don’t have many variety appearances b/c they are hilarious. I LOL hard during EXO ladder s2.

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          I think it’s partly because some members seem to have a marked preference against variety (I think Xiumin has said in a few public places that he finds it very uncomfortable to be on variety shows, while Kai said in the past that it took them a long time to get comfortable on variety shows so that the members ultimately seem to have opted for something that’s more comfortable; I also think D.O. might have a preference against varieties, although IDK because he does a pretty good job when he does appear on variety shows and Baekhyun has said that D.O. has a lot of interest in doing variety shows). I also think part of the problem comes from SM; they seem to have opted for an approach that maintains a measure of mystery around EXO, although some of this might also be a kind of status quo the company got into after the group ran into problems early on (e.g., several members leaving) and their public appearances on shows were minimized. In the early days, EXO did a fair bit of variety stuff, so IDK what happened. A rumour in circulation is that EXO’s limited non-musical events is due to some members have a bad relationship with each other; IDK if this is true or not (I’m suspicious; Kai and Baekhyun were never seen as members who were especially close — Kai was always seen as having a very close relationship with D.O. and Chanyeol — but SuperM shows that even these two are really close, and their closeness seems to predate SuperM).

          EXO Ladder 2 is great haha. I really liked their appearance on Radio Star and their appearances on Knowing Bros as well (especially the first two, although Kai really came out as hilarious in the third episode). They had a live recording they did I think after “Tempo” (maybe “Love Shot”?) where Baekhyun was hilariously annoying (I mean he’s always funny and annoying, but this was like taken to the next level).

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            Yeah, I feel like a lot of them don’t necessarily have the personality for variety. Like they are comfortable around each other so they let their guards down, but variety shows are a totally different animal. It seems like a lot of pressure to go on and be entertaining/funny and hell hath no fury if you’re not or say the wrong thing. I also agree with your assessment of SM. They want them to have this aura around their existence (which is consistently and delightfully ruined by Baekhyun’s personality lol) and I feel like they want Exo to be different from other idol groups so they limit variety appearances (and promotions in general). I remember when they debuted and their first few years and it was so chaotic and intense. I think that now they are about 8 years into debut they seem to be a little bit more comfortable. Of course who knows what the future since enlistment is on the horizon for the remaining members and their contract ends in a few years.

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            When I first became an EXO fan (2016? 2015? IDK, my interest in K-pop preceded my interest in K-dramas by at least a year, and I picked up my first K-drama in the summer of 2017), I actually found Baekhyun hard to like! Can you believe that? LOL. I think my impression of him at the test was that he was a bit obnoxious, as well as arrogant and a bit rude. Oh boy, how wrong I was. He’s just an adorable, hilarious, friendly guy. He’s also now tied for my favourite in the band (I love their vocal line equally — I used to try to figure out who I liked the most, but it’s a futile task). Since EXO is my favourite K-pop group, that also means, by extension, that he’s my tied for my favourite K-pop musician. I wish they’d put him in variety shows more often — he was almost a regular on that 5 Brothers show, but that fell through and the show didn’t do well in any case — but I guess SM has other plans (🙄🙄🙄).

            I think the only one who hasn’t confirmed renewal of contract is D.O. It sort of makes me antsy. I hope he doesn’t leave, although I think there’s a non-trivial possibility that he might, since it seems like his career trajectory is increasingly towards acting.

            I think they are starting to have more freedom. I hope that will translate into more variety shows, more acting projects, and generally more opportunities to see them on screen (whatever the precise form of their appearance). I agree, they definitely seem more comfortable now, and it also seems like some of the members have started to develop some variety skills (Sehun is the obvious example — kid’s hilarious in Busted! — but Kai also seems to be honing some skills, while Baekhyun just seems to be a natural). If things work out, then SM will start putting EXO (or at least the subset of them with variety skills) out there more.

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    Yay! Now I want to see him in a comedy please.

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    This also means that Minho will be discharged soon, because they enlisted quite close in together in time. Yay!! 😁😁😁😊😊😊☺️☺️☺️🥰🥰🥰

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    I saw him in Problem Child in the House old ep a few days ago before he went to the military. Time flies.

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A Poem A Day: I’ve never had a show where I was genuinely undecided between the two male leads who are (evidently) opponents in a love triangle. I probably should’ve expected this — I love Jang Dong-yoon and Lee Joon-hyuk (some days I feel like I love 95% of all Korean actors, but I realy genuinely do love these two!). I also love the humour in this show and its positivity. It’s a relaxing watch.

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    This was why The Island of Neutrality came to be

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    Also if you’d like some libation let me introduce you to a special APAD drink I invented: a gin and soju martini with a slice of apple, called a Duct Tape.

    While on the Island of Neutrality, some people keep trying to leave to board a passing ship. They asked to be tied down by Duct Tape. And so when I invented this island drink I called it a Duct Tape because if you had one you wouldn’t be going anywhere.

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      Haha! That’s fun. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), I don’t drink alcohol.

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      I forgot about the drink! I do remember the need for duct tape, though.

      (I don’t drink either – just have a fruity mocktail and hold tight to your palm tree. Or possibly eat one of the insane PPL pizzas – pretty sure you’d be staying put with one of those in you too.)

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    This show caused a big shipping war on DB, and lots of us were undecided as well. The poetry is lovely and those scenes are utterly relaxing. Enjoy!

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Started watching A Poeam a Day. JDY is hilarious in this show.

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Not impressed by episode 16 of FoE. Did they have to go such a cliched route? I feel like episode 16 is apiece with the rest of the last quarter of this show. It’s a shame. LJG and MCW put in great performances and the show was pretty good for me until episode 11 or 12. But the writer just kept on pushing things by packing more unrealistic things into the show. As well, I feel that the writer made these two mains (especially DHS) do things which I found surprising and out of character. IDK. LJG and MCW, choose a better drama next time. Your talents were squandered in this one.

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    I straight up said that ep 15 was one of the worst episodes for a candy ever.

    Good lord. I could only imagine what that man was going to go through in the final episode.

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      This show managed to spectacularly eff things up. I can’t help but feel sad about it. It was going so well (well, at least for me) for most of its run.

      IDK. I just want to see LJG on screen ASAP and in something that is worthy of his talent.

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    I really enjoyed eps 1-6, and I was surprised by how fast Jiwon found out. I really hoped the rest of the drama would be about Jiwon playing mind games and exacting her revenge with passionate love making (kdrama standard) in-between. I think as a viewer, I kind of feel deceived by the premise, since the second half of the drama tried so hard to make Hyun-soo a good guy as much as possible. But what were the first 3 eps about? To me, the drama went downhill as soon as they tried to make Hyun-soo just misunderstood and Hee-sung as the one-dimensional villain. DHS suddenly cared about rescuing victims at risk of his own safety, discovered emotions, was actually misdiagnosed, etc. SMH really.

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I always find it hilarious that this dance move is called the Migook Choom and that Korean television personalities get irrationally scandalized when people do it. Also, I miss Gikwang!

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In a strange twist of fate, I liked Jung-kyung in this episode while Joon-young annoyed the crap out of me.

I still think Jung-kyung ain’t great, but I understand her motivations more (though I’m not convinced they completely explain her actions and they definitely don’t justify her actions). We saw a lot of positive aspects of her personality this episode — she did a good job teaching Song-ah, she tried to stick up for Song-ah in front of that obnoxious professor emerita, and we saw that she does actually like Hyeon-ho. She takes precious things for granted, has an insane manipulative streak, and is a chaotic force in Joon-young’s life (seriously, given how he felt about her for the longest time, it’s almost worse for her to tell him that she doesn’t actually love him), but I sympathized with her in this episode.

On the flip side, Joon-young made me itchy this entire episode. Dude really needs to learn to communicate and to stop letting other people influence him so much. Also, he came across as super privileged (more so than previous episodes) and insensitive.

Don’t even get started about Dong-yoon. That guy annoys me so much. If he never shows up in this show again, I’ll be a happy camper.

At this point, Joon-young has been demoted from his position as best boy in favour of Hyeon-ho, who rocked in this episode.

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    Joon Young is privileged and did com off rather tone deaf at multiple points this episode. Also, he needs to seriously think about his career and money. Nonody can have it all unless they are born with silver spoon in their mouth…we adjust, we compromise and that tears away a piece of us each time but we figure out a way to be happy despite that.

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      I get that he’s struggling internally. I do. For the most part, I sympathize with him. But he was so frustrating this episode and it made me uncomfortable for pretty much the entire time I was watching. The ending scene was supposed to be him making up for everything (I think?), but if I were Song-ah honestly think I would be confused or, worse, turned off by him randomly confessing like that. He’s giving off so many mixed signals, he’s not really communicating with her, and sometimes he says or does things that are downright hurtful (seriously, that stuff he said to her when she confessed to feeling insecure and anxious was horrible and made me recoil with shock and anger — talk about tone deaf and self-centered). Seeing how deflated Song-ah was for most of this episode made me really sad.

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        My take is, none of the kids are perfect. Not Song Ah, nor Joon Young, Hyung Ho or anybody else……hopefully they come out better from all of this. Also, his attitude for the most part during the interview in his professors room was weird to watch. I don’t blame the professor there if he got annoyed. Music, be it classical or pop requires you to be interactive with journalists, reporters and audience. He did not handle that well. I know he was hesitant because he is a massive introvert but with a bit more confidence and flare than Song Ah but I was like dude, step your game up.

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          Oh 100%. They are all still kids (28 year old kids LOL) after all. They’re growing and they’re trying to figure things out.

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            I can’t believe I am calling my same age group kids

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            Same LOL. They’re actually older than me! These days my mom constantly nags me and me brother (six years old than me) to get married and have children ASAP. So umm…

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      I totally understand your view of Joon Young, but I also think that he’s just never encountered these ideas. In that case, I guess…yes, privileged lol. But I don’t blame him for it. He learns every time Song Ah speaks her mind. He’ll continue to grow!

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        Oh, 100%! I say this out of love LOL. He’s still a great character and he’s trying. I like that he’s not giving up and he’s always trying to be better. It also helps that he’s doing this out of good intentions (unlike Jung-kyung, cough cough). It just came off as really painful in this episode.

        Taking a step back, I think it’s a pretty realistic relationship problem, especially between two introverted, conflict-averse people. It would’ve been weird if the social awkwardness and the lack of communication was always only cute.

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    Hyeon Ho is unbelievably sweet and mature. Best man for sure!

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This was the first episode I sort of liked Jung-kyung. Her personal life may be a disaster, but I think she\’d be a good professor.

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    I wish they let her say a little more about what she learned from teaching Song-ah. I’d also like to see Song-ah dump her professor and go with someone like Jung-kyung who would treat her with respect and actually try to help her improve.

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      At this point, Song Ah seems unrealistically bad. I mean even some random accompanist called out her skill for being really, really poor…do they want her to dramatically come into her skills in the matter of a few months…that’s just so out of the world thing to happen

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        I think it’s less that she’s bad and more that she’s just performing at a level that is incongruous with her skill. That happens. In fact, I’ve had this experience actually (long story, but I was good at an academic subject in high school and for the first 2/3 of your university, but once I got to a pretty advanced place in undergrad, I hit my ceiling and I was significantly and noticeably worse than everybody else). I do wonder what they plan on doing with her though. I agree that it would be highly unrealistic for her to suddenly bridge the gap.

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          Agree and I’m hoping the show will just highlight that aside from talent, having the right people around you to teach and advise you is just as important. I hoping Jung Kyung redeems herself even more by helping Song Ah (in term proving to people around her that she can be a teacher and not some heir to KyungHoo Association) and that perhaps having Joon Young being the accompanist will also bring out a different performance. The show keeps hinting that talent isn’t everything, it’s also about having a connection with the music and who you are performing with.

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      I’m not expecting her to become a genius, but I’m sure having a teacher who cared would help. When she looked at all the notations JK made in that brief session compared to her professor dusting with no feedback, she seemed to realize what she was missing.

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Some carried-over thoughts from last nights Brahms. First, I like Hyeon-ho. He\’s a consistent, straight-forward guy and we\’re seeing him mature. He\’s the only one out of love hexagon aside from Joon-youn and Song-ah that I like. Secondly, Jung-kyung continues to be a hot mess. I don\’t know what her problem is, but I honestly couldn\’t care less about her. Thirdly, the two music professor\’s — the one trying to exploit Song-ah for Song-ah\’s supposed connections to Kyung-hoo and the one tutoring Joon-young — are both horrid. I hate them both. Fourthly, Song-ah\’s dad seems like a nice dude. Her sister continues to be an annoying human. Fifthly, JUST DATE YOU TWO! PWEASE!

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    Also, I love how low-key blunt Song-ah is. She’s not being mean, she’s not being arrogant, she’s not trying to make a fuss, but she stands her ground and says what needs to be said. It’s one of her most admirable traits and I think it’s what really distinguishes her from Joon-young. While they’re both sort of shy, awkward, and conflict averse, he’ll suppress thing that need to be said and go out of his way to smooth things over, whereas she’ll say what needs to be said but do so in a way that doesn’t turn a problem into something more than what it is.

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    Prof Yoo is very difficult to like but it appears to me he is just cynical; hardened by life. Too bad he’s in a profession who needs to foster and mentor young ones (who do not need this defeatist attitude). ☹

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      I’m holding my breath and hoping that there’s more to him than first appears. Song-ah’s professor is irredeemable though. I hope things work out for the best for Song-ah and I hope she’s not too disappointed by the truth (although I have a suspicion that Song-ah already knows that the professor isn’t eyeing her because the professor believes Song-ah has unpolished talent.)

      My overall guess is that Song-ah and Joon-young will perform together at some point and they will bring out the best in each other when they do.

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One thing I really like about Brahms is that the main pairing is not the dyad that has a childhood connection (or worse, a relationship of some sort since childhood). I\’m not the biggest fan of romantic n-gons (they usually suck — they\’re overwrought and almost uniformly unrealistic in a way that actively impairs my viewing experience), but when I do watch shows with romantic graphs, I almost always want the \”outsider\” to \”win\”. Some of this may be a weird partiality for under-dogs, but I think the bigger thing to me is that I think there\’s something horribly disingenuous about friendship-turned-romance plots. These are portrayed as some kind of fulfillment of a destiny that has been in motion for a long time, but I\’m always dubious. I don\’t think human relationships are so exquisitely choreographed. If anything, if there are long-standing non-platonic feelings in a friendship, whether latent or manifest, that strikes me as an indication that there\’s something wrong with the dynamic. The entrance of an \”outsider\” shouldn\’t be the impetus to act on your feelings; when it is, acting on feelings seems more like an an attempt at possession (marking territory) rather than something more sincere and reflective. Relatedly, I think I like the idea that time isn\’t everything — that who one met first or the length of one\’s association doesn\’t determine the depth or strength of one\’s bond.

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    Agree! Any drama without a childhood connection and the whole “we’re destined” trope gets brownie points in my book.

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      Like those kind of dramas makes it looks like the lot of us that doesn’t have any childhood male friends are gonna die single🥺😣

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Awkward cuties eating lunch together in a cafeteria is my new aesthetic

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Choi Jin-hyuk is lovely and all that, but you couldn\’t pay me to watch Zombie Detective.

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The Mouth From Hell ate something!

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Beanies, what law and/or crime K-dramas would you recommend?

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    Always and forever, Lookout.

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    I remember you.
    Reach of Sincerity (for law-lite)
    Lookout (did I say that?)
    Dual
    Circle (more Sci-fi than crime, but the protagonist is a policeman)

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      I’ve watched Reach of Sincerity (LDW + YIN = INJECT INTO MY VEINS ASAP). I haven’t watched the others, although I recall that you recommended Duel to me last month while I was watching Still 17 and raving about how much I love YSJ — I should really give it a go!

      Circle and Hello Monster both look really great! I think I’ll try them right after Duel.

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    1) Return
    2) Lookout

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    Life on Mars ❤️

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    Lookout
    Hyena
    Confession
    Welcome 2 life
    Two Cops
    I can hear your voice
    You are all surrounded
    Special labour inspector jo

    Off the top of my head…

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      Yes to Confession, Welcome 2 Life and Inspector Jo in addition to Lookout.

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        I think I watched Welcome 2 Life. It has the tech start-up guy who’s the crazy illegitimate son of a crazy mob boss, right?

        I tried Confession, but I remember having a hard time with the first episode. Does it get better?

        Haven’t tried Inspector Jo or Lookout. My only concern with Lookout is it looks a bit campy. If it’s not like that, then I’ll give it a go!

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          Lookout is not campy. Welcome 2 Life was Rain as an attorney with the villains you mentioned.

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          Confession had a small hardcore following here. It’s slow, but good. As opposed to Inspector Jo (lots of comedy included) and fast paced Lookout.

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          I can’t say if Confession gets better or not. I just liked it a lot from the very beginning.

          Lookout is anything BUT campy.

          I remebered a few more shows!

          Switch
          Lawless Lawyer
          365 Repeat the Year
          Room No.9

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          Lookout is definitely not campy, don’t worry. Quite the opposite. And it’s 100% worth it for the characters and acting.

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    I feel like you probably already watch some of these but:
    Signal
    Secret Forest
    Nobody Knows
    I Remember You/Hello Monster
    Save Me and Save Me 2 (very different stories)
    Life on Mars
    Watcher
    Police Unit 38
    God’s Quiz (procedural and 5 Seasons)
    The Guest
    Tunnel
    Children of Nobody
    God’s Gift 14 Days
    Live
    Special Labor Inspector Jo
    The Good Wife

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    Awl is a good companion piece to Special Labour Inspector Jo. Both are about labour law in South Korea.

    A New Leaf ends rather abruptly on account of being cut from 18 to 16 eps, and the subs may be a bit iffy because of some of the jargon, but I don’t think any Korean show has done corporate law in the way that it has.

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    Punch

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Seo Dong-jae\’s wife is super sketch. I think she\’s involved in the kidnapping in some way.

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I always love listening to this cover.

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A remarkably blunt song

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This song sounds a lot like the really old school Bollywood songs my mom listened to when I was a kid.

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Okay, Lee Joon-hyuk is now a new fave. He\’s too good! (Also, please let weasel be alive. Also, please don\’t make him an adulterer, especially with a colleague.)

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