Beanie level: Chaebol’s poor doppelganger

FoS season 2 finale: I’m over the moon and currently coming down from the emotional rollercoaster that is this episode. More SPOILDERY thoughts in the comments below so beware!!!

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    HOLY SMOKES.

    WOW.

    I will continue to sing praises for this show forever and ever, and here are a few scattered thoughts my brain is able to sustain today. (Warning for saltiness and extreme biases since I have ~strong~ opinions and feelings about FoS).

    I love both seasons equally and I keep saying this, but I think that in order to really appreciate season 2, we need a lot of information from season 1. And season 2 is not so much as a sequel but a continuation if that makes sense. So much of what gives the emotional weight to a lot of the scenes in season 2 (as related to character developments) is a built-up from what we saw in season 1. I truly want to wax poetics about our duo, Yeo-jin and Shi-mok, but that’s another topic for another time. Briefly, it’s that I freaking love them – I love everything about their partnership, about the progression of said partnership, and how that progression affects and shapes each of them personally and professionally. Season 1 was a weight on Shi-mok’s shoulders, and season 2 was a weight on Yeo-jin’s. And in both, we see them stand up for each other and support one another. Gosh, they are the definition of a fucking dream team, folks!

    I absolutely cannot wait to rewatch both seasons now, and will most likely gush about them on the beanies wall. You have been warned. I wonder how that might change my feeling about the pacing of season 2, especially the middle episodes where most folks think nothing was happening. I would argue that that feeling was invoked on purpose – but feel free to cancel me if you disagree.

    I’m glad that our weasel survives and continues on with his dramatic ways. Never change, Seon Dong-jae.

    Shi-mok’s dream, the dinner with Yeo-jin, and Yeo-jin’s visiting Mr. Yoon in prison – that whole sequence makes me cry and I’m not even mad about it. These PREVIOUS NUGGETS. *sniffles*
    (I just want to write a paper on this show, and this sequence, instead of my art history project. But I guess life isn’t always about what you want. SIGH.)

    more coherent thoughts coming later when my brain gets back online. thnx folks.

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      ALSO what Prosecutor Kim said about how Shi-mok and Yeo-jin’s partnership should be the model for collaboration between the prosecution and the police is of course spot on and common knowledge at this point LOLS but also telling that he immediately followed that comment with how things didn’t work out so well between Chief Choi and Chief Woo. Buddy, that’s because Woo is a sleazy sleaze bag and Choi is a product of working so long in a misogynistic environment that convinced her that she would never get anywhere AS A WOMAN and without connections/favors to call in.
      Both Shi-mok and Yeo-jin are very confident in their abilities, re. Yeo-jin’s comment to Choi Bit outside her apartment – “don’t underestimate yourself”. DAMN IT.
      OK. I’m good now.

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        WAIT ONE MORE THING:

        I would like to formally apologize for thinking and suspecting that Prosecutor Jung Min-ha was just there as SDJ’s affair simply because she was trying to be so helpful and also seemingly have things to hide.
        The moment she pointed out the connection to the drowning case, I was like oh yea oopsie I was wrong. She was trying to get her voice heard and her opinion taken seriously in this male-dominated workplace. It warms my heart that Shi-mok sends the Segok station case to her.

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          Yeah, I spent a good part of the drama thinking SDJ might be having an affair or his wife might be having an affair. In fact, SDJ was just trying to be a good mentor (out of regret over Eun-seo) and I was just holding it against his wife for not reacting exactly the way I expected (this is of course the drama’s way of pushing at our expectations and of the “fog” which law enforcement operate; tellingly, the things that seemed shady for most of this drama — the suicide, the team members from the police station, the uncle, SDJ’s relationship with the junior prosecutor, SDJ’s wife’s behaviour, the couple from Tongyeong, etc. — turned out not to be as shady as we thought whereas the kidnapper/murderer was somebody really unexpected and who seemed super sympathetic at first).

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        Agree that there is a component of misogyny to CB’s downfall, but I think this potentially downplays her own role in her fate.

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          No, I also agreed that she was fully aware of her own choices, but sometimes it’s hard to realize why you make the choices you do beyond the surface-level of “bc i want that” kind of answer. You’re shaped by your environment as much as anything else, and I think this aspect of Choi’s downfall is from that. It doesn’t mean that that is the only reason that leads to her downfall, but oftentimes that’s what’s forgotten when we look at someone’s motivation.

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            Agreed. I think Choi Bit is a complex character. Her downfall is, in many ways, a product of characteristics that, in other circumstances, would be admirable.

            By contrast, Woo Tae-ha was always disreputable and we knew he was a bad guy from the outset. However, the interesting thing is that, although Kim Sa-hyun initially seemed very similar to WTH, it turned out that KSH was significantly better (although even KSH ends this show as a bit of ambivalent character). It goes to show that these things only become clearer with time, as details little and big accumulate.

            One character whom I wished got comeuppance was that Superintendent General who was present at the police-prosecutor councils. I felt like that guy was just like that Intelligence Director who sacrificed Choi Bit.

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          another thing I would add is Yeo-jin’s conversation with Yoon in prison. She had an inkling that he might commit suicide or done something drastic based on Shi-mok’s dream. And what she said to him – something along the line of your one bad decision doesn’t determine who you are as a person – really sums up how the writer creates these characters.
          It’s not enough to simply peg someone as a villain or hero. it’s more interesting to make them complex/multifaceted with considerations to their upbringings and environments.

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            I mean Yoon did more than one bad thing tbh. He did several bad things. But I agree otherwise.

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            Really, I was confused about why Yoon was standing with LCJ and Eun-soo until I saw his face when Yeo-Jin came to visit.. it was a brilliant sequence. I first thought the dream was just about people who compromised to pursue their own form of justice, but when LCJ stopped SDJ from coming over, I didn’t know what to make of Yoon standing there since he was still technically alive. Really well done..

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            When she heard of the dream she needed to go and see Yoon to let him know that the victim needed him to live so that he could be reconciled to him and to what had happened. I loved how she put that obligation on him and he got it. Yoon looked so bad and so despairing, and she did it to save him. She also didn’t let on to SM. It was so subtle and smart.

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        (ALSO TO ADD TO MY COMMENT ABOVE: Woo is also the product of his environment in terms of like the belief that he deserves all the fucking good things he ever wanted because of his position, of his gender, his connections, etc. If no one ever calls you out because of your seniority and power, you’d never realize how fucked you are until it’s too late and you’re fully immersed in this corrupted system. Look at the way he walks to Shi-mok and how he justifies his actions over time. It’s always about what others did that compel him to react to maintain the common good. No thank you, you douche.
        This in relation makes Kim So-hyun an interesting character and makes the case for his “ambivalent” stance at the end. (I’m all for this outcome for his character btw. this is not a negative thing in my book.) KSH screamed at Woo earlier and was all freaked out once he realized there are REAL consequences, but he’s also not one to be the trailblazer like Shi-mok and bulldozes over anything that is corrupted.
        After all, evil is banal and a lot of times the line between good and bad is really blurred or so thin you blink and you’ll miss it. )

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          *talks
          jeeze i’m not emotionally stable enuf to write anything coherent

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FoS 2ep 14: OMG. Shi-mok just got that much hotter interrogating suspects. DAMN. We need more seasons if only just to watch him being his true badass self. *swoons* (more spoilery thoughts in comment!

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    That look in the last few seconds?? CHILLS!

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    WOW.
    WEASEL.
    ALL HAIL WEASEL.
    *blessed*

    Cool. Cool. Cool.

    ALSO. OMG.

    I screamed.

    I don’t have words? All I really have to say is HOT DAMN SHI-MOK. (ALSO HOT DAMN CHO SEUNG WOO).
    A few things that definitely made me ok with selling my soul to FOS:
    – That little tap Shi-mok gave Yeo-jin to calm her down when the student’s dad came strutting in. So fucking cute I CAN’T EVEN.
    – Literally every second of every interrogation scene in this episode with Shi-mok being the freaking hottest. Gosh, confidence and intelligence are hot af. (I cannot wait to watch the behind-the-scenes of these episodes, although I doubt CSW really break at all. I just need to see his smile).
    (ESPECIALLY the last one wherein he pretended to care about backlash from the prosecution. LOLS. Boy, he’s about to wipe that smug look off your face with an arrest warrant. Bye~)
    – Shi-mok caught and bodily shoved the student against the car. DAMN. The whole chase scene is just beautiful.
    – Shi-mok bodily pushed the dad back. JEEZE. There was a limit to how much my heart could take and this episode literally keeps pushing it.
    – Shi-mok zeroed in on the clothing donation box and smacked the shit of it.

    I’m not remotely sorry for my very shallow focus on Shi-mok in this episode. It is 2020, and I need anything that makes my heart sings the song of happiness instead of rage.

    Next weekend, I might squeal over Yeo-jin for similar reasons. Beware.

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Forest of Secrets S2 Ep.11 – some thoughts on today’s episode and more generally spanning both seasons as a whole in the comment below. Maybe contains spoilers~

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    Although there are a lot of questions, I feel like things are coming together more and more. There are a lot of possibilities and theories floating out there, and I’m not really subscribing to any one in particular since we know the drama is great at pulling the rug under our feet at moment’s notice. I am more incline to think that Seo Dong-jae is dead at this point, which is honestly making me feel so sad. Anyway, there’s still hope yet!

    This season, we see Yeo-jin and Shi-mok’s partnership being tested via the investigative authority council/fight and Dong-jae’s kidnapping case. I really enjoy watching that unfold, especially in today’s episode. Both themselves and the world around them changed so much since we saw them last in season 1, and I really like that the show doesn’t shy away from giving us a different evolution of our beloved characters. Despite all of that, Yeo-jin and Shi-mok still come together and help each other out because ultimately, they both strive for the same goal. I’m excited to see where they will end up, personally and professionally. I’m just going to throw some ~fun~ possibilities out there – maybe they both go on a vacation somewhere beautiful and Shi-mok gets to finally enjoy a full meal with Yeo-jin without interruptions. Or they say goodbye to their government jobs and open their own private investigation office/law firm and continue to kick asses. Basically, I want our adorable duo to live their best lives! Because they have been through so much.

    I really want to write more about the character developments between season 1 and 2, but that has to wait until this season ends so we get the complete story arc.

    While I know that comparing the structure between the two seasons is a flawed approach, since any two scripts do not have to have the same narrative flow, I’m still dreaded the episode 13 mark. I hope we’re not stuck with a huge cliff-hanger tomorrow. ALSO, how is it that we only have 5 episodes left? (I’m excited to see Cho Seung-woo’s new drama at some point after FoS ends, but it won’t be the same, and now I’m sad again. Sigh.)

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FOS S2 Ep10: YIKES! I love love love how things are unfolding, and at this point, I can confidently say that I love both seasons equally!!

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    Cool! I’ve just started rewatching season 1 and hope to go on to season 2. 💪

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      Yay!!! Both seasons have a bit different approaches I think but the writing and acting are just as awesome and the directing/cinematography/editing is even better in season 2!

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Forest of Secrets S2 Ep9: My brain is still fried but I can say I’m so tensed and excited to see how things unfold! (More spoilers thoughts in the comment below, so be careful if you haven’t watch it yet!)

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    I love seeing Yeo-jin taking charge of the investigation and leading the news conference. I’m still worried about her working for Chief Choi but I have faith she’ll pull through without giving in.

    The conversation between Shi-mok, Yeo-jin, and the other police officers about the photo is so interesting. Yeo-jin pointed out the fact that prosecution wouldn’t hand over weasel’s work history, underlining the bigger problem of investigative authority, and Shi-mok agreed without arguing or raising a fuss. If it were another prosecutor, they would no doubt deny it or becoming so fluster/angry, especially when surrounded by police officers. Yeo-jin is also being fair when pointing out the police’s biases in the same breath.

    It’s hilarious that every other police officer at Yongsan groaned when they saw Shi-mok walked in. And then to see Shi-mok, Yeo-jin, and the police chief all discussing the case like they weren’t meant to be on “opposing” sides. Which I guess is the whole point – that police and prosecution need to work together and CAN work together to actually achieve something good.

    Shi-mok’s question about what the symptoms of someone who is worried are is probs meant to push Prosecutor Kim to pay attention to Prosecutor Won. Dude is getting suspicious. But like Won isn’t that subtle either. I hope Kim would turn out to be an ally to Shi-mok in some ways.

    Sigh. It really looks like Dong-jae’s wife might be cheating on her husband, or has other shady dealings under the table. Her comment to her younger son about “that’s not your dad” … lolol poor weasel. I hope we find him alive.

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      I had the same feeling about that “it’s not your dad”!!

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        so suspicious!!! i don’t think she actually kidnaps her husband but she’s definitely hiding something.

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      Kim Sa-hyun slowly going into the Shi-mok line is the plot twist I never knew I’d see. That conversation they had was hilarious, his ‘Eung’ LOL!

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        haha same!!! I hope to see him continue down this road because it is so funnnnny! He seems shady in that he totally bites into the status quo for his own benefits, but I doubt he would actually commit serious crimes.

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Forest of Secrets S2 Eps 7-8: Is there hope? Idk, but I’m here for it!!!! (More spoilery thoughts in the comment below!)

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    First and foremost, sending prayers for our weasel’s safe return DESPITE THAT HORRENDOUS ENDING SCENE OF EP 7.

    *crying break*

    Second, every time Shi-mok attempts to eat something, I will be expecting bad news.

    The scene with Chief Kang berating Shi-mok for bothering him was sad to watch, but it also makes me realize that Shi-mok HAS changed. He’s become more self-aware in a way that he wasn’t before. Sure, he’s calm and rational and detached. But his actions still affect others, and we’re starting to see him realizing/understanding that more. Just as he’s reflecting on how his behaviors affect others, Shi-mok’s also becoming more aware of his own biases despite his good intentions.

    I think Seo Dong-jae’s disappearance drives that point home more. It’s totes not Shi-mok’s fault that Dong-jae was kidnapped, but I’m sure the guilt is there. Yeo-jin tried to reassure him when she said “this” didn’t happen in real life, and that they would find Dong-jae safe and sound. What surprises me most is Prosecutor Kim telling Shi-mok that if this case is affecting him emotionally, he should tell Chief Woo to pass it onto someone else. But then the bastard guilt-trip our beloved Shi-mok with “why are you not running around finding him instead of questioning me” routine, and triggered Shi-mok’s headache. Come on, asshat!!! *waving angry fists* Fight me instead!

    With next weekend’s episodes preview, I have more hope that we’d find Dong-jae in time. BUT I’m also NOT going to be TOO hopeful either.

    That Hanjo director guy might be the driving force behind the scene. He seems shady enough. Lee Yeon-jae doesn’t seem to know what happened with Park Kwang-su’s death, considering how she sent that sleazy ex-judge on the hunt for information without the director knowing. If he’s the culprit, I would feel so bad for Yeon-jae and her incredible bad luck with men.

    On the other hand, it’s looking like Chiefs Choi and Woo were involved in the mess too. Yikes. I mean, at this point, who isn’t a suspect? But that’s what I like about a mystery/thriller story because if you’re not constantly questioning your reality, is it really a mystery?

    Seeing Chief Choi doing laundry and being domestic is rather jarring. Probs just as jarring as seeing Dong-jae’s wife and kid. I appreciate that these details give our questionable characters dimensions and depths.

    ALSO, makes it sad to see that Shi-mok is still alone. 🙁 Remembering the scene of him waiting at a rest stop before being summon to Seoul, watching families walked passed and looking a bit wistful. I don’t think there’s going to be romance between Shi-mok and Yeo-jin, but I hope we get to see some possibilities of Shi-mok’s own happy ending.

    Ohhh, what about that female prosecutor whose name I did not catch? The one who was Dong-jae’s mentee and now working to help find him? She also seems a bit suspicious, but she’s also smart. At this point though, I’m leaning more on her being a potential culprit somehow. Hm

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      Also, in an interview, Cho Seung-woo has said Shi-mok would be eating something later without being bothered and that something is a vegetable. That makes me think of those carrots sticks they give you with soju in a pojangmacha. Which then makes me think of shit, what if it’s Shi-mok drinking by himself because he’s sad??? Because something bad happens????

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      He should be safe.. because killer’s prime motive seems to be getting police and prosecution to implicate themselves

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    “ Seeing Chief Choi doing laundry and being domestic is rather jarring. Probs just as jarring as seeing Dong-jae’s wife and kid. I appreciate that these details give our questionable characters dimensions and depths.”

    That laundry scene is a surprise to me that we get to see the other side of a character who is so ambiguous at work but totally the other way round at home – where her kid is the priority. It adds much dimension as you do rightly observe.

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Forest of Secrest S2 Ep. 7: I’m sorry, but what just happened? Why??? I guess I’ll just throw away my heart now???????? (more spoilery thoughts in comment below!)

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    You know, I DID NOT see that coming and this might be the understatement of the week. (I’ve made some ill-advised understatements last week, and probs more next week.) That ending scene was NOT necessary, show.
    I went into this thinking that there’s no way, absolutely no way, they would hurt us SO SOON in the drama’s trajectory – if we’re thinking back on season 1 ep 13 when Eun-so died. BUT HERE WE ARE, AT EPISODE 7. Excuse me for being surprised. Granted, not every script should have the same structure but still, I hung onto this flimsy ~logic~ to protect my fragile heart.

    *crying break*

    And the preview – OMG. Shi-mok, hon, are you going to collapse again?! Good thing I threw away my heart so like, come at me with all the pain – it’s all just going to bounce off me now. (Is that how pain works?)

    Shi-mok got so impatient when he was talking to Dong-jae’s co-workers, and when he told the female prosecutor that he too was Dong-jae’s mentee, he was clearly affected by all this. AND THEN, when Yongsan police chef said he didn’t want “this” to happen “again”, I might have screamed internally. All the foreshadowing is really all we needed. We did not need to see the ending scene.

    *going back to crying*

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In between waiting for new episodes of Forest of Secrets season 2, I’ve picked up C-drama A MURDEROUS AFFAIR IN HORIZON TOWER per Avenue X’ review/recommendation. I’ve got through 2 episodes so far and it’s pretty good! I’m holding off my judgement until the end since I don’t want my hopes to be crushed LOLS. The episodes are relatively short, and I genuinely like the female detective. She has that soft-spoken rookie thing going, but isn’t afraid to call out her boss on his biased comments. Any other Beanies watching/have watched it? :3

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A DRAMA A DAY CHALLENGE @purpleshees
And I’ll close out this challenge with my favorite variety show(s):
1 NIGHT 2 DAY (season 1) – This was my first foray into K-variety and it did not disappoint!
THREE MEALS A DAY (in all its versions) – I don’t think I need to explain this at all, but season 1 sank its claw into my heart with Lee Seo-jin in a variety show setting. Gosh, I need a re-watch of this to cheer me up. All the other versions/seasons and their cast members are just as fun!!!
GRANDPAS/YOUTHS/NOONAS OVER FLOWERS series – SO GOOD.
I think I should just say anything Na PD produces is great instead of listing them out. haha 🙂

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30 DAYS BOOK CHALLENGE @isthatacorner
Welps, grad school started for me half way through August and I just forgot about this challenge. I want to wrap it up with a few last mentions.
DAY 30: MY FAVORITE BOOK OF ALL TIME – CONVENIENCE STORE WOMAN by Sayaka Murata. I’ve mentioned this before, but it truly is my favorite book of all time and I cannot recommend it enough. She has a new book (or maybe a translation of one of her published works) coming out in the US in October. I totes pre-ordered it and my excitement for this is off the charts!!!!
DAY 28: FAVORITE TITLE – HOMESICK FOR ANOTHER WORLD by Ottessa Moshfegh. This is a wonderful collection of short stories!
DAY

And that’s all, folks! It has been fun! Onwards to more awesome books~

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FoS2 ep 5-6: spoilery thoughts in the comments so proceed at your own risks!!!!! BUT AHH. WOW.

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    WOW. What just happened?
    Just a few things here we gotta talk about before touching that ending:
    – Chief Prosecutor Kang is so competent and badass. Seeing him opposite that sleazy Prosecutor Kim is such a contrast. I love that he warned the guy about using Shi-mok – it seems like all of the new players this season seriously underestimated what Shi-mok can do. Prosecutor Won got a taste of that at the end of ep 5 and Kim’s feathers were ruffled during his encounter with Shi-mok as well. Take that, punks! (I really wanted to scream that out loud while watching~)
    – Lee Yeon-jae and the dinner scene, wow. It clearly hurts her that she has to use such tactics to secure her management rights, but wow, what a crazy whirlwind that conversation was. The newspaper guy might still have some sorts of feelings for her, or just a teensy tiny bit of human decency and caved when she asked after her dad. ALSO can we talk about that lipstick comment?! What a sexist asshole! It surprised me when LYJ wiped her make up off. It was a gesture of defiance because honestly, whatever she wears or does would still be spinned against her simply because she’s a woman. Urg, go burn in hell with that attitude, newspaper dude. Just leave all your shares for her. thnx.
    – The conversation between Shi-mok and Yeo-jin is so sweet to watch. Their dynamic is just perfect~ I like that he showed up after having done his research and told her about his suspicions instead of threatening/coercing it out of her. AND when he asked if she still draws these days, I might have squealed a little. Gosh, now that things are taking a TURN, we really need some fluffy and funny drawings from Yeo-jin.
    – side note: that white jacket Yeo-jin wore during that scene is the same one she wore in season 1 when she raced over to Shi-mok’s house in ep 13. There are also some similar suits Shi-mok wore. Idk why I fixated on their wardrobes. I guess it’s just nice to see that some things don’t change. LOLS
    – Yeo-jin’s conversation with her boss gives me all the chill. I get the long game Choi Bit is playing, but Yeo-jin started to work at the Reformation unit not to take part in these games, but in hopes of implementing true reforms. Choi’s comment on how things weren’t easy for her/them back in the days and how she now just wants to bring others upward with her by giving them opportunities makes me feel a bit sad. Things definitely have not been easy for women in any workplace, let along in the police force. I admire Choi’s determination but her questionable ethics are a bit icky to watch. It’s that kind of cycle that feeds the corrupted system. Once/if the police gain investigative rights, the same kind of corruption would continue. That’s not a meaningful solution at all. I’m curious to see where this will lead, especially seeing how affected Yeo-jin is.

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      I loved, loved, loved kicking ass Chief Kang! Ha! That SaHyun deserved it!

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    – AND THAT TWIST. Holy smokes! I hope our resident weasel is ok! Not gonna lie, I’m so glad that something crazy happens so that Shi-mok and Yeo-jin can team up with the rest of the detectives, like the good old days! It’s looking more and more that Shi-mok and Yeo-jin would break out on their own since both of their bosses are questionable at best and truly corrupted at worst. I can’t wait for next weekend!!! Meanwhile, fingers crossed for weasel’s safe return!!!!! We can’t have another heart break.

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!!!!!!

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AWWW! Look at their smiles!! My heart can’t handle this~

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    Make me happy looking at their interaction. I am forever thankful to whoever casted them and other actors to Stranger.

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    Wait what?! Did JSW seriously remembered Yeo Jin’s pants from season 1??

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!!!~

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Forest of Secrets 2 ep. 2 = I\’ll share my thoughts in the comment below because they\’ll be spoilery, just in case any Beanies come across who haven\’t watched it yet. :3

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    I love the pacing so far. It’s slow but feels jampacked with information. At the end of this episode, I finally understood this whole turf war between the prosecution and the police. Yesterday, I was just confused as to why it matters who closes what cases. Lols. I’m excited to see what’s in store for our duo next but also willing to wait and take the time to let the details sink in, which is good since live watching can be a pain sometimes. :3
    And hooray for Lee Yeon-jae and Seo Dong-jae being back on my screen! I want to see more of LYJ’s handling of the business and all the associated ~drama~. SDJ cracked me up when he was trying to see his case to Prosecutor Won. Still the same – wanting to maneuver his way up to the top via any path possible. And still having Shi-mok standing in his way!
    Talking about Shi-mok, it makes my heart sad to see him so alone and without a place to stay. It makes sense that his apartment in Seoul is still being leased out, but like can he crash at Yeo-jin’s place??? I hope we get to explore his personal hurdles regarding his family and relationships (be it friendships or romantic partnerships). I love the changes in his demeanor towards Yeo-jin from season 1 to now, especially the dinner scene. He apologized for leaving before they could even eat, and his awkward backing out/tumbling out of the restaurant! Side note: can he ever eat in peace?! Poor guy, every time we see him with food/snacks, he gets an important phone call to meet unpleasant people.

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      Don’t you feel like it’s too slow? I checked S1 again, and the first two eps had more things going.

      I’m just thankful we get to see our leads in one scene this week. 😥

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        No, the slower pacing doesn’t bother me. I wonder if I’m just too optimistic about this season, but I like what I see so far. If this season turns out to be a slow-paced and more character-driven, I’d still be down for it.

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          Same with me too! I had to paused while watching last season because I couldn’t process the informations but this time it’s a lot easier to process things (but we’re still in ep 2 so who knows??)

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Forest of Secrets 2 ep. 1 = How I\’ve missed this show! I\’ll put all my spoilery thoughts in the comment below, so be careful if you haven\’t watched it yet!

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    We’re only on ep 1 but the pacing and atmosphere are very similar to season 1, which I think is a good thing. There are references to what happened in season 1 and I’m really interested to see where that might lead to now. I’m glad that these events continue to have repercussions and even though two years have passed, that’s not a lot of time when it comes to legal disputes. I’m excited to see Lee Yeon-jae coming back on screen as the badass and vengeful CEO, and see how she’s dealing with her father’s lawsuits and her husband’s death. And of course, our resident weasel Seo Dong-jae! He doesn’t seem to change one bit from the promo for ep 2. haha
    It’s so good to see JSW as Hwang Shi-mok again – and really, he’s not as emotionless as he’d like you to believe. I cracked up at his exasperation when the Chief at Tongyang’s office wanted to have lunch with him after berating him for not showing up to the going-away-party the day before. :3

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      I was kinda disappointed that SDJ or LYJ didn’t show up in this ep but it just leaves me wanting more from ep 2!

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        I also wanted longer episode! Hahaha this is the one instance where I’d be ok if the episodes are longer than an hr.

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          Haha same! I’m honestly hoping they increase the length because I need more time with these characters.

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      Nice touch to have Chang joon narration at the beginning. Love it. I got trust issues right again right from E1 😐🧐

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Hahaha! The dynamic we’ve been waiting for 3 years for!

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30 DAYS BOOK CHALLENGE @isthatacorner
DAY 12: a book I love and hate at the same time – I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS by Iain Reid
This is a mystery/thriller about a woman who’s on a road trip with her boyfriend to visit his family who lives in a rural area. It’s written in first-person perspective with our female character as the unreliable narrator. There’s a snowstorm that gets worse and worse as the day goes on. The couple arrives at the boyfriend’s parents’ house, eats dinner together, and leaves the house late that same night because our female character grows uncomfortable with the whole thing. It’s all fine and good until the couple gets back on the road to return home. I can’t say anymore because it would be a spoiler. The reason why I love and hate this book at the same time all boiled down to the ending. The writing is so good and so successful in building up the anticipation and the creepy, tense atmosphere. I was confused and scared as I followed the woman on this journey, in the middle of a snow storm. I began to question her sanity, but in like a good and interesting way. But the freaking ending feels so mediocre and so cliche to me. It’s such a trope to end things like that, and maybe the author could make it work in the novel’s favor, somehow? As it is, I hate that the novel’s potential is wasted in the last COUPLE OF PAGES. Now, don’t let my personal opinion dissuade you from reading this. It’s still a solid read, especially if you haven’t read a lot of thriller/mystery before. A lot of peeps I know loved the ending, so I think I might be in the minority on this.

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    Netflix has made a movie adaptation of this book and it’s set to be released on September 4th for US folks, so maybe give it a shot. I know I will watch it, even if I might pull my hair out at the end. :3

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A DRAMA A DAY CHALLENGE @purplesheesh
DAY 10: slice of life – LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
This family drama is the first K-drama I watched that has such a beautiful portrayal of a gay couple. The family dynamics are wonderful and full of love. I enjoyed watching all the different plot lines. There’s our same-sex couple and their struggles with coming out and how that affect their relationships with their families, there’s an uncle who meets the match of his life in his strong-headed but messy boss, there are the younger siblings and their journeys to find their own SO, and the matriarch of the family who juggles her career as a chef with running the family’s inn and dealing with all the interpersonal dramas that pop up. I think in one of the recaps/reviews I read, the author pointed out that each episode opened with a shot of a clear morning sky, marking a new day, as a way to suggest that life continues to move forward and there’s clear sky ahead after a storm. I just think that’s a beautiful way to look at this drama – even though there are difficult times, you can overcome that with your loved ones by your side.

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    This is my number one family drama of all times!

    So pleased to see it mentioned here. The parents are the same parents from Father is Strange but my love for Life is Beautiful is several notches higher for all the reasons you mentioned. I remember watching two or three episodes every week and it was my weekly healing/soothing dose. The coming out of the gay son and the responses from individual family members especially the Mom are so heart wrenching. And how I love the two uncles – one is a lazy bum while the other is a career man whose late age romance is another highlight of the drama.

    My weekly meeting with this family over several months make them stay in my heart for a long, long time. It epitomises what family love is about.

    Strongly recommended!

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      And having Jeju Island as the drama location is another plus.

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        Also yes! The scenery is so beautiful! Their family’s inn is also so beautiful!

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      Yay! I love every family member! Except Kyung-soo’s mom who’s deadset on getting him to leave Tae-sub and return to his “normal” life. urg. But the conversation between Kyung-soo’s mom and Tea-sub’s mom is one of the best moments in the drama for me! So good!

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A DRAMA A DAY challenge @purplesheesh
DAY 9: school – NOBODY KNOWS
I know I cheated. But honestly, I haven’t watched a single school-centric drama in a very long time. While I do look at the ones I did watch fondly with nostalgia, I don’t love any of them. NOBODY KNOWS kind of involves a school setting and the adorable ducklings who are students, so it works! I absolutely loved this drama to pieces. It has all the components of good storytelling, all done with a strong and layered female character as the lead! Kim Seo-hyung’s performance is amazing and flawless. I love her budding romance with Ryu Deok-hwan.

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