Beanie level: Rooftop room dweller

My Viki account renewed today and I’m sour. It’s now $99.99 a this year! That’s an increase of 46.3% from last year!

Here’s my Viki annual billing history, in USD:

2017 $34.99
2018 $49.99 (+$15 or +42.8%)
2019 $49.99
2020 $49.99
2021 $68.35 (+$18.36; +36.7%)
2022 $99.99 (+$31.64; +46.3%)

Is Viki trying to make up for lost subscriptions due to competition from the big streamers? Or are they finally paying their translators?

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    That’s weird. They don’t show any price changes on the website. Do you have the Standard or Plus plan?

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      VikiPass Plus. Made sense for a time because it includes access to Kocowa shows. These days, I really don’t care. I should’ve gone back to Standard.

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        It hasn’t been feeling right since Dramafever was bought and disbanded.

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        Did you have the Standard plan last year? The Plus plan has always cost me around $100.

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          I do have the Plus plan but I didn’t actively change anything before this renewal. Blargh—this feels like a dark user pattern. Did I somehow get tricked into this? I’ve barely watched Viki this year.

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          Me too.

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    I’m debating whether to renew. They haven’t picked up much I wanted to watch in the last year so it’s really only worth it if I have time to watch older dramas.

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    They are still asking for ‘volunteers’ for series. They ain’t paying translators, unfortunately.

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    OMG! And here I was debating getting a viki subscription… I don’t think it’s that expensive for in the UK, though?
    But I have a big problem with a company charging for work done by volunteers. I even wrote one of my uni projects about Viki hahaha

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      It is interesting. I have been a Viki subscriber since April, 2016 and not to go ‘ad hominem’ on Netflix but imo we get better subs from those Viki volunteers than we get from Netflix which as I have said before has the wherewithal to to pay for the UN translation service gratis.
      Not that all is fine at Viki. I have recently noticed an inconsistency (or deterioration if you will) in one area of the Viki ‘style’: translating profanity. I expect to see the f-bomb in Netflix subs but now I am seeing it in Viki subs.

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        Oh, I don’t mean that the quality is bad, I just think it’s a company getting something for nothing and charging others (the cheek!)
        In fact, I recently watched something on viki and remembered how much I love the live comments – and I think the watch parties look super fun. Those would be the main reasons for me ^^

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I watch so much non-English content these days that my brain failed to recognize the English here. I saw the photo first and thought, “Thai BL?” Then I read aloud: “Ploose and Meenoss … oh, wait. Crap.” (It’s a childhood friends-to-lovers BL from Taiwan.)

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It’s been ages since I felt this way about an Asian drama. Source: Legend of the Demon Cat (2017).

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    Dali and Gamjatang was like that for me last year. Red Sleeve (minus one stupid subplot) has turned out to be a gem if it’s viewed as more of a treatise on women who work in the palace.

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@asianromance and @jossie4cheryl—You two were both quoted at the beginning of this Bbali Drama video about top k-dramas without romance.

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Lovers of the Red Sky: When did Shaman Mi Soo first make the connection between Ha Ram and Ma Wang? I lost track a while back.

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    If I remember correctly it was in Episode 3? When they’re trying to find him after he goes missing, and they’re snooping on him and co at the painting house. I don’t remember HOW she made that connection though.

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      Thank you, @sicarius for pinpointing the moment!

      I rewatched the scene where Shaman Mi Soo confirms the murdered guardsmen on the mountain were killed by Ma Wang (Ep. 3, 49:14). Then, at the beginning of Ep. 4, she and the Grand Prince secretly observe Ha Ram with Cheon Gi at the painter’s studio. Once she realizes “Supervisor Ha” is the “divine child” from the rain ceremony, she immediately deduces Ma Wang had entered the boy’s body during the ceremony.

      Eh? I rewatched this scene (Ep. 4, 2:29) and still don’t understand how she leapt so quickly to that conclusion. The (magical) signs are there, I guess. Dead white crow (Ep. 2, 27:18) … parliament of owls … cleansing ceremony. I’ll just go with the flow. 😜

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    she dint make the connection voluntarily.. she sensed the energy (that’s what I recall) in the surrounding that made her conclude Ma Wang is somewhere around and then she observed the killed guardsmen on the mountain..
    *ok ill go and rewatch this episode to see if I recalled it correctly if not I’ll get back to with the correct information*

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    think she always had her hunch the moment haram came out of the water and his eyesight was lost..

    she makes this comment.. him coming back alive was impossible without an external power (to that effect)..

    It was just a matter of getting a more solid proof

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      Rewatching those scenes made me imagine a little story with the shaman solving crimes on the side. Hee. Anywhoo, thanks for helping me sort that out. 😉

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    I am also pretty sure our villain prince knows masked man is scholar ha..

    i mean why would you play go on blind people board if you are tryign to hid it

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My interest in the Olympics has waned over the years but I think I\’ll try to catch this year\’s archery competitions—in part because S. Korea dominates! South Korea has won 39 Olympic medals, including 23 of 34 golds awarded in the sport since 1984.

Tokyo\’s Day 0 archery events begin Fri. July 23 (see schedule on Wikipedia.)

I took a class a couple years ago with my son and I loved it. Here\’s an article from Archery 360: 4 REASONS KOREA DOMINATES IN ARCHERY. The NYTimes article below talks the brutal qualifying trials, which sound harder than the Olympics themselves.

NYTIMES | July 20, 2021
SOUTH KOREA\’S GOLDEN ARCHERS
For the country’s hypercompetitive archers, getting to the Olympics may be harder than winning gold once they’re there.

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    I’ll be watching.

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    Thanks, those are really interesting!

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    I knew that SK dominates archery, especially women’s archery because it was a question in the Indian Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

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      I was so surprised cause I had never heard an archery reference in any drama

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        I share your surprise, @manichan. Dramaland kids are in taekwondo, judo, ballet, piano, violin, after-school academies, etc. Archery shines in saeguks, of course, but I’ve never seen a modern reference to the sport.

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        Whoops, @manichan—I just remembered Josean Survival (2019). The ML is a national archer who time travels back to the Joseon dynasty.

        Kang Ji-hwan was replaced after Ep. 10 because of he was indicted for “quasi-rape” and “quasi-indecent acts by force.” What a f*cker. I used to really enjoy watching him because his face reminds of my brother.

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    My interest in the Olympics has plummeted ever since I found out that there will be no new episodes (for weeks!) of my favourite drama (OTVOI) because of it.

    *just kidding. Archery looks great*

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      Is it true that OTVOI will not be around due to Olympics??? And for how long? I just binged all 8 episodes. Whey?

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      @cloggie & @epyc2010—I’m not sure if the schedule will be paused during the Olympics. I checked the Korean site at MBC and can’t find anything related to pausing the broadcast.

      MyDramaList lists the series ending Aug. 12. If the series continues airing 2 ep/week, it would be Ep. 11 + 12 next week on July 28 and 29, Ep. 13 + 14 on Aug. 4 and 5 and Ep. 15+16 on Aug. 11 and 12.

      For a treat, take a peak at the MBC’s cast page for the show. They’ve got it arranged like an HR chart! Some characters have older headshots. I love that vintage Mr. Choi (Jung Jae Young) is wearing a plaid shirt.

      My phone’s Google Translate app translated these relationship descriptions:
      Between Ms. Dang and Mr. Choi (a line with no arrows): inevitable symbiosis

      Between Ms. Dang and Han Se-kwon (double arrow): hate anger

      Between Se-kwon and Nari (double arrow): love

      Between Ms. Dang and Nari (one way arrow from Nari to Ms. Dang): Check* & jealousy antagonism

      *I don’t know what “check” means in this context. Scrutinize? Probe? Investigate?

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        Asianwiki has it ending 26 August so that implies a two-week hiatus. We’ll see!

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I was delighted twice by this YouTube post. First, it gave me Gerry Mulligan\’s 1963 album Night Lights. Then it gifted me a delicious comment from a South Korean ASMR artist, ASMR THOMWHAT:

When I played this music to the drinking water, the water turned into wine.

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This essay really resonated with me. My mom started watching Asian dramas after visiting her family in Malaysia after an absence of many decades. I did the same after my own return to home home. It’s funny how me, the American, now recommends Chinese dramas to my Cantonese-speaking uncle in Malaysia. I ain’t waiting for Hollywood to eventually figure out that Asian perspectives can be central to tv and film.
 
NYTimes | March 16, 2021
How Chinese Dramas Helped Me Build a Relationship With My Sister
By Victoria Chang

After our mom died, I turned to her beloved pastime for comfort. It opened up a new way to communicate with my family.

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    I actually found very important life lessons about communication/miscommunication/insufficient communication aspects of the show My Unfamiliar Family very insightful and I later adapted the lessons I learnt there with rl situations. It turned out great tbh. We used to tip-toe around one another, but we all learnt later on that it was more comforting that though we couldn’t be perfect all the time, everyone in the family still had our back.

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      Brilliant. Pop culture’s important—it’s one of the main ways we learn to be people!

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    Like your mum, I hail from Malaysia and grew up used to Poh Poh watching her Cantonese dramas at 6pm each evening. I watched a few series over the years but never really got into the habit. Decades later, after many years in the West, it was the pandemic that caused me to accidentally stumble into the K-drama black hole. Apparently I wasn’t the only one — I discovered several old friends had done the same. I’ve had so much fun debating the merits of various dramas with friends around the world these past few years!

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Minari’s Screen Actor’s Guild Award nominations yesterday bode well for potential Oscar nominations. Nominations include:
* Outstanding Cast
* Steven Yeun–Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
* Youn Yuh-jung–Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (No surprise here. She’s a goddess of veteran Korean film and television. She plays the Grandma, though I’m not sure whose mother she plays)

SAG Award ceremony is Sun. April 4, 2021.
See more info on Minari’s virtual screening starting Fri. Feb. 12.

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    So happy for Youn Yuh Jung!!! And the whole cast. Allow me to fantasize for a moment, how great would it be if Korean films won the Best Picture Oscars two years in a row? Wooooooo 🙋🏼‍♀️

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    I’m over the moon about their SAG nominations but I have mixed feelings about their Oscars nomination(s):
    It’s definitely a step forward in Asian American representation in the industry, but “Minari” definitely should not have been nominated in the Foreign Film category…

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      Agreed.

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      Oscar 2021 nominations won’t come out until March 15. Minari wouldn’t even qualify as a “International Feature” film because it’s an American production.

      Current nomination rules limit films to non-American productions that are predominantly non-English. There’s much to quibble about regarding the nomination process. Vox.com published an excellent explainer on the problems in Feb. 2020: The Oscar’s international film category is broken. Issues include:

      (1) Countries select their own movies to submit and the process isn’t always transparent. (Selection committee members might be unknown, for example.)
      (2) For some countries—where filmmakers are punished, censured and censored for their work—the politicized self-selection process ignores worthy films.
      (3) The non-English language rules effectively bar English-speaking “foreign” countries like Nigeria from submitting their films for the international category. (The Vox article gets deep into this.)
      (4) The rules are applied arbitrarily (good examples in the Vox article).

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        That’s right. I guess part of my fantasy is that Minari is also Korean? I completely forgot it’s actually American 👍🏼 But it would be great if the Best Oscar Pictures two years in a row were about Koreans, how’s that?

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          Fully agree! I’m thrilled to see a shift in stories being told by and through non-white artists. I have faith that audiences are sophisticated enough to connect with characters who are different from them.

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        Sorry, made a mistake— “Minari” was actually snubbed and placed under the Foreign Language category of a motion picture, therefore, scrapping its eligibility of competing for “Best Motion Picture” (even though its American produced), but this wasn’t done for 2009’s “Inglorious Bastards”, even though THAT film was only 30% in English

        https://nextshark.com/minari-golden-globes-foreign-language-film-best-picture/

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          And this was decided by members of the FOREIGN press. What? I so don’t get it. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Ugh, but the comments on this article are great.
          Counting down the days until we can see the film!

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    Comment was deleted

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    @bbstl, @bebeswtz, @ndlessjoie — I ran into an interesting problem last year when I tried to submit Minari as a film at MyDramaList. They rejected it because they didn’t consider it an Asian film. I knew it was an American production but had assumed the database had space for diaspora filmmakers who made a films in an Asian language. Nope.

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      From my perspective the Golden Globe’s category for Minari is ridiculous, regrettable and that other “r” word.

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        Ah, I hadn’t realized that. Yuck. Another reason to continue not paying attention to the Globes.😛

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        Update Sat. Feb. 6: MyDramaList rules seem arbitrary. They just posted a trailer for the upcoming PBS Frontline doc A Thousand Cuts about Duterte’s war against the Philippine free press. I’m thrilled to see this included but it makes Minari’s exclusion even weirder.

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The Many Lives of Steven Yeun
The New York Times Magazine | Feb. 3, 2021
By Jay Caspian Kang

What’s a typical immigrant story? In his new film, “Minari,” the “Walking Dead” star has his own to tell.

Tsutsuloo’s note: Excellent interview with Steven Yeun, a very thoughtful actor. Topics include his immigrant identity, being American, how he doesn’t quite fit in in Korea, the film Minari, seeing things through our immigrant parents’ eyes.

The author begins with his own challenges with telling his story as a writer. Actual interview begins below the photo of Steven Yeun’s dressed-in-white photo.

Check out info about the virtual screening of Minari starting Feb. 12.

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    I was going to post this interview as well! A very great deal to unpack here.
    It feels like we’ve been waiting for Minari forever!

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Uncanny Counter | Ep. 4: I have to keep reminding myself that this charming show is on OCN. So, a bad guy inserting earbuds is never a good sign.

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    In all my years of watching mystery dramas, omg, this is one of the creepiest murder scenes ever!

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      Yeah. Here’s my experience so far:

      Me: I love everybody! The curly hair. The best friends! The grandparents! The Noodle Gang! The tracksu—
      Show: Earplug + scissors scene
      Me: Oh, sh*t. It’s OCN.😭

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Uncanny Counter | Ep. 2 I can’t even express how badly I want that tracksuit. It’s my perfect Blursday work pajamas.

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NPR (National Public Radio)
COVID-19 Hampered South Korea\’s Chuseok Holiday — But Daughters-In-Law Got A Break
Oct. 6, 2020

Interesting look at how COVID-19 altered this year’s Chuseok traditions—to the relief of many women. Some families dropped travel all together or greatly simplified the celebration.

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    See? BTLIOF had the right idea.

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    The women in the kitchen cleaning and cooking while the men watch TV sounds a lot like some western holidays. Along with it also seeming like the women, especially mothers, doing a lot of emotional work to make sure everyone has a good holiday.

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      I remember Christmas at my grandma’s was like that for the longest time growing up, just 10-15 years ago. When I became a teenager and realized I started badgering my brothers and cousins to at least clean up afterwards if they weren’t gonna help with the cooking.

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      We lived with my in-laws few years ago, I remember getting a carpal tunnel because of food preparations and cooking for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Holidays were not enjoyable for me back then 🤦🏻‍♀️

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        That sounds horrible. That must of been a feast. Hopefully they are a lot more enjoyable now.

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          Yes, we don’t live with my in-laws anymore so I get to enjoy holidays now 😊

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      I won’t be surprised if this is the norm worldwide. In my region, I don’t expect things to get better in a few years either.

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    lol

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Hoping Minari will be available online. It stars Steven Yeun(Burning, The Walking Dead), Han Ye-ri (My Unfamiliar Family, and Youn Yuh-jung (everything.)

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Inspired by Japanese theme parks, Wall Street Journal reporter Alejandro Lazo has captured the horror of #2020 (or post Nov. 4, 2016) in a captivating motto. Check out the Twitter thread for responses.

“Please scream inside your heart” just might be my first cross-stitch project.

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He’s 83, She’s 84, and They Model Other People’s Forgotten Laundry
The owners of a laundry shop in central Taiwan have become Instagram stars for posing in garments left behind.

This lovely couple is styled by their 31-year-old grandson who wanted to do something to brighten his grandparents’ lives after the laundromat business slowed down.

Source: New York Times

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The NYTimes had a nice piece on the whole “it’s cake” meme. Article included this 2016 video from the Japanese gameshow Candy or Not Candy. My favorite is the man cautiously biting the door knob (0:40).

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Dinner Mate | Ep. 16 This Instagram montage is possibly my favorite kdrama time-skip of ALL time. My face hurts a little from smiling so widely.

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The final episode of Dinner Mate was nearly flawless. Thankfully, uri OTP has a LOT of screen time to be their dorky, lovable selves. Show wasn’t perfect but this couple became one of my faves.

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    Loved loved loved when they both asked the dinner question. Agree, this OTP is one for the books for me.

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      Somewhere on Twitter I saw BTS showing it was Seo Ji-hye’s idea to have them both say the same line together.😍

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    i hv yet to watch 15 n 16 episode.. but i am so glad this OTP is going to be memorable one for me. rarest of time when we have 2 equals as OTP no one is submissive or dominating…

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      Excellent point about their equality (although at one point, HK does sheepishly admit to Do-hee’s mother that DH is “the one who has more power.” (Ep. 16 40:48). Fundamentally, they are mutually respectful and equal in their emotional investment. Quite refreshing.

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    The last two episodes saved this show for me. As the sun set on that last adorable scene, I was sad to say goodbye to them (despite banging my head against the comments wall for a good chunk of this show). I loved the OTP, I am so thrilled to have seen SJH in a role that showcases her goofiness, warmth, charm and good humor (and her laugh – I really love her laugh), A-young was a great sidekick, and there were truly many elements that were intriguing and fun to watch (No-eul most def not one of them). I don’t know if I’ll ever re-watch this in its entirety, but I may find myself reliving the first – and last – few episodes someday!

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Dinner Mate | Ep. 15: Okay. This is the kind of cliffhanger I can support. Say yes to breakfast!!!

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