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About packmule3

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    Interests: Dimsum but no chicken feet please.

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  1. hi from Hong Kong! Yes, I like to tag people, especially the new posters who aren't confident with their English. I tag them to encourage them to post. It must have taken them a lot of guts to post here and I figure that if an immortal (hahaha!) pays attention to them, responds to them, and considers their comment or post as something "worthy" then they'll write again. It gives them confidence and kinda evens the playing field for them -- that they're equal to us long-timers because of the clarity or wisdom or uniqueness of their ideas, not the level of their English. 620
  2. Hahaha, @lavender2love. MSG is still my soothing romcom. I'm at the airport right now, on my way to another Asian city. Another day, another country. I'm posting in THAT other thread because my friend requested my presence over there. You know me, I've a weak spot for the underdogs. But the ambiance is different. Over here, as @BaiZiHua said, we can focus on the development of their relationship without the turbulence. Wait. Will go. Flight being called.
  3. Perhaps because of redemption? Or artistic license? I dunno. I can only interpret what's been said and done but I can’t predict the next step. That's why I like entertaining writers. You know, Rin was a liar, too, when it came to his feelings for San. For me, the frustration I felt when he didn’t want to admit his true feelings for San stems from his lies. Just speak the truth about her, willya dude? Even for once in your life. I’m one of those people who think San was predisposed to like Rin more than Won. And no, not because I’m biased for Rin or anything. I thought earlier in the kdrama that Rin intrigued her with his silence. Compared to Won’s boisterous approach, Rin was measured and calm. I can see the appeal of a courtly guy like Rin for a girl like San who was always treated like one of the guys. However, since San couldn’t get a read of Rin’s true feelings, it was possible that she would eventually convince herself that she was in love with Won who was more passionate and more HONEST about his feelings for her. Seriously though. Who wouldn’t be moved to fall in love with Won when Won heroically knelt down before the King and allowed to be insulted with HOT water poured down on his face (remember how concerned she was when he scalded his HAND? This was his FACE.) because of a GRUBBY thing like a bracelet? He defied his father and embarrassed himself in front of his enemies. She knew that this was a PROUD man who threw away his princely dignity for his UNREQUITED love for an unknown “petty” girl like her. If that isn’t the most romantic act so far in this episode, I don’t know what is. Compared to Won, Rin sounds week. He couldn’t even speak without deferring to the Crown Prince. If he’s already divided between loyalty for a friend and love for a woman at this point, then he hasn’t thought this LOVE thing through. If I were San, and I were to ask him point-blank: San: I have a question. You spoke to me politely from the start even when I was a mere servant. Why? Rin: Because you were the woman my master loved. He loved you from the start. then his reply told me loud and clear where I stood. I’m merely an obligation. He was obliged to be respectful to me because he served his master. That was why San turned away from him looking like she was about to cry. If I were San, I wouldn’t care to know that that he was lying out of loyalty for his friend. If he cared more about professing allegiance to his friend than to me, then how could I expect him to be my side through sickness and in health. Would he be only my side until his friend Won calls him to be at his side? And, to be honest here, that WAS one of the reasons I thought San liked Rin. You see, she kept on EXPECTING Rin to prove that HE cared for her. She gave him multiple chances. One was the jacket in the cave. She expected him to offer her his jacket to keep her warm but he gave it to Won. The next one was the rescue at the interrogation room. She asked Rin why he claimed that she was his woman and she was embarrassed when he told her that it was done for the investigation. And then, the dance. It bugged her that Rin would avoid her eyes at the dance. And then, her question about Rin’s politeness. Do you see it? All these instances suggest that she had “expectations” of him which he unfortunately failed to live up to. Essentially, she was testing him. She wanted to know if he was interested in her. But why would she have expectations if she didn’t care for Rin in the first place? Was it out of pique? Did it irritate her that Rin maintained his distance because she liked HIM or because he was the quiet one? Did she feel snubbed? Then I remembered the write-up on the hallyu about her character being Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind, and it suddenly clicked! You see, in that famous book, Scarlett was infatuated with this refined, elegant man Ashley who spurned her advances. But the more he ignored her, the more she “acted out” to attract him. (Ashley was actually a boring and very conventional guy. He didn’t want to rock the boat. His appeal to her was that he was “forbidden” and she was vain and spoiled enough to want everybody liking her.) In contrast, Rhett Butler was the brash, very rich, devil-may-care, self-made man who was truly in love with Scarlett. He was the only one who could match wits with her and didn’t get annoyed with her wild ways. He understood her more than Ashley did but Scarlett didn’t see that way. Not at first. She didn’t learn to appreciate his love until it was too late. And, on that day, she realized that she was never really in love with Ashley all along, she rushed to search for Rhett, only to discover that HE was leaving her...for good. He finally gave up on her returning his love, and hence that glorious line, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Do you see now how the characters line up in this kdrama adaptation? True, San isn’t as vain as Scarlett. But she does behave a bit like a Scarlett with her indecision, and her need to be liked. True, Rin does in fact like San. But he also fits Ashley’s staid and repressed character to a T. And Won? By design or by accident, Won has many similarities with Rhett Butler’s character. It's uncanny. Like Won, Rhett Butler wasn’t accepted by the genteel Atlanta society. He was an outsider. He was from the North, and his wealth and fortune weren’t inherited like Ashley’s was. Like Won, Rhett definitely loved Scarlett more than she loved him…from the very start. Also, Rhett found Scarlett’s hoydenish ways amusing, just like Won found anything San did entertaining. I particularly like how Won teased San and anticipated San’s reaction. Rin and San did NOT banter in the same way that Won and San teased each other. Take for instance when they were racing. San got away with a headstart. Rin started complaining but Won (to paraphrase dramabeans) didn’t hang around to listen and started to run after San. At the bridge in Episode 8, Won knew right away that San was acting strangely. Rin only noticed that she slept whenever she was drunk. Won noticed when she was crying and had connected it to her tragedy. He knew that she was going to be thirsty and hungry on the way to the capital and he planned for water and food stations for her. Meanwhile, Rin couldn’t even come up with a palanquin for her on a cold day. Lol. Won was attuned to her every need. Won chose her over his friend, while Rin couldn’t even say, to her face, that she was worthy of being respected for herself. Same thing with the gift of the bird mask and bird hairpin. Rin just stood there, awkward and tongue-tied, when his sister asked how San appeared in the dress. Compare it to the Won/San conversation. Lol. This conversation was something a young Rhett Butler would say flirtatiously to Scarlett. San: Hey! What are you doing? (protesting) Won: Looking at you. San: Gosh, do you want to die? Won: To be honest, I prefer your old self. San: You deserve a punch. … San: What now? Do… Do I look funny? (her face unmasked) Won: No. You are more beautiful than I thought you were. They swap masks, and she puts on her new one. Won: This is too shabby. (looking at her old mask) San: This is so tiresome…. Do you like it now? (her face masked) Won: It is not too bad. (Meaning, he prefers her beautiful face uncovered.) See that? So, if you ask me again why the scriptwriter would have Rin and San together, my answer is probably because that’s who San loves. I really don’t know. There are a hundred reasons why Won (well, that's a hyperbole. lol. Maybe a dozen reasons...) is a better guy for San. But none of it matters if he isn’t the one SHE ultimately likes. Right now, she’s a tough nut to crack. So, let's wait and see. Again, tagging the usual folks: @julie721, @nearsea, @bebe1989, @staygold and @YourHighness . @bebe1989
  4. I agree with you. Legally speaking, unless the author stipulates to reserve her/his right to have input or creative control in the adaptation of book, the story is in somebody else’s capable hands to re-make and recreate once the studio pays the big check for it. Except when written by blockbuster scribes like the writers of Harry Potter, Twilight, and the 50 Shades series, most books are NOT sacrosanct, and many filmmakers demand to be given independence and freedom in the adaptation of the books into screenplays for tv, stage, or movies. That’s why I said in an earlier post here that this kdrama should be judged on its own merits. Based on the reactions here and elsewhere, I guess the story IS considered a mess by all sides: the Rin/San shippers (and their spin-off the Won/Dan shippers), the Won/San shippers, AND the Won/Rin shippers. To me, however, if the scriptwriter is equally offending (or pleasing) people, then she’s doing a fine at the balancing act. In a sense, she isn't overplaying her hand and keeps us glued to the monitor. It’d be better to avoid over-reacting one way or the other and just enjoy the craftsmanship of the scriptwriter. As I said, this is HER story now to tell, not the original author’s. There’s a caveat though -- Just because this kdrama IS a modified adaptation, we cannot assume that the ending will be vastly different from the Rin/San happily-ever-after outcome that many of their shippers are expecting. The kdrama could very well have the same Rin/San happy match, despite giving Won a better portrayal in these episodes. This story could be told from Won’s perspective – like a companion story or a PARALLEL story to the book. Lol. At the very beginning, Won said it himself: “This is the story of me, who came to love you more than myself.” And in Episode 7, Won again said that “Now that I look back many years later, this was the day it all began. The friend I trusted more than myself began to deceive me, and (as consequence of his deception) between my love and me appeared a chasm neither could cross. He was the only friend I had, and she, my only love. Now I look back many years later: on this day, I knew nothing, and because I knew nothing, I smiled.” Won’s voiceover, no matter how hard I spin, doesn’t bode well for a Won/San happy ending, so just be prepared for sadness, too if you're a Won/Sad shipper. Won's parallel story may loosely use the framework of the original fiction but it’ll focus on him as the central character. As such, the parallel story will obviously portray him, as the new lead character, in a more sympathetic light. It’s like one story told from two different angles but with the same outcome: a happy ending for Rin/San, and an estrangement for Won/San. Frankly, I’ve been expecting Won’s anti-heroic acts from Episode 1 because of the press release from that website hallyu so I’m slightly confused. To quote his character description (my comments are in blue italics): The CP of Goryeo, strikingly beautiful young man, but that beauty and virtue on the outside hides a TWISTED THIRST FOR CONQUEST underneath. (Really? From Episode 1, we saw him as being unsure of his destiny that he had to ask Teacher Lee’s opinion.) He’s described as having the WISDOM OF A SNAKE (snort. The people around him are the snakes, with their plotting and scheming. Even his best friend Rin hides the truth from him), a SHOCKING TEMPERAMENT (Ho-hum... For beating up a guard who manhandled his beloved San? Personally, I’d be upset if my husband WIMPED OUT and didn’t beat up a guy who accosted ME. I’d expect him to defend my honor and my body) and an ELOQUENCE that makes him especially good at drawing people to his side. (That’s a riot!!! So far his so-called “eloquence” had resulted in his father hating him and tormenting him. Nobody's on his side; that's the exactly problem according to his mom.) It’s because of write-ups like that viewers have this tainted view of Won from the beginning. I wonder whether the publicity people even considered that one of the major investors of this kdrama was a Chinese company? Did they really not think of the implication of the first ever half-Korean/half-YUAN king depicted as a BAD character? Tsk.tsk.tsk. How short-sighted of them. Did they really think this kdrama was going to be allowed in China given its strict censorship if Won was an objectionable, twisted, ambitious, sly, insidious, brutish, and fork-tongued "mongrel"? Nope. I don't think so. (They wouldn't even allow my Canadian neighbor Justin Bieber into their country, hahaha.) And funnily enough, I read in hallyu, too, that many Chinese viewers actually are fanning Won over Rin. I do have to point out something that many people overlook in this kdrama: Rin’s dishonesty. His loyalty is often touted but his dishonesty is curiously disregarded. Somebody might ask: what’s the difference between loyalty and honesty? Well, a loyal person will support, defend, be devoted to and will not betray the object of his loyalty. An honest person will tell the truth, and not lie, cheat or steal. Clearly, honest people are not required to be loyal (for example: if you’re a crook, then I can tell you honestly and sincerely that I’m going to see you in jail. I’m obviously not loyal to you because I intend to send you to jail but I am being disarmingly frank. Lol). But typically, a loyal person is also expected to be honest to the person he’s loyal to. That’s why Rin, for me, is an interesting character. For the most part, Rin IS a loyal and trust-worthy friend. But Won makes the mistake of trusting him totally with San and San is the weak link. You see, for me, honesty is more valuable than loyalty. Especially in my profession, lying is the most counter-productive thing a person can do. That’s why I noticed whenever Rin was being dishonest. He lied from the beginning when he covered up what he knew about his brother’s complicity in the ambush. He lied again when he told Won in the caves that he didn’t recognize who San was after seven years when in fact he did. I think he lied too in his intentions when he said he was going to investigate San to determine whether she was “dangerous or not” because he KNEW that San had a kind heart when he heard her crying for the dead bodyguards. I bet he really wanted to see San despite Won instructing him not to get “too close” to her during the investigation. He lied too when he didn’t confess to Won what really transpired between him and San in the Song-In’s gisaeng house. And he lied again when he didn’t tell Won as soon as he discovered San’s identity (that was the whole point of his “investigation” to ascertain who she was, right?). He was also essentially lying to Won when he took matters into his own hands and brought the arrow-thief and the salt-trader to his father without telling Won. If he was truly concerned about a rebellion that Jeon was plotting, then he should have informed Won immediately because that was a political matter. If he was, however, concerned of his brother’s involvement, he already knew that Won wouldn’t harm Jeon so he could also have informed Won. NO. In my opinion, he hid his actions from Won precisely because it involved San. I’m going to be cynical here, but to me, he wanted to rescue San on his own. In that flashback, he remembered San thanking him for keeping Won in the dark because Won wouldn’t be able to hold back. And he thought to himself, “What about me?” I interpreted his rhetorical question as wounded pride. It wounded his pride that San expected him to do nothing. San’s words implied that she thought Won would act to stop the marriage if only he knew about it (that's why they had to keep it secret from him) --- unlike Rin, who couldn’t or wouldn’t dare to stop the wedding even though he already knew of the coercion involved. Do you see the implied difference? One had the impetus and the guts to do something while the other one didn't. Remember too the incidents before the dance. Earlier that day, Rin was feeling regretful for only getting a horse for her, and not preparing a carriage, when it was cold for her. And then, Won too made him feel inadequate when he had the foresight to have a mask ready for San to hide her from scrutiny because a plain mask would endanger her. When San asked him if it was "really" true that people could catch on that she was a stranger, he could only quibble, "Probably, if somebody saw us coming in." (lol. Another lie. He saw the Queen looking at them, didn’t he?). Then, during the dance, he couldn't partner her like Won did, and he even gave up his spot to the bodyguard. He could steal glances at her or look at her from afar. Thus, for me, his question “What about me?” was meant to show his discontent that, IN HER EYES, he wasn’t somebody she could ALSO consider relying on, LIKE WON, to help her in time of trouble. It's like he was saying, "Hey! I'm here too!" That was why he suddenly spurred into action and brought the arrow-thief and the salt-trader to convince his father. He thought he could do it on his own…but managed only to blunder through it and make an even bigger mess. Lol. He didn’t have Won’s (evil, lol) genius. Eventually, he had to ask for Won’s help and then, he lied once more when he intentionally did NOT disclose who the Minister’s daughter was. In my opinion, he dug a hole for himself with his lies. And while he dug himself into a deeper hole each time he kept things secret from Won, he also unwittingly buried Won in a pile of dirt that he was shoveling out. Now, somebody could excuse his lies and say, “But but but Oppa didn’t mean it!” Frankly for me, it doesn’t matter anymore what his motives are, at this point. The damage was already done. That’s what Won meant when he said that on that night of the maypole dance, when his friend began to deceive him, an unbridgeable chasm appeared between him and his love. Rin had placed not only his friend Won but their friends as well in a great disadvantage and difficulty. He had asked for help from Won, and Won immediately helped him without question. (Note: who’s being LOYAL then?) But Won couldn’t effectively protect him and San and Dan too, because Rin concealed crucial information which Won needed to know ASAP. As a matter of fact, Rin’s dishonesty made the whole situation ten times more complex. Won could figure out a way to battle his mom and dad and SongIn. But he couldn't fight a war from all sides. That was why @bebe1989 was saying that Won alone was a very pathetic sight to see. If Rin needed help for the predicament he -- or to be more accurate, San -- was in, then he should have told Won the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and let Won plan the next course of action with the full deck of information, not just half-truths. But by hiding pertinent facts, he hindered Won’s ability to seek and negotiate a better resolution for all of them. And that's why I dislike his dishonesty. To me, Rin should have come clean. And the ironic thing here is this: Rin was so fiercely loyal and protective of his friend yet he himself would cause his friend’s ruin with his lies. Sometimes the motives, no matter how good they might have been, are irrelevant when one considers the disastrous consequences. Thank you for finding that book summary for us. Tagging @julie721, @nearsea, @bebe1989, @staygold (are you still watching this?)
  5. That's was soooo obvious. Without my reading glasses, and without squinting an eye, I could see that it was SJK. How did your exams go, @kokodus? Everything okay?
  6. Yes, thank you for asking. I'm enjoying it here in Asia. The people are wonderful as to be expected (I know you guys, right? So I know what to expect. ) Always so helpful and accommodating. It's hard not to smile when people are so friendly but I've been briefed to keep a more serious and cautious mien so I AM trying. lol. The food is great as usual. They seem to feed us non-stop so I have to visit the gym here at the weirdest hours just to work off the pounds. The meetings however are ....(fill in the blanks, lol).... because of the urgency of situation. I'll see if I can go scuba-diving or snorkeling this weekend for some rest and relaxation. Probably snorkeling because I didn't bring my own gear. I haven't watched RM with their new addition. Yes, it's become boring because you can predict how the members are going to react. I've downloaded a couple of shows (Running Man, 2D1N, Happy Together, etc) from Youtube onto my ipad to watch on the flight here. And --- hahahaha, get this -- a flight stewardess saw me watching a show and she stopped by and PROUDLY identified herself as Korean. We chatted a bit about the show and the guests. It was a Happy Together episode with Joo Won as guest. She seemed so surprised and excited to have found somebody watching Korean on the flight and she acted like we were kindred souls or something. I guess she didn't expect somebody like me to watch a show like that. I had to explain to my people later on what the show was all about. So now, the secret's out that I watch Korean VARIETY shows. hahaha. (They don't know about the kdramas yet...shhhhh....) 518
  7. Just say no, @phikyl! I watch it because I'm the type to slow down whenever there's an accident or an emergency vehicle on the side of the road to see whether there's something gory if somebody needs help. Water God Habaek is like one of those roller coaster rides at Universal Studios. You line up for an hour then after the 2 minute ride, you question your sanity and ask, "What the heck was that? What was the fuss all about? Why did I even do that?" But not long after your moment of existential crisis, you end up queuing again to ride it one more time. So... my advice to you, @phikyl is don't. Don't do it. hahaha. Don't even get started. Friends don't let friends watch BotWG. I'll watch it for you instead and give you my "unbiased" report. hahahaha. I know, right?!! I know there are some who'll find his type appealing. And there's nothing wrong if he wanted to bequeath all his worldly possession to his wife in real life, in the privacy of their home. But there he was, on national tv, and he was offering her -- what $50? $100? -- and making it sound like it was such a big deal that he was "providing" for her. What a male chauvinist! 526
  8. Hi there, too, @triplem! I've mixed feelings for Running Man. I like it when it's just the regular members playing because then I get to see their smooth interactions. But I like it too when they have guests. It's fun watching actors and the idols going off the script. BTW, did you see Choi Jin Hyuk in Running Man? He was with Kim Woo Bin and Park Shin Hye. It was funny watching CJH pull out his "sunbae" card to boss Kim Woo Bin in one game. 528
  9. I generally like my coffee hot and in bed. I really love how you've blossomed @TRaNz from a few months ago. You're not the resident lurker anymore. Why! You're practically our flower boy here now. I like to watch 3 meals a day but I can't find it on legit sites. grrr. Dramafever and Viki don't sub it. I'm addicted to 2 Days, 1 Night. At first, I found the games they played to determine where they were going to bunk at night to be too brutal for my taste. But as I've gotten accustomed to Korean humor, their antics have me in stitches. I like watching Happy Together (with Jaesuk). Jaesuk is one comedian I can tolerate. He's the reason I got hooked on Running Man. But there are just some comedians that I cannot stand for for one reason or another. Like, I've blacklisted: 1. Kang Ho Dong. He's too loud and he comes off as a bully. Maybe he's kind-hearted in real life but in the shows I've seen him in, he sounds like a try-hard. 2. Jung Hyungdon. His stint in WGM (We Got Married) turned me off. Nasty fellow. 3. SeHo. Now, I really don't know why this guy rubs me off the wrong way but he does. Maybe because of his appearance (I'm shallow). Maybe because he's waaaay into fashion brands (but he's shallow, too). Or maybe because of the manner he gave his virtual wife on WGM a credit card (or phone card?) in his name for her to use (this isn't a shallow issue at all). Ugh! I still get my hackles up just remembering that incident. If the wife had been me, I would have raised my eyebrow because he isn't my dad and I'm not his daughter to be given an allowance or a "good time." I appreciate the gesture but no, thank you. I would have told him nicely "If we're dating and we're both working, please treat me like I'm your equal. I'm willing to pay my share for the pleasure of being together in each other's company." 524 edit
  10. Good morning, y'all. Am in Manila @triplem since last week. Where else can I be? It's the happening place right now.... But will be headed for HK, Taipei and another destination after this. Thanks for your tips!! @lynne22 thanks for the coffee! Aha! We're coffee drinkers. Although whenever I'm here in Asia, I do try to expand my palate and drink the native juice drinks and teas. Right now I'm obsessed with pineapple-orange juice for breakfast. I reserve the coffee for my meetings when I feel drowsiness coming. @TRaNz I'm snickering at the bulldog paper clips. I wish he didn't sell those; he didn't have to. They just made him look like a con artist while cheapening his hard work as a legit one. I know he can sell his fans a beachfront property smack in the middle of the Saharan desert if he wants to. But that doesn't mean he should.... Special shout out to @angelangie @phikyland @CamelKnight. I don't know why I suddenly thought of you, but you three popped in my head like a celestial choir. I swear I haven't been causing trouble though. Hahaha. 956
  11. @lavender2love you and I must be connected by brainwaves. I couldn't sleep so I checked soompi on my iPhone and here you are. @pumpkin_pie agree! I saw that little heart-thump that GW gave himself when he heard HM's plan to go to China. Hahaha. I thought he was choking from the news and he wanted to Heimlich himself. Or he just had a cardiac arrest and wanted to restart his heart. Lol. I didn't even think that he could have been trying to calm down his irregular heart beat, like you said. Whatever it was, I too thought it was a good ad-lib and it just made his character more endearing. Yes, he would have to do a lot of that (also neck-pounding to suggest that his blood pressure was going up) when married to our sassy girl.
  12. @nearsea and @bebe1989 Nearsea had mentioned that Won wasn’t all that simple-minded and goofy as he looked, and I’ll have to agree with her. Politically, Won appeared to be light-years ahead of his nearest rival. Rin’s brother? I pity him because Won could play like him a fiddle – or a gayageum since this is Korea. I've no doubt that Won could outplay the master puppeteer Song Im because he could think quickly on his feet. Example: when Song Im tried to implicate him in an assassination plot with one of his arrows. Won even "schooled" his own father, the King. His father divulged that on previous occasions, Won had given him unsolicited but astute political advice. He discussed this with his ministers. “After he has learned about the people, he wishes to preach at his ignorant father? You yourself have seen it too. The way the Prince seeks to teach me. He’s even said this before, ‘How is it Father, that you distance yourself from your servants who offer loyal advice, and only keep close the sycophants?’” However, socially, I see Won as developmentally retarded. He didn’t have real friends to learn from, and his parents relationship wasn't conducive to lessons in harmony between the sexes. For me, that's the reason his skinship with San is the way it is. Didn’t you notice how goofy and awkward it has been? Perhaps most viewers/critics misinterpreted it, or perhaps Siwon the actor who played Won, failed to convey it convincingly. But TO ME, Won's skinship with San was more boy-on-boy rather than boy-on-girl. Except for that time on the bridge when he offered her comforting embrace after being jailed, he behaved more like he was having a "bromance" with HER rather than gentle and romantic lover. The way he initiated skinship with her was the way a guy would treat one-of-the-guys: boisterous. lol. Unlike other viewers, I can’t find offense in the way he roughly flung his arm around her, or wrapped her arm around his neck in front of Dan to show that they were close acquaintance, or front-hugged her when the door behind him sent him flying or back-hugged her to try to read her letter to her dad. To me, his kind of skinship wasn’t intimate or loving. It was more familiar, playful and chummy. For somebody who loved to observe people and paid attention to details, his skinship lacked finesse. And right now, I'm not sure whether this was due to his plain ignorance of how women operate or deliberately done so as not to frighten San. Whatever his intentions are, his action is the kind of skinship that would send mixed signals to an uninitiated girl or a tomboy. She would assume that he was being AFFECTIONATE but, at the same time, it would be all too easy to misread his hugs as nothing deeper than FLIRTATION. Do you understand what I mean? San was used to having boys around her that she was uninhibited by their presence. Won pointed this out in the cave when she was sleeping. She saw herself as one of the guys. BTW, did you notice how unfair was the officiating during the lacrosse game they played? A foul was called when Won bumped her, yet San could bump him without a foul called on her. For me, if people criticize Won for being too friendly with her with his overt skinship, then SHE too must be called out for her conspicuous (wo)manhandling of him. lol. Like when she would tug him out of plain sight from Rin’s brother in Episode 3, or smack his arm from reaching for her drinking ladle in Episode 4, or wipe his scalded hand when they were drinking tea with Dan. Her skinship too was the type to send mixed signals to a guy who grew up without real friends, especially a female friend. This brings me to this point. Won may be confused about San's skinship but I don't think he's confused about Rin's behavior. Even though no skinship occurred, just by looking at the STIFFNESS in Rin when he and San were together in the room at the guards' training yard, I think he already sensed that Rin had feelings for San. Hence, his order for Rin to escort San to the dance in his place. At this point, I don’t think that Won had nefarious plans or that he was already testing Rin’s loyalty and friendship. It’s entirely possible that he still actually believed and had 100% confidence in Rin’s doing the right thing and not betraying him as his one and only friend. Won had always been upfront with Rin. Ever since the beginning when he told Rin to do away with formalities and address him informally to his rescue of Rin in his prison cell when he told Rin that he was going to rescue San first, Won hadn't deceived Rin with his motives and withheld the truth from him. Unlike Rin.... I'm quite surprised really at how much Rin has covered up from Won. And @nearsea – you and I both share this love-hate (mostly hate? lol) relationship with that other dramasite so I have to give you head’s up that they’re at it again. This comment, “Emotionally, San has displayed some promising maturity, especially her treatment of Won’s cavalier suicidal aspirations, and I am curious to see how she’ll react when she finds out that Won is involved in the incident from seven years ago. Won has so much self-hatred that I won’t be surprised if he retreats from her and blames himself, so it’ll be up to her to decide how they move forward.” Do you see her gross error there? Here, I’ll flip her words around -- ...I am curious to see how she’ll react when she finds out that RIN is involved in the incident from seven years ago. But Rin has so little self-hatred and guilt that I’m surprised that he did not retreat from her and blame himself for not stopping his own brother. That his older brother had ordered San’s mother to be killed should have tormented him, too. And if he had told Won about his brother’s culpability, like a true friend, then Won wouldn’t have been bearing the distress for seven years. So it’ll be up to her – and Won -- to decide how they’ll move forward. Do you see that? Lol. If we were to apportion blame here, then Won shouldn’t have to bear it alone. San felt guilty because she had stubbornly separated from the group and divided the guards protecting her mother. Won felt guilty because he failed to intervene and stop the crime before it happened. BUT Rin should feel guilty too because he knew his brother was involved in it but he kept quiet. He never told anyone that his hyung was there...even when they grew up. Sure, the brother threatened to expose their presence there but anybody with a correct judgment or better perception would realize that the gravity of his brother’s crime far outweighed their supposed offense. I'm hoping that Rin would come clean sooner rather than later, and work with Won to bring his older brother to justice instead of leaving Won to do the clean-up. That’s one of the weak spots of this whole script but I’m not holding my breath to see when that recapper will figure it out. Tagging @staygold, @julie721 and @maryofbethany @maryofbethany, I was going to tag you earlier but I wasn't sure if you were still busy with the soompi contest. I hope everything's going well with your work in the Lord's vineyard.
  13. @julie721 Yes, it would be interesting to see in what form or shape Rin’s change in loyalty will take place. I look forward to the different possible scenarios other than the usual soap opera-ish plot involving besties turning into archenemies. I usually give a promising script till the midway point – in this case Ep 10 out of 20 episodes – before deciding to stick around or bail out. Mooseok suggested the idea that Rin could wrest the crown from Won’s head because, unlike Won, he was a true blood (reminds me of Harry Potter’s Muggle world, lol). However, it’s inaccurate to say that it was the first time Rin had ever heard of that idea before. The Queen had openly accused HIM and his second brother of coveting the throne. And even Won had jokingly suggested that it was better for him to hand the throne to him rather than to his second brother. Rin would be incredibly naïve – and disingenuous -- if Mooseok’s words took him by surprise. Also, I find Rin’s voiceover in Episode 2 interesting, too. His father had warned him to TREAT Won as a friend but AVOID becoming a friend. Rin was told to never forget that Won would become king and a king had no friends. This advice mirrored exactly the Queen’s words, but the Queen’s words sounded sinister and Machiavellian, while the father’s advice came off as paternal and well-intentioned. (See how biases work? ) Rin said that he didn’t understand his father’s words, or “how a person could control parts of his heart.” Which I find ominous…I thought at first that he meant that he couldn't prevent his heart from forming the deep bonds of friendship with Rin. But now it seems like it could work both ways. How could he prevent his heart from loving a girl and challenging even the Crown Prince for her? Thanks to the book version, there’s this preconceived notion that Won is THE bad guy here in this kdrama. It’s been repeated enough that he possesses a mean streak because he beats up his underlings; he forces himself skinship on the San; he’s obsessive; he’s cruel and so on. In contrast to Won’s “bad” guy image, Rin is the good guy in the narrative. He’s mellow, he acts respectfully, he’s in touch with her quieter side, he worships her from afar, he protects her (*although his protection is always upon Won’s behest). Since Rin is generally considered the better guy, it’s also assumed too that his actions ARE justified when he BETRAYS his friendship and loyalty, and goes after his true love. After all, “the heart wants what the heart wants,” and nobody can stop him if he loves San, especially when he is deemed “worthier” than Won the Meanie. However, I personally don’t think the characters are that clear-cut and dried. Won may or may not become the cruel king in the future as depicted in the book version. As of Episode 6, I don’t believe he’s unbalanced YET. Perhaps I have a high threshold for evil, but I think he’s far from being a bad person that people expect him to be. For instance, I understand that there’s been much pearl-clutching and conjecturing that Won is a psycho (hahaha, shout out to my friend, @nearsea) because OMG!!!!! 1) he unconsciously attacked his sparring partner, and 2) he knowingly beat up the guard who manhandled San. Frankly, the first incident doesn’t bother me at all because I’ve seen people in martial arts or fencing do get carried away. In the heat of the moment, some people may be completely unaware of how hard they’re hitting their sparring partners. But the important thing here is whether the individual can take down his intensity a notch once he’s reminded by the referee or the coach. And the CP did. His training master was able to check him and CP took the hint when the training master shook his head. He was able to keep his “rage” monster in his cage. Furthermore, after the incident, he was back to his normal casual self. The way he playfully covered his Eunuch’s mouth and pushed him away while he ran off reminded me that CP had always displayed an easy familiarity and camaraderie, not only with Rin, but with his Eunuch and his body guards, and at Rin’s household workers, too. I don’t think it’s logical to jump to conclusion that he’s a sadistic guy, based on one isolated incident, when all his underlings have never showed signs of being terrified of him or his irrational actions. Same thing with the guard. Won was enraged that the guard manhandled San and frustrated that his friend Rin was imprisoned. Another CP would have lopped off the guard’s head without remorse. I personally like it that Won stopped himself from killing the guard and chose a much less deadlier weapon to demonstrate his royal authority, and to inflict punishment on the guard and fear on the bystanders. I would call it a necessary evil. You see, nearsea, had he NOT flogged the guard, he wouldn’t be able to protect his loved ones from suffering from the hands of the guards again. His act was a deterrent. The guards took good care of Rin in imprisonment and showed respect to San when they released her exactly because Won showed them the consequences of maltreating his “people.” But Won himself wasn’t bloodthirsty for revenge. As a matter of fact, he was the one who pointed out that San had curiously become violent after her release in jail when she wanted to “beat” a confession out of the salt merchant. This whole incident showed me that Won didn’t use violence randomly on his people to get what he wanted. He used violence sparingly, and with purpose. Also, I personally think that we need to take into account the testimonials – or character references – of two individuals in the story who are regarded as the “voices of reason.” To wit, they are the famous Teacher in the Doota mountains, and Rin’s father/King’s minister. They both considered Won a good person, and I’m taking their word for it. Take for example the Teacher. He was banished from the court for openly berating the King for his governance. We know then that he wasn’t one to be intimidated by monarchy and he spoke his mind. Now, the Teacher already recognized who Won was, yet he accused Won of “boasting.” He said, “You wish to boast to me that you used an analogy to try and predict the political trend of the future?” lol. He knew who Won was but he voiced his opinion of the CP, FREELY, without fear of retaliation, as if they were equals. He told Won, “I’ve seen you before a long time ago (referring to the falcon incident). You still are the same but you’ve grown up well.” Any other royal would have considered this kind of talk as taking liberties, or being unduly familiar. They would have been offended. But Won only rebuked him with “You must be thinking further than you should be.” He said it coldly, as if to emphasize the difference in their stations of life. Then, the Teacher who dared to insult the King, bowed down in homage…and gasp!! showed his allegiance. Do you see it? Both his parents, the King and the Queen, suspected that Won went to search the Teacher to gain his and his scholars’ support against the King. But in reality, Won sought out the Teacher because he was UNSURE of his own destiny. He used the wolf-dog analogy because he wanted to know from this teacher if the wolf-dog could become a good shepherd dog, or be kicked out from the fold, or even be killed. Teacher answered that the wolf-dog’s fate was its own decision. But while Won originally didn’t intend to win the Teacher’s respect and loyalty, at the end, he did so. Just as the King and Queen suspected – and feared FOR OPPOSING reasons -- he succeeded in gaining the Teacher’s support, without even trying to. Then, Rin’s father also did the same thing. He too spoke liberally in the Crown Prince’s presence. If you go over their dialogue, you’ll find that Rin’s father echoed the same respect for Won as the Teacher. These two reputable men believed Won had it in him to make a good ruler. Rin’s father even went as far as to describe Won an appeaser or someone who would suffer in silence and avoid bloodshed just for the sake of maintaining peace and protecting a love one. And when Won rejected that, saying that he didn’t fear bloodshed, he didn’t mean that he was a homicidal and barbaric tyrant. I think his statement meant to refute and warn the Minister to rid himself of any silly and romantic ideas he might have concerning him. He wasn't going to start a bloody war but he was no weak, intimidated or cowardly person. Did you see it? The Minister was guilty of having these idealistic notions. For instance, his third son was in jail but he loftily proclaimed that his emotions or parental love mustn’t interfere with his public office. Won dismissed it as nonsense. It was Won who ORDERED that his son was comfortable in the prison and be given food to eat under the pretense that it was his father who prepared the food. (Lol. Didn’t you get it? Won ordered him the food to be made, in the same way, he prepared the food for San’s arrival in the city. Won took care of “his” people.) Then, Won informed him that the second son was plotting against him, but the Minister was in denial and believed his son was such an honorable person that he wouldn’t dare usurp Won’s crown. He was wrong, of course. And lastly, the Minister so idealized Won’s forbearance that he mistakenly thought Won would tolerate ANYTHING to avoid conflict. In effect, Won was dismissing all the Minister’s idealistic ideas as nonsense. Unlike the Minister, he wasn’t afraid to face the bloody reality – or a “bloodshed” -- and deal with it in his own way, in his own time. Just like how he released the falcons to save his father from the people’s opprobrium. And just like how he was handling the Rin captivity by dealing directly with Rin's father and telling him what he wanted Rin's father to do. He confronted his problems head on. See that? Many viewers tend to paint Won in broad strokes because of a priori knowledge of the ending from the book. They say he’s a bad guy. However, when I inspect the character and his actions as presented in the drama, he does NOT look like a terrible and terrifying Hulk. I was expecting to see an anti-hero or something. But right now, he seems more to me like an UNSUNG or misunderstood hero. So, hmmmm…. let’s see how the scriptwriter(s) will turn Won into a REAL bad guy (or not) in the next episodes. Tagging back @nearsea @staygold @bebe1989 Gotta run. Will edit later.
  14. 846 Good morning!!!! $200 hat? It's not the price that astounds me but the fact that there are people who couldn't afford it but actually would buy it. >.<
  15. This is how I feel today, Monday. Like I have a heavy nagging load on my back.... Mostly on Dramafever or Viki. It depends on who has the license to broadcast the show here in the US. I don't know about downloading because Dramafever isn't at all portable wherever I travel. I can't open my shows outside the US. I was already mightily annoyed with the set-up and closed my account when I was living outside of the US last year. But since I'll only be gone for weeks this time, it isn't worth my aggravation. Yes, I was watching a couple of episodes of the 2d1n season 2 on the plane last week. hahahaha. There was one episode where the child actress had a crush on JW. The members were supposed to guess the topic by asking her questions about it. The child's first clue was that JW fit the description. They couldn't come up with the answer. JW came close though but he was too humble to come out and say "Prince Charming" so he asked if it was related to "Sleeping Beauty." hahahaha. I so agree: to a young girl -- no, let me re-word that -- to any girl who's YOUNG at heart, JW does act like the Prince Charming of fairy tales. He seems like a nice guy. Also, the child asked for autographs from JW. ONLY asked for autographs from JW. Much to the chagrin of the other members. edited: huh? page 141!!!! @lavender2love