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gilaswan

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  1. I cannot be more in love with this show! Just finished watching this past weekend's installments, and I already have so many favourite moments. Sharing @lynne22's sentiments, while I know Kang Dani has had a difficult marriage, my heart is melting and weeping for our dear Cha Eunho instead who seems to have that creative personality -- a sensitive soul that he tries to mask with a tough exterior, probably because the Noona he so looks up to has a bright and optimistic nature and he might well be unwilling to put a damper to that inherently happy personality. More flashbacks and comfortable talk of shared histories give us a clearer understanding of the relationship between Dani and Eunho through his eyes. He's very much enamoured of her, the older sister who has always sought in her own ways to protect and care for him, offering to "educate" him on the ways of the world (though he clearly knew more about drinking that she did), getting her family to help him regain his inheritance after his mother's passing, and spending whatever little she had on him because it made her happy to do so. Likewise, he in his own way does whatever he can for her, having earlier bought her new clothes (and pretending to be disinterested in the process), asking tenants at his spare apartment to move out for her sake and remodelling an entire room for her. I do wonder if her marriage in part broke down because Hongmin felt threatened by and jealous of Eunho all these years - the younger non-blood related brother who was more able to provide for Dani than he. Eunho clearly is in love with Dani, but at this point, I doubt Dani even realises that Eunho has grown up and is very much an eligible suitor. She mothers him, reminding him of the "lights" and "slippers", and how quickly he responds to her instructions! She jokes openly with him about sex and is absolutely comfortable with him -- which he likes, though it embarrasses him at times, but he wants exactly to be that one person in her life who knows her best. He wants to be that one person who will be enough for her. Alas, she still does not think of him as being the one who will complete her. And the subplot of the mysterious Kang Byeongjun. Definitely got my interest piqued. Who is he and why is Eunho willing to go through the burden of keeping his whereabouts a secret? Any relation to Kang Dani? If he is Dani's late father, then this "signing off rights" over to Gyeoroo must have happened a long time ago because we know that Dani's father passed on not long before her marriage to Dongmin, and her daughter is now 11. So that would have at least been 12 years ago now when Eunho was only 20 and just came of age. He was only discovered by Kim Jaemin (love him, by the way! He's eccentric! I like!) in his varsity days. Does the Math add up? On top of that, Dani seems unaware of this. Well... While I'm totally on this ride because of Lee Jongsuk, and his chemistry with Lee Nayoung is on point perfect (as it always is with whoever his co-star is), I am waiting to see if Kang Dani's character could be fleshed out a bit more. At this point, there aren't many curiosities left to uncover in her - she's quite an open book (all pun intended) and there seems very little left to her except the awakening of her inner likes for Eunho. Everything about the character seems typical - typical housewife whose life turned into a wreck thanks to a worthless, cheating husband that left her penniless and needing to raise their child as a single mother. Is that all there is to tell of middle-aged Korean women? I guess not, considering this is a straightforward rom-com. But what would make her even entertain thoughts of Eunho being more than a kid brother? I'd be disappointed if she would entertain thoughts of Ji Seojoon before even feeling conflicted about Eunho.
  2. This thread is hotting up! Yay! The following segment placed in "spoiler" section because it discusses other dramas of the same "noona-dongsaeng" genre. @wangnyeo @dramaobsessed I'm liking the story so far because everything about this couple is so middle-class normal. The foundation of their friendship is one you can find in everyday life of everyday people. Their backstory circumstances are also not spectacular - people do suffer from failed marriages, fear of commitment, and missed opportunities because of unsaid social norms. So what is it that will eventually make them re-evaluate their personal norms and say, "Our relationship has indeed progressed. We've grown up and are no longer our middle school selves"? The other thing that the drama is exploring which I also observe has become more popular of late, is that of the "divorced woman". How does society continue to treat them? Why are the men not stepping up to make right what went wrong? In societies of old, you have this concept of the "kinsmen redeemer", someone within your extended family and community who will take care of you if you are somehow abandoned by the man who was to have taken care of you. Where are these people today? Single mothers left to their own while the men merrily skip off with another woman. The young men in these shows are stepping up. Is that a new hope in the next generation? It's interesting to note that many of these dramas that explore social issues are written by women. I remain fascinated by Kdramas because I find them being used as a platform for social commentary than just storytelling. As regards Cha Eunho's relationship with Kang Dani, @Ameera Ali yes, I too wondered how close their friendship is if she's managed to hide it all from him. As he himself remarked, how ridiculous is it that you got divorced and lost your house and I didn't know?! But when things get very difficult and you feel socially embarrassed by your circumstance, you hide it even from people you live with. Why would it be then that your closest would be suffering from depression and you wouldn't even know until the worst happens? Good for Dani that she eventually, while standing at the edge of her life (as she puts it), calls him and tells him. But then look at his reaction. It was probably that reaction that prevented her from telling him in the first place. Once upon a time, Cha Eunho tried to save Kang Dani from this inevitable end. It was clear from the start he did not like Hong Dongmin and probably in various ways tried to tell Dani that Dongmin was just all wrong for her. But she maintained the Noona status with him (right up to her telling him to watch his words because Dongmin was still her daughter's father) and he probably gave up on his advice to her. She did marry Dongmin after all, despite Eunho telling her to not walk down the aisle. With this as the backdrop, how could Dani tell him that the marriage did fail after all? "I told you so" is not something anyone wants to confront. And then, life happens. As one of the new hires (Park Hoon) at Gyeoroo observes, Cha Eunho is a lecturer, chief editor and popular podcast host. He runs three jobs when most people can't even handle 1! So while they have clearly maintained constant contact with each other through texting, he probably hasn't met her in a while (sounds like me and a number of friends I count as close), much less gone into a deep conversation with her. And that's why he's angry. He shouts at her when he finds out half of what's going on, but I reckon he's really angry at himself. Exactly, how could all this have been happening and I did not know? But in his defence, if you've been having this really close relationship with a female friend who's so much like a sister but not a sister, once she gets married, are you still her brother or a male friend whom her husband wouldn't quite like you hanging around as much? I have had such relationships before and once you get married, there is an unsaid common sense rule of engagement that tells you the distance must now be kept. I'm absolutely loving this show!
  3. I'm absolutely enjoying this and only 2 episodes have played so far! I already can't wait for next week's installment. I'm loving the pacing of the show - all within 2 episodes, and we already start to see complexities in their relationship which I can't wait to see get resolved. On Cha Eun-ho In the first episode, we are given to believe that Eunho is a bit of a player and he can't hold down a serious relationship. By the second however, I begin to wonder if that's just a facade because he's not quite aware yet of his feelings for Dani, or that he exactly doesn't want to let on that he has been in love with her all this while and so distracts himself and everyone else with fleeting relationships. So far, we've only met 2 of his exes - the one who is going to marry someone else, and the other who turned out to be lesbian. Neither seemed to have developed deep relationships with him. He's still friends with Nagyeong and considering that Dani knows her, the relationship must have lasted quite a while, though what it looks like is that what they truly developed was a friendship. Perhaps both were exploring and realised that well, she wasn't into guys and he... isn't into anyone else except Dani. And then with the second one who dumped him -- it looks like he wasn't even attentive by a longshot. And then we learn, the red bra isn't hers! It belongs to Song Haerin! Now that was a quick surprise to things! They don't look remotely romantic in their exchanges with each other. So what gives? Sounds like she was using his washing machine, but why? Fact that he said it so openly probably also means nothing though, but I'd like to know how close these 2 are for her to be using his washing machine. Finally, his remark at the start of episode 2 - "Something that I don't know about must be happening to Dani." So why is that? If they have been so close for so long, why did she not tell him about her problems? Embarrassment? Or that she didn't want him to save her marriage like he did the first time when she walked away from the altar? On Kang Dani Her character (for now) seems far less complex, though the one thing I'm really curious about is that she was a middle school bully. But something changed in her. Was it her relationship with Eunho in those early years? They both reference their friendship as something to be treasured in their personal histories. What I also find interesting is how she lets Eunho yell at her. I can't tell yet who has the greater influence in this relationship. Is it emotionally equal? Or do women lose their social standing once they get married, have kids and are off the market, but socially and economically? And her kid - doesn't she seem too little to be at boarding? Ah well, not an important factor I guess. Can't wait for episode 3! @kokodus @stargazer187 @lynne22
  4. Caught the first episode and am loving how the story is set up already! Can’t wait to find out the backstory and what Dani and Eun Hi’s relationship has been like up to this point. It’s interesting that while they seem so close, she never told him about the divorce. Why is that? Pride? And what’s his relationship with her ex-husband?
  5. @stargazer187 Loved reading your take on the penultimate episode. So this is me trying to make sense of things through the many instances of illogic. (Please excuse me if others have previously chimed in on this similarly — I haven’t been following the forum and am just responding to my dear friend’s post that I was tagged to.) 1. I think the bug was introduced when real blood was spilled in the presence of Emma who’s supposed to stand for peace and there is to be no fighting within a 20m radius of her. However, unlike the digitally produced weapons she could disable, the knife Marco stuck in Seju’s side could not be removed. So a player got injured in the game and he happened to be the Master. Seju became the first bug. 2. Jinwoo and Hyungseok probably entered the game around when the bug was introduced and Hyungseok became the second real victim after Marco. 3. Seju couldn’t be “removed” by Emma as the bug because he went into hiding and was afraid to complete the quest. 4. Jinwoo became the bug when he completed the quest and replaced Seju as the Master. Emma was to destroy him, the bug, cos she is supposed to eliminate anything that does not stand for peace. 5. Heeju doesn’t die when she gets injured and gets logged out instead cos she’s not linked to anyone else who carries the bug, like everyone else testing the game. 6. Prof Cha died even though he’s also a level 1 player cos he made an alliance with Jinwoo who had become infected cos he caused the death of someone in the game when the bug was released. Same goes for Secretary Seo. Did Seju know all of this would happen given he was the one who programmed the game? Doesn’t seem like it — he couldn’t tell Heeju what happened or what made him come out of hiding. Perhaps he knew only because he saw that he had been replaced as the Master. Did Seju programme the game with that role for Emma in mind? I cannot think why he would if he did not write the game with the knowledge of the bug. If he was on the run all this while, I cannot see how he would’ve been able to get to a computer to re-programme it or write an anti-virus code. This bit, I haven’t quite figured out and may never. It continues to be a messy story with messy editing, but I’m so far invested into it — I need to know if the game can be reset and if all will be well, even if it means an apocalypse must happen. @kokodus @lynne22
  6. @Glycie Manongsong @xu_lyfe thanks for the insight. Must be one of those things that get lost in translation! Thant’s why we need the multilingual power of Soompi to get us through!
  7. I’m one of those who were originally unwilling to watch this drama because of its apparent “odd casting”, but I’m glad a friend convinced me to watch it. I’m enjoying every bit of the story writing, brought to life by very talented actors, both lead and supporting. The only part of the script that came across as somewhat forced was the bit in Cuba where Samuel asked Jin Hyuk if he loved his CEO. I didn’t think it was possible to infer that from the letter and the brief encounters Jingyun had with Samuel. Otherwise, everything has been nicely paced so far. Together with “Empress’s Dignity”, it does feel like the season’s dramas are discussing the issue of maternal influence on a child’s development into adulthood. Both CSH and JWS have very self-serving mothers, yet the outcome of both are so different. Mr Nam also reminds CSH’s father that she had always had a bright and spirited personality, not easily taken down or defeated. JWS on the other hand is said to be his mother’s son. So in the nature vs nurture debate, nature trumps all? What then of chance and serendipity?
  8. @frozentundraAgreed on the point that as a show aired on SBS, they would not want to make it seem as if they were glorifying suicide or adultery. And indeed, these are themes that are difficult to deal with on public TV without making it seem like you condone or even remotely appear to empathise with. Such as with the Netflix show "13 Reasons". Many people were uncomfortable with how the series seemed to legitimise suicide as a form of revenge on those around the deceased. Nevertheless, passion between the 2 leads need not be dramatised through lewd sex-scenes. I think people who commented that the story seemed too thin were hoping to see more of the anguish between the 2. And that didn't come off very well. Even to say he lived a choiceless life in a difficult time period - that difficulty was also not portrayed enough. The tension between the Japanese and Joseon people were not sufficiently told. Instead, it looked like Woojin very flippantly gave up on a life of privilege that he did not appreciate, given the circumstances.
  9. After watching the latest episode, I must say I'm a little disappointed in the way they have written Sunny's character. She is indeed coming off as the Dowager has described her - vulgar in temperament (entirely not befitting that of royalty) and thus not wise at all. Yes, she does explain it off herself when she tells the Grand Dowager that she has a temper. But it's really more than just having a temper. If she had not gone off telling everyone that she had the Grand Dowager's backing, I doubt Grandma would have been murdered. Surely with her uncovering the shadiness of the preceding Empress's death, she should have known well enough to bite her tongue and bide her time. I'm a little disappointed in Sunny here, actually.
  10. So many questions for which answers we are waiting... 1. Who was in the body bag? 2. Is the necklace that Sunny has fake (maybe making it easy then for the Emperor to lie to Sunny when she asked him to swear upon the necklace that represented all Empresses before, including his first wife whom he obviously loved a lot)? 3. How did the first Empress to Lee Hyuk die? 4. Why is the Dowager so power hungry? What's in it for her in a constitutional monarchy? 5. Is the Princess as ditzy as she is acting now? 6. Nanny had an affair with Lee Hyuk - before or after his marriage to first wife? Cos he seemed so enamoured with that first wife which was (as the story progresses) clearly killed off, yes? 7. Is Ari really Lee Hyuk's daughter? And does he know that? As of the end of the last episode, I'm thinking there will be a twist to it. Maybe they will make it seem like this was a surprise thrown by Sunny for the Emperor. She won't be taken down so easily. There was dramatic irony when the Dowager said that the Empress was not smart and therefore easily dealt with.
  11. I just started watching this and completed the first 2 episodes. Has anyone yet raised why the Emperor had a sudden change of heart towards Min Yura, from wanting her dead to now wanting to marry her? All because she wanted to take the fall for him on the accident? Doesn't seem to make sense to me. If I were the Emperor, wouldn't that just be the perfect end to all his troubles if she had actually died?
  12. @ibru I think those scenes you picked showed (to me at least) Kim Woo-jin's frustrations. They are just few and fat between. Insufficient to get the audience to really become invested in the characters beyond just "spectatorship". Like @loversbridge, I was also hoping for something more intense, more intimate between the 2 leads that would lead to the anguish you would expect from the mere idea of separation. Kim Woo-jin seemed just too calm when he was dealing with his father's business, right down to his first refusal to tell Yoon Sim-deok not to leave after she asked. And that's the thing -- she should have pleaded, but all she did was ask. I know depression does not necessarily look dramatic, and in fact, it often doesn't. LJS really did very well in showing that perpetual sadness in his eyes which is really easy to miss (and hence very often, depression that leads to suicide goes very sadly undetected through daily interactions, even by professionals). So all that emptiness felt by him was very clearly brought across by his acting (which none of us doubt). I just didn't feel enough of the desperation of their love for each other because those scenes were so few. Too few. Even the love letters shared between them which we catch only a small glimpse of - literally, because we just see the letters rather than hear (enough of) them - didn't do enough to highlight how much deeply in love they were. On the surface of what was presented to us, it did not (for me) appear reason enough for them to take their lives. And that very last scene, again I wondered why it was that Kim Woo-jin was the one leading her to their death with her following like a sheep to the slaughterhouse than of both of them resolutely wanting this together. If anything, I would have expected her to be the one to lead him because she appeared to have the stronger character between the 2. Anyone else wants to chime in on this?
  13. @enigmatic_zephy Agree with you. Totally. Even with the subs, it remains underwhelming. I loved the acting, but the story did not have me feeling or sharing heartaches with the characters. Felt like such a waste of acting talent in the show.
  14. Just done watching the final episode. Can see why LJS did not think there was much of a narrative to this mini-series. Everything seemed very rushed, leaving viewers to fill in the gaps only with knowledge of these historical characters which, to begin with, is not also very readily available. The story seemed written like as for any drama, but the time given significantly less for plot development. I've been trying to search online for as much as is possible of the histories of these people the series tries to introduce to us, but there's almost nothing out there, at least not in English. It would seem as if this story has been told to death (excuse the pun), though there's been a fresh attempt taken here to tell it from Kim Woo-jin's point of view than the commonly told story from Yun Sim-deok's perspective. The series seems to present their love story as one that is very pure and almost innocent, though I would reckon the reality of it was probably more tumultuous. This narrative seemed almost too placid. Nevertheless, it was enjoyable always to watch LJS in action. His eyes were so sad throughout this series, finally looking like they had found rest when he led Sim-deok to jump off the ship's deck.
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