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Posts posted by actionscript

  1. Here are some pictures on what apparently seems to be the last scene in the Chinese remake:

    (Edited to add: Clicking could provide potential spoilers to the Chinese remake! :sweatingbullets:)




    Some of the comments mentioned the Chinese actor resembled LSK. I'd say the male actor definitely is closer to LSK than the female actress is to IU. 

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  2. On 7/21/2023 at 12:30 AM, sweetroad said:

    It's funny to me that in both the story and in interviews, IU and JA are "allowed" to like PDH/ LSK, but LSK doesn't allow himself to ever give away that PDH loved JA romantically. He's cagey about it.


    Because that would tantamount to spewing out spoilers? :sweatingbullets:




    I’ve recently watched Glitch, a Korean show about alien abductions and religious cults. On the surface, it’s a straight up sci-fi thriller and a bit of a social commentary on religious cults. But beneath the surface, it is also about a same-sex love story between the two female leads. Just like in MM, or even more so, there are totally no romantic scenes, just subtle clues and symbolisms. In fact, I’ve read of analysis that says the entire alien mystery arc and even the entire story are just allegories for the female lead’s struggles with her sexuality in conservative Korea. Her sexuality is not a theme and never is a topic in the show, in fact, she has a boyfriend. But their sex scene right off the bat in the first episode is actually one of those “clues.”


    Just like MM, it’s a prequel to a love story. This is not a reco to watch though. For me, it’s so-so at best. I was just pleasantly surprised to stumble upon another love story prequel, which we don’t get a lot of, and this one even masked further beneath alien sightings and abductions!


    And it’s fascinating to see how forces in society – on how old customs and practices battling the influences of modernity, are made tangible in literature like K dramas. In MM, we’ve seen how the themes like divorce, though already legal, is not yet widely practiced and accepted the way it is in the US. There are also other themes like seniority vs meritocracy in the workplace and family responsibilities. And the more controversial ones like taboo romances are cloaked behind clues and symbols. 




    I’ve tried a little experiment to see if chatgpt 3.5 is a shipper or not. First question I asked is, “In the Korean drama My Ahjussi, did Park Dong Hoon love Lee Ji An?”






    Next, I asked “did Park Dong Hoon and Lee Ji An end up together?”





    Ok, these generative AI stuff needs more training! :joy:


    EDIT: But honestly, the answers blew me away! Like, it's scary good!

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  3. On 5/23/2023 at 6:35 AM, Unclouded said:

    It was surprising to me that there wasn't a hug during the container scene. That's what you'd see in any other drama, but what we got here was so much better. JA wasn't a damsel who needed DH to comfort her. She's the more heroic, protective character of the two. She just needed to hear that he would be fine if his secret got revealed, that she didn't need to go so far, that he had the inner strength to try and be happy.


    This is such a beautiful take on that scene! You’re right, despite JA crouching on the floor, sick and injured, it was DH that actually got saved right there in that shack encounter, when JA’s sacrifices pushed him to realize his continuing inaction on his personal issues was not sustainable, and that he had to find it within himself to be happy.  


    On 5/24/2023 at 3:58 AM, sundown said:

    I will list down my top moments (in no particular order) that gave me chills, in terms of the emotional intensity that these two characters delivered! 


    I love the top moments you listed, reading through them gave me chills as well! You wrote them so well that I was able to relive all the emotions those scenes exuded! :wub:


    On 5/24/2023 at 3:05 AM, sweetroad said:

    @actionscript Please share your red carpet theory. Pretty please? :lol:


    Haha! I liked how you put it, “the red carpet theory.” :lol:


    I looked at elements in the story that would somehow give me clues on the thoughts and intent of the show’s creators.


    The show’s premise would unsurprisingly attract controversy if it hinted on romance, and that’s not just brought about by the age gap, but in the case of DH and JA, the social distance as well. A married-with-a-kid corporate executive hooking up, and perhaps playing sugar daddy, with his young, pretty, but impoverished secretary – a scenario that so often plays out in the real world.  


    Characters in the story picked it up as well: when JA started paying large portions of her debt to KI, KI immediately suspected she has gotten herself a rich sugar daddy. When DH confronted DJY in the parking basement at the end of ep 14, DJY told DH that his suspected affair with JA was just as sleazy as his own affair with YH.


    But all the elements that would make such a set-up potentially sleazy for DH and JA, the show peeled away:


    First, they made YH be the first offender by cheating on DH first, laying the foundation that DH’s marriage is on the rocks.


    Second, they made sure JA never got a single cent from DH, taking away the sugar daddy angle. All the money that JA has gotten to pay KI were from DJY. Even the funeral expense for her grandma was shouldered by SH, which for me was a very obvious effort to maintain the decency of DH and JA’s relationship.


    Third, they made JA confess her feelings to DH first, so that it would make any future positive response from DH just a reciprocating act, and avoid making DH a middle-aged predator.


    Fourth, they made JA part ways with DH professionally, and allowed her to make a good career for herself before she and DH got reunited.


    Fifth, DH’s separation from YH. There were already countless posts that tackled this, so I won’t dwell on that anymore. I’d just like to highlight on the timing of when this was hinted to the viewers -- just right before, and arguably even during the scene of when DH and JA were reunited. It’s as if the show took out the last stumbling block at the very last minute for any potential romance between DH and JA.


    If from the very start, the intent and design of the show was for DH and JA’s relationship to be purely platonic, for it to really be just an unlikely bond between two different people, they could have retained a couple of potentially sleazy elements I listed above, and everything would have been just fine. Like perhaps no need for YH to be a cheater, or perhaps no need for JA to confess her feelings, or they could have allowed DH to help out JA financially. Totally nothing wrong with that. But no. The show made sure all potentially sleazy elements were not present.


    The show might not have shown explicitly that DH and JA will be together, but it certainly paved the way for it to possibly happen free from any negative connotations. It’s like the show laid out the red carpet for DH and JA to thread along that path, freed up from any baggage.


    And to have so many elements fit and fall into place, I believe that “red-carpet” ending was intended and designed exactly as such.

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  4. On 4/10/2023 at 6:00 PM, Raymond said:

    One key issue just realised, once police received the wiretapping voice files, besides the YH/JY affair would be made public, all the intimate conversations between DH/JA (much richer content) would face the same fate! Anyone discussed it already? May be not important as it might be of no consequence in the drama.


    Since DH got the files before he surrendered them to the police, there was discussion on whether it is ok to assume that DH listened to its contents, the way KI did. Because if that’s the case, he would have heard DJY tell JA that “DH eating and drinking with you means he likes you.” So he would have learned that JA already had a clue that the feelings she had for him are mutual and not entirely one-sided.


    So when JA invited to buy him dinner in the last scene, that’s a loaded message that ties back to how eating and drinking together meant something more for both of them, and DH was able to read between the lines, thus his happy, giddy reaction. :D


    Each line, each action in the last scene, from the tight handshake to DH’s “Thank you” to the dinner invite, are fully loaded with meaning for which it is logical to assume that both DH and JA were able to read through.

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  5. 15 hours ago, Raymond said:

    In other forum site, 2 old Hollywood movies (one I suggested one by other fan) were mentioned using turning head/looking back to the departing one as signal of romantic feeling and promised dating next (male lead waiting/hoping for the female lead to look back to him in departing after flirting meets), are Meet Joe Black, and In The Line Of Fire.


    I've watched Meet Joe Black like a dozen times and yes, I agree, the leads' look back scenes as they departed from the coffee shop alludes to an upcoming romance. 


    Several posters have also highlighted some key contrasting scenes between episodes 1 and 16, and one of them chiefly being the look back scenes of JA at the end of both episodes, bookending her transformation throughout the show:





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  6. On 4/5/2023 at 7:47 PM, Raymond said:

    Seems no one yet picked up on ending of episode 16 that looking back towards the other on departure (DH, then JA, both looked back with longing expression) is a common sign used in western movies to show romantic love feeling, and dating on the card!


    I don’t recall anyone picking that up, esp. on how it signified romantic interest, so very good catch there! :approves:


    What I was trying to figure out before is if there was an overlap in their looking back, which means they both saw the other looking back. The editing had it sequentially, but there was no overhead shot of the whole scene, so I even tried to validate it by checking some BTS videos :D (which you will come across as you go along..) 


    But that seemed irrelevant now, as the more important significance of the look back, as you pointed out, is to highlight the romantic interest each of them carries for the other.


    What was brought up before was how DH kept looking back at JA after they both alighted from the train in ep 1. So from the very start, JA already drew his attention and curiosity.


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  7. On 4/1/2023 at 2:36 AM, the_sweetroad said:

    @actionscript had posted the promo photo with a heart around Ji An and Dong Hoon as they sit on the sofa. It's somewhere on this thread...will look for it.


    Here it is.. :)



    19 hours ago, Raymond said:
    That happy promo photo is using a living room setting not seen in the drama, might be from epilogue actually filmed but deleted because of the controversy?


    Welcome to the thread, Raymond! 


    There were also teaser clips for MM with settings not seen in the drama. It was discussed previously in this thread on how the following two teaser clips seemed to form a prologue and an epilogue, respectively, of the story:



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  8. On 2/4/2023 at 3:33 AM, the_sweetroad said:

    JA running to DH is a bit more complex. When she runs toward him as he's lying on the train tracks and when he's standing on the Han River bridge, it seems her worry over him compels her to run to him. It doesn't seem so much that she's missing him, more that she's watching over him and trying to make sure he doesn't commit suicide. Then we have the time she hears herself being called pretty and she runs to him at the restobar. I can't remember if there are any other scenes of her running toward him after that. (After that, I only remember her running away from DH.)


    You’re right! Perhaps I’m thinking only of JA’s one particular run..


    Listing down here JA’s running scenes so that we have a comprehensive list. Feel free to add if I missed any:

    1. When DH was lying on the train tracks (ep 5)
    2. When DH was standing on the Han River bridge (ep 6)
    3. When she heard DH called her pretty (ep 7)
    4. When she missed the train stop (ep 9)
    5. After DH and his brothers’ tuna dinner and a round of drinks at JH’s bar. (ep 9)


    The video below shows item 5 above:




    I think that scene is a glimpse of what JA refers to when she said “Wandering around the neighborhood hoping to see you.” Though there’s only one scene shown, I think it is implied it happened more than once, and perhaps even regularly. This is the running that most closely resembled JA missing DH, or perhaps it shows JA at her creepiest stalking mode. :lol:


    And then as mentioned, it is followed by DH’s running scenes in eps 11 and 15. So great observation by @S F that at first it was JA running towards DH which we’ve seen until ep 9, and afterwards the running scenes are then of DH towards JA.

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  9. Hello SF! Welcome to the thread and very, very insightful thoughts from you!  


    On 1/26/2023 at 7:25 AM, S F said:

    Has any of the essayists there or here treated the theme of 'running'? I don't think I found a post devoted to it. Is running all about Ji-an? Or is it also something Dong Hun relates to in a special way? They both run a lot in the series, often towards each other. It would be interesting to know if the expression 'on the run' in Korean works in the same way as in English. Running seems to be important, perhaps symbolic, for writer Park (so are crosses), judging from My Mister and My Liberation Notes.


    I’ve never really thought about the running’s overall significance, but I recall hearing from one of ManvsDrama’s videos where he described JA’s running scenes as “romantic,” and that influenced me to think that the running of both DH and JA was one of the show’s ways of showing the budding feelings each has for the other, while keeping with the subtle tone the show has consistently maintained throughout.


    But you could be up to something there, esp. if running is an often-used theme across the writer’s other works. It got me to realize that the last running scene of the show was Kwang Il’s, as he was escaping from the clutches of DJY’s men. (Does that count? :lol:) And we saw in that scene how he was finally able to liberate himself from his own demons.


    It’s great that @the_sweetroad brought up Yu Ra’s running as well. There were a lot of discussions on how Yu Ra’s character mirrored Ji An in so many ways. So for Yu Ra to say to KH “I ran because I missed you” is perhaps an articulation of JA’s running as well.


    On 1/26/2023 at 7:25 AM, S F said:

    3) This said, the culture of the series is very conservative. It really celebrates aspects of Korean patriarchy, which must enrage those Koreans who are keen to see progress: the attachment to the man's natal family, the crucial importance of the man's success vs. the dangers of a successful wife. As others in the forum and on newspapers have written, the series presents women as passionate, reckless, 'crazy b***es' (or just food and laundry machines, like the Park matriarch), whereas men (the heroic ones, PDH, the monk, PGH) are the ones who assert their Confucian masculinity by showing restraint and respect for the proper social order. There is the puzzling question of why the CEO deserves so much hatred to begin with (i.e. before the affair): the reasons given are that he is younger, that he was born poor but married into a chaebol family, and that he does not treat his seonbae with deference: we are supposed to hate him because he subverts some patriarchal-corporate rules, in a company where there isn't a single woman in an executive position.


    I agree with all your observations here. Though it is this backdrop of conservatism that gave rise to PDH’s several feelings of conflict – of whether is it ok to divorce, or is it ok to fall in love with someone much younger -- things that perhaps a more modern, western society would take for granted.



    On 1/26/2023 at 7:25 AM, S F said:

    6) Like many on this forum, I wanted the final scenes, after the time-skip, to indicate more clearly that PDH and his wife are divorced or divorcing, but I cannot really reconcile the photos on his desk with this. Not because there would be no reasons for PDH to keep images of his ex constantly before his eyes, but because all those reasons would point to a lack of transformation on his part, and this clashes with his new radiant face and body, and his smile. He was a rather terrible husband to his wife, as far as we could see, and I very much hope that she gets her freedom back. His calling her 'Ji Seok's mother' begins in Ep 1 I think, and is also one of the main concepts he used to scold her during their dramatic coming out ('you are Ji Seok's mother! how can you cheat on me!'), whereas she wanted to be his wife first and foremost.


    For me, the key point in the panning shot of the photos at the end is to highlight the contrast in the set of photos PDH had kept in his desks in the past. And it is not only about Yoon Hee and Ji Seok’s photos, just as important is the presence of a photo of him with his brothers, which he never had kept in the past. In the context of the show, his brothers are one of the key representations of PDH’s “attachment to his natal family” as you superbly put it. If he has not separated, or not in the process of separating from Yoon Hee, to have displayed that photo now on his desk would further add fuel to one of Yoon Hee’s greatest frustrations in their marriage, which is an absurd thing to do if they are supposedly in the process of reconciliation.


    The sequence of the photos is also significant: where the first three are photos of Yoon Hee and Ji Seok, the last is that of him with his brothers. The sequence plays like the motion in comic strip frames, whereas PDH used to be with Yoon Hee and Ji Seok in past photos, he has now jumped over to be with his brothers, signifying that perhaps he has gone back to be part of his natal family, officially this time. And It’s symbolic which ties back to KH’s offer for DH to move back in with them.


    21 hours ago, S F said:

    I am unsure of how to interpret KH's very deliberate and long reference to Kore-Eda's film Nobody Knows (Kore-Eda went on to hire IU for his latest film, Broker, because he saw her in My Mister, btw). The message KH conveys is: children are strong and can overcome trauma. But who is the child being referred to? Is it JA ('she will have a good life even without you, don't worry bro')? Or is it Ji Seok ('just get a divorce already and move on, Ji-Seok is going to be fine')? Depending on how we interpret this reference, this may be a clue to DH's mindset after the time skip. Does anybody have any idea?


    Given the context that KH referenced "Nobody Knows" right after asking PDH about JA and PDH's answer to the negative, I am leaning towards KH referring to JA and also to DH.  Throughout the rest of KH's monologue about the movie, we are shown glimpses of PDH going through his daily routine and finally breaking down. I feel it is the show’s way of implying that both DH and JA had to heal on their own, separate from each other, as the whole sequence was initiated with DH saying he totally had no contact with JA. It’s a crucial runup to their eventual reunification as fully healed individuals, ready for a fresh start.

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  10. Here’s a behind-the-scene clip of that beer-drinking scene. Apparently IU had the option to choose fake beer but she decided to go for real beer. :sweatingbullets:




    That channel carried a BTS playlist as well with subtitles:




    I particularly liked the last two clips, one showing IU practicing her sign language scene, and the other showing one of her scenes with Joon Young. :lol:


    EDIT: In the first clip of the playlist, the script-reading session, it was still Oh Dal Su reading the lines of Sang Hoon, as Park Ho San was a late replacement. I recalled reading they had to re-shoot many scenes up to episodes 2 or 3 after the replacement was made.

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  11. 16 hours ago, the_sweetroad said:

    1. My Mister


    My Mister tells the story of an impoverished and debt-laden young woman (IU) struggling to stay afloat as she nurses her deaf, sick grandmother and working a temporary job. She develops an unlikely bond with one of her equally miserable supervisors (Lee Sun Kyun), who is subjected to scrutiny and manipulation by their colleagues, friends, and dysfunctional families. Enduring the weight of their respective lives, they come together, forming new relationships, keeping parts of themselves secret — but ultimately healing one another's past scars. IU played the role of Lee Ji An who was born on 4 November 1998. Ji An is a 21-year-old woman who is enduring many hardships in life, including the need to discharge her mother's huge debts and taking care of her deaf grandmother. She was also convicted of murdering a loan shark (also Lee Kwang Il's father) during her middle school years. She is tasked by her boss who runs a company she is temporarily working for to discover Park Dong Hoon's weaknesses, but she soon ends up falling for his warm charms and learns to trust someone for the first time.


    I noticed the write-up for My Mister was taken from Wikipedia (the first half) while the second half came from the TVN commercial which was also floated around in the discussions here. The Wikipedia write-up was particularly memorable as, if you'd recall in the discussions posted here in the early part of last year, I edited a phrase in that Wikipedia write up. What was originally “She develops a platonic relationship with one of her equally miserable supervisors..” was changed to “She develops an unlikely bond with one of her equally miserable supervisors..” :lol:


    I believe “an unlikely bond” is more open while “a platonic relationship” already speaks of judgment and interpretation, and an inaccurate one at that. :sweatingbullets:

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  12. 7 hours ago, YukawaCattle said:

    I forget to say, I think "accepting Ji-an's pursuing" is Dong-hoon's character development arc.


    You may assume Ji-an might not accept Dong-hoon's pursuing, but what MM has been presenting is Ji-an's constant pursuing of Dong-hoon. Before the time skip, Park Dong-hoon's restraint is to restrain Lee Ji-an's pursuing of him, or he will have an affair. After the time skip, Ji-an said she wanted to have dinner with Dong-hoon, and I think we all know what that means. That's why we shippers expect Dong-hoon to have dinner with Ji-an in the end, because we know Ji-an can pursue Dong-hoon through eating and drinking with him.


    I mean, Dong-hoon and Ji-an pursuing each other in MM will not be unidirectional, and it is obvious that the only thing that remains at the end of the story is "Whether Dong-hoon will accept Ji-an's pursuing." But this is the same as "Whether Dong-hoon and Ji-an are together in the end."


    I totally agree with what you said here. In my previous post, I was just being technical in putting things in the perspective of DH’s arc. And it is in combining DH’s and JA’s arcs do we get to infer that they needed to be together so that both their arcs can achieve a satisfactory conclusion.


    JA’s unrequited love for DH is, for me, an unfinished business in the story. It Is an important plot point that needed to be resolved, esp. since the story has a Jung Hee character that portrayed how unrequited feelings that went unresolved can be tragic. And that for me is one purpose of Jung Hee’s character – it made JA’s unrequited feelings an important plot point that needed resolution. It would have been justifiable to brush aside had there been no Jung Hee in the story.


    Post-time skip, we see JA in a much better place. She has friends and has a good job. But has she moved on from her feelings for DH? For me, the scene where she is passing by Saman and looking up at the building is one important hint that she has not. And that was further validated when she saw DH in the coffee shop. Her facial expressions and body language in the window scene says it all. The director really had a knack for using facial expressions and body language to communicate. Problem with that is that it can indeed be very subjective, and people would indeed read what they wanted to see from the scene. :sweatingbullets:


    After seeing how time skips are often used in other movies, I don’t think MM deviated from the trope. We see our two protagonists in much happier places some time in the future after having survived and resolved the dark chapters in their lives. But there’s one more item missing in their separate lives, and the show made sure to tick off that one last item before the cameras stopped rolling.

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  13. On 11/3/2022 at 12:11 AM, the_sweetroad said:

    It's so interesting how the director focuses in on DH's faces and body language so often. As @actionscript says DH must be restrained pre-time skip in order to maintain his integrity, but his emotions and his feelings leak out all over the place, as someone else has put it :). He just can't help it. And the director makes sure to include those emotions and do close-ups of them.


    Yes, exactly! The director focusing on DH’s facial expressions and body language means he wanted to emphasize DH’s restraint. And that implies there is something inside DH that he is restraining. If there is nothing in there, what is there to restrain?


    There are some who interpret those facial expressions and body language of DH as natural reactions of a good and decent man worrying about the welfare of another person in trouble. Sigh... 


    If that is the case, I don't think the director needed to pepper practically the whole second half of the drama with those close-ups of DH just to rub into our faces how good a person he is. :D




    On 11/7/2022 at 7:25 PM, YukawaCattle said:

    We all recognize that "if A doesn't happen before the last shot of MM, we can't say A exists in MM," right?


    For example, A is "Park Dong-hoon and Kang Yoon-hee divorce." If Park Dong-hoon did not divorce before the last shot of MM, we can't say that Park Dong-hoon will definitely divorce.


    Or A is "Park Dong-hoon and Lee Ji-an are together." If Park Dong-hoon did not get together with Lee Ji-an before the last shot of MM, we could not say that Park Dong-hoon would definitely get together with Lee Ji-an.


    I guess we all agree that this logic is objective, and most of us obey this standard. That's why lots of people say MM is an open ending story.


    I’m not sure about this though. I’m sure I’ve encountered a lot of story lines in Hollywood movies where certain conclusions (which may or may not refer to the main conflict of the story) were just implied and not explicitly shown. I can’t recall a good example now though, but I’m sure I’ve encountered them.


    And that’s why if you’d recall in the matrix, I have listed options that said “It was hinted that DH and JA will get together” and another that stated “It was implied that DH and JA will get together.” I used the terms “hinted” and “implied” because these are not explicitly shown in the story. How that relates to whether MM will be categorized as an open ending or not,  I don’t know.


    I recall you posting a link before that says an ending is considered closed if it delivers an emotionally satisfactory ending to the viewers. So that means an ending being closed or not depends on the emotions it stirs to the viewers. And since the viewers’ emotions are unique, I guess endings can generally be subjective in nature? :sweatingbullets:


    As for me, I am definitely "emotionally-satisfied" to see that DH and JA could finally acknowledge their true feelings for each other, and would now be able to deal with it freely. :wub:



    On 11/7/2022 at 7:25 PM, YukawaCattle said:

    Now the same. If Park Dong-hoon didn't get divorced and didn't get together with Lee Ji-an before the last shot of MM, then Park Dong-hoon's character development arc can't be considered accomplished in MM. The reason is that Park Dong-hoon's character development arc involves "divorcing Yoon-hee" and "getting together with Ji-an."


    I'm not trying to refute your theory. On the contrary, I think this is the right. So I think it would be strange if MM ends without the character development arc of the male protagonist being realized.


    So according to your theory, Park Dong-hoon must have already divorced Kang Yoon-hee and gotten together with Lee Ji-an before the last shot of MM. Otherwise, MM would have ended without Park Dong-hoon's character development arc being fully realized.


    I don't think the scriptwriter and director will do such a strange thing with their profession. So your theory makes me even more convinced that Dong-hoon and Ji-an were already together when they shook hands. Only then will Park Dong-hoon's character development arc be fully realized before the end of MM.


    Recall how I wrote it in the article: “DH, now a free man, would finally be able to follow his heart and pursue Ji An freely.” It would be consistent with his arc to pursue JA, but that doesn’t automatically mean JA will respond positively and that they will be together. DH’s arc covers only his own feelings and actions. DH pursuing JA completes his arc, regardless if JA accepts or not. The point is DH being able to finally act on his heart’s desires after having freed himself from his life sentence of earnestness.


    But back to your point, I agree that DH and JA getting together is the entire story’s arc, though not DH’s per se, if events from what was shown are to be extrapolated into the future…


    Also DH and JA shaking hands is not the last shot of MM. The voice-over of DH and JA talking occurred after that, which for me provided a bigger hint of DH and JA getting together in some future time than the handshake scene. :partyblob:

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  14. On 10/26/2022 at 8:01 PM, YukawaCattle said:

    I thought a little about what would happen if Kim Won-seok added a hand close-up to the goodbye hug scene. And... hmmm... I think it's too obvious. :sweatingbullets: I guess the scriptwriter and director should have already considered the romantic atmosphere issue, so they did not use this shot in the hug scene. :sweatingbullets:


    On 10/27/2022 at 1:51 AM, dongans said:

    I would love it! lmao and there is a close up, but she never grabed his coat :(  this is so sad for us shippers.
    And yes, would add so much romantic vibes if Ji An decided to do that.


    On 10/27/2022 at 8:26 AM, YukawaCattle said:

    (I always thought that the hand close-ups should be the same as the shots mentioned above.)


    In this case, I guess the director should design Dong-hoon to have some kind of follow-up reaction, such as tightening the force of the hug, or the expression will look more sad, something like that. Maybe such a feeling is what the director does not want or does not dare to want (?)


    I thought about it, and then I thought maybe we could link the last handshake shot to the close-up shot of Dong-hoon's hand in the subway scene and in the kissing scene in EP3.


    As you said, "How he acted while being tempted -> His hands grabing firmily something to control, when he used to walk faster than her, and when he looked away avoiding her looking at him."


    So...maybe the last white mark left on Ji-an's hand shows up for the same reason?


    Ji-an has to go to work, and her colleagues are still waiting for her, so the happy Dong-hoon has to try to control himself, which results in this hand-clutching reaction again.



    I think it’s important that DH remain consistent in his being in restraint mode all throughout pre-time skip. So he gave in to JA’s second request for a hug, but he gave a relatively awkward and light hug. JA felt the restraint in DH, respected it, and reciprocated with a light hug as well.


    All that to highlight the contrast in DH’s very, very tight grip on JA's hands in the last scene –– a not-so-subtle hint on how DH’s circumstances have changed post-time skip.



    6 hours ago, YukawaCattle said:

    I also thought the same thing when I watched What's Wrong With Secretary Kim. Thanks for mentioning this here. 


    By the way, I'd like to collect two before posting this template, just like the usual posts. So do you have any others?


    I don't want the Coffee Prince. It will be too repetitive because MM is also Lee Sun-kyun. :sweatingbullets:



    I can’t recall any in the very few K dramas I’ve watched, but karaoke singing scenes are very common in our local films here. :D


    I think Reply 1988 also has singing scenes but I can't remember the circumstances. :sweatingbullets:


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  15. On 10/23/2022 at 9:17 AM, YukawaCattle said:


    [ Park Dong-hoon's love song is for Lee Ji-an ]


    A long time ago, I mentioned that we could use the inductive method to the shots in the singing scene in EP14 and come up with Dong-hoon's love song is for Ji-an.


    Later, I found that we could also apply the same technique when we want to analyze the lyrics. That is, by using the inductive method to the lyrics of the songs sung by SH&AR and JH, we can conclude that Dong-hoon's love song is for Ji-an.


    On 10/23/2022 at 9:17 AM, YukawaCattle said:

    Then, what is the message of the lyrics of Far Away Place sung by Dong-hoon?


    → The lyrics show that Dong-hoon often misses someone, and then Dong-hoon also misses her very much now ("When I’m reminded of you / I stay up all night Because of the one I miss"). The person Dong-hoon misses is not with him at the moment. She seems to be far away. Dong-hoon is in love with her now ("Where the golden sunset falls / Love doesn’t stay / In the cozy woods by the lake / My dear love isn’t there / When I ponder quietly / It’s a place far away"). Dong-hoon feels sad because he thinks there is no hope for his love for her ("My lonely heart sheds tears").


    So Dong-hoon's song is for Yoon-hee or for Ji-an?


    I think most viewers, both shippers and non-shippers alike, agree that the song DH sang was for JA. The fact that the scenes where DH was singing are interspersed with scenes of JA provided no space for a different interpretation. The contention was on the nature of the sentiments DH had while singing the song for JA. I’ve seen some who interpreted the longing that DH expressed through his song as that of paternal longing, like a parent missing his/her child, or that of someone missing a good friend. :blink:


    Karaoke singing is another common trope in dramas (we can add that to the drama tropes we’ve listed), and almost always it is used to portray romantic longing. If the show wanted to express paternal longing or to show a person missing his BFF, it would have used a different technique. Using karaoke singing in that way for me (add to that the choice of song) constitutes poor screenplay.


    Add to it the sequence of singing scenes prior to DH’s turn, which you nicely detailed, are all about feelings that are romantic in nature -- SH & AR’s duet and Jung Hee’s pain of unrequited love. So for consistency and continuity, we can deduce that DH’s sentiments expressed in his singing are also romantic in nature.

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  16. On 9/29/2022 at 12:06 PM, YukawaCattle said:

    I wonder if Sang-hoon's " 'Come in for ramyeon' won’t mean anything else" is an irony of Ji-an's "I want to buy you something delicious."


    We’ve pretty much established in past discussions that the epilogue at the end of ep 1 was created to serve as a contrast for the ending scene of the show. It’s some sort of a foreboding of the ending, but drawn out as an irony, as you mentioned.


    And we can list down the things that are distinct between the two scenes:


    -  The epilogue scene is very dark, aggravated by SH and KH wearing black jackets, while the ending scene is warm and bright and so were the clothes worn by DH and JA.


    -  In the epilogue, SH is painting a town with only ahjussis in it: “There are no women. No one will find a woman.” In the ending scene, DH finds, and reunites, with a woman. If you follow the sequence of SH’s lines, “There are no women” means YH is no longer part of DH’s life. And then the irony is introduced: "No one will find a woman" went to DH finding JA.


    -  The other major topic discussed in the epilogue, SH saying “Come in for ramyeon” not meaning anything else should logically correspond to JA’s “I’ll buy you dinner. I want to buy you something delicious” to mean something significant. Not necessarily something kinky, but definitely something more meaningful beyond just old friends catching up.


    So yes, I think you are right! :partyblob:


    On 9/29/2022 at 12:06 PM, YukawaCattle said:

    So logically, before Dong-hoon could take the wiretap file to the police, he must listen to the content and ensure they were wiretap files before he took them to the police.


    And I think the scriptwriter and the director wanted Dong-hoon to get the wiretap file is to make him hear that his love secret like "eating and drinking means he like you" was already known by Ji-an.


    In short, Ji-an heard Dong-hoon's "thank you" means Dong-hoon's confession directly from the wiretapping process, and then Dong-hoon heard his "eating and drinking means like you" already knew by Ji-an from the wiretap file.


    Another great catch there! I agree that it is reasonable to assume that before DH took the USBs to the police, he has listened to all its contents, the way Kwang Il did. So it follows that he knows that JA knew he liked her as well, because he’s been eating and drinking with her in the past.


    DH has also learned from the files that JA knew his reluctance to thank her in the text exchange was that it would look like he was leading her on. So...


    On 9/29/2022 at 12:06 PM, YukawaCattle said:

    So when they finally shook hands, both sides actually understood what they were saying to each other.


    So yes, perfectly said! With the words they spoke to each other at the end, both were able to read between the lines. 




    On 9/30/2022 at 11:47 AM, YukawaCattle said:

    Actually, the scene of EP8 you mentioned is something I've always wanted to mention, so I wanted to share my own opinion of view here.


    In EP8, I guess Park Dong-hoon's main consideration was that he didn't want to confront Do Jun-young, so he was looking for an excuse to say he didn't like business, politics....etc. In other words, he only wants to use his words to say that he didn't want to run for the Director, but it was not necessarily that he cared about what he said from the bottom of his heart.


    All of these contexts seem to point out that Park Dong-hoon's words in EP8 are really just an excuse, not something Dong-hoon thinks from the bottom of his heart. The main reason that Dong-hoon rejected Jung's advice is that he is worried his promotion would make him conflict with Do Jun-young.


    Park Dong-hoon clearly wanted Do Jun-young to leave his life, and he knew that participating in the promotion would cause him and Do Jun-young to fight for each other's survival. This is why he accepted Jung's advice in EP8 and also why Park Dong-hoon gave himself an excuse to rationalize his actions in EP10: "I'm not doing this to conflict with Do Jun-young. I just want to fulfill my family obligations."


    It was not until EP11 that he faced his desire for the election:


    "Actually, I just want to crush Do Jun-young."


    But I don't know what the scriptwriter's values are regarding "defeat the enemy in your life."


    Maybe like what you mentioned, it's a journey of "adulting" and responsible.


    But It seems that the process from "unrestricted courtesy to others" to "striving for one's own interests" is also a journey from conscience to desire.


    Getting a promotion and then consequently, having to confront DJY is exactly what corporate politics entailed. So if DH is at first reluctant to be promoted because he dislikes being in conflict with DJY, then when he said that he is not good with business and politics, he is actually being honest and factual.


    You’ve put on a great point though on how his hatred towards DJY seemed to loom larger in his motivations for the promotion as the story moved along. So it is this hatred that sparked something in him to learn to start embracing politics as a normal part of corporate life. And when he told Dir. Wang in ep 10 that his motivations for the promotion was due to his family responsibilities and that it got nothing to do with DJY, it’s an attempt by him to stick to his ideals and not be swayed by his emotions. And that is in itself a very political way to respond to the directors in that dinner. Haha! :D But he still didn’t hide the fact that he was more comfortable doing technical work than doing business tasks.


    So when he pushed himself further in the end by putting up his own business, he forced himself to embrace the fact that he shouldn’t resign himself to just doing technical work for the rest of his life.


    He learned to play politics, and he learned to do business. And that I believe is part of his growth arc in the story.

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  17. On 9/26/2022 at 12:37 AM, dongans said:

    I never worked in big companies of architecture as DH did in engineering, so was a bit of automatic when I said that he was demoted, sorry. Those scenes just gave me the feeling that he was demoted (and probably earning less), because was referred in a negative way going from design team to safe team afterwards.



    On 9/27/2022 at 1:32 AM, the_sweetroad said:

    I found in an old post here on Soompi that even I used the term "demoted" in reference to DH moving from the Design Team to the Safety Team. It was when you mentioned the less pay that I thought more seriously about it. 


    But yes, the show made it clear that going from the Design Team to the Safety Team was a negative for DH, and that the managing directors themselves thought it was a negative, maybe even shameful thing. Poor guy.


    I believe I’ve used the word “demotion” a number of times as well. Technicalities aside, in all intents and purposes, it is a demotion. Or in current parlance, “quiet firing.” :lol: If I’m put in the same situation, I will definitely interpret it as a not so subtle sign that my boss wanted me out. :sweatingbullets:



    On 9/27/2022 at 1:32 AM, the_sweetroad said:

    Just going to isolate this sentence and put a spin on it, hope you don't mind. :)I imagine his move to the Safety Team made DH a quite well-rounded engineer. From designing new builds to later seeing what could happen to old builds, he had a wider experience and scope than did other engineers, probably. Indeed a blessing in disguise.


    Yup, agree!


    I’ve encountered discussions before regarding the length of the time skip, and one factor that went into those believing the time skip must realistically be a bit longer than just a year, is due to the seeming speed that DH was able to put up his business, and its relative success. But that’s because everyone just assumed what DH started was a mini-Saman. So it’s making more sense to me now that he was able to set up an operation relatively quickly, and with less capital, as he focused on a smaller niche. And a startup focused on providing safety advisory work has lower barriers to entry compared to putting up a full-breadth engineering company.


    And it makes business sense as well. With so many old buildings in Seoul compared to new buildings being built, the addressable market for safety consulting and advisory work is just so much bigger.


    And nothing in this world is static. DH starting with safety work doesn’t mean he won’t expand his business down the road. Safety work could just be a point of entry for his enterprise.



    On 9/28/2022 at 1:44 PM, YukawaCattle said:

    It seems that Park Dong-hoon's ending is somewhat similar to MLN's Yeom Mi-jeong because they ended up doing a job that is not the one they most want to do in their heart.


    (And they both like design. The only difference is that one is 3D while the other is 2D. LOL.)


    I probably know why scriptwriter Park Hae-young has to do this kind of setting.


    The reason is that the value she wants to convey is something she can't be responsible for others, so she couldn't present it too ideally.


    "If the environment is bad, leave your environment."


    Of course, people always think this way, but they also fear that changing to a new environment will make them worse.


    Maybe that's why the scriptwriter didn't let Park Dong-hoon and Yeom Mi-jeong continue to do what they love the most after changing their environment because that would be too ideal.


    So such a set-up probably is a compromise that says, "Although there's a chance that you won't be able to do what you want to do the most, you may be able to live happier than before."


    I'm guessing she may be trying to convey this, which is why the protagonists of both MM and MLN have this "after changing work environments, they end up not doing what they originally liked best" set-up.



    At first, DH is also not interested in the Director position since he loved doing technical work, and he believed he may not be a good fit as he’s not good in business and politics (ep 8). But by ep 10, he told Dir Wang he is now interested in the Director position, primarily due to his responsibilities to his family. In short, growing out of his comfort zone is the responsible thing to do. Again in current parlance, “adulting.” :D And by the end of the show, he pushed things even further by starting his own business. That means even less technical work for him down the road as his business grows, and more deal-making, selling, and general administration work.


    I believe there was a change in DH's value system with regards to how he viewed his work, and that also formed part of his growth arc, on top of the desire & conscience thingie. :)


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  18. On 9/10/2022 at 4:30 AM, the_sweetroad said:

    Oh! I never caught that he had actually been demoted and was earning less than before. Do you remember where they said that? I know he was the "ace" of the design team (which seemed like a subjective, not official, designation) and he was moved to the safety team. I had thought that was a lateral move, which still "hurt" PDH since it meant he wasn't doing what he loved (and Dir Yoon was now his direct supervisor)..but was it actually a demotion where he ended up earning less?


    I don’t think the word “demotion” was ever used in the show. The phrase was “pushed the ace of the Design Team away to the Safety Inspection Team” as mentioned by the lead director in camp DH, as they were deliberating who to put forward as candidates for promotion. (ep 8, around 1:09:30 mark) He was insinuating that people above DH are threatened by his competence “because Mr. Park was climbing up the corporate ladder unchallenged.”


    I’m not a civil engineer, so any inputs from one would be welcome. Technically it’s a lateral transfer for DH, and though compensation was not mentioned, I don’t think he’d be earning less. But generally, doing design work is considered more prestigious compared to safety work. As such, people in the design team would tend to have more visibility and upward mobility in their careers. Like say, an engineering firm’s COO or even the CEO would more likely come from the design team than from the safety team, if they are to come from the engineering teams. As sometimes they can come from Sales/Marketing  or from Finance.


    So officially it's a lateral transfer, but practically a demotion for DH. But apparently he did so well while he was in Design, that the scheme to hide him in Safety as a political maneuver didn’t quite work out for Director Yoon.


    And it just dawned on me now, based on the few lines that DH uttered in a phone conversation post-time skip, and also on the short clip of the work being done by Manager Seo, that DH’s new firm might not be a general engineering & construction company that Saman was, but could just be focused on providing safety-related work like consulting and safety advisory & design services. It makes sense as it was his safety team that he brought with him, and the cubicles of the safety team were just outside his room. And that gives credence to what @YukawaCattle mentioned, that the Chairman could have invested in DH’s firm as it was not competing directly with Saman. So looking back, his "demotion" to the Safety team has turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

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  19. On 7/19/2022 at 8:25 AM, sadiesmith said:

    I don't remember if this has been shared here before. Here's a podcast on My Mister delivered by three women who are very enthusiastic in recommending the show. It's almost 1 hour 45 minutes long, but I think you will enjoy it. :)




    Thanks for sharing! I finally got to finish the podcast. Though the hosts acknowledge that romantic feelings did develop not only in JA but also in DH, they don’t see any possibilities of DH and JA being together. The reasons they cited are the ambiguity in DH and YH’s marital status post time skip and the age gap between the two protagonists. And then one brought up a commonly used reason as well -- the line KH uttered in ep 1 which goes “When he is caught between desire and conscience, he always leans towards the latter.” KH follows it up with “I pity him the most.”


    Protagonists in K dramas often go through a profound change, a character development arc, through the story that by the story’s conclusion, they have usually evolved into better versions of themselves. They traverse from a baseline state to an evolved state. The same is true for DH. While the character journey of JA seems more pronounced, I believe many have overlooked the character journey DH took, leaving them to assume DH’s character was static throughout the show. That line from KH is uttered in ep 1, which obviously makes it one of DH’s baseline states, a state he will be growing out from.





    The show further articulates DH’s baseline states through the words of JA and Eomma. JA tells him “You’re living through your life sentence of earnestness.” “You are someone who looks the most bored and unhappiest here. It seemed like your life is as hellish as mine.” Eomma is also the most worried with DH: “I get so upset every time I think about DH. I raised my boys exactly the same way, but why am I always worried about DH? My heart aches every time I think about him. He never tells me what goes on inside his head. He’s never even asked me to buy him anything. Meanwhile, the other two always asked me for stuff.”


    Sang Won, the monk friend, further tells DH: “SH and KH caused so many problems. But your mother never got upset because of them. She always says they’re hopeless and incorrigible. On the other hand, you seem to do fine, but she always gets upset about that. That’s because she knows that SH and KH will do just fine regardless of how much they fail in life.”




    Eomma values happiness more than career success, that’s why she worries more for DH than for SH and KH. But sometimes, we are too busy wanting to make our folks proud, usually through material success and by keeping a façade of a normal & functional family life, that we forget that usually what all our parents want from us, more than anything else, is just to be happy.


    All these paint a picture of DH that is repressed, traditional, a conformist, avoids conflict, a quintessential stoic, an enneagram 9, and passive to the things life has thrown at him and just goes with the flow. In varying degrees, there is a lot of truth to all these descriptions. And there is a consensus among the people closest to him that he is indeed the most pitiful.


    All these pushes DH to feeling trapped, suffocated and perhaps, even suicidal. But at least he is aware he is living the wrong life, as he has spilled to Sang Won: “I’m doomed. This life is a mess. I don’t know how to live. I believed everything would be fine if I sacrificed myself.”




    I do believe DH knew how to rectify his situation. He’s just not sure if certain choices he could make would mean violating his moral compass. It’s quite ironic that it was his monk friend that assured him living the “righteous” life is not all there is to living, and how appropriate and spot on that he framed his advice from Ji Seok’s perspective: “Go tell Ji Seok that you sacrificed your life for him. It’ll make him swear and feel like sh**.” “Who wants people to sacrifice? What kind of child or parent would want that?” “Why do you force yourself to live a kind of life that you’d never force on Ji Seok?”


    That throws a wrench right into the view that a loveless marriage has to be preserved for the sake of the kids.


    Sang Won continued, “You should make yourself happy first. And stop thinking you should sacrifice yourself. Just be brazen and think about yourself. You’re allowed to do that.”


    And that goes straight into the issue of choosing between desire and conscience: in that sometimes, a balance has to be struck, and that sometimes, one is allowed to choose desire. DH needs to hear that, to eventually push himself to break free from his “life sentence of earnestness.”




    That conversation with San Won in ep 11 is the turning point in DH’s character development. From the point on, we slowly see the changes in DH. He confronts DJY and punches him in the face. He chases after JA and confronts her as well, telling her to stay put, despite knowing full well that she, practically speaking, is in an unrequited love with him. And remember Eomma’s worry that “he’s never even asked me to buy him anything”? Well look at him now, going “Buy me another pair of slippers” to JA!




    And how can DH’s character growth be fully realized in the context of our story?


    DH’s career progression has nothing to do with his inner conflicts. His promotion and eventual move to start his own company pose no conflict whatsoever in his struggles with sacrifice and conscience. It all boils down to the two other plot points in the story: DH’s marriage with YH, and his budding feelings, his restraint, towards JA.


    Though the conclusions are not shown explicitly, extrapolating from the themes painted by Sang Won’s words points to what choices DH would pursue.  He would eventually divorce YH, and yet rightfully remain in good graces with her as co-parents to Ji Seok. This seems to be the message in the new set of photos we see in DH’s new work desk, and the total absence of YH’s character post-time skip. 




    And how about DH’s feelings for JA? It can be argued that DH pursuing his own happiness first does not automatically entail that this happiness can only be actualized through JA. He could stay single and party every weekend, or he could pursue another girl, like one of JA’s officemates he saw in the coffee shop. But these elements are not part of the story of My Mister. The last scene shows him reuniting excitedly with JA, making plans to meet for dinner, and in a voiceover, addresses her in some future time with a more personal “Ji An,” implying a leveled-up relationship.


    To have freed himself from his life sentence of earnestness, to not only be bound by conscience but to have the right to pursue his heart’s desires, to make himself happy first, and to be brazen – DH, now a free man, would finally be able to follow his heart and pursue Ji An freely.  Not doing so would have stifled the full actualization of his character development arc.







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  20. On 7/12/2022 at 7:37 AM, the_sweetroad said:

    Real life has been a bit crazy recently but it was very relaxing to read the academic paper that you read through, @actionscript!


    It's great to see you find time to read the paper and found it relaxing at that! The academic stuff occupied only the first seven pages, which one could just skim through actually. :sweatingbullets:  After that, it's surprisingly a fun read all the way to the end! 


    I’ll share one more passage from the paper that I've kept on my notes:


    ““When I’m running . . . I disappear. But . . . I feel like that is the real me”. Maybe it is just a coincidence, but Lee Ji An is literally describing the effect that a fully operating TU-C has upon those who are part of it. “I disappear” stands for one’s taking their own attention away from themselves to direct it toward the partner, with the surprising result to reckon themselves even more in the interaction with the other: “I feel like that is the real me”.”


    I personally find the running scenes of JA to DH to be some of the most romantic scenes in the show. :wub:


    On 7/12/2022 at 7:37 AM, the_sweetroad said:

    The researchers are particularly gifted in writing beautiful things about the ending :lol:


    Yes, the words they wrote to describe the ending scene were just as stimulating to read repeatedly, as watching the last scene was. Although I did sense disappointment from the researchers that the ending did not show JA and DH explicitly as a couple, it was quite clear for them that -- no ifs nor buts -- the feelings that developed between DH and JA were definitely romantic in nature, and were already present by the middle episodes.

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  21. On 6/7/2022 at 11:58 AM, davidms said:

    “I can give 100 or even 1,000 reasons. But I don’t know if any of them is a real reason.”

    I have been thinking about “My Mister” for more hours than I care to admit, and unlike the many insightful comments that have deepened my understanding of this masterpiece, I thought I’d write about how I missed so much of this story, including the many signs that Dong Hoon and Ji An could eventually end up together. I’ve read many sharp observations and interpretations of scenes and characters, and this note is really not in that league. But I hope that, maybe, just maybe, by describing how the show initially confounded me, there will be room for some further discussion and maybe insight?…please at least humor me with my meanderings:~)


    Welcome to the thread, @davidms:partyblob:


    Anecdotally I’d say most went through the same journey as you did with this show. Most who watched the show for the first time would have missed the love line and might have been confused as well as to the status of the relationship between DH and YH.


    Even though I did notice the love line on my first watch, despite several re-watches, I’d say 99% of what I eventually learned about the show, the clues, insights, etc.,  I’ve gained from reading what others wrote from various sites.


    Aside from the drama’s “show, don’t tell” approach and its use of subtlety, another intricacy I realized is that as we the viewers learn more about the story and the characters as we go along, we tend to now interpret the words and motivations of each character based on that overall knowledge, when in fact each character doesn’t know a lot of the things we know about the big picture, and that character was in fact acting based on his/her limited knowledge of things.


    One example is that when JA “confessed” her feelings to DH at the end of ep 10 when the spy photographer was trailing them, we all know YH was cheating on DH, and we also know JA is aware of that as she’s been listening, but DH doesn’t know that JA knew. DH thought, at that point at least, that no one knew he was having marital problems, esp. JA. So that smack on JA should be understood in the context that DH was seeing JA confess her feelings to a happily married man. There’s a lot of other reasons for sure, and a lot of different interpretations, on that smack, but for me that context mattered and formed part of how DH received JA’s words.


    Another great example is what @the_sweetroad cited here:


    On 6/9/2022 at 10:49 PM, the_sweetroad said:

    We talked a bit earlier on this thread about why Ji An would have tried to get Yoon Hee to stop cheating and go back to Dong Hoon in the earlier episodes (Episodes 5 - 7 ish). If I recall correctly from the discussion, I think that as long as Ji An thought that there was hope for reconciliation and for Yoon Hee to "come to her senses" and go back to a good man like Dong Hoon, she (JA) actively worked for that.


    However, by Episode 9, when she heard how callously Yoon Hee said that Do Joon Young and Dong Hoon could fight it out, and that "structural engineers can get fired; they can always find another job," Ji An realized that Yoon Hee wasn't really "for" Dong Hoon. At that point, I think something changed in JA's attitude toward YH, and she didn't care if Dong Hoon found out the truth and got himself out of a bad and truly unloving marriage.


    It's easy to misinterpret JA's motivations in her actions unless one would carefully construct her world view based on what events and conversations she has been exposed to. 

    IT's easy to slide towards thinking the characters have the same frame of mind we the viewers have based on all the info we've been given so far.



    It’s also oftentimes a challenge to connect the dots between events. When JA’s friend warned her to run away as the police are closing in on them, she bargained for one more day. At the end of that episode, we see DH finding the slippers back in his drawer. Many, myself included, missed the connection that JA risked being caught by the police just to buy back the slippers that DH requested from her.


    I wrote about another theory I have on why many missed, or even resisted, the love line between DH and JA here:




    On 6/7/2022 at 11:58 AM, davidms said:

    Was I alone in being that clueless in the reading Dong Hoon's marriage's collapse? Were there other pivotal scenes or dialogues that I'm missing here? I’m interested in hearing other fan opinions about the treatment of Yoon Hee and Dong Hoon’s relationship, and Ji An’s maneuverings around them. 


    YH’s mistake is not just the cheating, but more important, who she cheated with. DH’s predicament isn’t just about a wife who had an affair with another man. Consider the ff:


    -  The man she cheated with demoted him at work. (DH was transferred from the more prestigious Design team to the Inspection team.)

    -  That man, through his henchman Dir. Yoon, mocks and bullies him every day at work, and worse, does so in front of his entire team at that!!

    -  That man was DH’s junior yet overtook him by being CEO. Though DH isn’t bothered by that, I’m sure that would have changed after he found out that man also slept with his wife.

    -  That man wanted to fire him at work, and his wife was complicit! What happens to middle-aged men who gets fired at work? Well, we have Sang Hoon as exhibit A. In short, that man not only slept with his wife, but wanted him broke, jobless, and would have to live in shame and disappointment esp. to the eyes of his son Ji Seok, his mom, and his brothers. 


    That’s too much for one person to handle, don’t you think? And the kicker, he has to bow down to this man since he’s the boss! When DH said It felt like YH wanted him dead, that’s no exaggeration when you consider all the things above. It’s certainly not just the infidelity.  After these realizations, I don’t see how a reconciliation is even possible with someone who DH once felt wanted him dead.

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  22. On 5/23/2022 at 12:11 PM, YukawaCattle said:

    My hometown people(a writer) explain that there are two kinds of open endings.

    One is disguised as an open ending, and the other is a real open ending.


    (Original article: https://www.domorenovel.com/%E9%82%A3%E4%BA%9B%E7%B7%A8%E5%8A%87%E5%AF%AB%E5%87%BA%E3%80%8C%E9%96%8B%E6%94%BE%E5%BC%8F%E7%B5%90%E5%B1%80%E3%80%8D%E7%9A%84%E7%A7%98%E8%A8%A3/ )


    Thanks for sharing about the different types of open-endings.


    I agree with you, MM has a “disguised” open ending. As the article says: “It just wants to avoid the obvious results, so that you can actively participate in the ending, and more clearly feel the power of the story.”


    The show thrived in being subtle, and in stirring the viewers' emotions not through what was said, but what was left unsaid. So that disguised open ending fits perfectly to the style and tone of the show. 


    And that’s why the show bothered to put in so many clues and easter eggs to reveal the intent of the show. Those easter eggs would have been pointless if the ending was shown in black and white. So easter eggs + disguised open ending was apparently designed and planned for from the very start.



    On 5/23/2022 at 5:19 PM, YukawaCattle said:

    @actionscript, your words give me an idea.


    Because EP1 Sang-hoon’s script is “There is no woman in MM,” which also means “What if Park Dong-hoon didn’t meet Lee Ji-an…?” I think EP1 Sang-hoon’s dream means that finally, Sang-hoon and Ki-hoon will both find a woman. 




    SH: In the future, I am going to build a town for middle-aged men. Only middle-aged men like me will live there. 


    KH: Those who find a woman and escape will be killed. 


    SH: Of course. But they won’t escape. There are no women. No one will find a woman. It’s a town where men can live in peace. It’s a simple town where men can depend on each other. We will make ramyeon for each other.


    KH: You are talking nonsense.


    SH: It’s simple. For example, “Come in for ramyeon” won’t mean anything else.


    KH: Why would it mean anything else?


    SH: Exactly. You can live in the town without a worry. When I make that town, you can be the head of the town. The head of the town. And I want to be the cacique. (<— Chinese translation is this subtitle.)


    KH: Gosh...


    It became clearer to me now. That epilogue at the end of ep 1, the only epilogue in the entire show, is yet again another easter egg, as that scene doesn’t really fit into the flow of the story. The entire conversation of SH obviously smacks of sarcasm, saying that no one will end up with a woman. Being sarcastic, the intention obviously is the opposite -- everyone will get the girl by the end of the story. And placing it at the end of ep 1 was apparently to showcase the contrast on how the last episode will end – of DH getting the girl.



    On 5/25/2022 at 10:02 AM, YukawaCattle said:

    After thinking about it for a few hours, I don't really understand why we still have to question, "Does Park Dong-hoon like Lee Ji-an or not" and "Is Park Dong-hoon divorced or not."

    On the subject of loveline, tvN has confirmed it in their overseas promotions.

    They confirmed this from the trailer to the poster.


    Poster: Note the last sentence



    Thanks for that poster! I’ve never seen that before. I find it amusing that the write-up focused on DH’s feelings. JA’s feelings are out in the open, so saying DH is trying “to deny his feelings” hits straight to the heart of the issue. That somehow solidified my observations before that a good part of the show really is about DH’s restraint, epitomized by that seemingly out-of-character whack on JA’s head. And that gives credence to your theory that all those instances of DH calling JA a “kid” was indeed that of DH being in denial.



    On 5/25/2022 at 10:02 AM, YukawaCattle said:

    The integral of e^{-x} on [0, \infty) is always equal to 1. 

    Do people who have never studied Calculus know that its integral is equal to 1?

    Probably not.

    But it won't become other answers just because these people can't see it.


    I studied calculus but I also didn’t know.  :facepalm:

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  23. On 5/17/2022 at 9:24 PM, YukawaCattle said:


    Thank you for compiling these scripts. These are all easter eggs, hidden clues and messages from the PDnim, that are obviously put in there for a reason. One thing I’m sure everyone would agree on – these are not filler scenes, put in the show just for humor and entertainment. So if everyone would at least agree on that, then it means everyone again agrees to this conclusion: these scripts have meanings relevant to the story.


    What could their meanings be? Again, perhaps I’m just biased, but so far I can’t think of any other than what you have put forward. They all point to how DH and JA’s story will unfold, and that DH and JA really is end-game.



    But as we have mentioned, there would always be viewers who wouldn’t accept these hidden messages, much less catch them, and will have different interpretations of the ending. You are right, for some group of people, the show has an open ending and a closed one for some. I don’t know what do you call this type of endings.. Perhaps “ambiguous” as @the_sweetroad put it?


    So why didn’t the PDnim just provide for a more explicit ending? I’m just speculating here, that perhaps that was due to the backlash?

    In the press conference they had back then to address the backlash, the PDnim mentioned how they will self-censor some scenes but will continue with the main message of the show.

    Again, I can be over-reading things here, but given the context of that reply, admitting to “self-censor” seemed an indication of guilt, isn’t it? Guilt from what? From what they are being accused of in the backlash? Hhmmm...


    Hotel Del Luna spoilers ahead…


    In HDL, it wasn’t a happy, romantic ending that some shippers are hoping for. But the drama has shown a dreamy sequence to end the story, causing some viewers to think that was the happy ending they are looking for, or that it at least has an open ending. The Hong sisters categorically denied that in an interview, that it was not meant to convey a romantic or even an open ending, squashing any speculations.


    I think in the case of MM, there were no such categorical answers nor denials. They did not confirm nor deny anything, but kept their statements vague. Again me reading through the context of the events – silence/avoidance could be a sign of guilt. 


    On 5/19/2022 at 9:48 AM, YukawaCattle said:

    I want to share some cases of story within a story that shows up in K-drama here with you guys to show that such a metaphor technique is not only used in MM but also frequently shows up in other dramas. That is, this thing actually is common sense in drama, not a new thing in MM.


    *Notice that this post has Spoiler of Squid Game, Crash Landing on You, and Business Proposal.



    Thank you again for compiling these examples of story within a story! :partyblob:  You are right, they all provided clues, again easter eggs, as to how their respective stories will end. (I specifically enjoyed the examples from Squid Game and CLOY!!) And it shouldn’t be any different to the movie and scripts inside MM’s story – they all provide clues how MM will end. As I mentioned above, these are not filler scenes just for entertainment for sure!



    On 5/21/2022 at 9:13 PM, YukawaCattle said:

    I think divorce is a sure thing.
    The topic is not something that the audience can choose.


    For me, the contrast in the desk photos at the end is definitive, not necessarily of divorce, but that DH and YH are no longer a couple, that they have freed each other to pursue new relationships.


    The use of contrasting technique is so glaring here. The photo of DH, YH, and JS has been focused perhaps more than a dozen times throughout the show, such that the focus of the photos in the end that are starkly different can only mean one thing.


    @YukawaCattle, if you could compile the other instances where the contrast technique is used in the show, then it could perhaps be more convincing that such a technique is indeed used in MM and is consistent in how it was used throughout. :sweat_smile:


    And since you mentioned SH’s story in ep 15 means they are single, then that photo of the 3 brothers at the desk indicates that DH is single-at-heart at that point in time, before the reunion with JA.


    On 5/21/2022 at 9:13 PM, YukawaCattle said:

    On this point, KWS's interview in the Blu-ray director's edition also verifies this:


    KWS: "If you put a group photo of three people together (DH, YH, JS), won't it look too warm? That's very different from the outcome of the drama that has been going on here."


    wonder what was the context of this answer from KWS? Because on the surface, it seems to mean that DH and YH are indeed no longer together. But of course it could mean something else given the context of the question.



    2 hours ago, the_sweetroad said:

    @partyon, who has heard me talk endlessly about MM, just brought this new Soompi Quiz to my attention:




    Who do you guys get? :lol:


    I got Cindy! It’s a sign that I should watch The Producers next! :lol:

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  24. On 5/17/2022 at 7:03 PM, the_sweetroad said:

    I started reading it but I usually completely glaze over in the face of academic papers, because they say in 1000 words what they could have said in 300. Haha.


    Actually, the academic way of writing applies only to the first 8 pages. (Page numbers based on downloaded pdf file.) Page 9 up to the end (page 30) are no longer as academic. It’s just like reading posts here at Soompi or at other blog sites. Samples include the paragraphs I quoted in my previous post. I think it is best to start reading at the last paragraph of page 7 (just to brush up on the framework they are using), wade through page 8, and then after that you won’t experience the “academic feeling” at all. :sweatingbullets:



    On 5/17/2022 at 7:03 PM, the_sweetroad said:

    What does the article say about when JA passes DH's test psycho-emotional test, then? If he blocks the biological test from her by his avoidance...at what moment does she pass his PE test?


    JA passed DH’s PE test on various occasions. But all these happened in the context of, and obviously due to, his weakened TU-C with his wife.


    JA immediately caught his attention right in the lady bug scene in the seeming contrast that DH noticed – the most fragile-looking girl in the room seemed the most violent, when JA slapped and killed the ladybug.


    The following moments also contributed to JA passing DH’s PE test:

    -          When DH thought JA threw away the bribe money to save him

    -          When DH found out and realized how JA is taking care of her granny. His “You’re a good person” is actually an indication of how he put forward a PE test in his subconscious which JA passed.

    -          “The attraction he feels toward Lee Ji An moves from recognizing himself in the sorrow that the young woman has to endure.” It’s captured quite well when he said “I know someone who gets me. I think I get her, too.”

    -          When DH found out why JA slapped Asst Manager Kim.


    After all the above events, he started to crave for JA – looking at her direction in the office, looking forward to walking home with her, having drinks with her at the pub, etc.


    And in the pub scenes with the hugye gang, DH is often caught thinking about JA:

    -   When he told KH someone gets him

    -   When he told JH there's a girl who is 30,000 years old

    -   When he asked JH why is life so annoying (which happened when he was ignored by JA in front of the pub)

    -   and so much more!


    As the paper put it: “For Park Dong Hoon, these are small but highly craved treats that help him survive, distractions from his burden of anguish—they are, among other things, serotonin shots that ease up that anxious feeling to be on the verge of going crazy.”


    And his Tie-up with JA is fully-formed when he confronted Kwang Il: “An instinct of protection, when it leads to self-sacrifice for the other, is a feeling that, if directed at an opposite-sex potential partner, goes hand in hand not

    only with a more than ascertained compatibility, but with the possibility that a TU has already occurred.”


    And we have already discussed how DH, after hearing Song Won’s advice to think about himself first, has started to become more assertive:

    “From this moment on, his constant effort at self-repression makes way to a Park Dong Hoon who accepts to be furious, and who vents his frustration by punching anything within reach, from his house’s door to the company’s CEO who stole him both his wife and his career. Now, his TU to Lee Ji An becomes visible, as he, while riding his car together with his brother, by chance notices her looking at him at a crossroads, and finally feels his heart pounding.”



    On 5/17/2022 at 10:38 PM, YukawaCattle said:

    That's why I said, "If people admit the clues, then MM will become a closed ending. If people can't admit the clues, then MM is an open ending to them."


    Because the definition given by Robert McKee depends on the audience's personal feelings.

    MM can be open and closed ending at the same time because this matter is only up to the audience's personal feelings.


    (I think I didn't misunderstand his definition...? What I get is it is only depends on yourself.) :rubchin:


    It is impossible to require others that "clues can not be counted in." 
    After all, everyone's understanding is not the same.

    Maybe some people understand at first glance, but some people take a long time and still can not see.

    And that's what I find interesting about this issue.
    Because everyone's judgment criteria are different, MM has a selective ending. (According to Robert McKee's definition.)


    Well, nothing is black and white, esp. when it comes to art as these TV dramas are. So it is natural that different people will always get something different from them regardless of the artist’s (the PDnim, the writer, etc.) intentions.


    I’ll take CLOY again as an example. (CLOY spoilers ahead!)  While watching the show, the biggest question that came to my mind is given the political realities of the leads’ respective countries, and given their social standing in them, how can they realistically get together? And should marriage be in the picture, how can they pursue it while avoiding the dire consequences of their actions from their gov’t and their societies?


    By the end of the show, were these questions answered in an emotionally satisfactory manner? For me, not really. What the show delivered is a half-baked ending at best. They did find a way to meet, but is their set-up sustainable for the relationship to flourish long term? The main questions I raised were not answered.


    So does it mean CLOY has an open ending? I don’t know, but as I said, nothing is black and white when it comes to these things.



    Now going back to MM, allow me to wear my character-drama hat for a while..


    For those who see MM as a romance drama, then the ending might indeed seem open-ended. But for those that see MM as a character drama, I think the ending can be seen as a closed one. Because DH and JA being together is not the main point of the show, even if it implied that they will be together. From the character drama point of view, the fact that both JA and DH were able to heal and transform into better versions of themselves provides for an emotionally-satisfying ending to the story.


    I think I already mentioned this before.. For non-romance dramas that have love lines in the story, even if the intention is to imply that the main lead will get the girl, the show will usually stop short of having romantic acts for an ending as it would look inconsistent to the show’s genre. An example I gave is The Game, which being a psychological thriller, also ended with the male lead and his love interest agreeing to meet for coffee. Was that an open ending? For me, definitely not. It is obviously implied that they will start to have romantic dates.


    Another example that came to mind is The Truman Show (Jim Carrey). It is a satirical comedy drama and totally not a romance story, yet the last scene shows the girl love interest running to meet the male lead. Nothing more is shown but the intentions are clear and beyond doubt. Now should they show a hug or a kiss, that would introduce inconsistencies to the show’s tone and genre.


    This makes me sometimes think that perhaps MM is a character drama, such that they don’t have to explicitly show that DH and JA would end up together, yet imply that is the case without doubt, just like in the case of The Game and The Truman Show.


    So implying the leads will get together but not explicitly showing it apparently is a trope or technique used by non-romance shows to conclude the love lines in their story. But we have discussed how MM has utilized so many romance-drama elements and tropes, which once seen, would make it hard to see MM to be any other than a romance drama.


    When it comes to art, it will always be different shades of gray to different people. :sweatingbullets:

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