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[Drama 2019] Graceful Family, 우아한 가


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Continuing with my re-watch (which appears to be turning into a binge re-watch).....

 

 Love how all the episodes start with a voiceover about the past.


A lot of episodes 3 &4 is about Han, how tricky she is, and even a bit about her past.  It becomes very clear that Han is willing to say anything and to betray anyone to get what she wants.  She has no conscience or remorse.  She is even willing to kill the head of the Mo family to get more control of MC Group.  Han becomes more and more cruel as she attains more power.

 

One of the most enlightening moments is when Han talks to YD on the roof of MC building and we get a little information about her past and her motivation:  she is from a family at the top of the legal profession.  She says that she was threatened to be killed in her legal profession and that the scope there was too limited to fulfill her dreams.  She says that she is protecting the MC workers and even the country of Korea.  "With my hands.  With TOP's hands.   Imagine the EMPIRE that is moving because of us."


There's that word again:  EMPIRE.  Perhaps Han's motivation could be simply a massive case of megalomania.


And then there was the weirdness of the Milk Witch.  I expected something more to happen with her, especially as her conditions for loaning money to SH were that  the Milk Witch would be able to sell 50% of MC Group's distribution rights whenever she chose to do so.  It also sounded as though she told the doctor to wake Grandpa up from the coma, so was she somehow involved in keeping him asleep?  Why haven't we seen more of the Milk Witch?  She seems like the one person who might be able to bail SH out of a bad situation or who might have the power to defeat Han.  
 

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Out of the whole twisted family, I found WS one of the most interesting characters. Mostly as he really did not have a mean streak compared to the rest of them, when he was stable, he was very much an

I was hoping I was wrong for the whole show that WS had not actually killed the mom, but I had a sneaking suspicion that something was seriously wrong with him and that he was acting more like he felt

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16 hours ago, thistle said:

One thing I recall from the beginning of the drama is that it was mentioned more than once that she was living her life as a man.  Now, that's an odd thing to say, even if they just meant that she was a female taking a Power role that would have traditionally have been for a male.

so I understood this differently and felt like it was also a reference to the legal profession history.

 

the first woman lawyer and judge in korea was lee tae young. what is remarkable about her is that she was a mother of 4 and it was her husband who encouraged her to apply when seoul university first opened its doors to women to apply for law in late 40s. till then, it was not allowed. he was a pastor and later after korea gained independence, felt called to take up politics. he eventually went on to become the minister of foreign affairs. now because her husband was in the opposition party, lee tae young was initially denied a position as a judge and was told by the government that women cannot make objective decisions as a judge.

 

she continued to work as a legal aid lawyer helping women mostly in the area of family law and the legal aid organization she set up still exists mostly catering to family law. so after some time, she did become a judge and she was instrumental in setting up the family law system in korea and was also part of several revisions to the family law. her impact was far reaching as she knew the issues women faced when it came to divorce, alimony, adoption and property rights and pushed for reforms.

 

the google doodle for her birthday & explanation:

Spoiler

lee-tai-youngs-101st-birthday-4758285655

 

Lee Tai-Young was the first female lawyer in Korea. In 1952, she passed the difficult Korean national judicial examination — a rare feat for anyone, and an especially stunning achievement for a woman at that time. She later became Korea's first female judge and founded its first legal aid center. By revising national laws, especially those related to families and marriage, Lee helped Korean women improve their circumstances and stand up for their rights.

Lee traveled extensively, advocating for human rights and peace worldwide. In the 1970s and 1980s, she received a flurry of awards, including the Asian Peace Prize (the Ramón Magsaysay Award). Lee wrote many books on women's issues and translated Eleanor Roosevelt's book On My Own into Korean. In her memoirs, Lee summarized her life's work as "build[ing] a dam which can produce energy and power to lighten the darkened corners of society and reinvigorate its stalled and rusty engines."

Doodler Olivia Huynh’s multi-panel Doodle pays tribute to all of the remarkable contributions Lee Tai-young made to Korean society-- as a lawyer, a writer and a champion for women and families. Today, for her 101st birthday, we honor Lee Tai-young for her unyielding commitment to equal rights and lasting contributions to social reform.

 

now around the same time as lee tae young, another young woman was a rising star and was tipped to be judge but she got murdered by her husband and his family out of professional jealously. so this event basically discouraged women from even studying law and for about 30 years or so, lee tae young was the only woman in the justice system. it was only in the late 70s, 80s that women again started studying the law and becoming part of the profession.

 

so in case you are wondering how I learned this, in another drama thread where the story was about lawyers, a chingu mentioned about lee tae young and posted an excerpt from a book. I got really interested and read up some more. lee tae young really was a remarkable woman.

 

now how does this connect to this drama -- my assumption is that ms han was probably one of those early wave of women in the 70/80s who went on to study law and become a judge. while not as isolating as lee tae young but the profession at the time was still heavily male-dominated. so I understood the comment from grandpa mo as a reference to her choosing to be single, no personal life and working in a male-dominated profession.

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Just now, thistle said:

She says that she is protecting the MC workers and even the country of Korea.  "With my hands.  With TOP's hands.   Imagine the EMPIRE that is moving because of us."

 

Power tripping.

Because if she truly is after wanting change in a male dominated world, then she should not have opposed Mo Seok Hee becoming the CEO/Chairman of MC Group, if only to prove that women have as much the right as men to rule and be powerful. 

It seems what she is really doing is for her own personal satisfaction.

 

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I don't think 'not getting divorce' is enough motive for Mr. Mo to kill SH's mom. From the flashbacks, he is quite gentle with her actually. I even have this vibe that he feels she is too good for him.

 

P.S. I think we are putting SH's mom in a pedestal--that she is too much of an elegant woman to be involved with Old Wang. But I think, with how brave the show has tackled gender identity, her affair with Old Wang is a big possibility. She is afterall, an artist. Not that I'm stereotyping...just a norm I have observed among great artists. One cannot be a good artist (well, mostly if not all) without a degree of darkness in their lives. 

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And the reason why I said before that SH's mom and Old Wang's affair is such a strong twist is because the show painted her to be too 'elegant' to commit such 'gross' sin. It is unexpected and uncomfortable--a number of comments in this thread can attest to that. But your resistance here is not because of a poor plot but because of your moral compass. That, for me, is a sign of a strong plot.

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Hey, for anyone that craved any makjang, this recent twist totally fulfilled that. What I’m a bit confused on is 1) how did WS know SH’s birth secret already? (I voted him as suspect..is this another clue that he is guilty??) 2) if mo didn’t know his daughter was his sister (lol makjang level question) why was he so ‘guarded’ and such with her (ms ha words)?

 

im ready to know what is ms ha background, we already know she doesn’t care for money, so she’s not living a luxurious lifestyle, what is motivating her then?

 

Soo late to the discussion about the kiss, but can I just fangirl about it?! I loved how their make out sesh, no one was stiff and awkward, it was very natural and passionate, and I love how clever they have gotten now. I ship them so bad!!! 

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I did not have to watch many episodes to keep up with the story ... you all are just my kind of forummers.  :kiss_wink: But after the shocking birth secret, I just had to watch at least the last episode. 

 

So we have an extra dysfunctional family, there is a murder, incest, cross-dresser, polygamy... goodness this cannot be K drama, it is almost one of those sleazy dramas not from Korea. Really, a father in law is like a father, I call it incest. And he looks awfully old to have a 30 something daughter. 

 

My moral compass wants SH to be the daughter of another woman - does not have to be Han. The father has been determined but the mother is an assumption. I still have faith in the Korean audience expectations. 

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22 hours ago, ii panda said:

Anybody remembers which episode she first appeared prior to being a TOP member?

 

At the beginning of episode 5, she is a judge.  She meets Grandpa Mo after she makes a harsh sentence at a trial.  Is this what you were looking for?

 

editing to add:   it may have been several years later after the verdict that she meet GMo in 2001.  She was disillusioned and angry about not getting promoted.

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3 hours ago, philosophie said:

Soo late to the discussion about the kiss, but can I just fangirl about it?! I loved how their make out sesh, no one was stiff and awkward, it was very natural and passionate, and I love how clever they have gotten now. I ship them so bad!!! 

 

Don't worry, one can never be too late to discuss a kiss..or lack thereof. :lol:

 

I mean after that public display, what is wrong with YD not taking 'advantage' of having SH in his turf? SH must be very disappointed. Lol. Do you think we'll get another kiss? Or at least a time jump where we we get to see little YDs and SHs? :P

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7 hours ago, ii panda said:

what is wrong with YD not taking 'advantage' of having SH in his turf? SH must be very disappointed.

 

I was disappointed, too.  That was a really weird interval with her in his room.  It was just sort of Not Cute and squirmy--just didn't fit in somehow. Couldn't really imagine his dad being okay with them in the same room either.

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1 hour ago, thistle said:

 

I was disappointed, too.  That was a really weird interval with her in his room.  It was just sort of Not Cute and squirmy--just didn't fit in somehow. Couldn't really imagine his dad being okay with them in the same room either.

They didn’t sleep in the same room. She used his room alone, but politely decline sleeping on his bed as his father suggested, so they laid out a mattress for her on the floor. YD went out of the room after wishing her good night, to sleep in his father’s room, I suppose. 

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Poor YD. He tried to ‘freshen up’ his man cave but ended up just over doing it. He reminded me of myself when I end up putting too much perfume for a first date haha. Wow these two need a first date already! They are already started to do pda with hand holding, and just closer in general. I love the team’s handshake too by the way...I can see them doing it at TOP haha if they all end up working there.

 

You know, I have to give my commentary on the TOP employees because it’s what makes me look at Ms Ha from a different perspective. Objectively, there are some things about Ms Ha that don’t make her overall a treacherous and evil person. She isn’t homophobic-as seen with how she treated WJs secret. Her employees are extremely loyal to her-the subordinate didn’t listen to mo when she was in custody and replace her. Th thing about her employees being loyal to her, is that these are normal, non wealthy and privileged people like most that ms Ha work with. Why do such powerless people support a corrupt person like Ms Ha? Obviously it’s behind their pay day as they could still get paid if they remained loyal to mo. I hope I make sense.

 

Wow I cannot believe we are are having the finale this week..time flies. I don’t know what will happen, but if WS is hopefully not the culprit, I’m fine with seeing him as CEO...and SH leading top with YH. Of course i would love to see girl power and SH become CEO too but I wonder besides her moms murder case being cleared, does she really want to lead company? I can’t wait to hear all your guys prediction and theories for the ending.

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49 minutes ago, philosophie said:

Poor YD. He tried to ‘freshen up’ his man cave but ended up just over doing it. He reminded me of myself when I end up putting too much perfume for a first date haha. Wow these two need a first date already! They are already started to do pda with hand holding, and just closer in general. I love the team’s handshake too by the way...I can see them doing it at TOP haha if they all end up working there.

 

You know, I have to give my commentary on the TOP employees because it’s what makes me look at Ms Ha from a different perspective. Objectively, there are some things about Ms Ha that don’t make her overall a treacherous and evil person. She isn’t homophobic-as seen with how she treated WJs secret. Her employees are extremely loyal to her-the subordinate didn’t listen to mo when she was in custody and replace her. Th thing about her employees being loyal to her, is that these are normal, non wealthy and privileged people like most that ms Ha work with. Why do such powerless people support a corrupt person like Ms Ha? Obviously it’s behind their pay day as they could still get paid if they remained loyal to mo. I hope I make sense.

 

Wow I cannot believe we are are having the finale this week..time flies. I don’t know what will happen, but if WS is hopefully not the culprit, I’m fine with seeing him as CEO...and SH leading top with YH. Of course i would love to see girl power and SH become CEO too but I wonder besides her moms murder case being cleared, does she really want to lead company? I can’t wait to hear all your guys prediction and theories for the ending.

But their loyalty is based on that principal that what they are doing is not that evil.... like murdering someone. They have no idea that they are actually covering up for the murderer. Her employees are not aware that she is involved in MWP's death. They were not present, when she ensured that Mo would get a heart attack. So far, she has presented the case from 15 years ago as something that would damage MC Group. In their eyes, she might be harsh and brutal but they don't suspect her that she killed someone. They got  unsettled, when Ms. Han asked to increase the pressure onto JYI indicating that they didn't like the idea. 

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3 hours ago, bebebisous33 said:

But their loyalty is based on that principal that what they are doing is not that evil.... like murdering someone. They have no idea that they are actually covering up for the murderer. Her employees are not aware that she is involved in MWP's death. They were not present, when she ensured that Mo would get a heart attack. So far, she has presented the case from 15 years ago as something that would damage MC Group. In their eyes, she might be harsh and brutal but they don't suspect her that she killed someone. They got  unsettled, when Ms. Han asked to increase the pressure onto JYI indicating that they didn't like the idea. 

Oh yeah! The look the employees shared when she was like no we need to push more and involve the son. And while they may feel responsible for the death of JYI, they have no idea like you said that they are also accomplices in covering up this murder unknowingly. So will they switch sides and end up helping SH?

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Continuing with my re-watch. 

 

Interesting thing I've noticed:  Second Son was trying to do something with "green" business.  The land transactions that Han was trying to broker involved Greenbelt areas.  And the case that got Han involved with MC group originally was when she gave a heavier-than-expected sentence to an environmental polluter (who, it appears was backed by MC Group).

 

This is probably not important.  It's too late in the series for another storyline to come up.  But it does seem that there is a curious green thread that is woven into the cloth of our drama.

 

 

I just remembered something:  Han was reading that book before that was sort of anti-tech.   Hey, I've got it:  she's green, she's anti-tech, so maybe Han is a closet Luddite?  

(yes, I am just being silly; re-watching will do that to a person)

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kekek... guess I am one of the few who didn't mind that we didn't have a follow up kissy kissy scene in the last episode. actually the kiss scene and the sweet OTP scenes that came after felt more organic and a kissy kissy scene would have felt a bit strange for me.

 

in the last episode, we had a sweet confession where she holds his hands and says that she is lucky to have him by her side. he just smiles and they keep walking -- so they are cementing their relationship as long term without having to discuss it at length. neither are filled with doubt or worry wondering what does that kiss mean, where they do they stand etc. they already know and there is no need to discuss it.with a typical OTP, both will be processing the kiss and there's confusion as they try to figure out what is next. here, there's no need and it is  is because of what's happening around them and how they have built the relationship.

 

they are in a war footing with ms han and TOP and in that sense, there's no room for distractions. they need to be agile and quick on their feet. they can't afford to be caught up in other feelings. so that little break in the room where they are both aware of each other and she smiles as she realizes that he cleaned up the room for her is enough for that moment. they both need peaceful sleep where they can switch on their brain for the fight of the next day.

 

also given all the drama in the earlier episodes, they built their relationship out of a slow dance of trust, respect and opening up to each other. in that sense, the kiss is a climax and not a beginning. there's already a great deal of emotional intimacy where both are open about their frustrations and disillusions -- so in that sense, the relationship is already far deeper than a typical OTP after a first kiss.

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Hello, I just joined watching this drama & so far I’m loving it. It’s refreshing to see no backstabbing & unnecessary jealousy between main couples. And I love the story stick to its original plot..finding the real murdere of AJR..after 14 episodes I just want to share my 2 cents..

 

Firstly, I suspect all the death in Mo’s family designed by Han. Han is a power crazy woman. She believes being a judge she was the ultimate power, but she realized it wasnt the case after she handled the MC case. So being offered a job at MC she grab the opportunity to gain as much power as possible...however she cant  get what she wants as long Grandpa Mo is in control, thus tried to kill him via the accident. 

 

As per ep 14, here’s are the finding

1) SK is not Chairman’s Mo biological daughter but she is Grandpa Mo’s daughter. And I suspect SK is not AJR’s biological daughter. She has been married to chairman Mo for many years but still didn’t conceived. Then chairman Mo had affair with his nurse & had 2 sons with her & chase AJR out from their main house. For some reson he still visited AJR from time to time. At the same time I think Grandpa Mo had affair with some other woman, she got pregnant & to hide the child, probably Grandpa Mo asked AJR to fake her pregnancy & gave her the child once his mistress gave birth. I’m sure once YSH heard abt AJR’s pregnancy she wont allow Chairman Mo to visit AJR & keeps pestering jomnto divorce AJR. When he didn’t, she plan with the doctor to feed AJR  with drugs so Chairman wud divorce her becos of her addiction 

 

2) we can safely cross WJ’s name as the AJR’s murderer when he questioned WS’s whereabouts at the time of the muder becos it seems like he often wondered that WS’s alibi wasn’t consistent.

 

3) WS isn’t as simple as he presented himself. He knows from young the his parents, especially his mom groomed WJ as the next heir. Despite his failure track record I suspect he is one shrewd & cunning guy. I’m not even surprised he has good business skills underneath all that love for for arts & filmaking talk.

 

I hope none of Mo family member murdered AJR but Han did it out of her own greed. And in the end I hope SK will run MC corp, HYD will lead top, chairman wud retired, WS go on making film, WJ will go to Paris as he plan & lives his life as he wants, and YSH wud accompany Han in prison for her parts of destroying AJR’s health  & stealing AJR’s work

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@wildcherry I really liked your analysis about Ms. Han. It gave a really new perception of her. She became a judge in order to get the ultimate power only to realize that power from a huge corporation is even stronger. So her harsh sentence could be seen in a different light too. On the surface, it looked like she cared for the environment and people, while in reality she wanted to demonstrate her power. She gave a harsher sentence that was asked by the prosecution office. This would explain why MWP misjudged her in the end. He thought, her verdict reflected her righteousness, while it only revealed her love for power display and her coldness. 

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