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2016-09-27-11-23-05
Ji Woon stumbled on his parents sad love story in the past and took an agonizing confusion that it was also happening to him at the present time.  While time was running out to save their grandfather’s life, Hyun Min is in the brink of finding out the truth about the discreet villains.  
2016-09-27-10-19-54
Episode 14 Recap
Ha Won closes her luggage with a heavy heart and silently weeps on the path she is about to take while Seo Woo nurses his broken heart through writing encouraging words on his CD’s.  Yoon Sung notifies the Kang cousins that their grandfather collapsed, and they all rush to the hospital to check his condition.
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Ha Won arrives earlier than the boys worried that she could be the cause of the Chairman’s fainting.  Madam Ji approaches and asks the nurse about the doctor.  She acknowledges Ha Won’s presence and halts her steps when she heard Ha Won mumbling how it was her fault that the Chairman fainted.  Ha won reveals her conversation with Chairman about his recent discovery of her relationship with Ji Woon and Madam Ji takes the opportunity to cast her away.  She tells her about how her husband is fighting to survive his liver cancer by waiting for a rightful donor that could save his life, but her love ambition steals the little time he could use to try to live.  Upon learning the options provided by the Chairman to her, Ha Won was ordered to leave the Sky House immediately and not inform the young masters of what conspired with her and the Chairman.  Madam Ji tells her not to disclose the conversation they had to anyone and in return she will keep the secret that it was her fault that the Chairman is in the hospital.
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Ji Woon meets Yoon Sung and the evil witch in the hospital and learns that his cousins are on the way.  Yoon Sung is left no choice but to divulge the Chairman’s sickness.  Ji Woon asks for Ha Won and Yoon Sung replies that she has not arrived yet.  Madam Ji follows Ji Woon in the sitting room to secure the wicked plot she has been weaving.  She speaks about how his grandfather already knew their relationship and hints that Ha Won is not answering his phonecalls because she is off to leave him.  She adds how Ha Won disguises in her pure spirit when like anyone else she also likes money.  She tells him that Ha Won was asked to choose love over money and basing on how she ignores his calls, he should know what she picked.
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Hyun Min and Seo Woo talks about Chairman’s illness and were mad that they were not told of his dying state, but Yoon Sung reasons how the Chairman did not want to pressure them when their relationship is not really close.  Hyun Min inquires why the Chairman passed out and Yoon Sung looks away pretending that he was not involved.  omg Yoon Sung don’t go to the dark side!  The doctor advises the Kang cousins on the options for the Chairman’s surgery and prepares to be tested if anyone from them will be a suitable donor.  Hyun Min mumbles how he left his car somewhere because he was scared for his grandfather’s life.  Seo Woo is surprised to see that side of him and he replies how when his father died, their grandfather was the only family he had.
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Ji Woon steps inside the Skyhouse just in time for the leaving Ha Won.  He asks her where she is heading and she responds how she does not belong there as her part-time job already ended. He holds her hand and urges her to say what’s wrong.  Unable to meet his eyes, Ha Won mutters how she must have just been overwhelmed to the whole Cinderella thing that happened to her and probably misunderstood him when he said he liked her.  He stops her from her nonsense blabbing and tells her that it pains him to hear the things she is trying to say.  Ha Won removes his hand and painfully tells him to let her go.   He pleads her to not add burden on his already scattered emotions.  He gazes at her and tells her not to show that cold front as he knows what she really feels.  Left with no option, Ha Won did not give in and walks away.  Ji Woon calls her name and warns her that he will never see him again if she leaves like that, but Ha Won proceeds and walks away.  She weeps her heart out while remembering those moments she spent with him as she wanders in the street as Ji Woon wallows on the pain of Ha Won’s leaving.
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Hyun Min takes Hye Ji’s things when ajumma asks him what to do with it and goes on another reverie of all the bad things he did on Hye Ji.  On that same moment Hye Ji stares at their childhood picture and contemplates on Hyun Min’s recent outburst on why he had to treat her badly.  aigoo you two!  I just don’t know what to do with your love understanding anymore!  Two episodes left and you are still reminiscing the encounters without doing anything about it.
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Evil witch secretly converses with Yoon Sung to confirm that they will not be dragged to be in the scene where Chairman fainted.  He replies it was taken care of and asks if that’s the only thing she is worried about.  She schemes on their plan to take over the company as the doctor cannot tell when and if the Chairman will regain his consciousness.  Yoon Sung protests on how that is not important at the moment but she firmly speaks about how she will make him lead the company as her mother.
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Ha Won finds refuge at the columbarium and spills her heartache to her mom.  She pours out her woes on how the Chairman fights for his life because of her.  She begs her mom to guide her on what she should do while tears fall hard on her face.  At the hospital, the doctor informs Yoon Sung how the two grandsons were not a match and asks if there are still distant relatives the Chairman might have as the probability of a match with strangers is really bleak.
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With his recent uncovering of his parents’ past, Ji Woon skims his mother’s picture and notices the name of the coffee shop in the picture.  He finds the coffee shop and was greeted pleasantly by a cheerful ajussi.  His eyes roam around the place and observes the love notes pinned on the cork boards.  Ajussi sets Ji Woons coffee on the table and invades his thoughts to pry if he has recently broken up with someone as people sometimes go there to search the love notes they wrote before, but Ji Woon politely denies his assumption, and mutters that he was there for another person.  Ajussi spies on his mother’s picture and remark on the date when it was taken.  Ajussi presents him a box of all the notes written in 1995 and Ji Woon digs in to trace his parents’ romance and gets lucky with it as he discovers an exchange of their messages.  He also learns his mother’s intention to hide him as she did not want Ji Woon to suffer the same fate of being hindered to love someone because of social status.  Ji Woon reaches the conclusion on how his grandfather pushed his mother away because he was against his parents’ love affair.  He goes off the grid as the time is slowly running out for the surgery that will save his grandfather’s life.
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Yoon Sung runs his hand on Chairman Kang’s desk name plate and recalls the hardships he shared with his mother when he was young and incompetent to stop his father from assaulting his mother.  When he was asked by his judo friend the secret on why he was so strong, he responds how he has to be that way so that he can protect someone.  Hyun Min meets with a designer friend to ask a favor on taking Hye Ji under his wings and sponsor her fashion designing studies.  
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Hyun Min stares at his grandpa as his thoughts go back to his earlier conversation with the doctor that Ha Won came to be tested but she is also not a match.  He was surprised as Ha Won disappeared without saying anything.  The nurse cuts his thinking to tell him that they got a phone call from the restaurant about his grandpa’s cellphone.  
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Hyun Min goes out to retrieve it and was perplexed when he learns that Yoon Sung and Madam Ji were there when the Chairman fainted.  Hyun Min begins to doubt Yoon Sung as he catches him lying upfront about his whereabouts.   At that same moment Yoon Sung meets with his mother and was told that her stocks were already transferred to him and it’s up to him if he will follow her lead to claim the company.
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Ja Young glances at her phone and worries at Seo Woo who has to cancel his engagements to tend to his grandpa.  She reminds Ha Won on her time limit to stay in the coffee shop.  Their chat is interrupted when Ha Won’s father shows himself.  He speaks about the ring her mother left and reveals that he intends to give it back to the rightful owner.  He narrates how the ring landed to her mom’s hand as she was trying to save her neighbor, but that ring has to be given to her neighbor’s son.
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Hye Ji meets with Hyun Min’s designer friend and was elated when he offers her his scholarship program for her to study in Paris.  Wait till next episode when she learns this is aided by Hyun Min and this crazy girl will spout about her usual don’t pity me nonsense again.  Hyun Min shows Seo Woo the Chairman’s cellphone but uttered how he can’t unlock it.  Seo Woo takes it and uses his pattern and they were both stunned at Seo Woo and grandpa’s same preference.  The blurred family picture displays on the screen.  Hyun Min speaks about how Ha Won went to the hospital to be screened but she was also not a match and the hope they can only have is with Ji Woon but his stubborn cousin is nowhere to be found.
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Ja Young visits Seo Woo and brings a packed meal for him to cheer him up.  She narrates how she was also put in the same situation when her father was hospitalized.  She chats how Ha Won brought almost expiring food from the convenience store and she was so happy to munch it and that cemented her friendship with Ha Won.
Knowing Ha Won is the key to find his hibernating cousin, Seo Woo uses his charm and made Ja Young spills her location.  He pays her a visit and updates her on the Chairman’s progress.  He pleads her to find Ji Woon and show something from the phone.  He adds how she is the only one that can bring him back and that he knows that they are in a relationship.
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Ha Won ponders on the favor asked by Seo Woo as tears welled in her eyes again when she remembers him.  She reads the text messages of Chairman written for his dead son about Ji Woon and made up her mind on what she ought to do.
 Ha Won hunts Ji Woon successfully thru the tip given to him by one of the car repair shop he worked with.  She politely asks an ajussi if she is at the right place as the ajussi affirms it by calling Ji Woons name.  Ha Won’s i-miss-you eyes meet Ji Woon’s cold gaze.  He brings a cup of water for her and she goes to her business on why she tracked him.  She gives the phone, but he motions to leave hearing that it was his grandfather’s.
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 She bargains that it is related to his father so he reads through the text messages meant for his father that his grandfather saved everyday since he found Ji Woon.  She begs him to visit the Chairman as he is his last hope.  She lectures him to face his struggles and not be a coward, but he countered how she does not know anything on what he is going through.  She scolds him on how she wanted to be his donor but because she’s not a relative it won’t work.  He on the other hand can possibly help but he secludes himself and opts to be alone. Ji Woon rebuts that it was his grandfather who never considers him as his family so she corrects him on how his grandpa’s messages reveal what he truly feels.  
HA WON:  “Even if you want everything to be cast aside and go away, wait until you have saved your grandfather and he wakes up!  And then hear him out, get angry at him!  Yell at him!  Face this problem with your grandfather heads on!”
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While Ha Won is trying to warm Ji Woon’s jaded heart, Madam Ji meets with the company directors to discuss the crisis that needs to be addressed as Chairman Kang’s condition is already known by the public. Madam Ji calls in the man who will lead their fresh start as the board directors anticipates who could it be.  Ji Woon is in deep thinking after the pep talk Ha Won gave to her.  He glances at her as she sits on the other side of the road with her please-come-back-to-us Ji Woon look.  
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Later in the hospital, the doctor delivers a bad news to Hyun Min that Chairman’s liver failed already and that a transplant is needed as soon as possible.  The prodigal grand son appears with Ha Won to rescue the Chairman as Madam Ji presents Yoon Sung as the new Chairman of Haneul group. 
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Cinderella
EPISODE 14 QUICK THOUGHTS
Yoon Sung hyung why oh why?  This conflict circling episode filled me with plenty of silent torturous pain from the characters.
 
I know the Kang cousins will join forces to defeat the last minute conflict and I look forward to their genuine acceptance of each other as family when it closes this week.
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I hope to see Ha Won’s feistiness when she shook some senses on Ji Woon’s jaded mind to her own love battle with Chairman because of Ji Woon.
 
Most of the time I wonder why I stayed afloat stalking this drama, but then again I survived some really insipid dramas this year, and at least I enjoyed the scattered sweets and cutesies of Ha Won and Ji Woon from Day 1.
 
p.s   I hope Hye Ji boarded the plane to Paris already.  It’s okay if you dont show her anymore this week.  *chuckles
2016-09-27-11-16-33
2016-09-26-07-23-12
Welcome to the world of commercial shopping.   A world where you can buy anything online and have it shipped from somewhere to anywhere you want.  In the surging realm of online shopping, there’s a legend who knows how to shop big time, ladies and gentlemen let’s meet Louis – the Korean shopaholic chaebol exiled in France.
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Episode 1 “Pick Me”
Tick-tock-tick-tock
Shoppers all over the world patiently waits on an online high-end sale that will soon erupt for a jacket created by a famous designer – Louis Ssaton.  The trendy jacket surged to a high popularity after Lee Min Ho wore it in a drama, making it also vulnerable to imitation as every man in Korea wants to buy it.  Cha Joong Won and his advertising team plans on featuring the jacket for the company’s online event and devises a plan to lure rich men by selling the jackets in a limited edition auction.  They numbered the Louis Ssaton jackets from 1-100, with #1 jacket tagged as the most expensive.   In 3-2-1, the sale commences and a man focused intently on his monitor screen, clicks on the computer mouse and nervously waits if he got the right timing to secure the #1 labeled jacket.  Across the globe, the rich shopaholics who don’t know where to place their money like him are also eager on getting the #1 Jacket.  
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Louis dances in the air after purchasing the $10,000.00 dollar clothing as his butler congratulates him on his shopping success. The advertising team celebrates on their victorious sale event and wonders about the man who bought the #1 jacket.  So let’s now meet Choi Ji Sung aka Louis. Branded as the King of Shopping – Louis is a Korean chaebol who lives in Paris.  Marked as a famous shopping addict, he lives in a mansion filled with hard-to-find collectibles, limited edition products and the most luxurious and pricey items you can never dream of.  His days are a cycle of shopping online or at the store and he does not care how much money he will burn on his shopping adventures.
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After his successful Louis Ssaton jacket bid, Louis’ eyebags touch the ground as Butler Kim reminds him to eat breakfast.  He responds on getting a brunch instead as he needs a quick nap, but his butler coaxes him to change his mind by mentioning that his favorite shop will be on sale that day and if he fails to arrive early, the sunglasses he picked might not be available anymore if he will not visit the boutique.  Placed on a dilemma, Louis stood up and paces his room to come up with a quick decision.   His compulsion won over his already panda eyes and he set forth to dress up as dashing debonair off to conquer the world of shopping.  
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Butler Kim halts him for a quick breakfast using his grandmother as a leverage for him to finish eating the Korean food spread prepared for him.  Louie obliges and eats his breakfast hurriedly.  When he stood up to leave, Butler trails him and hands him an herbal tonic ordered by his grandma to be taken by him. He spits the tonic after having a taste of it and walks out to escape Butler Kim’s caring claws.  
Butler Kim chases his young master inside the mansion and outside the vast lawn in trying to make him drink the tonic.  Worried that his butler might faint because of his loyalty to the job tasked by his grandmother, Louis gives up and moves toward him to get the drink, but ends up slipping and falling in the ground.  Worried Butler Kim comes to his rescue but ended up having the same fate as his and throwing the tonic in the air before he hits his face on Louis’ bum.  The morning gag show is a hit as the French mansion’s workers giggle on the master and his butler’s show.  Louis broke his nose which causes it to bleed and his injury was reported right away to his grandmother who agonizes on her precious grandson being hurt while talking to his picture.
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Louis complains on how he has to leave before the shop closes, but Butler Kim blocks his path as they waited for the doctor summoned thru his grandma’s order.  He whines how it was his fault that his nose bled since he crushed him and adds how his stubborness has made him unable to marry a woman.  Butler Kim follows his young master and nags about how he devoted his youth chasing him everywhere and taking care of him well that’s why he got stuck in being a bachelor, but Louis counters his argument on how he never had a girlfriend and permanent friends because he shadowed him everywhere at school and was bullied because they thought he was a papa’s boy.  Hurt at his words, Butler Kim spills his disappointment and calms down Louis who realizes he went overboard.  He heaves a sigh and goes to a conclusion that their problem will be solved if they will get the sunglasses to comfort their feelings.  
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They put up a show to manipulate grandma who can’t bear to see her grandson gloomy.  She orders Butler Kim to do whatever can make her “precious” happy and the two cheerfully heads on to a mind-blowing shopping spree.  Louis enters a jewelry store and the sparkling beauties call his name seducing him to buy them.  On cue I.O.I ‘s “Pick Me” song airs as he rummages through the displayed items and shopping all he wants until he drops.  He rests after a fulfilling money spending and was asked by the boutique manager on how he can discern the expensive and limited edition items right away.  He replies how he can hear them call his name which made Butler Kim’s eyes roll.  He was presented with an award for his shopping binge with a boxer shorts embellished with diamonds and his name. Upon hearing that it was a one-of-a-kind custom made underwear, he gladly accepts it.
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Chairwoman Choi arrives at her company as her daughter-in-law narrates on how her rich life has a downside having lost her loved ones and left her early.  When a fortune-teller deduced her strong white tiger spirit caused her husband and son’s death, she was advised to have her grandson thrive away from her, for him to survive, hence Louis/Ji Sung was sent to France to steer him away from her dangerous fortune.
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Butler Kim announces a phone call from Baek Ma Ri who contends to become Louis’ future wife.  He refuses to answer her initial call, however his butler points out her usual pattern will make her call again and seconds later his phone really rings.  Ma Ri asks and reports how he was doing and what she has been doing.  Louis stops her boring chat and tells her straight not to dream of marrying him.  Butler Kim completes his analysis of how Ma Ri was just obligated to call him to which he agrees as he understands very well how he does not have real friends.
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Louie sits on the sofa while watching a featured documentary show and refreshing his tablet for possible shopping finds.  His attention freezes as the documentary features a country-side woman threading a mountain effortlessly and bravely grabs a snake that landed on the camera which scares the man holding it and Louis who was watching on the TV screen.  The woman beams in front of the camera checking if the camera man was okay putting Ji Sung on a magical trance.  He asks Butler Kim if people really still live like that in Korea and the latter confirms it to be true that’s why TV shows like that are being made.  When the woman showed a root crop that was a good cure to lung inflammation, Louis asks him to buy it to help with his allergic rhinitis, but Butler Kim reminds him that he is watching a documentary and not a home TV shopping show.  When Bok Sil, the woman in the documentary speaks about how she wanted to have a fridge to help her in storing the side dishes during summer, Louis orders Butler Kim to send one for her, but the Butler reminds him that she lives in a place without electricity.
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Joong Won’s parents sneak on his flat to clean up his place and his fridge.  His mother nags on not finding traces of a woman in his place and worries if he will ever get married as his father attempts to lecture his wife calmly on why their son does not like the weird mixture of side dishes she makes.  She feels hurt hearing the inconvenient truth from her husband and reasons how she had a hard time getting rare ingredients just so she can make those side dishes.
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Joong Won’s father surrenders and follows her lead to another destination where they seek a fortune reading for him.  The seer reveals a vague vision and tells Joong Won parents to wait for a month as a man and woman will surely enter their son’s life.  Meanwhile, Joong Won is grilling his team on their lacking abilities to come up with innovative strategies that they can use for their products.
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Somewhere in the mountains, the woman from the documentary, Bok Sil, shrieks happily after finding a 50-year old ginseng and bragging it to the ajussis who were with her in the search.  They tell her how pricey her find was, but she intends to give it to her grandmother who has been in distress lately after her brother ranaway from home.  Bok Sil chirpily arrives at their house and finds her grandmother lifeless.  She tries to wake her up but to no avail.  
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Louis preps to attend a friend’s birthday.  However Butler Kim does not want to permit him due to the rain forecast and because his grandmother does not want him to be on the road when it is raining.  He tells him how his grandmother loves him so much and it will worry her if he pushes through with his plans.  Louis flashed back to when he was a young boy and his grandmother patiently comforted him when he was yearning for his dead parents.  Not wanting to make his grandma sad, he decides not to attend the party.
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Bok Sil heads to Seoul to hunt her brother.  She sits in front of a grandmother who peers at her curiously while she eats her snacks.  She offers some of it and when grandma choked on what she eats, she asks Bok Sil to buy a bottle of water.  She stands up and rushes to the train store to get the water, but when she gets back, her bag and halmoni were both gone.   Bok Sil reports her missing bag to the train officer and was advised that she will be notified.  Not having any money, she resorts to scanning people who could possibly help her situation.  
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She marks her target and blocks the approaching man, who turned out to be Joong Won who just came from an unsuccessful blind date set up by his mother.  She chases him around in an attempt to win a few minutes of his attention to present the 50 year old wild ginseng she wants to sell.  Flustered on the situation he was put into,  Joong Won counts 1-5 and tried to walk away, but she follows him and narrates how she lost her bag that’s why she needs money.  Joong Won still declines her offer, but stops on his track when she pulls a selling point line on how the ginseng is one-of-a-kind in the whole entire world.  He turns his back and asks her how much she would sell the ginseng,  and replies $1000.  She blabs about how she can even sell it for $5000 so she’s giving him a great deal. Joong Won responds how he can’t even check if her ginseng is genuine and how crazy was the idea of buying some $1000 root crop is at midnight in a train station.  He motions to leave again, but Bok Sil attempts to halt him by guaranteeing her name for him to believe that everything is true.  Joong Won replies how she can’t even prove her name is indeed Go Bok Sil.  Losing patience to the conversation he is having, he agrees to buy the ginseng and gives her $100 for it.  She refuses his money, but changes her mind when she realizes that she does not have much options.  She asks for his name to formalize their deal and he gives his cell phone number as well.  She tells him that she will stalk him for the remaining payment once he is able to confirm the authenticity of the ginseng, but he challenges her on how she will return the money if her ginseng is fake.  Bok Sil assures him that it won’t happen as she is confident about it.  
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Joong Won arrives home and stares at the ginseng he bought.  He talks to himself on why he succumbed to the obvious con and remembers the name of the woman who sold the root crop.  Bong Sil wanders around the streets of Seoul for a place to sleep.  She sees a 24/7 public bath house and finally rested her weary body.
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Chairwoman Choi wakes up from a bad dream of her grandson jumping out from his room after causing a ruckus in the mansion trying to escape the place and being chased by Butler Kim.  She fainted and was rushed to the hospital for treatment. Louis catches the earliest flight back to Korea  to be at his grandma’s side who is in critical condition.  
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Director Baek meets with board members and discloses that he will fetch Louis at the airport who had to travel alone without Butler Kim.  They vouch to support Director Baek mocking on how Louis know nothing but spend money on shopping. Chairwoman regains consciousness and searches for Louis.  She discloses how she intends to give the company to Louis which made Director Baek gives an unhappy glare. She orders her right hand to prepare a lavish welcome party for Louis and tells Director Baek of the announcement she will soon make in the party.   
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Louis opens his eyes from his nap just in time for the landing on Incheon Airport.  He closes his eyes again but wakes up on a public staircase being gawked on by the people wondering about how handsome the homeless bum was.  
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Bok Sil who was handing out flyers in search of her brother notices the commotion.  She snoops in and sees the bum wears the same jacket she bought Bok Nam before he left their house.  She rushes to where the man is, but meets a face she is unfamiliar with.
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shopping_king_louie-p1
EPISODE 1 QUICK THOUGHTS
Shopping King Louis zoomed in an engrossing vibe as it so far paraded its vibrant cast.  I can’t wait how the narrative will connect all of them and won’t expect a lot yet on its zesty premiere episode in case, it will go “W” on me.  *chuckles  As I enjoyed Seo In Guk’s conman portrayal in Task Force 38, I have faith on how he will nail his character in the story.
I like the master-butler bromance and the weird gollum-ish way grandma calls Louis.  I like Louis and his soon to be entanglement with a country bumpkin girl.
Since this chapter is full of promise I will give it a B+ as Louis got me interested in his capricious yet freedom-less world.
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2016-09-25-09-49-57
It’s  now you-and-me-against-my-rich-grandfather when their romance barely set forth to a beginning.  Will Ji Woon have the same fate his father and mother had?  As Seo Woo’s one-sided love hits a validation point, Hyun Min admitted to his sincere, but hindered love towards Hye Ji.
 2016-09-25-09-17-14
Episode 13
After sharing the greenfield and windmills kiss, Ji Woon and Ha Won  drove back home holding hands and savoring the sweet pure bliss of their young romance.   Just then Ja Young called Ha Won blabbering an implied  relationship she had with her oppa crush Seo Woo.  Baffled at what her bestfriend meant, they pulled over and did some online digging and a news scoop of her affectionate picture with Seo Woo in their recent vacation, headlined the celebrity gossip page.  Ji Woon heaved a sigh as Ha Won denied the showbiz exclusive.  
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Ha Won quickly chased Ji Woon when they arrived at Sky House.  He whined about the lovebirds picture she shared with his cousin as Ha Won requested for him not to reveal they were dating.  It made him even more annoyed arguing how  it was one thing that she got entangled with that showbiz scoop, but their recently sealed by a kiss relationship was another thing.
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They found Chairman Kang seated on the living room and was already on a serious face upon learning the rumor on his grandson and Ha Won.  Seo Woo denied it strongly as Ha Won supported his claim.  Yoon Sung also assured the Chairman that there has not been anything strange happening at Sky House.  Chairman Kang rested his worries and spoke about how Ha Won will leave Sky House if that rumor was indeed true because it was part of the deal she signed when she concurred to work at Sky House.  
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Ji Woon and Seo Woo expressed disagreement at the contract Ha Won signed when they saw it on paper,  but the Chairman was firm in saying that he took Ha Won not for them to date and even mentioned that she has still different status than them.  Seo Woo stopped his grandfather’s rude comment as Ji Woon stood up and uttered how the Chairman does as he pleases in buying anything with money, and that his family members are just used for his business goals as usual so he of course would not let them date someone not useful for his company.  He walked out as Seo Woo glanced worriedly at Ha Won.
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Seo Woo called Ja Young who was waiting intently for him to arrive.  She carefully muttered about how his fans might be dying in frustration about his dating news, but it was not the case of her.  She sincerely voiced out her concern about Ha Won and him dating.  She gave him advices on how to date her free spirited friend who loves promos and sales and pointed out how she acts first before thinking so he better give way to her and accept her beatings.  Seo Woo smiled at her intention and cleared with her that they were not dating and that an article to refute that gossip will be published soon.  
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Ha Won sought Ji Woon to his hide-out and was careful on not worsening his already bad mood.  Ji Woon scolded her on signing contracts without thinking it over, but she argued how she did not know that she will end up liking him.  He blabbed about how he wanted to focus on their relationship but her mindless action is making it harder now.  He ordered her to annul the contract and muttered how she really never wanted to date him.  She responded how she was so mean to her when she first came at Sky House so who would have thought that they will end up being together.  He replied how that’s why maybe she was leaning sweetly at Seo Woo in the picture to which she agreed and boasted how Seo Woo was the only guy nice to her when she first came at Sky House.  Their bickering escalated as their jealous hearts cited Ji Woon’s supposed date with Hye Ji to which the former denied as Ha Won challenged him on how he was worried about her scandal with a top star.  Ha Won left after making both of them feel infuriated.
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Chairman’s wife went to shop some children’s clothing and set forth to visit an orphanage she sponsored as Yoon Sung trailed her.  He observed silently his estranged mother’s happy face as the orphans called her “mother”.  He later on spoke with the woman in charge of the orphanage for his donation plans and asked about some quick details about his mother.  He was told how his mother was a regular sponsor and how she was loved by the children there.  She added how his mother lost her son long ago, and that’s why she’s giving the love she was not able to give to her son to the children there.
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Ji Woon found Hye Ji at the storage room and learned from her that she wanted to tidy her things up since she does not want to receive help from him anymore.  She asked if he met Ha Won and he replied he did and told her also that they were in a relationship.  He revealed to her that her things were really brought back by Hyun Min and he was just asked to assist her in getting her things.  He told her how Hyun Min worries about her a lot, but of course bird brain Hye Ji was still on a limbo on what she’s going to do with her sporadic emotions.
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Ha Woon sulked at Ji Woon’s kindness towards Hye Ji as she saw them emerging together from the storage room.  She worried about their compatibility and since technology has answer to almost anything, she used a compatibility app to check on it.  aigoo these kids!  on a side note I remembered how we did it old school back then.  We use FLAMES compatibility paper test
Ha Won felt giddy on the 90% result she got from the app, but her euphoria was interrupted as Ji Woon approached her to ask what she was doing.  She remembered their recent spat and was silent in his presence.  He sat beside her and spoke about how he had some serious contemplation earlier and wanted to say something to her.  He apologized about his treatment of her before at Sky House which made her cheery and teased him on repeating what he just said.  He submitted to her request and clarified how his relationship with Hye Ji is different with her to which Ha Won also responded how Seo Woo was just a friend to her.  Ji Woon admitted that he overreacted and smiled when he heard Ha Won’s tummy grumbled.
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Ji Woon donned an apron and sliced through some veggies as he played Chef to his girlfriend who does not want to trust his cooking ability.  Chef Ji Woon promised to enjoy cooking as he needs to feed his girlfriend’s strong appetite.  Ha Won moved to replace him from cutting the ingredients telling him how she’s not just good in eating.  He obliged, stared at her lovingly and encircled his arms around her in a fleeting back hug.  After 5 seconds of heaven, Ha Won remembered they were in the house and warned him about them getting caught, but he insisted that no one could be watching at that late hour, so she resorted to using the knife she was holding to threaten him, he surrendered to her warning, but planted a quick kiss on her cheek before walking out.  I bet 500 bucks So Dam enjoyed those kisses with my Jung Il Woo. *envious
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Ha Won’s eyes sparkled at the food in front of her and munched happily as Ji Woon tore a leg on the crispy fried chicken and gave it to her.  She mumbled how the chicken would go well with some beer, but remembering their drunk kiss he told her that she should avoid drinking.  She teased him how cute he was when he was drunk and wondered when she will see that funny side of him again.  He denied getting drunk that time so Ha Won urged him to spill everything he remembered so he coolly said how they kissed that day.  Ha Won complained on how he made her believe that he did not remember it, but he responded that he just does not want her to feel awkward about it. 
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Just then Seo Woo entered the house so she hid Ji Woon under the table.  Seo Woo was surprised at Ha Won’s food feast and invited himself to eat with her while Ji Woon shrunk himself underneath.  Ha Won offered a chicken leg to Seo Woo in honor of their 1 day old on paper relationship but Seo Woo preferred to have the wings instead.  She gave him the two chicken wings gladly as he replied how he promised himself he would marry the girl who will allow him to eat the chicken wings.  Ha Won tried to appease the already angry hidden eavesdropper by mentioning she will only marry the guy who will give her the fried chicken legs.
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Ha Won’s father received a call from the man who knew where ajussi can be located and learned how his second wife knew about his location and hid it from him.  He paid him a visit and finally learned the truth that his dead wife was never unfaithful to him.  He also learned that the ring his wife held onto was owned by the neighbor she saved and not a symbol of her infidelity.  He met with Ha Won and apologized for thriving in doubts and hurting her in the process.  He promised he will also resolve things in the house and said sorry on the treatment she got from her step family, but until everything is settled by him, he told her to stay at Sky House a little bit longer for him to fix the issues in their house. 
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Ha Won aboji went home and confronted his wife about meeting ajussi.  She admitted to it saying she was hoping they could get compensation on the money they used to raise Ha Won.  It sent aboji to a rage and slammed the truth to their faces that he is Ha Won’s real father.  He asked his second family how they have been treating Ha Won, and scared of her husband’s furious face, she bowed down to him urging her daughter to do the same to beg for his forgiveness.  Later on they were reflecting on the possibility of them being thrown out while battling the coldness of the balcony where they let Ha Won stayed when her father was away.  
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While Hyun Min stared at his calendar reflecting Hye Ji’s birthday, she was also reminded of her dead brother’s birthday.  Hyun Min reminisced on the first time he met Hye Ji through her brother.  He gave him a gift and Hye Ji cried asking why she did not have one.  Her brother introduced her to him and told him they were fraternal twins hence they share the same birthday.  Hyun Min calmed Hye Ji by promising her he will give her a gift on her birthdays in the future. 
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Yoon Sung drove his mother to her destination while she expressed on how the Chairman has been acting up weird lately like he was suspecting her of having an affair.  She asked if that’s what he thought of her too but he replied that he does not know.  She invited him for a meal, but he refused.  She then handed him a gift and told him how she knows she does not deserve a meal on his first paycheck, but she wanted to give a necktie for him to use at work even if it was too late.
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Hye Ji passed by Hyun Min who asked where she was heading and she responded how she had a lot of plans that day.  He trailed her to the supposed plans and waited outside a building where she inquired on a place where she can stay without a deposit.  The man frankly told her that it would be hard to look for a nice place and offered her options on student hostels.  She went out with a heavy heart and received a call from Hyun Min who was stalking her from afar.  He asked where he was and reminded her that it was her birthday.  She replied that she will be meeting her friends so they should hang up already.  I already gave up on Hye Ji’s character.  I mean I’m totally okay if she just vanished on the last episodes without any explanation lol
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Chairman giggled  and murmured how it was a nice age to be in love when he noticed a young couple hugging outside.  But when the young man stole a kiss from her and walked fast to tease her, he was surprised to see that the young woman was Ha Won.  He moved his eyes to the young man who welcomed Ha Won in his arms and went on a serious face when he saw that it was Ji Woon.  Unaware of their looming love problem, Ha Won and Ji Won walked on flower petals on their blossoming romance.
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 They went on their strategy on who will go first and decided that she will do it.  She walked ahead of him, but she faced him again, beamed and created a small heart through her hands for him.   Ji Woon giggled like a school-boy and moved quick to embrace her while whispering how it felt so nice to have her in his arms.  
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Unbeknownst to them Seo Woo witnessed their embrace and when he saw Yoon Sung approaching he tried to deviate his attention for him not to discover Ha Won and Ji Woon’s secret relationship.  
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Seo Woo grieved silently on his recent discovery while contemplating on what will happen to Ha Won if his grandfather will learn she breached the contract.  He went to the kitchen to make some coffee and Ha Won found him and drank coffee with him too.  He asked her if something good happened to her recently because she seemed a bit happier, but she denied that nothing significant happened to her.  Ha Won asked him an advice since he gets a lot of presents from his girl fans on what gift to buy a friend of her friend who just recently started dating her boyfriend.  Knowing the question was really Ha Won’s situation, Seo Woo told her how guys are not particular about gifts and that they just want their girl to stay with them smiling and happy like what she was doing at that moment.  She thought she was spilling another line from a love song he is currently writing not realizing that painful i-like-you-but-you-like-my-cousin gaze.  awww hugs for you Seo Woo
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Chairman Kang summoned Ha Won to his office and went straight to the point on how she lied that she was not dating his grandson.  He offered her the complete compensation promised to her when she took the job, but she has to leave Ji Woon and Sky House for good.  Ha Won leaned on a post, crying silently and trying to get some strength from the shock from Chairman’s threat.  
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The Chairman was reminded of when he ordered Ji Woon’s mother to leave the Sky House because she discreetly dated his son.  Ji Woon’s mother reasoned how they did not deserve that treatment when her father served him all his life and how falling in love was not a sin as well, but the Chairman was firm with his decision that she was not good for his son.  His son went furious upon learning he sent his lover’s family away and argued how he loved her dearly, but his father just replied that since his woman accepted his money, she did not feel the same way at all.  Chairman Kang opened a box where his dead son’s ring rested and remembered how he scolded him of his fixation of money and how years after his son said the same thing to him.
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Hyun Min saw Hye Ji’s thank-you-note to Ha Won and went to search for her.   He found her on the playground they frequently went to when they were young and pushed him away telling her friends will arrive soon.  He stopped her from the nonsense she was spouting.  Hye Ji uttered how the place is perfect for them to finally get both their closure.  We delved back to memory lane when young Hyun Min gave her a ring on her birthday and asked her to marry him.  Young Hye Ji responded that she will give him an answer in 10 years.  Back to present time, Hye Ji told him that she will give the answer from 10 years ago.  She said no from his proposal citing they were not meant to work out.  Hyun Min agreed but asked her to go back at Sky House and to stop doing stupid things.  She declined his offer and motioned to leave reasoning out how she does not have the right to stay at their house and that she will just live with her uncle.  He repelled her words dropping how he knew she was looking for cheap places to stay as she does not have money to pay for a decent place.  Hye Ji took it like he was pitying her for providing her living options and taking care of her studio things as he silently refuted her thoughts.  aigoo Hyun Min just give up on that girl puhlease
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HYE JI:  You disappeared like you would never see me again.  I missed you so much that I almost went crazy.  When you came back, you looked at me with the coldest expression.  When I tried to approach you and you looked at me with that coldness, my heart felt like it was ripping apart.  Is that fun for you to play with someone’s feelings?
HYUN MIN:  Was it fun for me?  When you missed me, I missed you a hundred times more.  I wanted to touch you when you looked at me.  I wanted to hold you tight whenever you approached me.  I wanted to do all of it a hundred times!  No!  Even a thousand times more than you did.  I treasured you and loved you more.  But the two of us can never be together.
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Tears welled on Hye Ji’s eyes with Hyun Min’s love declaration as she asked her why they can’t be together.  He divulged the truth about the guilt he has been carrying all these years for leaving her brother when he was hit by a car 10 years ago.  He added how he was a coward back then who ran when he did not know what to do and that’s why they cannot be together.  It dawned on Hye Ji how he has been pushing her away because of that reason which did not make sense to her as everything does not make sense to her strange mind anyway.  She told him not to seek her anymore im the future and for them not to share the same space and time as well and walked away from him.
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Ji Woon frantically tried to reach Ha Won and his phone slipped from his hand and went to a locked portion of the storage room.  He picked up the phone and noticed an old photo album.  He opened it and realized that her mother used to live at Sky House. 
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Meanwhile Chairman Kang asked Yoon Sung about any development, but the latter reported nothing of great importance for his task.  Chairman faced him and got startled when he saw the neck tie his wife picked worn by his secretary.  Yoon Sung went to a dinner with Chairman’s wife and were surprised when the Chairman came unannounced staring at his wife holding Yoon Sung’s hand.  The Chairman fainted with the shock thinking his wife was having an affair with his secretary.  
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As Hyun Min and Ji Woon prepared on the effects of new revelations they just made and received, Hye Ji and Ha Won contemplated on where they will be heading.
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Cinderella
EPISODE 13 QUICK THOUGHTS
Our Cinderella story is now in full swing with a clear possibility of having Ji Woon’s parents’ love story the same as what Ji Woon currently have.  
I was thinking why Hyun Min blamed him for his friend’s death so I resorted to the thought that maybe if he could have been braver and scare didn’t attack him that time, he could have cried for help and it would have saved Hye Ji’s brother.
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My heart was with Seo Woo in this episode as he finally hit that realization that his first love is indeed one-sided.  While I think they created a faint connection with Ja Young and I don’t know if it will progress in the future eps, I think I will make a pass on it and just have him stay as the cool second lead.
I did not see it coming that Yoon Sung will be swayed with his mother’s evil intentions meant to make his life well.  I hope he snapped back to reality very soon.
As this drama is predictable, we can pretty much say what will happen in the succeeding chapters.  I just hope that the closing frames will be neatly tied and that grandpa will just acquiesce that true love really exists.
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Sometimes close can be too close.  Ji Woon who got used to playing superhero cared so much about Ha won that he overstep on the battles she has to face on her own.  Hyun Min mustered his will and pulled Hye Ji back from the rebellion she was starting.  We get to see the main couples inside a car this episode, I guess we are finally reaching home.
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EPISODE 12 SUMMARY
Burdened with the recent revelation she got of her supposed real father, Ha Won found herself talking to her mother to deny it as it did not make any sense to her.  Ji Woon trusted his hunch on where Ha Won can probably be and found her sadly sitting at the columbarium.  She stood up to meet his eyes as he wondered how he found her there.  
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JI WON:  I was worried about you.  I thought that you might be crying alone or you may be in pain.
Ha Won remembered how she called him earlier and explained that there’s nothing to worry about her and that she just missed her mom but Ji Woon stopped her pretending-i’m-okay face and took her body in his embrace.  He whispered for her not to say anything and that she can cry as much as she wants because he will be by her side.  Ha Won cried her heart out as Ji Woon gently tapped her back.
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Ha Won poured her sentiments on how she can’t accept the news brought by the ajussi claiming to be her father.  She spoke about how she still hoped that what her known father told her about her birth secret was just spilled out of anger.  Though she did want to meet her biological father if it was indeed true, she was not prepared when he appeared suddenly in front of her.  Ji Woon advised her how he was on the same situation a year ago learning from Yoon Sung about who his father was.  He added that what she felt was normal and she should not force herself to believe it right away until she is mentally prepared to process everything.  Ha Won voiced out how she felt scared and wanted to be with someone to share her burden and so she was happy when he was there at that moment.  Ji Woon asked if she was happy to see him and Ha Won finally smiled saying how Ji Woon has some purpose in her life at least.
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Ajumma told the other young masters on how Ha Won ran away after the visit of her supposed real father.  Ha Won received a phone call from the columbarium about an advance payment made by ajussi making her feel uneasy on why he had to do it.  Seo Woo who wanted to cheer Ha Won up dragged her to the dining hall and prepared some pasta which she happily munched.  Ha Won told him to stop staring at her with that concerned look, but he replied how she has always been fixing their family problems and that he has not done anything for her.  She assured him that she’s feeling better and mentioned how Ji Woon came to comfort her when she was having a hard time yesterday. ouch
Seo Woo was surprised that Ji Woon did it and felt a little bit jealous of him while Ha Won blabbered on how they were being nice to her making her living to Sky House a happy experience.  She praised his cooking as Seo Woo urged her to eat some more.  Is he really not going to have a love line here?  Poor Seo Woo.😦
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Ha Won saw Hyun Min peeking at her room and made him jump in surprise with her sudden hello.  He asked if she already ate and she confirmed it while drumming on her full tummy.  Hyun Min murmured how it’s impossible for her to lose appetite anyway and told her how Seo Woo has been worried about her but he assured him how he knows her strong convictions won’t likely make her feel down.  Ha Won agreed and went inside as he sneaked a chance to check if Hye Ji was inside, instead he saw the workout clothes and memories of their awkward orange moment came rushing to his mind.  To protect that sweet memory, he told Ha Won not to wear her Sky House uniform anymore which confused her as she regularly wears it in the house.
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Yoon Sung’s mom went to see Chairman in the office and whined on why he had to leave early when she prepared a surprise breakfast.  He told her that he had a meeting but when they sat down he revealed that he did not want to lie to her so he will be admitting that he really went to the bath house with a friend.  He asked his wife if there’s something she might not be telling her about, but she evaded his question making Chairman sad that she still chose to lie and suspected her even more.
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After comtemplating on Hye Ji’s actions, Ji Woon approached Hye Ji who was working on her clothing design in the living room.  He apologized for dropping her out yesterday and she replied how it was okay about it knowing it is his nature to help out people when they don’t feel better.
JI WOON:  I did not go to Ha Won because I felt that way.
HYE JI:  Then what?
JI WOON:  I have special feelings for Ha Won.
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Pain and confusion ran on Hye Ji’s face as she argued why he went to help her then last time when he had feelings for Ha Won.  She asked if he pitied her and got upset on all those times he was there to shield her, but Ji Woon clarified that since he was the first person who opened her heart to him when he first came there, he wanted to be nice to her.  He said sorry but Hye Ji stopped him from saying it since she does not know how to proceed anymore when she was really intending to rely on him.  Ji Woon told her how she was just used to having him by her side, but it does not mean that he can fill the void Hyun Min left in her heart.  
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Ji Woon walked away unaware that Hyun Min was there witnessing that scene all along, and he was reminded on how he pushed Hye Ji away when he got back to Korea.  Yes Hyun Min!  It was your fault!  You turned her to a ball of non-comprehending girl who can’t fend herself and just want to be shielded by others
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Ji Woon stepped out and saw an unfamiliar man ogling at the house.  He recognized it as Ha Won’s long lost biological father and invited him out to a nearby coffee shop.  He introduced himself as Ha Won’s friend, and he pryed on what kind of friendship they shared. He replied that Ha Won is like a family to him and he knew about their situation.  Ajussi narrated his sob story of not being able to take care of Ha Won for the past 10 years since he suffered financial constraints that would hinder him to properly clothing and feeding Ha Won.  Ji Woon took some money from his wallet and gave it to ajussi and told him to buy some clothes and food for Ha Won.  Ajussi gladly agreed and thanked him for his good deed.  I hope this ajussi’s screen time will end this episode. just please.
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Trailing his mother, Yoon Sung discovered her secretly meeting the Chairman’s lawyer.  The lawyer gave her the copy of Chairman’s will and when they parted ways, she placed a phone call to set her evil plans to motion.  Yoon Sung confronted his mother of what she was planning to do when he read the document she secured from the lawyer.  He warned her that he will be reporting everything to the chairman, but she coldly responded for him to shut his mouth.  He asked how much more gold-digging she will be doing but she responded how everything she was doing was for his own sake since he has devoted his life to the company and he won’t be getting anything once any of Chairman’s grandsons will take over.  When she told him that she will go to the end of her plans, Yoon Sung icily replied how she should have not come back after a long while but looking so pathetic like that.
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Ha Won received a text from ajussi about what happened yesterday.  She asked him to meet her and when she confirmed their relationship, ajussi responded how he was friends with her mother since college.  They opened the taekwondo school together and realized they have feelings for each other at a time they were not supposed to.  She asked him why it took him a long time to present himself and he replied how he was drowning in debt in the past years.  He tried holding her hand and reminisced about how Ha Won loved nestling on his neck playing a robot transformation.  Ha Won excused herself to go somewhere near to get something and to escape the situation as well.
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Ha Won went to a nearby store to buy a clothing for ajussi but when she got back she found him sneaking on her things.  She pretended she did not see it and aked him if he was still struggling with moneys.  He confirmed how nothing has changed since then and showed his bad color by urging Ha Won to give him some money so he can find a place where they can stay.  Ha Won responded how she does not have any money either, but ajussi suggested if maybe Kang Ji Woon can help them.  She was surprised how he knew Ji Woon so he told her how he ran into him and sat for a quick chat about her. She got upset when he blurted the money he accepted from him and hurriedly left the eating place.  At the Sky House, Ji Woon was having a hard time trying to text Ha Won to go out with him.
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Hyun Min was alerted  by his friend that Hye Ji and their common friend known to be a player is hitting nicely in the bar.  Ji Woon received a phone call from ajussi about his meeting with Ha Won. Worried about Hye Ji, Hyun Min called Ji Woon’s attention who was about to leave to ask if he will pick up Hye Ji, but he was clueless where she was.  Ji Woon threw the storage key at him and told him to take care of Hye Ji if he was that concerned about her.  
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Ha Won arrived at Sky House looking gloomy  just as Ji Woon stepped out to meet her.  She griped at how he might be pitying her to have met ajussi and gave some money to him.  She told him how when he shared his story of him learning he was from a rich household, she thought they have at least something in common, but she was wrong about it since she did not wake up rich like he did and it pained her so much how she would look forward to her life if that kind of person was really her father.  Ji Woon tried to clarify the concern he was giving her, but she does not want to hear it and was firm of him not to mind her business anymore.
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Ji Woon froze not knowing how to appease Ha Won and we flashed back to his conversation with ajussi where he opened about getting an apartment and needing money for it.  Ji Woon asked him if Ha Won knew about what he was asking and he replied that it was her idea for him to ask his help.  Ji Woon agreed and told him that he will pay him a visit at his workplace tomorrow.  Meanwhile Ha Won held on her mother’s necklace crying on what she has to do in her situation as she questioned how her mother fell in love with that kind of man.
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Ajussi splurged on some money treating his fellow workers with some drinks.  He boasted how he got a sponsor when he was asked how he has been buying them food these days.  When they were asked to resume to work, Ji Woon who was there all along, took the cup where he drank and went to submit it for a DNA test.  
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Seo Woo went to a radio interview for his album promotion and was asked about his first love.  He described how she is boyish and uses cosmetic samples.  He added how she wears exercise clothing most of the time, but when she appeared on a dress she was so beautiful.  Seo Woo ended his heartfelt my-first-love confession by telling how he has shown her his feelings in so many ways, but she goes to where her heart belongs unaware that he likes her.  awwww Seo Woo I’m here for you.
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Yoo Na and Ja Young met outside the radio station where Seo Woo’s fans were already camping.  Ja Young called Seo Woo to inform him that evil Yoo Na unni graced his presence.  He walked towards them to get her notebook as Yoo Na prettily smiled with the attention given to her, but when she saw what was written, she got mad when it was a note for her to be nice to Ha Won.
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Hyun Min  contemplated on the challenge Ji Woon thrown at him and we finally got a glimpse of why he acted  indifferent towards Hye Ji.  He remembered  the day when he was playing with Hye Ji’s brother with a water gun.  He went ahead of him and just as Hye Ji’s brother was crossing the road, a car ran at full speed and bumped at him in front of Hyun Min’s eyes.  
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Ha Won met with ajussi and gave him some money.  He thought it was for their apartment, but she corrected him that it was for the columbarium payment he made.  She told him that she will not acknowledge him as her father, but he argued how they are related by blood.  Just then Ji Woon slumped the DNA result and challenged ajussi to reveal his real identity.  When he ignored the envelope, Ha Won took it and tore it in front of him.  She stood up as Ji Woon complained on why she did that.  She smiled at him and muttered how she trusts her mom would never loved a man like him.  She faced ajussi and lectured him on how he approached the wrong person as she is not rich and only works part-time at Sky House.  
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She motioned to leave but ajussi mumbled how he was left no choice and blamed the apartment fire that ruined his life.  Ha Won turned her back and in the brink of tears she told him how she lost her mother in that fire as well, but never did she give up on her life and it was his fault how his life did not get any better.  Ha Won walked out of the cafe as Ji Woon grabbed her hand and declared they will finish their interrupted joyride last time.
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Hyun Min saw Hye Ji heading out and learned through her phone call that she was meeting his friend.  Hye Ji responded how Hyun Min does not care about her when her date asked if it was really over between her and Hyun Min.  She mumbled how they never dated in the first place and he was just a friend.  Hyun Min came out of the blue grabbing her out of the place and warning his friend to stop his playing around and just worry about his girlfriend whom he just ended his relationship yesterday.
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Hye Ji spat her anger at Hyun Min on the show he just pulled with her date and how he does not need to care about her life.  He replied how he does not want to do that either but he can’t bear to see her dating worthless guys after being dumped by Ji Woon.  He hit her nerve and demanded to let her out.  He pulled over in front of a convenience store and bought some beer to drink to stop her tantrums.  He told her how he can’t drive since he consumed alcohol so she was left with no choice but to crawl-drive following his direction.  Hyun Min boringly answered Hye Ji’s inquiries while she drives at a snail pace.  When they missed the chance to switch lane again, Hyun Min teased her on how they can just go on their straight path since the world is round and they will surely reach their destination.  lol
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Seo Woo’s manager received a phone call from a reporter snooping if the singer has been dating.  He denied it strongly but asked Seo Woo just in case the reporters will delve in his dating life.  Seo Woo assured him how he does not have time to date anyone.
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Ji Woon stared at Ha Won’s cheerful face while she enjoyed the view from their ride.  He apologized for stepping in and not trusting that she can battle her own problems.  She revealed how she put up a strong face to reject ajussi and even earlier was still crossed whether accepting him or not, but when he showed up with the envelope, she gained more confidence to trust her instinct.  She beamed at him and told him how she trusted her mom.  He smiled back and patted her hair and the butterflies in her tummy started to move again.  lol  She teased him of how boring his driving was so he stepped on the gas and surged fast on the road.
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They went to a ranch farm where Ha Won can’t help but praise the amazing scenery and told him how it was the first time for her to be brought to such a beautiful place.  They went for a walk and he confided how it was also the first time for him to meet someone who was quite similar to him.  She agreed when he said that they were alike, but she pointed how he was a bit peculiar closing his heart and telling her to get lost a lot of times before.  She asked why he was like that before and murmured how he was like an iron-clad wall.  He finally handed her the chocolate box and told her that it was a gift from an iron-clad wall.
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She opened the box and found it empty.  She asked him what kind of gift was that and he replied that it represents his feelings.  errrr wrong answer Ji Woon  Ha Won moved forward away from him after misunderstanding his gift but halted when he called her.  He told her how he bought that chocolate for her on White Day.  She showed the empty box, and he responded that the chocolate melted that’s why.  *chuckles
JI WOON:  It’s not Hye Ji.  It’s you.  My heart belongs to you.  Thank you for getting close to me.  Just stay there.  From now on, i will be the one who will get closer to you.
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Ji Woon walked to where she was standing and gently held her face in place for a heart-stopping kiss that sent her to oblivion.  Ha Won closed her eyes, wrapped her arms around him and savored Ji Woon’s sweet kiss teasing her lips in that beautiful green field.  
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 Cinderella
EPISODE 12 QUICK THOUGHTS
Aigoo… I swear I closed my eyes with that kiss too.  Did they kiss for 20 seconds?  It’s just pure bliss whenever Jung Il Woo does a kiss scene.
Finally we won’t be having any love confusion anymore and will hurdle a possibility that grandpa might not like the idea of his grandsons dating.
Considering the drama is pre-produced, I hope I can still bask in Ha Won-Ji Woon romantic scenes in the closing episodes.  
As I melted from that closing scene kiss, I’ve ran out of thoughts to discuss.  At least this episode compensated to the recent Hye-Ji induced annoyance that made me almost give up in finishing this series recap.  *lol  Episode 13, please hurry up!  ^_^
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There is a thin line between being brave in claiming a love and assuming that the love will be reciprocated.  As Hye Ji drowned in her world where she wanted everyone to revolve around her, Hyun Min belatedly acknowledged what he felt for her and was trying to salvage whatever he can to win her back.  Ji Woon finally set where his heart belonged to as Ha Won was put in an emotional breakdown after a man from nowhere claimed to be his father.
 2016-09-19-03-42-33
EPISODE 11 SUMMARY
Ha Won welcomed Hye Ji to her room as the latter apologized for barging in their kindness.  While settling her things, Hye Ji spoke about how happy she was that Ji Woon came to her rescue because she felt so lost earlier not knowing what to do.  She added how Ji Woon has always been there for her everytime she needs someone.  blah blah blah yeah right the world should revolve around you  Hye Ji excused herself to get some water as Ha Won hid the pain she felt while Hye Ji blabbed to her face how Ji Woon takes good care of her.
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Hyun Min stopped Hye Ji on her tracks so she asked if he had something to say.  He asked how she was and muttered how he was about to pick up her call, but Hye Ji cut him and told him how he was a step behind Ji Woon earlier.  Oh why your highness?  Are the cousins playing a game where you score a point on who can win your heart?  tssss!
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Bothered at Hye Ji’s words about Ji Woon, Ha Won griped at Ji Woon who entered the room bringing Hye Ji’s small bag.  He asked her awkward when and how she got home questions to which she replied how obviously she was standing there so she did arrive home safely.  Ji Woon asked her to take care of Hye Ji as she continued to sulk privately on why he only cared for Hye Ji.
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Ha Won woke up and saw Hye Ji’s empty spot on her bed.  She headed to the dining room and was curious why the house appeared to be quiet.  Ajumma narrated how Hye Ji woke up early and saw Seo Woo in his unglamorous pop star face while she was eating her breakfast.  She also saw Hyun Min’s cherry red boxer shorts when she confirmed if it was his and how she gave water to Ji Woon after his morning run.  Ajumma spoke about how the house is different just because Hye Ji came.  
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Ha Won countered how it was like that when she first came, but Ajumma replied it to be different as the boys never changed their attitude towards her, but they acted awkward on Hye Ji.  She added how it was the first time she saw Ji Woon treats a girl nicely.  All her theories she summed up to Hye Ji’s doll-like beauty (where? which part?) and that’s why her presence was making the young masters act differently.
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Ha Won left the dining room mumbling how she has been overlooked as a womanwhen she is also one, but froze and was put on a trance when she saw Hye Ji on a “pretty woman” brightly lit shot.  When she came back to earth, she looked at her i-woke-up-like-this frame and relented to the idea on how both of them really looked different.  
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She continued her gloomy spree in her room whining how all men are the same when it comes to liking pretty and sexy girls.  But then she came across a line from a book where it said “your own charm will attract the one fated to be with you”.  Inspired by that mantra, she went to “Operation prettify myself” and tried on some cute headbands, hairclips, earrings and clothings to achieve a girly look.  
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Finally picking a sweet lady attire, she peeked from her door and approached Seo Woo who was watching TV in the living room.  He dropped the TV remote control and muttered how she looked different that day.  Ha Won urged for some compliments, but not finding the proper words to say he resorted to calling his cousins to help him sort out Ha Won’s sudden beautiful transformation.
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Ha Won covered his mouth from calling the boys, but it was too late as Ji Woon emerged in his room stopping a bit as his heart skipped at the sight of girly Ha Won.  When he went back to earth, he asked why he was summoned as shy Ha Won ran back to her room embarrass on the show she presented unaware that she took the cousins breath away.
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Ji Woon ruminated on Ha Won’s obvious avoidance towards him and wondered if she was still mad about his leaving last time.  He contemplated on what he should do to appease her.  Meanwhile Chairman Kang dined out with his wife.  While pretending that he did not know about her surprise gift, he was shocked when he saw not the red neck tie he was expecting.  And with just that one red necktie, doubts about his new wife entered Chairman’s mind.
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The police officer denied Hye Ji’s request to see her father.  dear police officer, we would appreciate it if you will lock her together with her father. lol  Saddened on her father’s situation, she tried calling an uncle to ask for help, but she was told he was busy.  Hyun Min who was there all along stepped up and contact his connections to get a letter from Hye Ji’s father and to retrieve her personal things as well.
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Hyun Min arrived at Sky House and found Hye Ji sitting on the living room.  He walk towards her and gave her father’s letter.  He assured her not to worry about the case anymore.  She asked what’s that about and he replied that he felt sorry for not helping her out last time and since he can pretty much do anything he blabbed how she does not need to thank him or ask why he did that for her.   Hye Ji cut his words by responding for him not to extend help to her again as she is not comfortable receiving his kindness.  this girl has serious self worth problems
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Hyun Min went to Ji Woon’s room and threw a key at him.  He told him that Hye Ji’s things would be there.   We got another boring crying frame of Hye Ji reading her father’s letter as Ji Woon stared at her while Ha Won was also looking at both of them.  
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Ji Woon went to the locker place with Hye Ji and before he could even tell that it was Hyun Min’s doing, she was already happily checking on her sewing stuff.  He told her to get only some of the things she needed and she thanked him for his effort not knowing that it was Hyun Min who did it for her.  She expressed gratitude by buying him lunch and when they went to eat cheesy ramyun at a convenience store, she was surprised on why he seemed to have eaten it a lot.  He mumbled that it was true mentioning he often chowed it with Ha Won’s as it’s her favorite.  
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Hye Ji showed disappointment on her face and utterred how he had gotten closer to Ha Won and if it was the same kind of closeness she had with him.  Ji Woon responded not knowing how to compare it and to break free from the situation, he headed inside the convenience store to get some coffee.  He spotted some “express your love to someone special” White Day chocolates on display and bought a box of it.  He tucked it inside his pocket though Hye Ji was eyeing on it.  Yeah it’s not for you b*tch! 
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Ajumma laid the food on the dining table as Ha Won wondered why no one was around. Ajumma reported that Seo Woo left early for his schedule and Ji Woon went somewhere with Hye Ji as well.  Ajumma stated how Ji Woon has been neglecting her since Hye Ji came adding pain to the already gloomy heart of our Hawonrella.  She escaped the awkward chat by dragging Hyun Min who was playing a video game in his room to accompany her on the table.  Ignoring her at first, Hyun Min agreed after she turned off the TV and showed him her puppy face.
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Hyun Min stared at Ha Won’s chomping of food and pointed out how she was eating thrice as much as she used to.  She answered that it was to compensate her empty heart.  He motioned to leave and told her to summon Ji Woon when she refused to talk to him, but she murmured that he was with Hye Ji.  Hyun Min settled back on his seat and urged to tell something more about the two who went out, but they ended up bickering as they both refused to believe that they don’t care about the two going out together.
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The two arrived and Hye Ji explained that Ji Woon helped her out getting her studio things.  After placing her things in the storage room, Ji Woon marched to Hyun Min’s room and reported his successful mission but told him that it was the last time he was going to do that.  Hyun Min responded that he has to keep doing that as he was only good in making her cry.  Ji Woon confirmed how he wanted him to take credit for the future good things he will do for Hye Ji to which he agreed.  Ji Woon told him that he will not do it for him but because he was Hye Ji’s friend and that he cared for her.  He warned him not to hurt Hye Ji again.
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Ha Won took a walk blabbering her annoyance towards Hye Ji and Ji Woon.  Then Ji Woon came out of the blue asking who she was talking to, but she pushed her away to where Hye Ji might be.  He teased her on how his spending time with Hye Ji lately might be disappointing her, but she denied it strongly although her face showed otherwise.
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He apologized for leaving her that day but she disregarded it since it happened on the past.   He was about to give the chocolates, but stopped midway and asked her when she will have the time to drive with him as he felt bad not completing their getaway.  Ha Won shut her heart that suddenly leapt as Ji Woon added that he was going to tell something on the day they will go driving out again.  Ha Won beamed as he walked away.  He stopped and stared at the chocolate box that he still wasn’t able to give.
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Ha Won pondered on what Ji Woon will be telling her and her reverie was disrupted by Seo Woo.  He thought she was thinking about Hye Ji and advised her to take care of her since she’s having a hard time right now.  Following Seo Woo’s words, she volunteered to wash her dirty laundry but destroyed the clothes in the process.  She offered her Sky House patented uniform in the mean time for her to use.  Hye Ji told her not to worry about replacing the clothes as she will shop clothes with Ji Woon soon.
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Noticing Ha Won’s face saddened, she pushed to tell her how she confessed her feelings to Ji Woon.  She narrated how Ji Woon was always there when she was having a tough time with Hyun Min and recently with her father.  When Ha Won asked how Ji Woon responded, she replied and lied to her stating he probably felt the same way too.  
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Chairman Kang was bothered by his wife’s recent actions and ordered Yoon Sung to tail her.  In their goal to be on the good side of Chairman’s wife, Step-mom spilled the gossip she acquired and revealed how other chaebol wives were telling that it was not her first marriage.  Instead of favoring step-mom, Chairman Kang’s wife got upset and called the gossipers to warn them to back off.  She also made step-mom lose her job.
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While Ha Won weighed on where she really stands on Ji Woon’s life as she thought about the signals and sparks they shared recently.  Ji Woon on the other hand was asked by Hye Ji to accompany her to shop tomorrow.  Step-mom wept with Yoo Na on their failed plan to become Chairman’s wife’s right hand as Yoon Sung started on tailing his mother as per Chairman’s order.
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Hyun Min saw Ha Won headed to the dining hall and mumbled how she might be hungry again.  He followed her and held her towelled hair steady as he lifted an orange and moved his face closer to her.  Just then he noticed that it was not Ha Won but Hye Ji that he was holding. Their eyes met and electricity ran, but then she escaped from his grasp as Hyun Min still held on her hair towel.  She grabbed the towel back as he apologized for his mistake and she marched away from him in quick paces.
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Ha Won mustered courage and went to Ji Woon’s room, but he was not inside.  Hye Ji saw her peeking at his room and moved towards her.  Ha Won saw her and asked if she was heading somewhere and she replied that she’s going out with Ji Woon.  
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Just when Hye Ji entered his car, Ji Woon realized he left his wallet so he went back inside to retrieve it.  Ha Won saw him running and headed to his room to ask where she  stands once and for all.  But then she saw him holding the chocolate box and wallet and jumped into the conclusion that those were meant for Hye Ji.  He asked about what she wanted to say and with the inner rage she was feeling she can’t seem to put it on words.  
Ha Won:   I’ve heard everything from Hye Ji.  So please don’t do things that will make me misunderstand.
She hurriedly left not giving time for Ji Woon to clear what she implied.
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To make Ha Won’s day even more worse.  The opportunist ajussi moved to his evil plans in making money by presenting himself at Sky House and claiming he was Ha Won’s real father.
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Worried about Ha Won’s words earlier, Ji Woon pulled over and asked Hye Ji if she said something to Ha Won.  
HYE JI:  I told her that I want to go out with you and that you probably want to do it also.  Is that not true?  You rushed to help me when I was in need, if you don’t feel the same way, then what am I to you?
Ji Woon answered her by saying sorry and telling her to go on her own with her plans today.  serves you right!  finally this drama is making sense!  hallelujah!  
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Ajussi rushed to Ha Won when she let go of the tea cup after his revelation.  He coaxed her to live with him, but not buying the news she suddenly got, Ha Won left when he refused to leave as she requested.  
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Ha Won wandered in the streets while Ji Woon learned what happened when he was away.  Ha Won tried calling her father pushing her phone battery to its limit.  Ji Woon searched for Ha Won while driving on the road.  Ha Won called Ji Woon and when he picked it up, she cryingly called his name before her phone died and Ji Woon failed to get her location.  Ha Won sat helplessly on the road crying hard as that day worn out her usually strong heart.
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Cinderella
EPISODE 11 QUICK THOUGHTS
This is finally moving to a direction where fan service will be showcased soon and I look forward to the you-and-me-against-my-rich-grandpa plot trajectory in our last four episodes.
At least we got a clear frame now on Ji Woon’s heart and Hyun Min is showing some sense to finally win Hye Ji back.  That girl badly needed it.  I am blaming Hyun Min for making her feel that everyone should shield her.
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I was happy that the story did not linger to the confusing what-am-I-really-to-you plot as Ji Woon shut Hye Ji’s delusions right away once he figured Ha Won’s implied how-could-you message.
Can’t wait to jump to the next episode and see if finally we will be getting a clearer picture of the love story.
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 2016-09-12-12-15-09
The world of young love is not always made of rose petals, kisses and pixie dust.  Now that the lines are getting clearer and the confused hearts are getting sober, While Ha Won’s blooming romance is hindered by the lack of assurance that her feelings is not one-way, our pretty Knights struggled with their own love problems.
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EPISODE 10 SUMMARY
2016 Kdramaland’s most boring female second lead Hye Ji really does not know anything else she can still do aside from sewing and stalking Hyun Min.  Drained from Hyun Min’s countless rejections, she offered herself to Ji Woon who was processing the situation he was put into.  When he attempted to reply, she told him not to give his answer yet and walked away to go home.  dear drama, please minimize Hye Ji’s screentime.  we don’t care a bit about her in this drama seriously.
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Ji Woon marched back to his room but Ha Won called his attention.  She gave the watch he left and spoke about how he might not sleep well tonight with Hye Ji’s proposal knowing how much he liked her for a long time.  I can’t recall any scene like that Ha Won.  She said goodnight and went back to her room as Ji Woon gazed at her back.  Upon closing the door, she heaved a sigh and let loose of the painful feeling she cannot comprehend.
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Ji Woon pondered on the sudden Hye Ji confusion and delved back to the memory of their first encounter when he accidentally saw her in front of his hide out crying while he was playing with an old camera that suddenly shot a flash at her.  
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She followed him when he went inside not knowing he is Hyun Min’s recently discovered cousin.  She took the camera but was not able to get it to work.  Ji Woon told her to weep inside and  left the room.  He sat outside hearing her flooding tears and we cut to younger Ji Woon who witnessed his mother suppressing her painful cries.  
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Back at Hyun Min’s room, he is in his own reverie looking at smiley face and the childhood framed picture.  Make up your mind Hyun Min!  If not for you, crazy Hye Ji’s mental instability would not have gone to worst.
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Ha Won sought Ja Young’s analysis on her situation which she cloaked with a story of her friend’s mom’s cousin’s daughter.  Ja Young drew a hypothesis that if the girl is pretty, there’s no way the other girl can compete with the boy’s one-sided-love but Ha Won argued that the boy did not respond to the proposal in words to which Ja Young countered how in relationship these days flirting comes first before validation.  But Ja Young gave her a glimmer of hope stating the possibility that he might have started liking another girl if he has been on a one-sided love for a long time.  I still refuse to believe that he likes her.  She was his only lady friend. platonic. period.
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Ha Won sneaked a peek on busy Ji Woon at his hide out after her conversation with Ja Young.  She arrived to a conclusion that he is always alone and he does not know any other woman but Hye Ji.  Ha Won stopped with her deduction as the kiss they shared flashed in her thoughts and she was on a love trance realizing apart from Hye Ji, she’s the only other girl he knows ergo she dig deeper to her delusion that he might like her too.  love love love Ha Won in her sweet hallucinations
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Next up, she summoned virtual advices regarding her boggling i-want-to-know-if-he-likes-me-too problem and received positive and negative responses.  She picked on a rational reply on how a man won’t be angry at a woman he likes and tested the theory with Ji Woon.  First , she pretended to be reading and threw the book at him hitting his head.  Ha Won apologized  and he just heaved a sigh.  Next, she bumped him and spilled his juice on his shirt.  He raised his voice to Ha Won’s feigned sorry face and just walked away.  Lastly, knowing how he does not like his personal space being invaded, Ha Won made a mess at his hide out and waited for the outcome of her raid.  
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Ji Woon marched to her room angry on why she was taking her boredom at him. Ha Won denied his allegations and tried to bail herself out pointing to the fact that she was sick.  Controlling his nerves, he warned her to just go to sleep and motioned to leave, but she hit him with her pillow.  He turned back about to transform to a super saiyan, but Ha Won complained how he has not taken care of her while she was sick and never bought yummy food as well.  He calmed down realizing it to be true and proceeded to leave her room.  At the end of her hypothesis testing, Ha Won concluded to an answer that he did not like her.
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Hye Ji texted Ji Woon for them to go out and noticed a bunch of notices inside the mailbox. Hyun Min who was stalking her approached and demanded for a talk to which she denied.  He boldly spoke on how she was using Ji Woon to spite him, but Hye Ji answered how his mind can only think of lame excuses.  She told him how Ji Woon has always been there for him that’s why.  Ji Woon joined their afternoon chat wondering why Hyun Min was there and left with Hye Ji.
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Ji Woon put the cloth materials at Hye Ji’s work station.  He asked her if she is being sincere about what she said the day before and upon remembering her anger to Hyun Min’s arrogance thinking she can never stop liking him, she responded yes.
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At Skyhouse, Hyun Min was throwing a tantrum unable to handle his jealousy towards his cousin.  He went to his room and saw a yellow toy car and stepped on it surprising Ha Won who went to Ji Woon’s room after deciding not to beat the corners and ask him directly who he likes.  Just as how she can tone Hyun Min down for acting like a gradeschooler, she ordered him to apologize to him later, but he refused her command.  
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She explained how Ji Woon likes car and his mind jumped to destroying something next in his room, but she halted his intention pointing out that he was annoyed of Ji Woon because of Hye Ji.  Hyun Min stood up to leave but realized why she was also in that room.  Unable to respond to the sudden question, he let it go and mentioned that Hye Ji was with Ji Woon turning her to a sudden depressing mood.
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Bothered by the thoughts of Ji Woon and Hye Ji together, Ha Won declined Seo Woo’s invitation to go out after his scheduled interview.  She sat properly from her slouch and asked him if guys really like pretty and feminine type of girls like Hye Ji.  
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Seo Woo was surprised by her question so she uttered how she thinks she can never be liked by guys, but he appeased her worried heart telling her how she looks pretty to him.   Ha Won smiled at how he is very good with flattery as he bid goodbye for his promotional interview.
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Contemplating on Hye Ji’s relationship declaration, Ji Woon’s attention shifted to a pastry shop remembering how Ha Won was grumpy over him not buying food while she was sick.  He dismissed the idea as traffic lights signalled him to move.
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Meanwhile an evil plan is lurking as Ha Won’s supposed biological father learned the extent of riches Chairman Kang has.
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Seo Woo was almost wrapping up with his magazine interview, when asked if his new song is dedicated to someone, his manager came to his rescue to avoid the juicy question.  He was given a simple coaster gift for gracing the interview.  The interviewer told him how he can do calligraphy on the coaster and it will reveal the writing when a hot mug is placed on it.
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Seo Woo tested the coaster when he arrived home to surprise Ha Won with his new song CD copy, but then Ha Won popped up from nowhere surprising him.  She asked if he was okay because the hot coffee was spilled on his hand but he hurriedly stepped out of the kitchen telling he was okay.  
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Ha Won found his new song’s CD so she walked to his room and peeked at his door.  She called him and showed the CD.  Seo Woo told her that the copy is meant for her and bubbly Ha Won staged a fan girl cheer for a live premiere of his song.
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Seo Woo obliged and he sang passionately all the words he wanted to say to her.  As the song hit the chorus with love declaration lines, Ha Won stopped him from singing wanting to just listen to it alone because he felt like cheating on his fans.  She left his room and fanned her face with her hand mumbling how ardent his gaze was at her while he was singing the song earlier and that’s why maybe he has millions of followers.
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Ji Woon arrived home and it turned out that he bought some pastries from the store earlier.  His path crossed with Hyun Min who asked how his date with Hye Ji was.  
HYUN MIN:  You have always stupidly trailed Hye Ji since then.  Are you happy breaking the friend zone area?  *whoa!
JI WOON:  Why?  Are you sad feeling you have lost something now that Hye Ji asked me out?  *rawr!
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Ji Woon came closer and asked why he came to talk to Hye Ji earlier so that he  can give an answer on behalf of her and he replied if Hye Ji knows how much a jerk he was.  Hyun Min grabbed his collar when Ji woon boasted how he lost at him that time.
JI WOON:  Your response has made one more thing clear to me.  You regret your decision about her.  So you better cling on her harder if you don’t want to regret it even more.
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Ji Woon found Ha Won in the kitchen and gave the pastries to her.  She brightly smiled at the sweets he gave.  He told her how she should not complain about him not buying something for her anymore, she gladly agreed as he left smiling at making her face happy.
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Ha Won used Seo Woo’s coaster and prepared some hot choco for her cupcake.  She swayed her head gleefully while munching the sweet cake.  She stood up savoring her hot choco and missed the calligraphy that popped up on Seo Woo’s coaster – “Confession”.  would have been sweeter if it was iloveyou
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Seo Woo appeared somber on his Ha Won related love problem.  He looked blankly at his new song inspired by her and crossed the initial alternate title “For Ha Won”.   awww I hope Seo Woo would at least be given a cute love line before the show ends.
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As wine solved almost everything, Hyun Min drowned in alcohol muttering how Hye Ji left him for another man when he thought all along that she would always be there for him. A club girl recognized him and was responding to his mumblings directed to Hye Ji.  When he murmured “Don’t leave me”, the bar girl was ecstatic and told him how he should remember he told her that. aigoo Hyun Min if only you were not stubborn 
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It’s Ha Won’s foot cast removal day and Yoon Sung  can’t accompany her because he has to be with Chairman Kang’s wife for a meeting.  Ha Won took the opportunity and  knocked at Ji Woon’s room to plead her case.  Ji Woon was shocked being asked to escort her but she reasoned how he is the only person available that day.  He refused her request but she appealed by displaying her foot and enumerating the bus, the train and the transfers she had to go through with that injured foot, but Ji Woon seemed unfazed and shut his door to her face.  
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Yoon Sung proceeded to the meeting with Chairman’s wife and was taken aback when it was an arranged marriage meeting.  He apologized to the woman when she offered her hand for a handshake and left the place.  Chairman’s wife followed him and told him that as his mother, it is her earnest wish for him to marry to a rich household.  Offended by his estranged mother’s intrusion he replied how she does not have the right to use her belated motherly good intentions for him as an excuse.  
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He utterred how he would pretend that the meeting never happened like what they previously agreed before.  The scene cut to memory lane when Chairman Kang introduced Yoon Sung to his future wife who turned out to be his mother who left him 12 years ago. Yoon Sung agreed to her charade of having no previous marriage as she pleaded that it was the only way for her to survive as a woman.  finally this connection was officially confirmed
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Ji Woon waited for the begging patient while leaning on his car as Ha Won beamed at the sight of him.  She hinted she needed help to ride the car, but he dismissed it threatening he might change his mind so she moved to place the crutches on her own.  But Ji Woon saw her having a hard time with it so he moved to her direction.  He placed the crutches on the back seat and motioned to ride back on his seat but darling Ha Won pushed her luck talking to him with her eyes for him to open the passenger seat.  Ji Woon sighed and opened it as elated Ha Won followed his order to buckle his seatbelt.
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The doctor announced Ha Won has recovered completely and may freely move as she wanted.  Ji Woon took it as her conning him to be his driver for the check up when she could have done it easily on her own.  
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He joked that she can now go home alone, but Ha Won took it as him hating to help her out and not having a bit of concern towards her.  He softened at her sad face and told her he was kidding, but she ranaway with a pained heart.
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Ha Won realized her bag was in his car,  but her pride won over and decided to just walk.  Ji Woon scanned the sidewalk worried about Ha Won knowing she left her bag.  He spotted him luckily and asked her to get inside.  She smiled seeing Ji Woon but remembered their recent bickering and ignored him.  He showed her bag she needed for public transportation, but she proudly declared she won’t need her bag because she will happily drive-walk with her healthy feet while enjoying the nice weather.  Amused at her playing hard to get, Ji Woon offered her a joy ride together with him, drawing a grin on her face as she finally dismissed her early disappointment with him.
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Hyun Min was killing all the balls while playing billiards with his friends in trying to relieve his emotional rollercoaster.  He disregarded Hye Ji’s phonecalls who was desperately crying in their house as her family seemed to be on a financial constraint.
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Ha Won felt good marveling at the scenery she was looking at with Ji Woon. He peered at her radiating face while sipping on her drink.  He took her drink and sip on it and my 30-ish old self felt giddy at this scene.  Ha Won was processing the indirect kiss they shared and Ji Woon’s teasing lips sipping on her drink was not helping her at the very least.  
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Ji Woon noticed her blushing as she remembered the kiss they shared recently so he teased her more by grabbing her wrist and pulling her closer to him.  He asked if she has anything she wanted to say to him.  *sigh aigoo those pretty eyes jung il woo aigoo
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Just when our sweet moment was launching to clear where Ha Won and Ji Woon stand, Hye Ji’s rescue-me phone call shattered the moment as Ji Woon muttered that they have to go back to Seoul. 
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Inside the car Ha Won asked where he was going, but when he did not reply she confirmed if he is going to meet Hye Ji.  He replied yes making her face about to cry.  She told Ji Woon to drop her somewhere as she will just take a bus but he denied her requesr.  She then mentioned Hye Ji was waiting so torn between the crying woman and the woman he still can’t label, he pulled over to let her out.  He said “I’m sorry” just as she was about to step out and drove again with a confused heavy heart.
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On the bus, Ha Won fought her tears back as I fought mine as well cursing Ji Woon on his being hero to Hye Ji  everytime.  
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Hye Ji revealed how court people visited their house earlier and the Prosecutor’s office took her father for questioning.  She cried on the helpless situation and hugged Ji Woon, who for the record did not hug her back but tapped her shoulder to comfort her.  
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Hyun Min was staring at his missed call list mumbling how he would have picked up the call if Hye Ji called the third time.  Just then his phone ring, but his face saddened when it was not Hye Ji.  His friend delivered the news that Hye Ji’s family business was in trouble and he finally realized why she must have been reaching him earlier.  
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Ha Won arrived and saw Hyun Min who was intending to search for Hye Ji but Ji Woon’s car arrived with Hye Ji stepping out from it.  
Ji Woon told them that Hye Ji will stay with them for an indefinite time as the four of them exchanged meaningful looks.
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Cinderella
EPISODE 10 QUICK THOUGHTS
Having the guy you like who can’t confirm yet if he likes you back and choosing to hurt you to rescue his first love was a really awful feeling that some tears fell on my cheeks.  But then I realized I’m watching a rom-com so I straightened out.  Park So Dam and Jung Il Woo in that closing car scene really presented that painful so-where-do-i-really-stand-in-your-life picture.  While young love is more prone to love guessing, I think those two have done enough water testing already.  
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I don’t know if it’s Hyun Min’s stupidity, Ji Woon’s hero complex or Hye Ji’s face that’s annoying me to where we are heading in this drama, but I surely want a definite stand for next week’s episode.  I am filled with twist following #W already so I just want a dandy and easy rom-com filled with young and sweet love that’s why I’m here being loyal.  
On a sad note, I feel bad how Seo Woo was neglected as a Knight in the story.  I thought it would really be a 4-man battle to win Hawonrella’s heart.
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6 episodes and we have Chairman Kang’s liver problem, Ha Won being possibly conned by an ajussi who will pose to be his biological father, Seo Woo’s love story, Yoon Sung and Chairman’s wife secret… a lot of plot soon to be in motion and the story kept swaying to Hye Ji induced conflict.  Let’s have this be done in the next four episodes while sprinkling Ha Won -Ji Woon moments. chop chop!  And then make the finale week a fan service binge please?
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I believe that Ji Woon was just compelled to take care of Hye Ji as he sees his mother in her.  He witnessed his mother crying painfully probably because of his father – the man she loved just as he knew how Hye Ji was in pain loving his cousin who refused to see her worth.  By now, we are all aware of the love lines, I just want to speed it up so I can feast on charming scenes.  Next week better be pleasant.  I miss the almost kisses, but since they have all shared true kisses, I might as well wish for some more adorable long pecks.
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The game is on for the best Knight nurse for the injured Hawonrella.  As the remnants of their drunk selves the night before resurfaced, they were on a limbo on how to tackle those unguarded moments when they revealed their true feelings.  
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EPISODE 9 SUMMARY
The sun rose after the drinking binge in the rest house.  Ha Won woke up from a dream of her kissing Ji Woon.  She mumbled about the strange lip-lock vision and got up half awake to greet the morning.  Sprawled on the bathroom floor Ha Won stopped on her tracks when she saw Ji Woon’s handsome sleeping face.   Her eyes crawled on his wine-blemished shirt and remembered that the strange dream she thought happened in reality. 
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She  ran to escape the scene when Ji Woon seemed to be waking up and was half-smiling and half-crazy castigating herself for feeling blissful at the thought of the kiss.  Dazed and giddy she didn’t notice the same soap she threw at Ji Woon last time.  
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She slipped and fell on the floor loudly alerting the gang who stared at her fainted body.  Yoon Sung called Seo Woo to tell them not to worry about Ha Won  as she suffered only a minor concussion.  He advised them to go home and he will take care of everything.  
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Ji Woon stayed in the living room as the rest of the gang packed up their things sensing something odd happened that he can’t remember.  
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Ha Won regained her consciousness and was surprised that she did not stay insentient for a longer time.  She asked Ja Young if her accident might washed out her recent memories, but on queue her brain processed the drunk kissing spree she shared with Ji Woon.  
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Yoon  Sung appeared and spoke about their hospital stop over to put a cast on her sprained ankle.   On their way back to Seoul, Ha Won teased Yoon Sung on his low alcohol tolerance and the crazy things he did when he was intoxicated and he pleaded for her to erase it on her memory.  Yoon Sung then asked if something happened to her drunk self last night which surprised Ha Won so she evaded it by stating she was so much drunk she can’t remember anything at all.
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Back at the rest house Ji Woon who was done fixing his baggage walked to Ha Won’s room and noticed her detailed vacation planned.  His amused mood was interrupted by Hye Ji who asked what he was doing.
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The doctor gave his reminders to Ha Won’s next appointment and gave crutches for her to use until her ankle is healed.  Ha Won and Ja Young saw Yoon Sung headed to organ transplant office and was curious about his business there.  Yoon Sung met with the organ transplant officer to discuss Chairman’s option for transplant but their options looked bleak and he was encouraged that a family member would be the best option but he replied that the Chairman does not want to involve his family.
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Hye Ji approached Hyun Min to talk about the bench kissing incident they had, but he was quick to reply to her to not dwell on it as it does not mean anything to him.
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Ha Won entered the house and met the gaze of the person that has kept her thoughts busy.  She almost slipped not being used to her crutches but Ji Woon and Seo Woo were quick to their reflexes.  She leaned on Ji Woon  and as their eyes met, what their minds wanted to forget seemed to be what the very same thing their bodies want them to remember.  As the boys fought on who will be her human  crutches, she hopped with her foot running away to the awkward situation.
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Yoon Sung reported that Ha Won was well treated as they prepared to have Chairman Kang to get discharged.  His doctor insisted on the surgery as the liver cirrhosis was worsening, but he remained firm in not telling his grandsons who were possible donors.  Yoon Sung took the bag as Chairman’s wife motioned to carry it and Chairman Kang remarked how good-natured he was and would have been nice if he was his son.  
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Hye Ji blurted how something looked uneasy between him and Ha Won as she seemed to be avoiding him.  Caught off guard, Ji Woon blamed the floor slipping accident that might made her act like that.  Two mafia-ish men came closer to them and inquired about Hye Ji’s father, Ji Woon as usual shielded her as something felt off with the villain looking ajussis who left as soon as they gauged Ji Woon’s presence.
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Ji Woon was disturbed with Ha Won’s thoughts as he jogged in the morning while his cousins were busy giving princess moments to Ha Won.
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Hyun Min went to Ha Won’s room but she shoved him away as she was about to change clothes.  He volunteered to prepare it but left her room muttering how her closet has killed fashion.  He set forth to buy her some decent clothings as Seo Woo pushed Ha Won’s sumptuous breakfast cart.  
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Worried that Ha Won has no appetite, Seo Woo checked her vital signs if there’s something wrong  with her so Ha Won responded that she will eat a lot so he won’t have qualms about it.  He reminded her to  be careful as he will not be in the house tomorrow.  Sweet Seo Woo also downloaded games on her phone for her to play if she gets bored making her utter “thank you friend” which stopped Seo Woo momentarily as she does not seem to be like that in his heart anymore.
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Yoon Sung was advised that Chairman Kang might take 2 or 3 years to get a donor but a willing family member will push up the operation he needed to the priority list.  He was given another option to fabricate some documents and make someone be related to the chairman in papers to have that person act as his donor.
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Lost in his thoughts, Seo Woo received a phone call from his manager about an impending scandal sent by a paparazzi who took pictures in their recent trip.  His manager agreed to release the photos but he refused worried about another public attack to Ha Won after her recent stint with Hyun Min.  They resorted to giving something juicier to the photos threatened to them which surprisingly got positive raves from the netizens.
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Bored Ha Won did some stretching and just as she wondered where Ji Woon might be, he marched and halted her peeking at his room.  Ha Won stopped him on his path by murmuring about what happened last night, but Ji Woon cut her up with “It was my first time” remark freezing her.  But he added “being drunk and blacking out” which made Ha Won think that he does not recall anything at all.  Ji Woon threw back the question at her and she flusteredly reasoned how her recent concussion made her on a quasi- amnesia state.  
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Talking to herself on how it was unfair that only she remembered the kisses they shared, Ha Won’s reverie was cut off when shopping king Hyun Min showed the clothes he bought for her.  He disregarded her usual whining and teased her to change to her new clothes and offered he can help her out with it as well, but she pushed him away thanking him on his way out.
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Yoon Sung tried to appeal to Chairman Kang to let his grandchildren know about his condition, but the chairman refused as he was resolved to the idea of battling his own problems alone.
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Ha Won still can’t get over on Ji Woon’s conscious amnesia and was punching him in the air using her imagination.  But then the lights in his room turned on startling her and forcing her to hide.  Ji Woon paced in his room ruminating about something in Ha Won that bugged him.  Finally his amnesia was healed instantly when he saw the picture evidence of their drunk selves stored in his phone.
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Ha Won crawled back to her room and was rescued by Seo Woo who prepared wet towel to help clean up.  They were unaware that Ji Woon’s curious eyes were fixated on them from the adjacent room.
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Ji Woon went to get some drink in the kitchen, he saw a banana milk, hesitated to pick it up, closed the fridge but eventually went back to get it.  He saw ajumma talking to his wine blemished shirt baffled on why the blemish was stubborn.  He tried taking it back but ajumma gave a good fight in not giving it to him until his strength won over.  
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At his room, Ji Woon lovingly stared at his shirt as flashes from his last night memory showed how he carried Ha Won on his back to her bed room.  He even teased himself of protecting that keepsake as an evidence from last night. He picked up the banana milk to give to Ha Won but Hyun Min beat him first by bringing midnight snacks for her.
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Ha Won was on cloud 9 with Hyun Min’s food delivery.  He mentioned how he is a master in winning women’s hearts and only her seemed to be oblivious about it.  She teased how he is not popular with women lately and spoke about how Hye Ji is the only woman who can love him for who he really is.  She lectured him how Hye Ji was so determined in showing her love for him like a tree who cannot be swayed on its spot unlike him who is like a wind who plays around.  She added how like her he also showed his earnest feelings when he gazes at her tenderly sometimes.  She reminded him that not all tree will wait for him for a long time.
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Ji Woon was savoring his first kiss memory like a school boy as he peer on his phone and banana milk as Hyun Min laid on his bed staring at his childhood photo with Hye Ji.
Hye Ji brought some flowers  for her visit to Ha Won.  She was invited inside as Ha Won excused herself really quick so she can was her hair which already felt itchy.  Hye Ji agreed and proceeded to Hyun Min’s room where she found their childhood picture.  
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Hyun Min entered his room alarming Hye Ji.  He told her to get out of the room.  She insisted on asking what she was to him and he replied that if she kept pushing hersel, she won’t ever see him again.  Hyun Min left his room when she remained not moving on her spot.
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Ha Won screamed from her room startling Ji Woon.  He rushed to her aid and of all people she was trying to avoid she ended up asking him to help her get up from the bathtub.  She motioned to leave the bathroom  but he pointed out that her hair needs to be washed. Ji Woon positioned princess Ha Won to a comfy one and gave her a hair home service as he played around with it making her complain on the water splashing on her head and ears.  
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He then dried it with a towel again playing like a kid so she tried to make him stop by reaching out his hand which stopped her heart and froze them both at the moment with each other’s thoughts lost in the emotions they felt bugging towards each other lately.  They snapped back to reality as Ha Won mumbled that she does not need help anymore so mischievously grinning Ji Woon left her room.  Look at you being so cute like a school boy high on his crush lol
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While Ji Woon dazedly smiled at his new found pleasure, his eyes saw Hye Ji standing in front of Hyun Min’s room in the brink of her tears.  He went to her and asked why she was crying as Hyun Min back in his room lifted the picture up and stared at it together with the smiley picture Hye Ji drawn on his hand.  He saw the two outside so he went out of his room.  
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Ji Woon assumed why she cried so he moved quick pressing Hyun Min on why he did not listen when he warned him not to make her cry.  He replied what gives him the right to even say  those things so then Hye Ji joined their word spat and told Hyun Min that she does not want to cry because of him anymore and that she wants to take a break on him.  She then looked at Ji Woon and asked him if she will accept her as Ha Won who was there all along witnessed their confrontation.
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Cinderella
EPISODE 9 QUICK THOUGHTS
Did I miss something here?  Did Ji Woon even ask Hye Ji to stop loving Hyun Min and love him instead?  Why is she offering herself?  Is she a lamb?  Is she a villain?  Is she more than crazy?  Why is Ji Woon happy discovering his fondness towards Ha Won and yet worried at the same time with Hye Ji?  Does he owe his life to her?  Will it be too late now for Hyun Min?  Did Hye Ji make up her mind being done with Hyun Min?
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Questions, questions, questions… I need answers.  I officially don’t like how Hye Ji’s character is building up, but for now I’m  blaming it for the bad acting of the actress playing it.  I mean it is worse than Jung Eun in Uncontrollably Fond, at least that  girl was really bad to begin with and he defined rage very well, but Hye Ji, I just can’t understand her being meek and defiant at the same time.  Is it because they were sketched as young people trying to comprehend what love really is?  
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I am still looking on how the pieces will fall nicely, and yes sir, I just want more Ha Won – Ji Woon scenes if that’s possible.  Oh and can we pair up Hyun Min and Hye Ji already like on Episode 11 so that we can focus on Chairman Kang’s conflict and fan service for the remaining 5 episodes.  Thank you.
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The thing about Uncontrollably Fond is that it tapped into those memories of lost and depressing love that people don’t want to look back anymore in their lives.  It was not a happy-ever-after kind of romance that appeals typically to almost anyone, instead it delved to the most shameful, most regretful and most painful things anyone can do because of love.

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QUICK SUMMARY

At the height of his career, debonair top actor Shin Joon Young received the news of his terminal illness.  To make his fate worse, he met again the only woman he ever loved – Noh Eul, whom he lost a few years ago.  Their tragic love goes way back when both of them were still in school.  Joon Young was raised by his mother to become a prosecutor to follow the footsteps of his famous biological father who didn’t know he existed.  Noh Eul’s father was a victim of hit and run by the daughter of a famous politician – Yoon Jung Eun.  Jung Eun’s father tasked Joon Young’s father to take care of the matter and closed the case accordingly, but his son Choi Ji Tae caught up on the evil act his father succumbed to.

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When Noh Eul secured the evidence that will bring out the justice she was fighting for, Joon Young chose to be a filial son to his father causing Eul to almost losing her life.

Years later, Ji Tae who was burdened by the wrong-doings caused by his parents played Eul’s daddy-long-legs in shabby clothes alongside Jung Eun’s fiancé when he is on his CEO persona.

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Ji Tae and Joon Young worked separately in shielding Eul to the evil claws of the villains.  In his dying days, Joon Young decided on a ploy to get a confession that will pin Jung Eun to her sin and giving Eul the ultimate act of love before he faces his death.

 

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STORY AND SCREEN PLAY

Uncontrollably Fond has put me on all the level of frustrating emotions I can ever have as a k-dramafan.  When almost all k-drama addicts have given up and turned their backs on it, I remained faithful hopeful of some miracle that might salvage its disappointing run.  Down to its finale week I have long accepted that there will be no happy ending.   At some point I even begged k-dramagods to stop the writer from her ludicrously hurtful storytelling or to just kill Joon Young and insert an “it has all been a dream” plot, because I have never felt bad for k-drama characters before, until I spent time with this story.  That being said except for the temperamental second lead girl who was sketched annoyingly without room for a redeeming dimension, I have praises on the main leads’ heartfelt portrayals even if it drained me emotionally with and without tears. 

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Limited by its pragmatic approach, the writing did not swerve to a feel good direction to appease the agonizing dying-man-all-willing-to-protect-his-woman setting.  And that’s the reason why my forbearance was tested in Joon Young and Eul’s love journey.  I have come to terms how we act irrational when we can’t get the amount of love we think we deserve… how the pain we felt to fight for our love does not mean less to the love we gave to stay in a relationship… and how loving in the moment is a lot more times better than worrying about your future together when love might not be there anymore.

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At the back of my mind hopeless romantic me was optimistic that the death premise involved will conclude at a bright ending.  However, it closed to its original path.  Joon Young made me cry big time at the finale episodes that I forgot the dreary side stories because I was crying like an ajumma gloomy and muttering “I waited and I prayed but you still died Joon Young-a!”  *chuckles 

Nevertheless, it was a pretty ending, especially that Joon Young video scene.  It was encouraging and beautiful that I forego all the disappointments I had with this drama.

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CAST AND CONFLICT

Less the handful amount of warts I witnessed cheering for Uncontrollably Fond, the rope that tied me here were the crippled ardent characters who got doses of realities that true love is not always a happy thing.  True, I got to that point when I questioned why the characters seemed to be either masochist or lunatic, but the erring and awry cast made the ugly tone premise of the painful narrative sealed the lingering after-effect when it finally concluded to a saddening and yet gratifying closure.

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I applaud Kim Woo Bin in his portrayal.   I hated him with his choices, but I cried big time when I was sending him off.  His relationship with the people he loved were shaky and quirky but displayed very well his endearing facets as a character good or bad.  Suzy suited up to her character fitting in her sass and stubbornness to Joon Young’s adorable ego.   Her indecisiveness to stand up to the bullies and her payback in the culmination of the story eventually went to show how she picked her battles wisely.  

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Im Joo Hwan who was the only lucid character in the main cast did a great job convincing me that his presence will bring some hope in the table against his power hungry parents and deranged bride-to-be, because hell if our dying hero won’t at least get any help, I don’t know what to do anymore.  No matter how effective she was in getting to my nerves, I hated how she was used in the story to make it more even damaged and yet I can’t help but acknowledge that she’s a key piece that set the main connecting conflict in motion.

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RATING AND RECOMMENDATION

As Uncontrollably Fond won’t appeal to those who craved light and sweet type of romantic stories you can indulge to this narrative but be aware that you will be put on tormenting spot most of the time.  Though deemed to have been badly written, there was a thread that held the loyal viewers and that’s the dying scenario of the lead man.  I stayed until the end because I believe that not all love stories are wrapped in kisses and sweet memories.  There are those that are melancholic and yet lives on as someone’s one great love. -jediprincess

GRADE:  C

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Images Source:  Hancinema

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Can we make these people on a drinking session for the next episodes so we can just enjoy their “truth” and “drunk” kisses over and over again?  Cheers to Ha Won scoring a vacation in a scenic place and engaging her Knights to some quirky fun time away from their usual selves.  While I’m super jealous with the kisses she shared with Ji Woon, I’m dreading the thought of their possible love future if Ji Woon is on a one-sided romance with Hye Ji.  If he really is.
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EPISODE 8 SUMMARY
Slowly opening his eyes, Hyun Min woke up to an unfamiliar place and thought that he was dreaming.  Ha Won called his attention as he was able to process that he was on board an airplane in his pyjama set.  He fussed about the unfair abduction but was forced to calm down by the plane crew.
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Ha Won and company arrived in the rest house and she cheerfully initiated a quick meeting for her dream college team building and even showing the itinerary and prepared jackets, but the people she came with showed disinterest to her planned activities.
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Yoon Sung called the Chairman to update him of what his grandsons were doing through Ha Won’s preparations as he worried about Chairman’s health.  But the Chairman advised him to take the time to rest as well.  
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Chairman Kang was admitted to the hospital unbeknownst to his stubborn grandchildren. His wife complained on why he sent his grandsons on a getaway when he will be confined in the hospital because of an illness that he also did not tell them about, but Chairman dismissed it stating how he is not sure if his grandsons will be worried about him anyway.
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Hyun Min walked in his old room.  He noticed the glow-in-dark stars on the ceiling and muttered how the place hasn’t changed a bit.
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Not giving up on her MT plans, Ha Won posted the itinerary on the rooms of the vacationist, but when she called them out for a house meeting, only the silence responded to it.
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She went to Seo Woo’s room to urge him to have fun with the rest, but he replied that he is having a good time on his own and that he’s using his rare vacation days that moment.  Ha Won pulled his headset out of frustration like a kid and stormed out of his room where she met Ja Young who got the picture of Seo Woo not wanting to go out to eat because he’s on diet.
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Hye Ji walked around the garden and found a wooden bench of nostalgic value to her.  She touched the “hyun min love hye ji” text etched on it.  While she pondered on their old memories, Hyun Min was resting in the pool side.
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Ha Won approached him and apologized for her role in his recent public humiliation and for kidnapping him. Hyun Min asked her about why she asked if he liked her.  She explained how everything changes if a man and a woman like each other because then they could date and love each other.  Hyun Min cut her love theory by telling how she is that woman type who dates bad guys and has a traditional dating perception.  Ha Won denied his presumption but he shooed her away to get some rest from all the stress he had gone through in the past days because of her.
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Hye Ji swam on the inviting pool water as Hyun Min thought Ha Won did not leave his presence.  His thoughts stopped when he realized it was Hye Ji.  She invited him to swim together for old time’s sake but he responded that he does not remember those memories anymore and walked away.
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Hye Ji went back swimming and because time moves fast on this girl literally, she gasped for help halting Hyun Min from his track.  He jumped in the water to rescue Hye Ji who was drowning and massaged her leg knowing how she probably had another leg cramp.  Hye Ji muttered that her leg is okay and was about to thank him, but stopped her saying anyone would have done the same on that situation and left her again. dear you two, can you just please move your love line a bit faster?
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Ji Woon was looking for Ha Won after getting hold of the posted itinerary.  Ja Young asked if he was looking for Ha Won, he denied it cutely, but ask her the same question seconds after.  *giggles
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Ja Young replied that she went outside a long time ago and we see Ha Won feeding and talking to the sheep sad on how the vacation is turning out so far as we get a flashback from a memory of her used-to-be-happy-family on a picnic which is how she pictures a happy vacation.
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Optimistic Ha Won decided to play on her own and checked her activity guide to proceed with her plans.  Ji Woon found her in the horse stable scarily feeding the horse with a carrot so he teased her that what she was doing was not horseback riding.
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Ji Woon decided to do horseback riding against her pleading so he countered it with her going against a planned itinerary she made so she settled.  Ji Woon soothe her woes as the two rode the horse together on the hill side.
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Seo Woo got a phone call from his manager and learned how Ha Won set them up with that forced vacation.  He sent his cross-dressing pictures to Seo Woo’s surprise.  He confronted Ja Young of giving the pictures to Ha Won to which she agreed apologetically. Yoon Sung handed down the barbecue tray to Seo Woo and ordered him to prepare the sticks in compliance of Ha Won’s itinerary.  Seo Woo cursed Ha Won as Ja Young volunteered to help out.
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Heading back to the house, Ha Won noticed her necklace was missing so she went back to try and look for it.  Ji Woon muttered how she is making him worry everytime and joined her to find the necklace.  He made a deal for her to grant him a wish if he finds the necklace to which she acquiesced.
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Seo Woo conversed with Ja Young while they were prepping up the barbecue sticks.  She answered Ha Won related questions and narrated how they have been friends since middle school and how Ha Won’s family is of from average income but she had to do part-time jobs because her step-mom does not give her money.  They both agreed on how annoying Yoo Na is having experienced first hand her lunatic rudeness.  Ja Young added how she is the prototype of evil step-sister and made Seo Woo furious learning how Yoo Na occupies the supposed to be shared room leaving Ha Won to settle on the veranda.  Seo Woo probed deeper to Ha Won’s dating life and was told by Ja Young that she never had any boyfriend yet because of time constraint which made our celebrity singer feel delighted.  He stopped the excitement rush and asked her ideal type but she replied how she has not formed it yet because of her busy life.  Ja Young noticed his shown interest to Ha Won’s life and dismissed her suspicion by stating how he lives with her that’s why he wanted to know her details.
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Back at the hills, Ha Won apologized to Ji Woon for dragging him in the vacation. She spoke about how she knew she did it for Hye Ji but that she really meant to invite her because she was grateful on how she let her sleep in her house for one night and not because of Chairman’s mission.  She added how she wanted to be really friends with her.  Ji Woon praised her for doing a good job as their necklace hunt seemed to be going bleaker every minute.
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Ha Won sighed in frustration on her missing necklace not knowing Ji Woon found it already.  He reminded her to grant him a wish so she replied she will clean his room or do his laundry.  He motioned to leave so she pleaded her with an anything-you-want card which stopped him from walking out.  I’ll give you 100 anything-you-want-from-me wish card too Ji Woon oppa.  lol
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Ji Woon sat in front of her and showed her the necklace which made her jump in happiness and lunged herself to a surprising hug with him.  It made them fall on the ground as Ji Woon protected her with his arms.  Their eyes met and the magical moment snapped back fast to an awkward one.
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Upon deducing how Ha Won’s reunion with her biological father can  make step-mom and Yoona get some money and forced her also to leave Sky House, step-mom met with the supposed father and discussed what needs to be done with Ha Won.  The construction worker father denied step-mom’s stupid deduction but she was already resolved to her own made conclusion.  After the weird visit, he received a phonecall claiming some of his owed money and we closed to a scene where he was contemplating on a plan.  I’m not liking this looming Ha Won problem coming up.
Why show?  I’m here just for the cutesies  and feel good vibe.
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Ha Won handed Ji Woon a milk drink thanking him for finding the necklace. He replied how that’s what he got for the work he did but she stopped his comment with how much yummy that milk was.  He was curious why the necklace was important to her so she told him that it was her mother’s ring and she was holding it tightly the day she passed away.  Ji Won uttered how his mother did not leave anything for him, but ever bright Ha Won cheered him up that he was the most important she left behind.
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Hye Ji went to Hyun Min’s room and picked up his wet PJ’s.  He stepped out of the wash room and took the clothes in and ordered her to leave.  She told him to borrow Ji Woon’s clothes but he pushed her away by telling her to hang out with Ji Woon since she came because of him.  She told him that he was the reason why she was there and talked about how it has been 10 years since they visited the place.  She mentioned how the wooden bench is still on their spot, but he remained uncaring still.  Hyun Min faced her and told her to stop dwelling on their past anymore.
Hye Ji left his room as he mumbled why they had to be there of all places.
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On their way back Ha Won and Ji Woon saw Hye Ji in deep thought.  She told Ji Woon how her expectations on her vacation has not been fulfilled yet as Hyun Min does not even want to give her a glance.  She is losing hope but he encouraged her by telling how pretty she is.
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Chairman Kang met with his lawyer about changing his will.  The lawyer affirmed how the company executives were pressing for him to name his succesor soon.  Chairman’s wife who was trying to eavesdrop spoke to the lawyer when he left the room.  They formally introduced one another as Madam said she will look forward to meeting him again.  
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Stepmom scored a gossip about how Chairman Kang’s wife used to be married as claimed by a loyal housemaid from a reputable household.  Is Yoon Sung her son then?  I hope so.  It will be awkward if they are lovers. lol
 The rest house caretaker brought bottles of fresh milk and rice wine to Yoon Sung who was arranging the groceries he bought with Ja Young.
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Ji Woon stopped washing his face as thoughts of Ha Won flashed in his mind. Ha Won on the other hand thought of him as well when she took of the necklace Ji Woon found.  
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While looking for his cellphone, Ji Woon ended up to a room where Ha Won was bathing and got hit by the soap she thrown when he opened the door.  She found him waiting on the door after awkwardly almost seeing her naked and made an excuse that the door lock is broken that’s why he was guarding it.
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Ha Won can’t seem to know what to do with her embarrassment.  Ja Young who noticed her flushed face told her to drink some milk since she just took a bath, but missed her instruction on which bottle was the milk.  Hurriedly wanting to quench her thirst, Ha Won gulped the rice wine in one shot.
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Yoon Sung was about to call the rest of the boys for the barbecue party but was halted by drunk Ha Won who mumbled about him talking to her in formal language.  She asked him to speak informally to which he tried hard to oblige.  He found out Ha Won drunk the makgeolli as the boys were enjoying Ha Won’s drunk bubbly self.
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Ha Won marched to laughing Seo Woo and complained on how he was such a loner.  She blurted how sad she was not being able to enjoy her dream of having fun on a trip with her friends and showed off her jacket which she also wanted to wear with her friends.
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Thanks to Ha Won’s drunken heartfelt mumblings, the squad wore their named jackets and they happily played MT games and basked in wine and liquor.
 Because wine can make people braver, wine intoxicated Yoon Sung mumbled Ha Won’s name informally then fainted on his seat.
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Then they played this i-love-you game from Seo Woo to Hye Ji to Hyun Min to Ji Woon and to Ha Won, but Ha Won responded “get lost” to him.   Ji Woon turned to Hyun Min and told him “i love you” which made him flinched and switched places beside Ha Won whom he called girlfriend.  
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She stopped him from still clinging to their fake engagement and spoke about how she is also in a tight situation touted as the stupid girl who rejected him.  Hye Ji in her always somber look stared at them teasing each other and then Yoon Sung suddenly threw up hitting Seo Woo ending their drinking session.
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Ja Young entered Seo Woo’s room and noticed the new song he was working on.  Seo Woo called her attention and he was surprised when she spoke about how he might be liking someone based on the new song he was working on.  She told him how she has been a fan since before he was just an indie artist and threatened him that he can’t like someone because of her fans.  She stormed out of his room as Seo Woo read the sweet song lyrics dedicated to Ha Won.
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Hye Ji chanced upon Hyun Min sitting on the wooden bench.  He stood up to leave but she requested if he can stay for a little while.  She told him that she will warm up next time when she will swim and he agreed to her idea so she will not inconvenience other people.  They talked about the old days on how their families will spend time together in that house as well as Hye Ji’s older brother who was jealous of how they were close when they were young.
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Hye Ji admitted how she wants to go back in those happy times, but Hyun Min replied how he is happy at present.  She looked at him and told him how he used to be a kind boy who told his secrets to her but he responded how keeping secrets is not healthy anymore because life is complicated.  Hye Ji cornered him and asked why he lied not remembering that spot anymore and he feigned ignorance that he ended up being there while walking because he can’t sleep.
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Hye Ji suddenly took his hand a drew a smiley face remembering how they used to do it when they can’t sleep.  Then we get a flashback of little Hyun Min drawing it on Hye Ji’s hand and kissing her after.  Hye Ji was about to say that they shared their first kiss on that spot but he stopped her by saying he does not remember.  So Hye Ji moved closer to him an inch separating their faces and kissed him softly.  Stunned Hyun Min gripped her hand some more and close his eyes savoring the moment of their chaste kiss.  He snapped back to reality and cut the kiss.  Hye Ji asked if he still can’t remember it.  She asked if she can start liking another person now and he responded why she’s asking for his permission so she challenged him if it’s okay to like Ji Woon then.
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Meanwhile Ji Woon is with Ha Won who was still wallowing in wine.  He kept saying “i love you” to her showing her heart symbols too but she kept replying for him to get lost.  On his third try she got up and asked him if it was really true.  The two drunk idiots smiled on the world they were having at the moment as Ji Woon stole a kiss from her.  
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He took her wine and drunk it spilling some on his clothes.  Ha Won complained that it was hers.  Ji Woon held her face in place and kissed her longer again.  He then asked why she kissed him but smiling Ha Won corrected him that he was the one who kissed her.  Fuzzy Ji Woon go for a third kiss as Ha Won prepared her lips to receive it.
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Cinderella
EPISODE 8 QUICK THOUGHTS
I want drunk kisses with Ji Woon too.  *chuckles  I like that the girls on this episode were advancing well to help the guys understand what they really are to them.  As we are now in the arc of establishing the main love line, I’m curious to see how the connecting complications with the second lead will be resolved.  I’m still confuse on the whole Ji Woon-Hye Ji-Hyun Min half-baked love triangle because I still can’t comprehend the motivations.  Is Hye Ji going to use Ji Woon to do her final nudge with Hyun Min?  Will she see Ji Woon’s worth eventually?  
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While we had a lot of charming scenes today, I think the last card conflicts are being set for motion soon.  Ha Won’s jealous glances on Ji Woon and Hye Ji were also giving me signs that she will fall for him first and that’s why I want a clearer conviction on Ji Woon’s part if his heart got swayed already or still imprisoned to his protective fondness towards Hye Ji.
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I still am not feeling Hye Ji.  I wonder how this girl was cast for the role when she can only do two faces.  But I wish that she can make Hyun Min happy because I also like his adorable egoistic self in the story.  As we cross the middle part of this drama, I am content on how Hawonrella and Kang Cousins with Yoon Sung are completing my weekend romantic pill so far.  Though not as polished at least it delivered the necessary charming scenes.
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With her “Bring Together Kang Cousins Missions”, Ha Won not only is slowly but surely linking the estranged family  together, but she gets to win their hearts as well without them realizing it yet.  As the Knights hauled her back to Sky House, she is set to notch another task and this time around, our vibrant heroine makes use of her creativity to bring the Kang cousins together in a vacation.
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EPISODE 7 SUMMARY
Kang Hyun Min’s world was shattered by Ha Won’s rejection on his dating for real intentions.  
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Hye Ji who apparated from a spot in the school to the AV room, and I don’t know how she did that, witnessed his delusional love proposal, but she left missing the all important Ha Won response that would have calmed her bleeding heart.
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Ha Won asked Hyun Min if he liked her and the latter unable to meet her eyes didn’t reply to her question.  Ha Won, unfazed with his surprising declaration told him about being mindful on what he truly feels not just with women but also with his family.
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Ji Woon chased Hye Ji and explained to her that the two were never a couple.  She replied that she knew that already which surprised Ji Woon because of her presence to Ha Won’s graduation.  She mumbled how she thought she could be friends with Ha Won and hurriedly escaped Ji Woon’s grip murmuring how she wanted to be alone.
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Swarmed by the high school girls wanting his autograph, Seo Woo ran for his life as the girls chased him in the school, Ja Young sneaked him inside a room and dressed him up in her school uniform to thwart the attention of his high school fans.  His manager failing to recognize him initially almost not let him enter the car because of his clothing.
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Ha Won wandered on a street not knowing which direction to take just as her cellphone signalled the depleted phone battery.  At Sky House, Seo Woo asked Ji Woon if he saw Ha Won, and he gave a cold, robotic response of not knowing where she is and not caring about her as well.  
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Seo Woo worried about Ha Won went with Yoon Sung to find her in possible places she might be.  
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Meanwhile Hyun Min noticing the furtive glances from the people passing by to be different than the usual admiring looks he got it learned how his failed lets-date-proposal rejection has gone viral and he went to a shock-denial-swallow-me-ground 30 second moment, covered his face and fled to escape the gawking public mockery. *chuckles
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Yoon Sung went to Ha Won’s house and the elated evil step mom was happy with the news that Ha Won really left the house.  Seo Woo went to the cafe where Ja Young worked not knowing that he will meet the girl who dressed her up as a high school girl to escape his raging fans.  
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Seo Woo asked her to keep their little secret well as Ja Young agreed and told him that she haven’t heard from Ha Won so he went home gloomy unsuccessful on their find Ha Won mission.
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Ji Woon walked in the dining room where ajumma was arranging some white flowers.  He asked if it was Ha Won’s idea and ajumma confirmed how she was thoughtful suggesting to get the flowers for their fathers’ death anniversary.  She praised Ha Won’s kind heart and mentioned a whole lot Ha Won is the best lines not knowing that the young master has long left the room.
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Moved by her sincere heart, Ji Woon set off to look for her and luckily found her in the convenience store as what he suspected.  Ha Won was role playing with her invisible parents muttering how jajangmyeon is best eaten on a graduation day.  awww poor girl, can someone give her a warm hug please?  
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Emotions flowed through her and muttered an apology to her mom for not being able to go to college to fulfil her dream for her.  Unaware of Ji Woon’s presence who accidentally heard her grievances, he approached her with a smile and teased her for eating 3 jajangmyeon servings.  He told him to go back to Sky House, but she declined saying she can’t go back there anymore.
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 So then Ji Woon revealed that he went to the memorial service hence earning her mission impossible a success.  A happy smile curved at Ha Won’s face as Ji Woon asked her if she was the one who left the rose on his mother’s place.  Ha Won confirmed his deduction explaining how their mothers are technically neighbors.  Ji Woon told her that he left that rose at his father’s place which made Ha Won smile even more praising the punk who has done such a sweet thing. 
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While the two knights were dead worried about her, Ha Won surprised them by alerting them with her presence. Seo Woo complained on how she kept them worried and dissed Ji Woon on his supposed I-don’t-care-about-Ha-Won attitude.  
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Once changed to her Sky House attire which I hope will be changed soon, she smiled at Seo Woo singing an impromptu welcome song for her.  He apologized to her on behalf of his cousins for involving her to their strained family issues.  
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Ha Won was so glad showing the 49 missed calls from a celebrity and joke on how everyone will be jealous if she will post it online.
He told her to delete it to protect his image and they played catch-my-cellphone-if-you-can like little kids around the house. 
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Seo Woo spoke about how she was great rejecting Hyun Min and Ha Won was surprised how he knew that.  He showed her the viral video as he mumbled how Hyun Min might have felt as he has never been turned down before.
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While Ha Won worried on how Hyun Min was doing, he was so mentally breaking down at a computer cafe stalking news and forums about him online.  I like the “celebrate Korea’s douche bag is now born” comment the most.
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He shouted in annoyance and hid himself when he realized people recognized him again and moved to the recommended videos of his love confession failure that has been subtitled in different languages. bwahahaha
Even the weather is joining his slump as it drenched him while heading home that he ignored Ha Won greeting him.
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The next day Ha Won woke up and noticed Ji Woon in his room, she texted him if he slept well and if he already ate to which he replied no and telling her to stop acting like they were close.  
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She responded that at least he was not ignoring her so he motioned an okay-totally-ignoring-you-now but still read her last message of thanking him.  Ha Won went back to her room as Ji Woon put his first ever genuine smile on the screen.
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Hyun Min was still passing through the 5 stages of grief sitting and staring at the greenery of the mansion.  Yoon Sung saw him in that state and agreed to Ha Won’s observation on how he seemed not taking well his recent trauma.  Ajumma quirkily mumbled how he has now gotten a new douchebag nickname.
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Chairman Kang summoned Ha Won and officially thanked her for the successful mission.   He gave a bonus vacation trip to her and hinted on making the Kang cousins join her in that vacation.   Ha Won took on the new challenge with a positive spirit.
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Chairman’s wife talked with someone over the phone about finding a not so pretty girl for a meeting.  Thinking it was for an arranged meeting for the Kang cousins, evil step-mom called Yoo Na who got worried right away, but was appeased when she was told that her mom got the number of the person Chairman Kang’s wife called so she will sneak Yoo Na in for the arranged meeting.  The delusional mother and daughter fed their convictions with a probable snatching of a Kang prince to their evil hearts content.  *pfffftt
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Ha Won mumbled how she worried that the boys might not come with her, but Yoon Sung encouraged her that her efforts will definitely work fine if she covinces them about it.  Yoon Sung received a phonecall and cut it abruptly declining a request to whoever called him.
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“Operation let’s go to a vacation” with Kang cousins was in full swing but Ha Won already faced problem not being able to locate the knights in the Sky House.  
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She called Ji Woon and got surprised when he answered and emerged in her presence that instant.  She smilingly offered him to go to a vacation with her in the boys, but he denied the request with a quick I’m-hanging-up-not-interested response.
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Ha Won met with Ja Young to claim her bag and chatted with her.  She stared at her diploma uttering how her mom will be happy when she brings it to her soon.  The latter was happy with her going back to the Sky House and narrated gleefully her encounter with Seo Woo and the pictures she had of him dressing up to her uniform to escape his crazy fandom.  
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Ha Won got an idea and used the pictures to bargain with Seo Woo’s manager to clear his schedule for three days for her vacation plans or else the awkward pictures will be posted online notching the first Kang cousin down.
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Our Hyun Min consulted with a plastic surgeon to make her face be changed entirely.  He confirmed the doctor also saw his video, but he was advised to see a psychiatrist and just grow some manly hair on his clean face and not resort to his crazy idea.  The doctor added how it must have shocked him to get that rejection from his first love, but Hyun Min mumbled that Ha Won was not his first love.
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On a hinted cue, we get Hye Ji still feeling sad from her quick hibernation and reading the messages from Ji Woon and Ha Won who wanted to thank her and meet her up. She invited her in the studio to which the latter gladly obliged.
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Ha Won found Hyun Min  doing i-love-her-i-love-her-not mumblings with a leafy  branch  he was holding.  She tried snapping him out of his senses and even offered a youtube public apology but he kept himself on his protective bubble  ignoring her vacation proposal.
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Later on she met Hye Ji and conversed on her return to Sky House and not to misundestand it.  Hye Ji praised her for letting Hyun Min experience a rejection and assured her not to worry about her misunderstanding anything.
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Ji Woon interrupted their meeting just in time for Ha Won inviting her to go with her and the boys to a vacation.  He got mad at Ha Won’s insistence, but Hye Ji shut it down with her agreeing to the plan and asked him to join them, but he declined going to that vacation again.  Ha Won hurriedly left the tension filled room and was stopped by Ji Woon who mentioned again that he won’t go to that vacation she was planning.
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Ji Woon asked Hye Ji if she will really come knowing it will just hurt her.  She replied how she wanted to visit the Haneul group vacation house again as she used to come there a lot when she was younger with Hyun Min and their families.  She told him how she won’t force him to come but advised him how she might not have enough confidence to face Hyun Min.  Finally we are getting some Hye Ji – Hyun Min back story.  But really I don’t know what level of one-sided-love-obsession you have and why Ji Woon kept on shielding you anyway.
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Evil step-mom and Yoo Na called the matchmaking person but  step-mom had to hang up when she was questioned of her daughter’s capabilities which unfortunately she does not have at all.  Ha Won aboji arrived and was greeted by them as step-mom told him that Ha Won did not come back home since the incident.  Step-mom went to get his things and read a text message asking her husband to pay as the person he was looking for was indeed located.  She found some “looking for posters” of a man in a taekwondo uniform.  She grabbed Yoo Na in her room and they concluded on how the man could possibly be Ha Won’s father.  Step mom upset about the money her husband might have used all along was quick to use the opportunity they got in planning for a plot to drag Ha Won out of the mansion.
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Ha Won made another attempt to win Hyun Min’s heart but found him sleeping heavily in his room.  Yoon Sung gave Ha Won a tip on how the young master won’t wake up if he is dragged while sleeping.
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Ji Woon contemplated about his recent events with Ha Won and saw her leaving her room to pester Hyun Min who locked himself in his room.
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Ji Woon marched to where she was teasing her on giving up on her new mission.  She responded how everyone will go except him but that’s okay ad went on to drum on Hyun Min’s door.  He uttered how she won’t be able to bring a man who locked himself up and joked a suggestion to just kidnap him, but Ha Won shut him up with his teasing.  
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Ji Woon blurted that he will come to the vacation only if Hyun Min comes and made Ha Won beam, but worried that he might back out, she forced a pinky swear with him to seal their deal.
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Ha Won entered Hyun Min’s room and tried waking up our “sleeping sadly” debonair to no avail.  Just then she remembered Yoon Sung’s words about Hyun Min being a heavy sleeper and Ji Woon’s earlier suggestion of kidnapping his cousin.  She added 1 plus 1 and presto she smiled at the future success rate of her vacation plan.
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Seo Woo received an enjoy your Thailand trip from his manager while Hye Ji stared at an old picture she had with Hyun Min from the vacation house.  She texted Ji Woon if he will really not come as he pondered on how he will respond. 
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Ha Won lunged forward to the sleeping Hyun Min, curved a smile on her face as she prepared to her abduction plan.
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Episode 7 Quick Thoughts
I’m tired of this black knight connection between Ji Woon and Hye Ji.  Can we fast forward to the real love lines here?  On that note, my heart fluttered a lot with Ji Woon’s jaded exterior slowly being washed out with Ha Won’s optimistic nature in this episode.
I loved Hyun Min’s approach in numbing his ego wounded self in this episode especially that part when he thought of plastic surgery to escape his current bitter reality.  hahaha
Seo Woo and Ja Young possible love line might work well for me especially because I find their deepest darkest secret endearing.  I am so looking forward to the shift of love lines on their upcoming vacation.
Dear Hawonrella and Kang cousins, thank you for consistently bringing out a delightful watch with your stories.
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It was an exhaustingly superb zombie apocalypse thriller movie. Train to Busan lived up to its South Korean box office hype as it propelled a simple zombies-chasing-people-on-board-a-train premise, to a gripping thrill and excitement from start to finish.  While the protagonists were fighting to survive, the movie experience were putting me and my friends on a rollercoaster ride of uphill emotions and omg screams.
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TRAIN TO BUSAN RECAP
For the purpose of this recap I will name the cast Seok Woo, Su An, Sung Kyung tough guy, grandma, bum, baseball player, high school girl, and CEO villain.
 
Juggling his career, failed marriage and being a father to his daughter, Seok Woo set off to Busan to grant his daughter’s birthday wish of visiting her mother.  On their way to the train station, there were hints of disturbances happening across the cities as emergency vehicles were busy with their alarms.
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As soon as they boarded a train, Seok Woo dozed off as his daughter, Su An, wandered in the train carts. Unbeknownst to the passengers a zombie virus broke in the country and a woman affected by it was hiding in one of the train’s comfort room.  The transforming woman-zombie was approached by one of the staff and was attack by the zombie and converted her to another zombie instantaneously. They walk in the train cart of a high school baseball team and infected everyone with the virus.
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Tough guy was waiting for his pregnant wife, Sung Kyung who was using the comfort room. The bus showed the recent status of the zombie outbreak and before they can process what’s happening the zombies were surging to their direction sporadically launching to attack them.
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Su An made it to the safe cart with tough guy and Sung Kyung and four high schoolers from the ravished baseball team cart. They covered the glass door with newspaper to stop the zombies in their futile attempt to enter their cart.
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The train driver signalled the approaching stop to Daejeon.  Seok Woo called his military friend and was advised to go to another gate and not join the main square where the rest of the survivors were heading.  But the city was already in chaos and the soldiers turned to zombies as well.  The annoying villain pushed for an escape route as Seok Woo, tough guy, baseball players fought the zombies.
 
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Su An, Sung Kyoung, High Schooler and the rest of the survivors made it back to where the train stop was, while the men was holding off the glass door.  The violent zombies won over and chased down the men.  Seok Woo, Tough guy and baseball player made it through the departing train and was separated with Su An and company by three carts who were hiding in a comfort room.
 
The men fought their way to get to the comfort room and used the tunnels’ darkness along the trail to rescue the women and the bum.
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The villain on the safe cart insisted on not allowing Seok Woo and company to join their cart thinking that they were contaminated.  They brawled with a door tug-of-war and lost tough guy to the zombies as he sacrificed himself to bail time for them to overpower the selfish safe cart people.  Seok Woo and company opened the door and barely escaped the impending attack while grandma also sacrificed herself in the process.
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Seok Woo punched the villain who caused tough guy and grandma to lose their lives.  The villain used fear and coaxed the safe cart people to agree in dumping Seok Woo and company out of the cart.  
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Seok Woo and company went to the safe cart door gap after the safe cart people urged them to leave their cart.  Seok Woo tried to call his wife but was not getting any response from her.  He receive a phone call from his secretary that Busan is a safe city to land and also learned that the funds from their business supplied the biotech company that started the outbreak. Feeling sorry for what happened Seok Woo cried his heart out to the agonizing news.
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On the safe cart, grandma’s sister stared at her sister-turned-zombie muttering how she has always sacrifice herself for other people.  Annoyed at the selfishness of the vile people with her in the safe cart, she walked towards the door and the villain was not able to stop her from opening it and swarming them with the hungry zombies.  Serves you right!
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The train stopped and the driver found a functioning mini-train.  Seok Woo, Su An and Sung Kyung faced another problem as a burning train surged and trampled on their train trapping them in the process with the zombies gawking at them from the opposing train window.  The window broke and the zombies erupted again, but the bum made use of himself to protect Su An and Sung Kyung just as Seok Woo managed to dislodge the barrier hindering the opening and pulled the girls out.
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The villain who escaped with the bus conductor used the latter as bait for the zombies.  He bumped with the baseball player and the high school girl and again used HS girl to protect him by shoving her to the attacking zombie.  Highschool girl bit baseball player and no they didn’t live happily ever after, but at least they had the best tragic puppy love ever.  The villain ran off to the moving mini train while being followed by the walking dead people.  The driver helped him but true to his evil nature he pushed the driver to the waiting zombies and saved himself from danger.
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Seok Woo, Su An and Sung Kyung ran to the moving train with all their might as myriad of zombies tracked them.  They successfully climbed on the train cart and Seok Woo battled with the hanging monsters craving to eat them.  They finally warded them off and headed to the passenger seat and saw the villain in the brink of zombie transforming.  Seok Woo fought with him to protect his daughter and Sung Kyung, and in doing so risked his life as he was bitten by the villain.   That’s it? The villain was just pushed away and not killed a hundred times by a hundred zombies?  
Keeping calm before he turned to a monster, he instructed Su An and Sung Kyung on how to operate the vehicle and bid goodbye painfully to his daughter. He jumped from the train cart as pregnant woman embraced crying Su An.  This scene made me cry so much.
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Su An and pregnant woman made it to Busan and walked through a tunnel. Soldiers were on the other side seeing them approach.  Unable to detect if they were infected or not, the sniper was given an order to shoot them. Thanks to Su An singing the song she practiced for her recital to be shown to his father, it not only calm the pregnant woman who was feeling the weight of what they’ve been through that day, it alerted the soldiers that they were survivors to be rescued.
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Train to Busan Quick Thoughts
I was all cheering for the heroes in escaping the brutal attack of the walking corpses while hating the villain dying in a manner he did not deserve.  I refrain from watching suspense films because I hate stupid fictional characters, but kudos to the main cast they were all good holding and keeping the cliff-hanging scenes of the story.  If there was one wish I would have wanted was for the main hero to have survived because it was really sad that after what they went through, he still did not live.  But as it is an armageddon movie type, tragedy is expected and at any rate it was a fulfilling narrative that I was happy to see in the big screen.
 
Though the zombies were not scary looking for me, the placements as the main conflict in the story all throughout has had me at the brink of my seat everytime obstacles were thrown to the main characters.  The zombies were so quick in their movements complementing the fast pace trajectory of the story which in turn made the narrative so addictively enthralling.
 
If you are up for a thriller then you should not miss this wickedly conceived spectacle.   I promise you heart raising moments and varying emotions that would keep your interest on erratic movements as you feel like racing along with the characters in  steering clear of the attacking zombies.
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Dear kdramagod, it’s me abby. Just like the Belle Epoque girls, I too have a lot of regrets and dreams when I was in my 20’s.

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Coming from a disappointing drama stalking from summer dramas that turned stale halfway their runs, picking up Age of Youth was merely decided by the number of episodes it will sprint. Thank heavens that I got more than I expected from it.

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“Age of Youth” is a restrospective youth drama about women in their 20’s. The five ladies promenaded their love inhibitions, self-esteem issues, school worries, what happens after school disappointments and all the rest of typical predicaments, 20’s women usually worry about.

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Tailored to show the common faces of women, this honest drama has a melancholic resonance as it progressed to strengthening the bond of the 5 women living together in a dormitory who all have baggages from their past that haunt them in their present lives.

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Yoon Jin Myung has been working a lot of part-time jobs to sustain her school expenses and forcedly shouldering his brain dead brother’s medical bill. Dating is a luxury for her as she hurdles herself to whatever unfortunate event relating to money that life usually throws at her. Kang Yi Na wanted to have an easy life. Her near death experience made her settle to an uncomplicated life. She lied to her dorm mates about how she has been supporting her high maintenance self through taking on sponsors who gives her money in exchange of casual dating and sex. Although pretty and having a gregarious personality, Song Ji Won is unsuccessful with her romantic life as men usually don’t see her as a woman. She dreams of what simple things a woman wants, but sadly she hasn’t fulfilled her love yearnings yet.

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Jung Ye Eun defined love in the literal manner. She gave all that she has even if her lover is a complete bastard. She overlooked the bad treatment her boyfriend did to her all because she can’t imagine herself without him. Yoo Eun Jae is a freshman in the university and has yet to experience her first romance. Unsure about how to act and express how she feels, her kind-hearted reliable first boyfriend is willing to help her every step of the way.

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These sassy girls and their friendship made me spiral down to the recesses of my memory 10 years ago onwards… Those are the years when I also had part time jobs to support my studies and had broken up with a long time boyfriend. After permanently joining the society’s work force I lived like a normal 20-ish woman but not the bar hopping, wine/beer drinking kind of life because of the remnants of the values I had from the religion I was raised. I was more of a bookworm-couchpotato kind of girl. Ouch, yes I spent most of my 20’s like that trying to piece myself up after a painful broken heart.

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So this drama really hit home in me. The friendship, the life uncertainties, the magical feeling of being in love, and the regret on the wrong choices echoed clearly on the situations narrated by the characters in commanding vibrancy that made me smile on how everyone of us has different stories, pain and bliss from when we are younger, and when you fast forward to the present, you will be proud of yourself in surviving those life and love complications.

 

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Midway through the drama, I don’t know why some swish of meta physical element was used to delve on the character development though as I am already sold with the realistic approach on how the dorm sisters take on their personal and love issues. But as the story crawled to the closing episodes, it neatly explained the need for that cabinet ghost presence. It was a representation of the ladies’ personal battles from their past that they bravely reconciled in the present.

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How the story put together the strong connection of characters through their growing respect, love and friendship to one another was sketched beautifully in a way that I thought of those moments that led me to my very own circle of lady friends. It was drawn in logical detail solidified by the attachment of situations that made use of the girls’ sincere understanding of each other’s vulnerabilities.

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Jin Myung, Yi Na, Ji Won, Na Eun and Eun Jae are fictional reminders that we will get to have different kinds of friendship in our life, most of it will be dependent on time. So it is very important to keep friends who shared you a lot of memories because as time changes, you can never go back to it, but if you cherished the memories, it will always put a smile on your face no matter how much time passed by.

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Take time to see the girls of “Belle Epoque” and see for yourself how you will also be nudged to reminisce your 20-ish self.

GENRE: Drama, Friendship, Youth, Romance
GRADE: B

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The most sincere actions always lead people to a connection binded by trust and shared kind intentions.  Hawonrella burned the cold exteriors of Sky House princes and formed a bond that made them want to protect her like a princess.  As their young hearts fluttered to scattered directions, it would be amusing to wait and see which hearts will meet halfway.
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EPISODE 6 SUMMARY
Full of faith that she moved the Kang cousins’ glacial front, Ha Won patiently waited for a miracle to happen as Yoon Sung stayed by her side.  The mothers arrived and exchanged civil greetings and implied bickerings before they headed to the temple hall.
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Hyun Min woke up from a nightmare memory when he was young and was left by his mother in the Sky House to protect his heir position.
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Ajumma entered the room and was surprised to see him.  She mumbled how sorry she felt for Ha Won for helping out in the memorial service preparations when the children involved don’t even care a bit.
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Drowning in the emotion of the song he just composed for his father, Seo Woo turned to a late minute realization and left the recording studio to meet the person he misses so badly.  The waiting time is almost up but Ha Won was still holding on to a glimmer of hope that the cousins will come.  Thank you to her earnest wish, Seo Woo’s van approached the temple field and he greeted her brightly.  A few seconds after, Hyun Min sheepishly stepped out of his car and meet the smiling face of Ha Won.
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Scoring 2 out of the 3 brothers, Ha Won resigned her optimism that Ji Woon would still come as soon as the signal for the ceremony was alarmed.  She apologized to Chairman Kang for failing her mission and left the temple for the Kang family to carry on with the service.
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 Yoon Sung pacified her disappointment by appreciating her effort on bringing in the two young masters citing it will be a miraculous feat to convince Ji Woon to even come there given that he never he had a father.
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The Kangs paid their respects to their dead family members.  A monk spoke with Yoon Sung on how happy the fathers might have been today.  Yoon Sung agreed but felt sad that Ji Woon’s father was not visited.  The monk disagreed revealing how his son even left a rose for him.  
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The family sat for a quick tea as the mothers greeted the new wife of the Chairman.  Hyun Min’s mother freely boasted on her son’s expected taking over of the company, but the Chairman shut the women up with their sons’ positioning issues in declaring he would not give in to incompetent heirs and would rather scour the planet for lost grandchildren that he might still have.
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Chairman sat in the car as his wife held his hand.  When Yoon Sung entered the car, the mistress lightly removed her hand.  Are these two lovers?  eeew  Or does she have one-sided love for him?  The mistress uttered how it would have been nice if Ji Woon came as Yoon Sung reported to Chairman how Ji Woon gave his respect earlier as reported by the monk.
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Ji Woon bugged from Ha Won’s pep talk visited his mother the night before the memorial service and saw the rose left by Ha Won to her mom.  After some serious reflection, he arrived early in the temple and placed Ha Won’s rose on his father’s picture.  
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Not knowing that she was victorious with her mission, Ha won packed up her things leaving a small note of her departure from the Sky House.
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Consistent to the annoying step mom and sister fairytale book depiction, Ha Won’s step family visited Sky House in disguised meek sheep clothing.  Ajumma welcomed them not knowing their fake intentions and advised them to settle comfortably.  Yoo Na proceeded to her target room and experienced Hyun Min’s room crazily.  She then noticed Ha Won’s uniform which infuriated her bird brain self and destroyed the uniform out of her lunatic Hyun Min obsession rage.  Yoon Sung caught up with the evil mother and sister just as Yoo Na stepped out of Hyun Min’s room.  Step-mom made an excuse of Ha Won’s graduation but knowing their true colors, Yoon Sung shoved them away as they are not considered a valued guest in the mansion.
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Jealous of Ha Won’s fortune, Yoo Na took her fury to the world wide web and posted lies defaming Ha Won in the school bulletin.
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Unaware of her looming bullying moment, Ha Won visited her bestfriend Ja Young and bargained for a night sleep in her place, but she refused her pleading since their house was already cramped.  Enter Hye Ji who Ja Young forcedly requested to give Ha Won a favor and Ha Won’s sleeping problem was solved.
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Ha Won praised Hye Ji’s pretty house and noticed an old picture of three children. Hye Ji confirmed that it was her and Hyun Min and her dead brother.  Ha Won remarked how bright Hyun Min looked like when he was young and Hye Ji agreed how he doesn’t seem to appear what he really is even now.  Hye Ji asked why she left Sky House so Ha Won took the opportunity to clear the misunderstanding that she was not in a relationship with Hyun Min and was just on a part-time job agreement with him.  She added that she stayed in Sky House as per Chairman’s commissioned work to her as well.  Hye Ji’s gloomy world brightened up again as Ha Won even cheered how she and Hyun Min looked good together.
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Ha Won thanked Hye Ji for her kindness as she was mostly worried sleeping in front of the school to wait for the graduation rites.  She replied how she was not sure if her family will attend the ceremony but remained positive on finally earning her High School diploma.  Ha Won hugged Hye Ji when she whispered that she will visit her tomorrow.  Hallelujah!  This is the first frame I finally acknowledge this girl having a function in the cast.  I thought all along she will be a display or something.
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Yoon Sung knocked at Ha Won’s room not knowing that she already left the house and thought she was already resting for tomorrow’s event.  He called Ji Woon’s attention when he passed by muttering how thanks to Ha Won’s encouragement he visited his father.  He urged him to console Ha Won who thought he didn’t come and notified him of her school graduation tomorrow.
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While Ji Woon debated on why he has to go to Ha Won’s graduation, the latter pushed her courage to remind her father about her graduation the next day.
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Hyun Min woke up early morning and went to Ha Won’s room.  He learned of her graduation that day and remembered her school uniform which he hostaged.  He discovered the Yoo Na destroyed uniform so he hurriedly find a store  for a replacement.
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At school Ha Won was secluded by her snob classmates as they were busy with last minute preparations for the event.  Ja Young arrived and they headed to the auditorium as Hyun Min bought Ha Won’s new uniform and was trying to contact her.
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Ajumma belatedly found Ha Won’s goodbye Sky House note and alerted Yoon Sung about it who reported it to the Chairman deducting how Ha Won might have thought she has to leave Sky House after failing the mission.  Chairman Kang ordered to bring her back to the Sky House as Yoon Sung replied that she was most likely in the school because of her graduation ceremony.  Ha Won was losing hope that her father will still arrive as her evil step mom entered the hall and threw harsh words at her for not wearing the proper school uniform.  She told stepmom that she already left Skyhouse and she got a reply of daring not to come back to their house.
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Unaware of the buzz Yoo Na stirred of her staying in Sky House to lure the elusive Kang cousins, Ha Won followed a schoolmate when she was told that someone was looking for her.  
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While posting on his SNS, Seo Woo learned about Ha Won’s impending bullying attack and left the salon where he was being dolled up.  Ji Woon found himself in front of Ha Won’s school and when he got swarmed by flower vendors he motioned to leave but overheard how Ha Won was cornered by the school meanies and will be taught a lesson so he stormed inside to look for Ha Won.
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While Seo Woo and Ji Woon were racing through time after knowing Ha Won’s situation, our resident chill prince Hyun Min arrived in the school with a food truck and invited his supposed girlfriend’s schoolmates to enjoy his treat.  He rushed to look for Ha Won when he was informed that someone took her from the auditorium earlier.
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The school bullies surrounded Ha Won and spat harsh words of her hanging out with Kang cousins and being the Chairman’s concubine.  Kang cousins were scouring the school looking for Ha Won as the bullies cut Ha Won’s uniform slowly scaring her and not minding her pleadings.  Ji Woon finally located where Ha Won was kept and easily knocked down the male students guarding.  
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He covered Ha Won’s naked shoulder with his jacket and guided her out of the audio visual room, but was halted when the mean girls came back with more reinforcement.
 
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Thanks to Hyun Min’s money-can-solve-everything idealism, he threw in his car key to avoid brawling and stopped the ruckus from happening.
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Seo Woo arrived in the school and thought of a different approach in rescuing Ha Won.  He asked the students to bring the mean girls but the young girls complained there were none.  He settled to asking if anyone knows Ha Won and luckily Ja Young was in the crowd and led him to finding her.  
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Hyun Min threw Ji Woon’s jacket back at him and replaced it with the jacket from the new uniform he bought.  Ji Woon moved to leave as Hyun Min firmly put Ha Won in place when Ha Won tried to approach Ji Woon.  
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Ha Won changed to her new school uniform and paraded it to the waiting Hyun Min.  He walked towards her unaware that he accidentally turned on the live camera feed in the AV room making their conversation broadcast in the school publicly.
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Seo Woo and the high school girls bumped with Ji Woon and the latter denied his presence was of because Ha Won’s graduation… yeah he was just bored and the wind flew him there magically.  Hye Ji also stepped in the scene just as the students pointed out Hyun Min and Ha Won on the screen.
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Ha Won told Hyun Min that she will not go back to Sky House as she doesn’t deserve being there.  Hyun Min moved closer and whispered that he has a confession to make making all the school girls squeal at the real time campus drama they were witnessing.
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Hyun Min:  “After meeting you, all other women seemed boring to me.  And you keep crossing my mind.  I don’t like it when you are with other guys especially when you hang out with Kang Ji Woon.  I have great looks and brilliant mind and the first in line as the successor of our company.”
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Hyun Min was moved in his own love declaration as the spectators were busy processing thoughts on the rare spectacle Hyun Min pulled, but Ha Won shook him back to logical world by telling him to stop with his nonsense.  dear hyunmin sweetie, girls sometimes doesn’t need flowery words, but just the assurance that you are there when they need you.
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Ji Woon who yet again read how Hye Ji will be impacted on the scene his cousin was playing silently headed back to the AV room and switched off the unedited love spectacle just as Ha Won prepared to walk away and Hyun Min stopped her mumbling he was not done with his confession.  
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Hyun Min stated that they haven’t started yet and Ha Won interrupted him by telling that their fake relationship should end.  Ji Woon stopped on his track as he uncovered the truth about Hyun Min and Ha won’s fake engagement.
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 Hyun Min agreed to her request, gazed at her intently and mentioned that they will stop the sham engagement, but they will start dating for real.
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Cinderella
EPISODE 6 THOUGHTS
Whoa for our second male lead!  I like how this drama paces itself.  The runs on the exposure of the characters were even and that’s why so far we have equal footing for the male leads on the love triangle conflict.  
Ji Woon is expected to be taken aback if his intentions to get closer to Ha Won is still due to his Hye-Ji-Black-Knight-Confusion or because he has really fallen in love with Ha Won.
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I am not sure if Seo Woo will enter the love complications, hopefully not anymore as it is harder to keep up with a love polygon.  It still beats me why Hye Ji thrived in the Hyun Min love spell when there has not been any remote insinuation that he likes her then.  It was more of Hyun Min using her to spite Ji Woon which I also can’t get because they just met a year ago.  Were they dating prior to Ji Woon’s arrival?  I hope we get a better picture of this Hye-Ji-and-Hyun-Min rigamarole.
There’s some kind of mystery hinted between the Chairman’s new wife and Yoon Sung.  I hope Yoon Sung is not a secret villain.  I want some more cutesies, almost kisses and hopefully real kiss next week.  dear Cinderella and your Knights indulge my teenage school girl heart.
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My fangirl loyalty badge to Kim Rae Won oppa was the only reason why I endured Doctors’ 20 episode run.  Now that I’m looking back to write my thoughts about it, I feel so empty.  *chuckles  
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“Doctors” followed the story of Yoo Hye Jung, a used-to-be delinquent high school girl who was dumped to live with her grandmother after her father gave up on raising her. Through her grandmother’s love, she found a new motivation to set her life straight and look ahead to what future may bring her. 
She got to meet good friends, Jin Seo Woo and Chun Sun Hee in the new school she moved into, and earned mentorship from their young homeroom teacher, Hong Ji Hong, who was also a doctor.  
Her innate talent and intellect earned praises and put Seo Woo, the supposed to be smartest girl in the school, on the sideline. The one-sided rift escalated when Seo Woo discovered Teacher Hong’s feelings toward Hye Jung  and an unfortunate fire that pinned Hye Jung as an arsonist cemented the falling out of their friendship.  
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Hye Jung’s grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and died on the table with Seo Woo’s father as the lead surgeon.  Hye Jung firmly believed something odd happened along the way in the operation and vowed to retrieve the truth in the future.  Years later Hye Jung became a prominent neurosurgeon and met her old teacher who was also working in the same hospital as hers.  As she worked on her earnest wish to bring justice to her grandmother’s medical malpractice case, she has to confront also her career, life and love conflicts.
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I credit the starpower of the cast for raking in high ratings eventhough the story did not deserve it at the very least.  When the surgeries took over the story, it was a feeling of journeying to Mt. Mordor to destroy the one ring of them all for me.  I was tired needing an elixir of life that would push me to understand if I was watching a drama or I’m learning to become a doctor through a confused medical documentary.  Hye Jung in her rational self was indecisive if she will go full throttle with her vindication plan, or if she will just forgive and forget or if she should just worry about the things that would have mattered to her at the moment.  
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I wanted to love her unfazed attitude but there’s just so much from her angsty world that did not blend well to the narrative where she was put.  It was also the weak execution of conflict that annoyed me.  Come to think of it almost all the side conflicts they scattered just happened for some minutes and then we get to prepare for another drama surgery.  Even when Ji Hong’s father died, they grieved and we went to proceed with guess what?  Another surgery.  The writing was so bad it did not even complement the character sketches when they could have expanded it more given the complexity of the main roles drawn.  A little believable sprinkle of love complications would have broken the languid development of the story, but they throw in a lovable second male lead who settled to the proverbial fate of second lead syndrome.
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How did they close the story?  They led grandma’s culprit to sickness and voila! we had another surgery where Director Kim had to rely to the people he had wronged to prolong his life. Then they put some forgiveness ribbons to highlight karmic justice doesn’t mean you have to punish the bad villains but paved a way for them to change for the better.  I am a positive person, but I was expecting more than goodness prevails all kind of conclusion.  I understand the drama’s drive to make Hye Jung acknowledge her personal issues, but at least it should have been plated and served in a momentous frame with heart stirring lines.  Just not that k-you-killed-grandma-for-my-personal-peace-i-forgive-you kind of ending.
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True, the drama presented Hye Jung’s admirable journey in healing her personal issues  by relying on her own and through the people surrounding her with love and support, but I can’t reconcile the lesson I can get from it.  If I will have my way, I won’t play safe by not adding some grit on the proper response of the characters who were put to the edge because of greed.  Anger should be released when required in the story, but Doctors was in this goodness daze that retaliations were even placed in a glossy box with a pink thank you note in it.  
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Finding the right intention and execution was the biggest weakness of “Doctors” for me.  It failed to sustain a consistent storyline that tied the character motivations to the world they were supposed to live in for the majority of its run and then concluded to a forgive-and-forget ending because the drama has reached the limit.  It was a miracle that grandma didn’t crawl from after-life to stop the writer from dragging her death as the conflict.  What I would have done instead was throw in some challenges to Hye Jung and Ji Hong’s love realizations since they established them to have been having faulty romantic veins.  
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There are more worthy drama options to watch than spending your time to this drama.  Although Kim Rae Won oppa filled the screen with those giddy-ish moments, swoon worthy one-liners and suave acts, just park this drama and settle on other stories to watch if you have other options.
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Little by little Ha Won is creeping to the young masters’ system as she got to understand their strained relationships with their deceased fathers.  Off she went to accomplish another “Bring Together Kang Cousins” mission, and it is up to her warm intentions if she can melt the cousins’ cold hearts.
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EPISODE 5 SUMMARY
Seo Woo blurted a “happy birthday” greeting just as the fireworks crawled in the night sky.  Hyun Min took the opportunity and casually mentioned that they were doing a hidden camera prank for her birthday celebration, but Ji Woon remained to his i’m-serious-to-what-i-just-said taunting.  
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Ha Won successfully sat down Kang brothers for dinner and acknowledged Yoon Sung’s food and Seo Woo’s decorations.  Hyun Min boasted about the cream set gift he gave her from remembering her keeping freebies of a cosmetic company when her things were drowned in the water.  She muttered how she doesn’t need the cosmetics, when Hyun Min was all happy with his brilliant idea as she only wanted her school uniform in preparation to her graduation rites next month.  
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Hyun Min made it be noticed how Ji Woon didn’t prepare a gift, but cheerful Ha Won took that chance and stretched a selfie stick to take a selca and commemorate her successful mission.
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 Just then Ha Won surprised them all by revealing it was not her birthday as Seo Woo learned his mistake.  Ji Woon stood up upon knowing it was not a valid celebration as the rest dug in to the food binge in front of them.
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We cut to another boring frame of Hye Ji pondering about Ji Woon’s reminder to her that he will always stay by her side to protect her from future pains Hyun Min might give her.  Just when would this girl matter in the storyline?  
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Alone in her room, Ha Won contemplated on Ji Woon’s earlier act and right on cue their eyes met from across their rooms.    
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Meanwhile Seo Woo was all business looking for Ha Won’s birthday month through her diary and successfully found the page pointing to her real birthday.
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Chairman Kang met up with Ha Won for her progress report and was extremely happy about her grandsons’ group picture even when it was out of focus.  He thanked Ha Won for her effort on the first family picture he ever got out of his heirs.  
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He gave Ha Won a bonus money which she used for her mother’s resting place expenses.  Ha Won thanked Yoon Sung for helping her out in his own way as she knew the money she got was enough for the money she needed to pay the columbarium.  She refused his offer to drive her to her mom’s resting place opting to just take the bus.
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Chairman Kang wistfully talked to his dead sons’ picture and shared how their sons have finally sat in to eat together.  Technically they didn’t get to the eating part grandpa.
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Ha Won finally rested her mom’s urn back to her spot.  She talked to her mom about how life has been good with her lately as she met a kind rich old man who gave her a nice job.  She also shared how the cousins have prepared a celebration for her when they thought it was her birthday and how it felt great to feel that people are looking after her.  She left the place cheerfully after placing a stemmed white rose on Ji Woon’s mother’s spot.
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The next day Sky House was busy preparing the food for the Chairman’s sons’ death anniversary.  Ajumma explained to Ha Won how the young masters never go to the ceremony to pay respect to their fathers given that Kang cousins were not close to them while they were growing up.  She blabbed about how she felt sorry for the Chairman who had to bear the pain of losing all his children and hope that the young masters would have been more considerate about it.
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The young masters were all physically present  but nonchalantly disinterested to Yoon Sung’s meeting for their fathers’ memorial service.  
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Hyun Min was assured that the temple monks would do a great job to the observance to which Seo Woo agreed.  Ji Woon also declined Yoon Sung’s request stating how he can go to his father’s memorial service when he just learned about him a year ago.
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Yoon Sung sat down with Ha Won as she chatted about how steel-hearted the Kang cousins were to their family, but Yoon Sung appeased her in saying that the boys have their own reasons why they chose not to attend the event and soon enough she will learn about it while she lives in the Sky House.
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Ha Won met with Chairman Kang and volunteered a new task for her.  She would try to make the Kang cousins attend their fathers’ memorial service.  The Chairman agreed and off Ha Won to stretch her resiliency to her new mission.
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Ha Won stuck in her face on the pool water to check if Ji Woon was really swimming naked and surprised him with her presence.  He threatened her that he will come out, but she remained firm adding how she wanted to swim with him since he said he liked her.
Ha Won:  “Would you be able to say you like me if you are in front of Hye Ji?”
Ji Woon:  “Why would I do that?”
Ha Won:  “You, Hyun Min and Hye Ji have already a complicated love triangle, why would you drag me along in your problem?  Is having a complicated relationship a hobby of yours?”
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And that’s exactly the same thoughts I have in this drama.  This unnecessary Hye Ji love delusion and Ji Woon feeding that ludacris are my headaches in this drama so far.  Ji Woon affirmed Ha Won’s conclusion so she notched her game up and alerted him that it will be her turn to swim naked.  Ji Woon gave in and left the pool only to get his sweet revenge cornering Ha Won in the shower room to ask about what she wanted to speak with him.
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He leaned closer to her and wiped the water that got in her eye as Ha Won was caught in a trance.  His gaze disarmed all her senses as he whispered that he meant it when he said he will steal her away and that she should looked forward to it.  After the quick euphoric enchantment, Ha Won went back to earth and complained on how handsome Ji Woon was making her heart fluttered incessantly.
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Seo Woo revealed to Ha Won how his grandmother was Chairman’s mistress and how his father was only acknowledged after he died hence he didn’t have a strong connection to the family as he has lived in hiding.  Ha Won left him with his music-making and went to seek Hyun Min who was talking to his mother over the phone.
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We get another Hyun Min cute ego moment as he got busy putting meaning to Ha Won’s desire to talk to him.  He helped her decipher the invisible electric connection he was convinced they had only to be shut down by her calm response that her heartbeat seemed fine. She put her hand on his chest and blurted how his heart was in an erratic beat. lol  
Ha Won asked him if he can come to the service but he refused it as there’s someone he does not want to see there.
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Fighting the slump after her failed attempts, Ha Won encouraged herself to push for it as hindrances are normal in her mission.  Ji Woon showed up and she took the opportunity to ask him to attend the memorial service, but he gave her a cold “I don’t have a father response.”
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Ha Won pushed a second try and went to Seo Woo’s room but he was not inside.  She noticed the new song he was making and saw a picture of him and his father in his things. Slightly pissed at her touching his things, Ha Won voiced out how he must have wanted to sing that song for his father and how he should pay respect and remember him through attending his death anniversary service.
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Hyun Min’s mother arrived in Sky House and dragged Ha Won to her shopping spree.  
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Yoon Sung presented the family portrait requested by the Chairman as he beamed at the sight of the picture.  I am bothered at the knowing looks given by the Chairman’s wife to Yoon Sung.  Don’t tell me he is another long lost grandson or he is related to Chairman’s wife or they are plotting an evil plan in the future.
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Hyun Min omma and Ha Won went to eat dinner after the shopping escapade.  Hyun Min omma went to business of educating Ha Won that marriage in the family was impossible and placed in some cash on the table to pay her for the service she gave to her, but Ha Won replied how she was not expecting payment as she was doing it because she is her friend’s mother.  Hyun Min interrupted their dinner and dragged Ha Won out without greeting his mother.
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Ha Won reasoned out how she didn’t mean any harm and was just wanting to help her friend’s mom.  Upset Hyun Min blabbed about how she crossed the line that time about things she should have not done.  Ha Won countered that she thought they were already friends but he shouted on how she doesn’t know anything about him.  Ha Won sighed and apologized for her intrusion and making herself believe that she has already established a significant connection to him.
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While Ji Woon recollected on the recent events he had on the love quadrangle he just entered, Hye Ji was still lost in her obsession to Hyun Min.  Chairman Kang dined with his wife and sadly mentioned how he can’t help but feel sad remembering his children and how his grandchildren’s actions can’t be blamed as they grew up without their fathers’ love.
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Ji Woon spotted Ha Won doing some late night exercises because of indigestion.  They stepped outside as he prepared to prick her thumb with a needle.  He narrated how he used to do acupuncture with his mother everytime she had problems digesting.  Ha Won appreciated his kind gesture mumbling how nobody has shown genuine care to her since her mom died.  He mentioned his father but she poured her sentiment that her father won’t do it for her since he is not her biological father although she still wants to believe he is.
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Ji Woon:  “You know there are people like me who never met their father.”
Ha Won:  “Yes you are right.  But if,  just if in case my dad is really not my dad, I would like to meet my biological father even for just one time.”
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Their father related reverie was halted by Ha Won’s smelly burp that annoyed Ji Woon and Ha Won’s grumbling tummy.  They chowed their signature cheesy ramyun cup at a nearby convenience store while Hyun Min was debating on the harsh words he told Ha Won.  Ha Won casually chirped how she thinks Ji Woon was also curious about his father after all he was the man his mother loved, but he stopped her thoughts and contemplated on it in silence.
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Seo Woo’s mother arrived in Sky House and was happily hugging and kissing her handsome son.  When his mom learned about his engagement tomorrow, she was sad knowing he won’t be going to the temple for the memorial service, but kind Seo Woo calmed her by saying he keeps his father in his heart everytime.
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Ji Woon pulled over to fix Ha Won’s bouncing dozing head and chuckled when he heard her talking to her sleep.  He lingered on the amusing scene but turned to a pensive mood when she murmured how she missed her father.
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 He reached to wipe the tear in her eyes but she moved her head subconsciously facing him.  He sweetly peered at her sleeping face as a faint smile curved in his lips.
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Ha Won did not want to believe Ji Woon when he said she snored and was talking im her sleep.  She insisted on what she was talking about and held on Ji Woon’s arms which hit some strange emotion in him and a realization of how he has been unaware of showing her genuine care recently.  
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His memory flashed back on how he caressed her pricked thumb carefully and how he wanted to wipe away the tears in her eyes while she was sleeping.  Ji Woon snapped back to reality and hurried to leave her presence as she chased him to remind him of going to the event tomorrow.
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Hyun Min witnessed the two all chummy and friendly.  He approached Ha Won but she pretended not to care.  He reminded her about the dating rules in Sky House and she retaliated on minding his own business as they don’t have any kind of human relationship to begin with.  
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She urged him to define a clear line between them.  Just as she motioned to leave, she told him that it must be his mother whom he does not want to see in the service tomorrow so she won’t be pushing him anymore, but he should be aware on how much his father might be feeling lonely.
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Ji Woon sought comfort in his hide out as he stared at his mother’s picture while reminiscing that painful day he wished he had a father while he sobbed at his mother’s funeral.
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On the eve before their father’s death anniversary, Hyun Min, Ji Woon and Seo Woo ruminated on their daddy issues hinting a may or may not be attendance the next day.
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In the morning, Ha Won stood in front of the temple hopeful that the Kang cousins will show up.  Chairman Kang and his wife arrived and we see Ha Won apologizing to the Chairman for failing
her mission.
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EPISODE 5 THOUGHTS
Hmmm I have to wait for episode 6 with that still Episode 5 ending as I can’t help but cheer our bubbly and optimistic heroine.
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Although hinted that Hye Ji propelled Ji Woon’s plan to get closer to Ha Won, this episode will be the lead man’s turning point as Ha Won knocked in his heart
with the purest intentions of their shared sentiments.  I think they will go to that future conflict of the second lead girl finally realizing Ji Woon’s worth when he and Ha Won will be in a mutual feeling state alongside Hyun Min’s full blown one sided love to Ha Won.
Now that the boys are comfy with Ha Won in their lives, I suspect a lot of cutesies and protect-Hawonrella-moments along the way.  I can’t wait to when the Kang cousins battled their cards out to win Ha Won’s heart.  
Episode 5 was steady in establishing the lines Ha Won linked to the Kang cousins which will become handy in the future episodes.  I would bet 5 galleons that the boys will pay their respect secretly to their dads.
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Second serving of love has never been this lively until these adorable families connected through marriages and made their family even bigger, wackier and happier.  “Five Children” was the first family weekend drama I finished and it was a feat I’m so proud of because it was 54 episodes.

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So how did I manage to endure this long running drama?  The majority of the credit, I would give to Sang Min and Yeon tae’s love line because it was a refreshing romantic progression that made use of that we-were-not-expecting-to-fall-inlove premise in a delightful kind of way.  I’m not saying that the main couple’s romance was not that striking, but because I’m still single I was able to relate more to Sang Min and Yeon Tae’s.

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Let’s meet the families first.  We have the Lee Family – where Lee Sang Tae, a widow and a father of two children, Bin and Soo, belongs.  His parents ran a small restaurant and is the eldest brother of Kim Ho Tae, a striving film director and Kim Yeon Tae, a primary school teacher.  He is affiliated to Jang Jin Joo who is his deceased wife’s sister and Yeon Tae’s close friend.  Yeon Tae is also friends with Kim Tae Min who is the brother of his boyfriend Kim Sang Min and boyfriend of Jin Joo.  We have three elder couples the Lee aboji and omoni, Jin Joo’s parents and Sang Tae’s parents-in-law through his deceased wife and Kim Brothers’ parents – Kim aboji and omoni.  Lee Sang Tae married Ahn Mi Jung, a divorcee with three children, Woo Young, Woo Ri, Woo Joo with their father Yoon In Chul who had an affair with Kang So Young who used to be Ahn Mi Jung’s friend.

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It appeared like we have a lot of characters in this drama, but once you break it down through families, it’s very easy to track.  So the story started with Ahn Mi Jung working with Lee Sang Tae in the same company and they grow feelings over time.  Wounded from her first failed marriage, Mi Jung single-handedly raised her children and made her children believed that their father was working abroad when they were already divorced and he was living with another woman who used to be Mi Jung’s friend.  Sang Tae on the other hand is torn between his own parents and his parents-in-law in raising his two children.  He fell in love with Mi Jung’s countenance in sustaining her career alongside being a mother to three children.  They eventually succumbed to romance, and when they were confronted with an opportunity to try a second marriage, they had to consider five children and five elders who might not feel comfortable with the choice they were bound to make.  Through honest conversations, the marriage pushed through which joined their families together.  The new father and mother had to adjust in breaking in the walls of the new children they got through the second marriage.  Mi Jung had to communicate also with Bin and Soo’s grandparents who moved in to the same building they rented, and in the course of time they saw Mi Jung’s sincere motherly heart to their grandchildren and she won over their hearts and lived harmoniously with them.

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“Five Children” presented lessons about filial love, parenting, friendship, failed relationship, romantic love, life uncertainties and personal worth.  It covered almost all the facets of the common struggles adults face in daily lives and in the long run.  I like how the dynamics of an extended family was pictured in the series.  It was messy, rowdy and crazy, but at the end of the day, the people interacted, listened and accepted decisions that are beyond their control and that they should not worry about. 

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There were three secondary love lines that were linked to the four families and those supporting love parts were equally spirited adding sweets and spices to an already amusing narrative.  Ho Tae who struggled in his film directing career battled through his slump and eventually married his first love who was working in his parents’ restaurant.  Through his dream of becoming a better man to his supportive wife, he got a happy ending on his marriage life and career.  Jin Joo born from a rich household fell in love with a man whose parents value personality than money.   She was not accepted by Tae Min’s mother initially because of her bleak future having not finished a college degree.  She accepted the challenge and showed his parents that she can still achieve her personal dreams no matter how late she starts working on it.  Yeon Tae who harbored feelings with her friend Tae Min ended up being together with her first love’s brother who acted as her confidante when Tae Min pursued Jin Joo.  Sang Min who was caught off guard when cupid’s bow hit him with YeonDoo virus gave in to the idea that he was really truly, madly deeply in love with the girl that was never in his dreams but virally deconstructed his heart to an unimaginable addiction that made him even more a better person.

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In its entirety, “Five Children” presented a glimpse of an everyday Korean family life with beautified love milieus.  It taught me a thing or two about the generation gaps when joining a new family.  The story was clear with its most important lesson on how communication plays a vital role in empathizing and understanding the situation you have with someone in any kind of relationship.  It left a positive encouragement to pursue romance regardless of how many times you might have failed in the past and how much pain you might go through until you finally get it.

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It might overwhelm your drama addiction spare time so pace yourself if in case you would want to enter Mi Jung and Sang Tae’s family.  For its feel good approach and fetching family and love memories framed each episode, I am happy having been able to sprint my way to see all of the characters smiling through the happy endings they achieved.  -jediprincess♥♥♥

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We went on a shopping spree, a handful of sweet “almost kissing corner her” moments and Hawonrella’s herculean task of making the cousins sit on a table to eat as a family.  Whew!  Who would have thought it was no easy goal?!  
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EPISODE 4 SUMMARY
It was a sweet blissful kiss until Hyun Min woke up from his dream with Ha Won’s curious eyes peering at him.  
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He adjusted back to his god’s-gift-to-women self and teased her of wanting to see him early in the morning, but she shut him up with her breakfast offer.  
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He declined her request as he doesn’t eat at home, but she insisted that she will make him start doing it now.  Hyun Min perceived Ha Won doing a housewife role-playing game, so he tried to grab her hand to lay down beside her, but her quick hand flew and knocked down his hand.  
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She warned him to head to the dining room and marched out of his room.  He went back to reality and remembered the kick that interrupted the almost kiss and murmured how Ha Won is stimulating his competetitive spirit.
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Emotionless Hye Ji was still bothered by Hyun Min’s thoughts and pondered on Ji Woon’s actions the night before.  Ji Woon on the other hand worked out and made some 5 seconds upper body display to keep my heart still and not be swayed by Hyun Min.   *chuckles
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On her Kang-Cousins-Dining-Together mission, Ha Won was having a hard time tracking down the young masters, but remembering Chairman’s face, she set forth to push on her mission.
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Ha Won found Ji Woon swimming in the pool and my heart was beating fast like Ha Won did.  He of course coldly told Ha Won to vanish or she will get to see him naked.  Hah!  Stay where you are Ha Won!  Stay where you are!  
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Ha Won ran when Ji Woon threatened to show his naked body, but she came back with some board to cover her face and told him that his cellphone will be held on hostage and he has to go to the dining hall to get it.
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She moved next to Seo Woo and disturbed his creative moment to reveal her morning breakfast plan.
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As soon as the three cousins arrived in the dining table, big bang erupted and her plan failed as all of them can’t acknowledge that there’s a link that connected them as a family.
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Ji Woon added how they only shared the same address and it didn’t have anything to do about being a family.  Hyun Min and Seo Woo left as Ha Won stood to reproach Ji Woon of his belief that his cellphone is more important than a family.  He replied to stop pretending she knew all of them.  
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His arms circled her waist as he moved his face closer to hers and just like any woman who will be put in that situation, Ha Won’s mind went blank and muttered what he was doing so he sneaked in and got his cellphone back from her hand.  
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Ha Won sunk on a chair feeling hopeless on her first mission as Chairman Kang and his wife came back from the honeymoon trip wondering how Hawonrella was doing.  Yoon Sung spoke on how that task was too much but the Chairman looks forward to how Ha Won’s hardwork will work wonders.
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Ha Won sought her friend’s help for comfort. She learned how rumor has it that the three heirs were famous for their open discord to each other and it’s a miracle that they haven’t killed each other yet.  But Ha Won’s friend cheered her up that her determination will win over the cousins’ stubbornness as it is her best characteristic.
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Ha Won pushed her tenacity and carried on with her “Kang Cousins Eating Together Project”.  
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She went to her Plan A to catch them off guard and threw in variety show games to secure a wish that the boys have to give.  
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She was successful with “dibidibidip” with Hyun Min, “kai-bai-po” with Seo Woo only to receive a get-lost card from Ji Woon when she tried “chamchamcham”.  
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First plan was a complete failure so Ha Won proceeded to her Plan B.  
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She did some research and appealed to the cousins’ favorite food to lure their grumbling tummies.  
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Seo Woo was on trance as Ha Won pulled the yummy ramyun on her chopstick but he stopped his craving right away and scolded Ha Won and Yoon Sung for teasing him with food when he has a photoshoot tomorrow.
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Hyun Min stared at Yoon Sung enjoying his favorite lamb chop and urged Ha Won to stop obsessing on her mission plan as it will be an eventual failure. 
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Ji Woon approached the table and wondered how yummy the samgyupsal was.  Ha Won cheerfully wrapped some with a lettuce and just as she puts it on his mouth, Ji Woon survived his tummy yearning and shut her up again with his get-lost card.
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Ha Won gloomily chat with Ajumma on her first mission problem and she advised her that it was a hard task to begin with.  She narrated how Hyun Min grew up almost alone ergo he was not comfortable sitting  with people to eat as he was used to doing things on his own.  Seo Woo on the other hand as a celebrity has an image to protect so he cannot enjoy food as much as he can.  Lastly Ji Woon belatedly learned he was from a rich household so he is still uncomfortable living his new life much more eating with people he barely knows.
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Ha Won pondered how the rich cousins have so much wealth and yet they have unhappy lives to battle with.
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The next morning Seo Woo saw Ha Won’s breakfast bag and enjoyed the milk she put inside even if he doesn’t usually drink it when he has photoshoot.
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Ha Won went to look for Ji Won in the storage room to ask something but he told her again to disappear.  She complained how he always say that as if there’s some place she can get lost to.  She asked if he was still upset of her moving in and he countered how he doesn’t care about her decisions anymore but she has to leave him alone.
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Unfazed with Ji Woon’s cold treatment, Ha Won responded if he was threatening her because it won’t work on her anyway as she has the mind of steel and she intend to suceed to whatever she puts her mind into.  
Ji Woon told her to play “happy family” and turned his back but Ha Won pushed some life lessons on how he has been restricting himself of accepting the people living in the house to be his family and how he drowned himself with what he feels only that he doesn’t care what other people may feel.  She urged him to step out of the protective bubble he jailed himself in.  She thanked him for getting her mom’s flowers and left him alone.  Go Ha Won!  Go Ha Won!  Teach Ji Woon a lesson!
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Ha Won found Hyun Min playing a quiz game which surprised her as he muttered that his interest is not just limited to girls.  He mentioned how she only thinks the worst of him and never realized the life size charisma emanating from him to which she replied that she hasn’t found the door to that charisma yet.  She picked up a rubix cube on the table and dared for two minutes with him to solve it for a wish he would give her, but she failed to solve it.  Hyun Min on the other hand finished it right away without any sweat.
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Hyun Min broke up with his calendar girlfriend not finding any ounce of interesting to do with her as Ha Won’s evil step mom and Yoo Na sighed in frustration trying to figure out why on earth Ha Won ended up living in Sky House.  Yoo Na decided to confirm it with her own eyes as she stalked on Hyun Min and Ha Won on a shopping spree as Hyun Min promised to help her with her mission.
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Ha Won complained about rich guy’s “pretty woman” shopping complex as she was left obliging to model the clothes Hyun Min bought her for Plan No. 3 of racing their hearts with her birth of a beauty spree.  #aigoo
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Ha Won paraded more than 10 pieces of clothing before Hyun Min stopped on a pretty white casual dress.  He erased her doubts that his plan might not work and pointed three of the clothings not to be included in their shopping but all the rest he picked will be bought.  #hyunminoppashopwithmetoo
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Ha Won bargained on the cost of clothing he just bought but he silenced her protest and dragged her to eat with him so they can discuss how to proceed with their joint plan.  
Ji Woon went to Hye Ji’s place and wrapped his jacket not wanting to wake her up from sleep.  He gazed at her as he recalled the time she put her jacket on him when he was lost and weary after discovering he came from a rich family.
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Hye Ji woke up and Ji Woon took her out to eat.  She teased him of treating her as little sister and decide to order the most expensive food as per his request.  She stated how she was happy that he is a friend and not a boyfriend as Ji Woon turned to when-will-this-girl-look-at-me-differently face.
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Just then Ha Won and Hyun Min walked inside and caught Hye Ji’s eyes.  Hyun Min turned his back to find another place to eat, but Ha Won insisted to just dine together.  
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Hye Ji praised Ha Won’s beautiful look and deducted that Hyun Min bought the pricey dress for her.  She asked Ha Won how has she been coping at Sky House but Hyun Min replied that she is well taken care of since she is his fiancee.
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Hye Ji asked the served clams to be cooked again thoroughly.  Ji Woon replied that she wanted it half-cooked but she explained how Hyun Min was hospitalized then when he ate a not fully cooked clam, but the latter shoved the idea opting not to eat the clams instead.  
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Hyun Min put some meat chop on the griller and Ha Won tried reaching in burning her arm slightly in the process and spilling the juice on her dress.  Ha Won worried about the pricey dress while Hyun Min worried on her being hurt as Hye Ji bit her lips out of pain from seeing the love of her life caring another woman in front of her.  And yay for a new kind of emotional face the second lead girl showed today!  
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Ha Won excused herself and went to the wash room to fix herself.  Ji Woon followed her cornered her on a wall and mentioned how he can also buy her expensive clothes and food like Hyun Min.  He added how he underestimated her ulterior motives but she taunted him back that her grand plan is to make the three of them become a real family.
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Ji Woon warned Ha Won not to mention the word family again, but she spoke of it again so he inched closer to her and threatened her of his diminishing patience towards her.
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Ji Woon remembered an argument he had with Chairman Kang as the latter wanted him to live as his heir and forget the people he used to work with.  He argued how those people were like a family to him when he was nothing but his grandfather pointed out that those people will eventually asked for his money surely.  
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He also overheard Hyun Min and his mother already strategizing his cousin’s company position as Hyun Min assured his mother that Ji Woon won’t ever be welcomed as a family and he will realize that soon enough.
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Back on the dining hall, Hye Ji asked Hyun Min if he really invited Ha Won to live in Sky House.  He confirmed yes and bluntly told her that she is very different from all the other girls he met.  Hye Ji can’t take the pain anymore so she stood up and leave.  
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Ji Woon asked Hyun Min what made Hye Ji leave and he replied that he didn’t say anything bad to her.  
JiWoon: “You are an expert on hurting Hye Ji!”
HyunMin: “You are an expert on healing her pain!”
Hyun Min spoke about how he has been like that to her eversince he came to Sky House and Ji Woon took it like he was not happy about it.  Hyun Min cleared how he never had feelings toward Hye Ji because he just want to live an uncomplicated life and not fixating himself on sincere love feelings.
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Ji Woon looked for desperate Hye Ji who was almost hit by a truck and shook some sense out of her brain.  He scolded her on how she can’t even stand up in front of Hyun Min.  She mumbled how she only wanted Ha Won to leave Hyun Min’s side.
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Ha Won whined on how she could get hold of Ji Woon blaming it to Hyun Min’s temper.  She spoke about how he brought her to Chairman’s wedding to make Hye Ji feel jealous but stopped her overthinking ideas. They stopped by at a house Hyun Min bought for Ha Won as he already calculated her going to be kicked out from Sky House soon enough.  Since he intends to date her he bought something for her even without the break up, but Ha Won’s martial arts skill broke his arm from his egoistic weird plans.
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At home, Ha Won made a futile attempt inviting the brothers on a group chat and courtyard dinner, but all of them left the chatroom.  
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Seo Woo stretched his body and went outside to breathe and notice a coupon from Ha Won’s belongings.  He entered the room where papers and things were still being dried up and noticed a torn paper from her diary revealing her birthday was that day. 
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He kept himself busy searching from party things with Yoon Sung’s help and prepared a birthday dinner surprise in the courtyard.  Yoon Sung told him to inform his brothers of their plan.
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Ji Woon contemplated on the recent events relating to Hye Ji’s suicidal love blindedness towards his cousin and constant Hyun Min’s condescending treatment on him.  He stood up and went to look for his cousin and waged a war by annoyingly getting the drinks he was getting from the fridge. 
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Ji Woon asked him to go to the courtyard if he really is not bothered with sincere emotions and left him feeling annoyed.  Remembering the dinner Ha Won prepared he headed to the courtyard.  Yoon Sung and Seo Woo were almost done with the finishing touches of their birthday surprise and covered it when they heard Ha Won coming in.
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Ha Won got a surprised back hug and warned Hyun Min to remove his hand thinking it was him.  But when she faced the culprit, Ji Woon’s eyes stared at her and rendered her unable to move.  
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He muttered why she had to belong with Hyun Min of all people as he moved her body facing their expected audience who looked not happy on the scene. Hyun Min walked closer to them and asked his cousin what the hell he was doing.
Ji Woon:  “I am trying to steal your fiancee!”
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Hyun Min grabbed Ji Woon’s shirt as rage shot from each other’s eyes in a love war that was raised.  
Ha Won tried stopping the two princes on the brewing brawl while a fireworks display was set on her view which the other two princes prepared for her.
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Cinderella
EPISODE 4 QUICK THOUGHTS
Dear Hawonrella, 
 
Your hair is longer than Rapunzel at this very moment.
I still can’t comprehend Hyun Min’s unlimited desire to shield Hye Ji.  It was hinted that she was the first person who showed care to him when he moved in to Sky House, but I’m not liking him circling that path when that girl is in a hopeless one-sided-maybe-two-sided kind of love because Hyun Min’s love line is still drawn vague.
I love that ending scene when the two men were fighting and the two other were busy preparing sweetness for her.  And I love all those scenes when Hyun Min and Ji Woon leaned closer to Ha Won blinding me with a sweet fictional love spectacle.
Ji Woon who decided to challenge Hyun Min, I don’t know if it’s because of Hye Ji’s wish or because he wants to assert his rights as an heir will get to a point when all his fears and bottled up emotion will be cured through his upcoming plan of spending time with Ha Won.
I want to see a definite love connection for Hyun Min whether it will be with Hye Ji or Ha Won because they’ve got to explain where Hye Ji’s pathetic one-sided love is coming.  
It was a safe episode 4 that will propel the resulting love conflict which romcom suckers like really looks forward to.
-jediprincess♡♡♡
 2016-08-21 17.55.54
Cinderella
As HaWon-rella gets accustomed to living in Sky House, she flew in from one prince’s arms to another.  Yes sir, she is currently the luckiest girl in kdramaland right now.
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EPISODE 3 SUMMARY
Drenched in water, Ha Won reluctantly entered Sky House with Secretary Kim who offered his jacket to her dripping clothing.  She reminisced the painful secret she just gotten from her supposed father and let the warmness of the water washed her pain away.
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The three heirs were informed that Ha Won will be living with them and Secretary Lee reiterated how dating will not be tolerated in the Sky House.  Seo Woo raised how Hyun Min is dating her and Ji Woon added how he dates myriad of girls, but just as he was to reveal the engagement prank Hyun Min pulled, the latter forced Secretary Lee to not disclose it as it will be risky for Ha Won to have the two believed they were not really together. 
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Hyung Lee countered that he was the most dangerous man for her, but Hyun Min insisted and offered his credit card access to make sure that Ha Won will be protected from his cousins.  Hyung Lee acquiesced but made him promise to make sure he keeps the end of his bargain.
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Ha Won stared sadly at her mother’s urn and placed it beneath a chair for the mean time promising her that they have to wait until her father’s anger subside. Her grumbling tummy led her to find food in the new house she belongs.  Ji Woon roamed his eyes in his room and stepped out where he bumped with Secretary Lee.  
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Hyung Lee:  “You now chose to be Kang Ji Woon!”
Ji Woon:  “It was not a choice, you forced me!”
He told him to make sure to live as Kang Ji Woon and not do anything to upset the Chairman.  Ji Woon replied how he was only there for his mission to understand why his grandfather was so into him and why his father left him and her mother.  Hyung Lee gave him permission to seek those answers.
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Ha Won marveled at the grand dining table when there were only three people living in the house.  She found the fridge but was halted by an ajumma who asked who and why she was there.  Ajumma introduced herself as Bolgyeo and took her away from the mansion before the three Masters find out she was there.  Ha Won was led to a sunny room but Hyung Lee entered and explained to Ajumma that she is Chairman’s special guest.  Ajumma apologized to her impudence as Ha Won claimed that she will be working as part-timer there and not to worry about it.
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Hyung Lee escorted Ha Won back inside the mansion.  She blabbed about how he was so stern with Ajumma earlier.  He responded that she should be respected well in the Sky House as per Chairman’s command.  She was about to argue again but her hungry tummy stopped the protest and broke the silence between them.
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Hyung Lee donned an apron while precisely cutting onions and things here and there.  *swoons  Ha Won admiringly gets puppy faced at the cooking show in front of her and in no time Chef Lee plated the yummy dishes on the table.  Cinderella’s eyes feasted on the magical food in front of her and thanked Chef Lee who smiled at her happily.  She munched the food happily and offered Chef some when she was almost done with it.
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Hyun Min dragged her to talk in secret.
 
Hyun Min:  “Hey!  We are still engaged, okay?!”
Ha Won:  “Hey!  Stop talking trash, okay?!” 
Bwahaha!  You got to give some sassy stars to Ha Won really.  She is unfazed when she talks to people short of understanding logic.  
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Hyun Min told her that it’s for his best interest to keep up on the act, but Ha Won wanted to come clean even if it meant they will learn she did it for money job.  She added how dating is not permissible in the house but he asserted that it was only a fake agreement.  He bribed her for additional money, but she refused that she doesn’t need it and we get to see Hyun Min in his another amusing ego deliberation…
Hyun Min:  “So you want to do it for free, have you fallen for me in that short amount of time?”
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Ha Won shook his impossible thoughts right away and asked him to raise his hands.  He raised it to the level of her breast which made her annoyingly hold her breath one..  She asked him to raise it higher, and then another more…  She threw in a punch but Hyun Min kept her in place in his embrace.   He told her that he only wants to protect her and she responded for him to eat crap.  Ha Won stormed out of the room and saw Ji Woon who stopped and asked her how much money she got this time.
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Ha Won contemplated on her new situation while remembering her encounters with the young masters but ended up convincing herself that she won’t fall for them and dating is prohibited anyway.  Unable to sleep on the comfy bed, she took a spot beneath the study table and finally dozed off.
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Hyun Min and Ji Woon crossed path outside the mansion and they agreed to not mind each other’s existence.  Ji Woon went inside a warehouse room where he picked up and opened a box where his photo with his mom was inside.
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Ha Won woke up to her new room and discovered that it was a see-through kind of room.  She peeked on the room in front of her and got surprised when two playful eyes stared back at her.  Hyun Min sent her a text message that he was not properly dressed yet so he can’t accommodate her at the moment.  Ha Won’s mind tried to process the situation and moved to investigate further on the adjacent room as Ji Woon marched in shoving her out to get lost if she doesn’t have business in someone else’s room.  She added up 1 plus 1 and proved her theory that she is surrounded with Ji Woon and Hyun Min’s rooms and collapsed on the thought of it.
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Ha Won wandered around the mansion while the people get busy taking care of the grounds and household chores inside.  She found herself in the dining room again and was coaxed by Yoon Sung who I’m calling a lot of names so far in this recap.  Let’s call him Yoon Sung from now on.  He urged her to go ahead and eat, but she wanted to wait for the rest of the boys first.  He muttered how the young masters never sit on a table to eat and on cue Chairman Kang called from Hawaii to greet Ha Won and asked how her first night was.  He gave her a mission to have his grandsons sit on a table to eat together.  Yoon Sung laid out Ha Won’s work contract which basically not to date any of the grandsons and to fulfill missions set by the chairman which will entitle her to additional bonus but failing to do so will make her lose her job.
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Ha Won’s father prepared for another job on the road and ordered step mom not to open the door for Ha Won if she crawls back in.  She tried to snoop about Ha Won’s identity some more, but he dismissed it.   He received a phonecall from someone who has a tip on a taekwondo master he was looking for and went to meet the person.  
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Meanwhile Hyung Sun went to pick up Ha Won’s things, well it’s about time to do that I’m tired seeing her in PE uniform, and delivered the news to her step family that Ha Won will be living in Sky House for work.
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On to Operation-Young-Masters-Eating-Together mission, Ha Won looked optimistic to do her first task and sat waiting for faces to show up.  Seo Woo handed the flower bouquet meant for her mom and asked her if she cried last night because she looked so sad but she replied and blamed it to the rain.  He mentioned how he thought something bad might have happened in her family and Ha Won caught up piecing out that he intentionally deleted Yoo Na’s text messages for her not to get hurt.  
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Yes dear he is the only normal person in that mansion and it’s already breaking my heart that you will break his heart eventually.  Seo Woo admitted his act after being cornered and mumbled on the kind of sister relationship she had which she responded to comparing how she at least eat with her family on a table unlike him and his brothers.  On that note, Ha Won took the opportunity and urged him to eat together, but Ji Woon’s perfect timing slammed down her intention by telling her not to look at him.  meh meh!  Seo Woo beamed at her and told her to rest her eating together case.  
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Ha Won followed Ji Woon to the storage room and was warned coldly on her manners of invading someone’s privacy.  He questioned her decision to live in Sky House and if she perhaps has intention to seduce her.  She replied that she moved there to protect something important to her and told him that he is crazy.
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Ji Woon trapped her in his arms and we got a fairy sprinkled magical fleeting moment as Ha Won perplexed with the emotion rush reminded him not to touch her again and marched out of the room.
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 Ji Woon sighed and we flashbacked to how she almost got hit by a knife that’s why he embraced her  and protected her from harm.
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Ha Won still shaking from the encounter bumped on her luggage and spill the contents of it.  She rushed to rescue her belongings and soaked herself in the running man-made creek.  Seo Woo and Hyun Min approached her and asked her to stop what she was doing but she kept on picking up her things.  
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The flower bouquet flowed and was seen by Ji Woon which reminded him of how she pleaded for her mom’s resting place.  Seo Woo got a fish net basket to help with and pulled Ha Won back to the land.  Ji Woon broke their rescue operation and asked if it was the reason why she agreed to live with them… he moved forward, handed the flowers and told her to take care of her own things and not make other people worry about her.  
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Hyun Min and Ji Woon as usual moved to their constant spat as Seo Woo tried to mediate his always fighting brothers.  Distressing even more our damsel, Ha Won told all three of them to stop and dragged her things back in without their help.  She glanced at Ji Woon entering his room as she looked down on her water soaked feet – and we see Ji Woon doing the same thing after going to the water to get the flowers for her.  
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Ha Won was drying her things up when Yoon Sung knocked and apologized for abandoning her things.  He asked her to dress up as they have to go somewhere.  And by that somewhere we mean a patent shopping spree that all girls love to watch in a rom-com.  Dear Show, are we going to start on “the game to win Hawonrella’s heart” now?
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Ha Won teased Yoon Sung on the “Pretty Woman” moment they were having and raised her disagreement to clothes’ shopping, but obedient to Chairman Kang, he only has “It’s the Chairman’s command” to her appeals.  He ended up doing the shopping for her while she rest in a cafe.
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Ha Won accidentally bumped an ajumma who demanded her to pay for the damage on the scratch of her legit bag but Hye Ji came to her aid and pointed out that the bag was a knock off.  They proceeded to the cafe and chatted a bit.  Hye Ji revealed her intention to study fashion design in college and that she is not originally from a rich family.  She also told Ha Won that she grew up with Hyun Min in the same neighborhood.  Ha Won told her that they met in the convenience store where she works.  Hye Ji jealously said how she must be happy being Hyun Min’s fiancee.  Just then Yoon Sung entered the coffee shop and Ji Hye learned that she is now staying in Sky House.  
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Ha Won felt bad not being able to straighten the lie to Hye Ji, but she made a vow to Hyun Min already.  Ha Won complained on how much Yoon Sung shopped for her but she got his robotic Chairman command reply.  She rebut that everything was too much, but he countered how living with the three guys is a handful so he will be there for her to make things easier. #yoonsungoppasaranghae
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Yoo Na ambushed Ha Won’s friend to spill the beans if her step sister is really staying at Haneul house.  She enviously saw the pictures and when she was trying to get the phone from her again, her hand landed on a 3 day old rest room thrash bag.  Seo Woo picked up Ha Won’s bank book and saw the little money she has on her account after paying for the crematorium fees.  
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Hye Ji met Ji Woon at an Art Gallery.  They went for a quick chat as Ji Woon confirmed that Ha Won indeed is staying in Sky House.  Not wanting to believe the truth, she stood up to confirm it with Hyun Min directly.  Can someone please tell girl to deviate her sad face and poker face?  
2016-08-20 15.01.47
Seo Woo greeted Ha Won who got back from shopping and gave the bank book he picked scattered on the floor.  He admitted peeking inside and teased her that he has uncovered most of her secrets lately.  He chided not for her to feel sorry about not having money as Highschoolers usually don’t have money anyway, but she joked on about him and his two brothers then being rich at their age.  She blabbed about how she knew her position and that she won’t linger anyway which made Seo Woo questioned her if she will be breaking off the engagement with Hyun Min soon, but she stopped him from prying too much.
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Ha Won rejected Hyun Min’s phone call and crept on her floor spot to take some sleep.  Hyun Min texted her to go to his room as he will give something to her but she disregarded his request and went to sleep.  Baffled that he was ignored, he knocked on her door and asked her to wait at her doorstep and presented her uniform.  He threatened her that he will cut it if she won’t get it from him.  He held the uniform on hostage as he led her to his room.  And when she entered, he told her that she’s the first ever girl to step inside.
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Ha Won apologized and lectured her on how she returns everything to whatever she receives. She enumerated all that he has been doing to her and stopped on violence.  She move towards him, leaned on a almost kiss and banged her head to his.  Hyun Min gave up with his teasing and raised her uniform for her to reach, but he swings her again and held her body in his embrace.  Are we tracking our score?  It’s 2-1 everyone in favor of Hyun Min.
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“You are becoming more and more amusing!” Ha Won stared nervously at Hyun Min while they were unaware that they have an audience slowly approaching outside.  Ji Woon saw how Hyun Min is about to kiss Ha Won so he blocked her view to shield her from the visual pain as we closed the scene with the two couples locked at each other’s eyes.
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EPISODE 3 COMMENTS
You’ve got to give credit to how suave Ahn Jae Hyun is with his Hyun Min portrayal although I think I figured how he is suppressing his emotions with Hye Ji.  I think it’s more of his strategy on his position as an heir.  Although in the future he will be trapped in the complication if he continuously nurture his mischievous fondness to Ha Won.
As for Ji Woon, he was seeing his past self on Ha Won and that’s why maybe the cold shoulder. But soon enough he will realize how subconsciously he has done little things to protect her and I can’t wait to see him in that mind-boggling situation.
I’m already feeling sorry for Seo Woo just like what I felt with Jeremy in You’re Beautiful, but I’m all in for the sweet moments designed for them to be captured.
I’m still not satisfied to where the animosity between Hyun Min and Ji Woon came in.  I hope it will be explained, I mean is the chaebol world that dark?
I’m actually seeing a you-have-the-riches-ill-have-cinderella ending but who knows who will choose the money and who will get the girl.
Episode 3 was neatly following the narrative while giving us a glimpse of the characters’ nature without losing the romcom vibe and the quirkiness.  So I like where we are heading.  -jediprincess
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Our Cinderella got a dose of reality that hard work and optimism do not suffice when you tackle on life and that you have to take on once in a lifetime opportunity offered to you.  Meanwhile her princes are confronted with the extent of control their rich grandfather has on their lives.
2016-08-14 18.15.09
 
EPISODE 2 RECAP
Hyun Min picked up some bills thrown by Ji Woon and put it back on his jacket while giving a warning not to mess with his woman.  Ji Woon questioned his claim of Ha Won as his woman, and just as they were going to brawl, Hye Ji shouted for them to stop and walked away.  
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Ji Woon followed but was halted by Ha Won who lectured him that money should not be thrown because he doesn’t know its value for those people who has to work hard for it.  Ji Woon pinned her on the wall and warned her to get lost of his cousin’s life, but she pinned him back on the wall and countered that if he mess up with her again he will be dead.  rawr
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Ha Won returned all the fancy accessories and clothing to Hyun Min and threw a shoe at him.  She hurried to leave the place just as Ji Woon glanced at her with Hye Ji on his motorbike.
The two arrived at Hye Ji’s house and he asked her why she liked Hyun Min that much when he doesn’t even care, but she is determined that she will make him fall for her soon.  
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Meanwhile Hyun Min was castigated by Secretary Lee on the trick he pulled and gave him a picture of his real fiancee which he will be meeting soon.  He  cautioned him to be cordial to her if he wanted to keep his heir position.  
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Chairman Kang sipped on his coffee and spoke about how his fifth wedding was so amusing, thanks to a young woman who seem to know how to disarm his grandsons.  He ordered his secretary to get information about Ha Won.
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Ha Won politely asked her step mom if she could lend her some money for her college tuition and promised to pay back through her wages.  But the step mom took it as a brazen request and blabbed how she might have hoped for Yoo Na all this time to not make it to the colleges she applied for. 
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Secretary Lee reported to Chairman about Ha Won’s tenacity in enduring 10 part-time jobs to support herself.  He added her non-pleasant living situation in the family and her desire to study in college.  
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Ha Won was brought to Chairman Kang and their similarity to slapstick comedy and books hits on right away.
Secretary Lee proceeded to presenting the reason why she was summoned.   He narrated the high-end specs and worth of Sky House and introduced Chairman Kang’s heirs which the latter simplified to a playboy, a thug, and a good-for-nothing.  
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He requested Ha Won to live with them in Sky House and make them turn to decent human beings.  In return he will pay for her college tuition and even send her abroad for her studies.  Ha Won replied how she thought rich guys were not supposed to learn proper decorum im case they end up giving out the family’s riches.  *chuckles  Ha Won was almost swayed but she refused courteously with the reason that she wanted to rely on her own hardwork.  They exchanged a few Confucian principles for bargaining, but she already made up her mind.
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Hyun Min met the potential arranged marriage fiancee but he got pissed about the rich girl’s focus on the business aspect of the set-up.  Just then Hye Ji appeared and he kissed her in front of his date.  The rich girl muttered that his bad reputation is indeed true and left. Hyun Min apologized to Hye Ji and walked away.  Hye Ji followed and told him how he has changed for the worst, but she is still hoping that there’s an ounce of what he used to be when they were friends.
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Ha Won went to the wedding venue to get back her uniform which was already given to Hyun Min, but was not permitted by the front desk person.  Ji Woon saw her and helped her with her problem however her school uniform can’t be retrieved.  She thanked him for backing her up and he replied how she should have asked his cousin to just buy her a new one just like what usually the women surrounding him do.  She hit him on his head to his angry surprise as she told him to mind his rough manners very well.  
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Ha Won tried calling her lost mobile phone which was switched with Kang Seo Woo’s phone who was busy running his idol performances.  Celebrity papparazi was able to know Hyun Min’s supposed fiancee and Ha Won is already called a “National jackpot girl” following the scandal.  They even went to their house and when her step-family learned her fleeting connection with Hyun Min, envious of her just like she always was, Yoo Na, the evil step sister demanded her to leave the house.
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Ji Woon was checked out from the hotel he was staying and his credit card was also cut.  He ended up at a movie house where Ha Won was working and was staring at her sleep while on duty.  She woke up from the quick drift and tried to sneak out when she realized Ji Woon was there but when she looked back, he lunged so close to her face asking if she has some money.  
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They walked out from the movie house bickering as Ha Won mumbled how a rich guy like him doesn’t have $10.  His pride won over her teasings so he decided to leave even when she was about to give him $5 but his tummy felt otherwise so they ended up eating cup ramyun at the convenience store where Ha Won was working.  
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Ji Woon spotted his grandfather’s car and went out for a quick conversation with him.  He told him that he is not interested with his power and money and will live his life on his own.  Why so jaded oppa?  aigoo
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Ha Won finally reached the person who got her phone not knowing it was Kang Seo Woo.  He told her she got a lot of text messages.  She asked him if he can unlock the phone and read the messages from Yoo Na.  He sugar coated the curses and bad text messages she got from her and told her that her father will be coming back tomorrow.  Ha Won knocked on Seo Woo’s car window and the latter was surprised seeing Hyun Min’s fiancee.  He deleted the bad text messages and stepped out of his car.  They exchanged the phones and he worriedly stare at her walked away happy at the thought of meeting her father for dinner tomorrow.
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After work Ha Won was harrassed by the reporters waiting for an ambush interview, but Hyun Min came in to her rescue.  He mumbled about how he was cool rescuing her while she was upset on how he can’t understand her situation all because of the lie he did.  She asked him to clear her name.  
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He obliged and promised her that her online pictures will be washed away in 5 minutes.  He called someone and threatened him to remove all related articles containing his supposed fiancee or they will take out their ads.  
While Hyun Min was consumed on how his recent act was so amazing, he boasted about how there’s no way she won’t fall for that suave act, but she was just baffled on the things money can really buy to which he responded that he can’t buy her smile.  Ha Won smirked, thanked him for taking down the photos and left his car.
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Ji Woon went to the car repair shop but was asked to leave the place.  He learned how his frandfather paid a hefty amount if they will remove Ji Woon from their lives.  Ji Woon met with Secretary Lee and asked him if that was the power his grandfather was talking about.  Secretary Lee responded to put behind his past and should now live as Kang Ji Woon.
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Ha Won learned that her mother’s urn was retrieved by her father.  She asked her father about it the moment she arrived home which her father took as being disrespectful to her step mother. The step mom and Yoo Na switched to kind hearted faces in front of her father and when step mom mentioned the money she save for the daughters’ tuition, Ha Won was surprised why she was saying that now when she told her she wont’t lend her money.  
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Ha Won’s father slapped her face and revealed that she is not her real daughter.  She walked away from the house she thought to be her home and drenched herself in the pouring rain.  Just then she received a phonecall from Chairman Kang about his initial offer.
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The three heirs received a text message to go to Haneul mansion and saw Ha Won standing beside Secretary Lee.  While all the rich, handsome heirs make their move to circle Ha Won, Secretary Lee reminded her that dating is not permissible in the mansion.  
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EPISODE 2 QUICK THOUGHTS
We are still getting to know the main characters and I don’t think it will give the Boys Over Flowers  vibe at all.  Though using the rich-guy-poor-girl plot, they are strengthening  the heroine’s character and I think grandpa will not spoil the upcoming romance that will happen or if he will be against it because of the whole business marriage rigamaroles, I think at least one guy will get the girl and one will get the company position, and one will just be happy.  Any cohabitation romcom is a guaranteed hit right now for me especially when Doctors is beginning to feel lethargic and Uncontrollably Fond is becoming so agonizingly tragic.  
 
I look forward to cheering on Ha Won as he straighten out the stubborn men she will live with and when these guys fall for her and gave whatever they have to win her heart.
 
I don’t understand why Ji Woon is not happy being rich but I think it will be fully explained in the future episodes along the supposed past of Hye Ji and Hyun Min.
 
I have always been bias when it comes to Jung Il Woo as he is my ultimate crush but I give credit to his ever commitment when suiting up a role making sure it would be different from his previous portrayals.
 
I can’t wait for the cutesies and the bickerings as Ha Won’s feistiness will be  measured through the Kang cousins bullheadedness. I pray that even when following the romcom cliches, this will be an adorable and feel good kdramaland stop.  -jediprincess
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On to a modern poor girl rich guys tale for Cinderella and the Four Knights!  There’s not just one prince though but four to take care of our female lead.  All for my love for Jung Il Woo oppa, so trite and all, I’m all in for this sweet ride.

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EPISODE 1 SUMMARY
Hardworking Eun Ha Won tells the children she was baby-sitting not to believe in fairy tale Cinderella basing on her own experiences of doing a lot of side jobs.  She added that they should learn to fend and support themselves on their own when they grow up.  
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Living with her step mom and sister, she has been saving her money through a handful of part-time jobs to fulfil her mother’s dream of her studying in college and being a teacher eventually.  While she lived with her uncaring step-family, she maintained an optimistic life by just moving forward to follow her goals.
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Haneul Group chairman is getting married for the fifth time and he wants his stubborn grandchildren to show their faces in his wedding banquet.  
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So his assistant summoned the stubborn heirs who are not close to each other to deliver the news about Chairman Kang’s marriage.
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Heir #1 Kang Hyun Min is notorious for being a ladies’ man.  He only knows two types of women, those he currently dates and those he will be dating soon. 
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He is not in good terms with cousin Heir #2 Kang Ji Woon who belatedly learned that he is from a rich household and is full of repressed emotions he has yet to conquer. 
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Relaxed, cheerful and the only normal from the 3 cousins would be Heir #3 Kang Seo Woo who is a famous idol singer.
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While Chairman Kang’s new wife is brewing an evil plan on the soon to be riches she will be getting from her husband, the Chairman only worries about how he can make his reckless grandchildren to live harmoniously in their mansion.  When their butler was pinned upside down in the ceiling with a masking tape, he ordered his assistant to find a working butler at all cost.
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Park Hye Ji is Hyun Min’s childhood friend, she has a one sided love towards Hyun Min and a close friend of Ji Woon as well. 
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While she was busy preparing the dress she will be wearing for the wedding celebration, her object of affection made a bet with his friends of bringing to his grandfather’s wedding event the first girl who will enter the door of the party they were enjoying.
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It turned out to be Ha Won delivering a pizza from her part-time job.  When the arrogant customer refused to pay and insulted Ha Won by not following the special instruction of having a pretty girl bring the pizza, she threw in some martial moves forcing the scared rich coward’s friend to pay.  Ha Won apologized to the guests and left the place just like nothing has happened.
 
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Hyun Min tracked her to the convenience store where she was also working and offered her money to pose as his fiancee.  He gave his details in case she changed her mind when she refused his initial offer.
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The next day Ha Won bought a bouquet of flowers to see her mother and deliver the good news of being admitted to college, but was surprised that her urn was removed from the usual spot of the columbarium. 
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The manager told her to pay the 5 Million won dues in order to keep her mother’s place.  Unbeknownst to her Ji Woon was also there visiting his mother and witnessed how she begged to the manager about her situation.  Ha Won wept and debated on whether she will use the money she saved for her college tuition or for her mom’s resting place.
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Ji Woon told Hye Ji how he doesn’t have intention on going to the wedding because he felt not welcome there anyway.  He went to a car repair shop where he used to work and offered his friends a food treat.  He went to the nearby convenience store where Ha Won was working.  He asked her to heat the food but had to go back to the shop as he left his wallet.  He overheard one of his so-called friends blabbing how he doesn’t treat them well and just with food when he had all that money to spend.  Sad about knowing people’s genuine selves when money is involved, he walked away and was approached by Ha Won who demanded him to pay for the food.  He promised to give money the next day as she walked away saying how he can’t even apologize for the trouble he made.
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Hyun Min transformed Ha Won to his beautiful fiancee after she agreed to his proposition.  Little did she know that he was planning to create a ruckus to his grandfather’s event by not telling her of his real intentions of putting up a play meant to annoy the old man and his young bride.
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They walked together from the other side  of the venue’s balcony while the old couple were doing a wedding march of their own.  Hyun Min told his grandfather that his fiancee is his wedding present.  
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Realizing the child play he pulled, she snapped at him with her strength and forced him to bow and offer respect to Chairman Kang who was amused by the young woman’s reign over his grandson as Ji Woon made his appearance and was intently looking at his cousin’s show.
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Annoyed at Hyun Min’s child play, they were still arguing when Hye Ji approached Ha Won and introduced herself.  Hyun Min shoved her away but Ji Woon came to Hye Ji’s rescue. 
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He stepped in and confronted Ha Won over her agreeing to Hyun Min’s ploy just so she can get some money and threw bills on her face. Now that was being rude.
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EPISODE 1 COMMENTS

We have so far established the relationship of the characters and the future love polygons we will be seeing. We even saw a glimpse of a future wealth tug-of-war conflict.

I’m a bit jumping into conclusion but because it’s easy to read what will happen in the next episodes — that being Ha Won becoming the butler of the three brothers cohabiting in the mansion.  I’m going to look forward the cutesies and the eventual falling in love, one sided love, fight over one girl kind of love in the future.

For now I will just savor the moment of being in another 8-week relationship with my Jung Il Woo. 
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With the amount of romance dramas brandishing in KDramaLand 2016, a story maneuvered by a con-artist and his snappy team helping out an employee of the city’s Taxation office in retrieving unpaid revenues from greedy rich people surprisingly caught and glued my attention due to how exciting it propelled a simple premise with its gripping manipulation of the cheats they pulled to complete their missions.

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SYNOPSIS

When his family fell apart after his mother’s boss’ Choi Chul Woo pinned a crime to her, Yang Jung Do became a skilled con-artist in preparation of a payback he will pull to avenge his mother’s death and father’s imprisonment.

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After his release from the jail, he assembled a team to aid his deceit game. Meanwhile in Seowon’s City Hall’s Taxation office, Baek Sung Il, chief of Division II was put on a hot spot by his superiors in his unsuccessful operations to procure the unremitted taxes from rich personalities who proficiently dodged the attempts by the taxation team.  His stress filled life can’t get much better when he was victimized by Jung Do’s trick making him lose hefty amount of his savings.  Luckily his detective friend traced the swindler and he was able to secure back his money but his work situation seemed to be going hopeless after failing to knock down Ma Jin Suk who was under the protection of the city’s Mayor –  Chun Gap Soo.  Ma Jin Suk served Bang Pil Kyu who was the right man of the main villain Chairman Choi who sponsored Mayor Chun.  So we have the fiend ring of Choi, Chun, Bang, and Ma Jin Suk against Jung Do, Baek Sung Il and company.  It looked crazy in picture but it was told very neatly that you won’t be having problems following the character links.

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Left with no option, Baek Sung Il sought Jung Do to claim his initial offer of partnering with him in pulling a scam to the untouchable tax evaders.   They successfully hustled Bang Pil Gyu and Ma Jin Suk but the Mayor and his minion Ahn Tae Wook secured an evidence that hooked Jung Do to serve jail time after failing to take down Chairman Choi.

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After 2 years Jung Do gets paroled and met with his team to device the final con to bring down Chairman Choi and Mayor Chun in a thrilling twist of betrayal and point of no return.

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REVIEW

There was a time when I went gaga over Neal Caffrey in White Collar so I think that’s why I was committed in watching Jung Do and his team plus Seo In Gook is a feast even without topless scenes on this drama.  I love the snappy editing.  All those small cons they created to push the final trick to tame down the villains were visually achieved while narrating it clearly.  There were not moments of indecisiveness on where the story is flowing.  From its kick off “Task Force 38” was strict with presenting what they will do and how they will resolve the conflict.  Adding a well blended team that explained to me well through their conversations about the new world I was introduced to about the politics manipulated by the tax evaders.  On paper and when you get the picture on the premiere episodes, it looked something that will require patience or Seo In Gook devotion to finish but the exciting vibe set each week made me crave waiting on how the reversals will be accomplished.

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The story was on spot on establishing the war between the villains and heroes.   While it builds the conflict from the greedy intentions of the fiends, the showdowns were always fought through strategy and wits.  The writing skillfully incorporated the character sketches and their roles in fulfilling the goodness over wickedness lesson given in the story.

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Seo In Gook and Ma Dong Seok suited their tandem very well in their fight against the clever mafia old men who disregarded law by controlling the city mayor.  The bromance though awkward was refreshing to watch given the difference between their age.  It all goes down to their different reasons but same motivations of making the bad guys pay for their crimes.  The supporting team was superb in their back up.  I especially noticed rookie actress Mi Joo with her dedication to her role, she even overshadowed Soo Young for me as her role and portrayal was not much striking in the duration of the series.  But it was something that doesn’t matter anyway because the 7-man heist team was efficient enough to sustain the story without misplaced plots.

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Task Force 38 is straight to the point with the premise, the conflict, and how the people moving in the story resolved and closed it.  It helped that even with the serious topic, the protagonists were drawn as suave robinhood and upright citizen who only wanted to make sure that no one is above the law in paying taxes.  True it made use of an illegal approach to defeat the baddies by brewing schemes to make them forcedfully pay what they owe which is still technically bad, but it fairly explained the limited options in stopping corruption when the people responsible for it are puppets of organized crime group.  Life really has inconvenient realities that can’t be dealt with by justice.  So as long as you get to the resolution even if the means defy law as long as there are no life threatened, then just settle with it.

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Jung Do and his squad will give you something new in this drama offering if you need a time out from the romcom drama parade this year. -jediprincess

RATING:  B

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Sadly, in my melancholic attempt to look back on “Entertainer”, there’s nothing much that I remember about it, no matter how much heart Ji Sung oppa gave to the drama.  The story as a whole was not something that I would reminisce in the future.   Sure there were a little highlighted moments especially those musical performances but they were overshadowed by the lack of the vibrancy of the storytelling.   So I’ll be making this a very quick review.  Skip it when you have a pile of kdrama on queue to watch.  Even if you will watch it for Ji Sung oppa, there’s nothing much oppa-happiness-pill that you would get anyway, so settle with other dramas that would make the most out of your time.  I watched it because I was counting on Ji Sung oppa’s choice given that I liked most of the dramas he did, but there’s really nothing much going on. 

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“Entertainer” tells the story of an entertainment manager who hit a slump on his life and resorted to forming a boy band to resurrect his career and to avenge the bitter betrayal he got from the company CEO he used to work with.   There was a backstory that connected him and the second lead playing the lead vocals of the boyband he created and they both relied on each other when they were hit with life’s misfortunes.   Entertainer closed to a happy note bringing down the villain and making the dream band famous but in the course of beating the conflicts, the story remained dormant in expounding a stale plot.  It failed to add dimensions to a more engrossing actors that would have lifted the given cliches to a more decent showing.  Yeah I think the lackadaisical effort of the actors was the main culprit why it failed my expectations.

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There’s a half-baked love triangle that involved the boyband lead, the manager-turned-CEO and the boyband lead noona.  In the end it was not a fulfilling romance because the narrative was swerving to character centered to conflict centered to resolution centered all in confused same time.  Had it taken a patient approach, it would have concluded to a decent ending. 

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The drummer was the only thing that I liked about this drama and he was taken away in the dying frames so yes, there’s not much reason for me really to prolong this article as I really don’t have much to tell but for the sake of my devotion in kdrama review writing, I would bear it some more.  

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I don’t know if it’s the chemistry of the cast, the boring storyline, the stoic romance or all of it happening at the same time.  Though it’s not as bad as “Big” or that recent Rain oppa drama, it made me emotionless while watching it.  It baffled me how my fortitude was at a different level in witnessing it happen, and being okay with how much the story progressed from  stagnant to lethargic to not being able to accomplish anything.   I can’t help but sigh for all those wasted hours and talent. 

“Entertainer” with its highly famous cast is far from the great showings we are so far getting in kdramaland this 2016.  It will be overshadowed because it really didn’t accomplish a fairly done production. – jediprincess♥♥♥

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I didn’t expect anything from this drama to start with, and I guess that’s the reason why even with the cliche plot, I still like the cute friends-turned-lovers bickerings and antics of Gong Shim and Ahn Dan Tae.

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A typical neighborhood love that bloomed from pure trust and understanding between unexpected friends and their journey to acknowledge that they were built so perfectly for each other because it is their destiny to fall in love eventually. Crossing the line between friends and romance requires a courageous stance that you know what you are doing and you are prepared to take a leap of faith. Love is not romance until it is reciprocated. The impeccable sassy and cheesy chemistry of Dan Tae and Gong Shim has had me on laughing fits most of the time.  Their comic characters were drawn so well and so compatible to each other that they compensated to the predictable plot of the series.  KDramas are known for the weird-looking kisses but the delightful love couple made sure to redefine the awkward kiss scenes and made me giggle a lot with the enchanting build up of their love story.

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SYNOPSIS
Lawyer Ahn Dan Tae in his jogger pants and Tom Sawyer attitude appeared to be not a practicioner of law, but he is.  He met Gong Shim when he rented out the rooftop place of her family.  Gong Shim has always been shunned by the success and physical beauty of her older lawyer sister.  She studied horticulture but struggled in securing a regular job.  Her good nature poked Dan Tae’s protective instinct, and little by little he found himself helping out Gong Shim whenever she is on a predicament and pushing her to follow her dreams.

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Their friendship became trio after Seok Joon Soo from a chaebol family joined their circle.  Joon Soo who also noticed the kindred spirit and warm heart of Gong Shim started liking her secretly.  Gong Shim was able to enter Star Group owned by Joon Soo’s family as his father’s secretary, but when his mother found out that her son likes Gong Shim, she was fired immediately.

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Ahn Dan Tae became close to Joon Soo’s grandmother as he takes on a part-time driver job for her.  She asked for his help to find her long lost grandson who was kidnapped on Joon Soo’s first birthday.  It turned out that Joon Soo’s uncle was the culprit and he was given to his adopted father who lost his child and was left no choice but to keep him to appease his grieving wife.  Also upon learning that Joon pyo was in danger of being killed, he fled with his family and made Joon Pyo assumed his dead son’s identity.  Dan Tae eventually stumbled on the truth his father kept him from and revealed to his grandmother that he is her long lost Joon Pyo who lost his memory after witnessing his mother’s death when he was being kidnapped.

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Gong Shim and Dan Tae acknowledged their feelings to each other but the latter still hasn’t revealed his true identity. Eventually Dan Tae and Joon Soo pinned down evil uncle and sent him to prison. Dan Tae had to leave for US for his adopted father’s surgery and business management education. Unfortunately he bid goodbye through a phonecall to Gong Shim as their flight was pushed earlier and she was not able to arrive early in the airport.

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A year after, Gong Shim no longer wears a wig and is doing great designing covers on Joon Soo’s company, Dan Tae returned and jumped on a conclusion that his cousin and Gong Shim were dating. He was cold on a business meeting but after Joon Soo cleared his weird thoughts, he claimed back Gong Shim’s heart once again.

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STORY & SCREENPLAY

I mentioned how “Beautiful Gong Shim” played on trite scenarios but even if it did, it didn’t wear me out because the cast especially the main love couple were so endearing to watch in their comic takes and cutesy moments. It was the kind of love story that I rooted for because the romance built up so genuinely from friendship and dismissed the usual uncalled for love complications present in traditional kdrama romcoms. Gong Shim and Dan Tae left me feeling good after closing the book of their story and in the near future if I looked back on their story, at least there will be something for me to remember because of the refreshing take of the narrative.

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There’s nothing fancy in the drama, it followed the basic ingredients of a romcom but leaned on the main leads’ personal struggles while discovering their romance. The quirky vibe of the love couple on their romantic moments were the generator of zest and appeal from the onset till the finale episodes. I was used to seeing Nam Goong Min in his evil roles so his laid back approach here mixed with Gong Shim’s free spirited portrayal compensated to the threadbare setting. Sure, the conflict dragged up until the closing episodes but it did not annoy me much because the series refused to dig on so much negativity. True that the last minute break up plot was not needed but as usual the charming heroine threw her grudges and trust the man he loved right away after learning the reason why he never contacted her. They always talk to each other in quirky and honest kind of way all the time. Their dorky love just make me overlook the technical points and just happily engage on the bright side they always offer.

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It was the no dull moment frames captured that made me really like the drama a lot. The comedic notes were always present to Gong Shim and Dan Tae’s interaction as well as the rest of the cast members that you will just find yourself laughing together with them.

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CAST & CONFLICT

The strong connection of the main leads and the friendship circle slight love triangle at some point square because of Gong Shim’s sister propelled the hook factor of the story. Nothing much new was presented but the keen commitment to bring out the characters fully on how the writer pictured it was a feat that was successfully notched by the people moving in the story. The story’s goal is for the hero to retrieve his life and memory that was altered by the villain and for the lead girl to pursue a quest in making her dreams come true and making a mark for herself. There was a sad conflict when the truth about Joon Soo’s uncle being the perpetrator of Joon Pyo’s abduction was revealed and thank God Joon Soo was written to be a smart character and didn’t succumb to settling for the worst out of filial love.

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That’s what I like about this drama as a whole, it gave me only one villain to despise and there was no redemption for him either which realistically speaking was drawn justly given the crime he committed. I liked that at the end of it all Dan Tae and his family forgave and forgot and remained living in one roof as again. Gong Shim who recognized her weaknesses went through moments of wallowing on her self worth, but never stayed long and went on focusing on things she still have. She walked on the screen in such positive energy that you can’t help but cheer for her optimism. Dan Tae defied the lead man protype by presenting an appealing hero who was amusing and reliable at the same time. He might not framed those sweet moments in classic kdrama romcom trend but his wacky spirit complemented by Gong Shim’s vibrant character was a refreshing spectacle all throughout.

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Joon Soo as a second lead crawled slightly in my heart because of his kind demeanor, and I’m happy that when the realization of his one sided love hit him, he didn’t go crazy trying to force the issue. Gong Mi was a character left in the corner after her greedy streak. Not that her character mattered but I think she was placed there to make the heroine stronger by overcoming hurdles like her. *chuckles
Over all this light romcom tackled the main discord and personal conflicts heads on with sure steps and engrossing ways. They went less is more with inserting the conflict and pushed to heartfelt rendition of the characters.

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RATING & RECOMMENDATION
“Beautiful Gong Shim” had this unique sense of drawing you and before you realize it, you look forward to the story. It might not be smartly written with out of this world plot or sweetly created with perfect romantic premise, but it was a moving story with engaging characters that worked harmoniously to present a pure, relatable and charming story telling.

How much I enjoyed it: 8/10
How much I recommend it: 8/10
GRADE: B

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The yin-yang love battle between the science oriented lead man and the superstitious heroine started cute, stayed sweet and hilarious but pushed its luck too far in securing a safe ending.  That being said, I won’t whine but I won’t give high praises for it.  Lucky romance is like your summer fling, it was good while it lasted, but then eventually when it ended, there was no lingering feeling.

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SYNOPSIS

Shim Bo Nui has devoted herself to taking care of her sick sister in coma, Shim Bo Ra after her accident which she blamed herself for being the reason for it.  She has a strange belief that she is a bearer of bad luck that anywhere she goes, she cast on salt and red beans to protect the people she will encounter.  Her out of this world belief sprung from when she sought the help of a fortune-teller in her effort to help her sister survive.  The fortune-teller made her believe that she is a curse to everyone she loved and made her follow his crazy ideas to help with her supposed jinx.  When Bo Ra escaped death after following the fortune-teller’s recommendation, Bo Nui decided to heed his advices at a cost of living peculiar in the modern society.

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Meanwhile the over analytical CEO of a gaming company -Zeze, Je Se Hoo was in distraught after the game they were developing was stolen by Industrial spies and was launched at a different country in a tweaked version.  To bounce back from the slump, he promised his investors an amazing game and fortunately stumbled on a game created by Bo Nui.  “IF” game was one of Bo Nui’s works from the previous company she worked on and was an RPG game meant to experience the amazing perfect life of the main character that will be programmed in the game.

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Bo Nui was tasked by the fortune-teller to sleep with a man born in the “Year of the Tiger” in a full moon to preempt the looming danger of Bo Ra’s demise.  When she learned that Se Hoo qualified to the man she was hunting to sleep with, she bargained IF game for him to agree to date her and spare hours to be with her alone in the hopes of something steamy will happen between them.  Se Hoo complied to her wish and to her boss’ request to take in Bo Nui in his company and sealed the deal for the possession of the IF game.

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Smart Se Hoo soon deduced the crazy “i-have-to-sleep-with-you-to-save-my-sister” plot by Bo Nui and denied his participation to her crazy idea.  As Se Hoo is used to believe only to things proven by facts, he was caught off guard meeting someone like Bo Nui who gave high regard to her unfounded beliefs. 

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When Bo Nui finally settled a one-night stand with a man that will fulfil her sleeping-with-tiger-man delusions, she was put in danger of being exposed to a video scandal but Se Hoo came to her rescue.  She soaked herself in soju after her failed attempt to put back Bo Ra to life.  Se Hoo dragged her drunk self to his place and slept through the night with her.

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After literally sleeping with a man born in the year of the tiger, Bo Nui received a good news from the hospital about Bo Ra lifting her finger, and from then on she marked Se Hoo as her very own talisman.  Bo Nui reunited with her childhood friend Geon Uk who was a famous tennis player on vacation in Korea in search of his long lost father.  He was initially offered to be the primary player on the game Bo Nui developed but declined the offer, but after hearing how Bo Nui made the game out of her sister’s love for Bo Ra as she wanted her to experience the good things in life through the game, Geon Uk who was also slowly harboring fondness on Bo Nui concedes and signed up a deal with Se Hoo’s company.

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Not understanding the concept of love, Se Hoo woke up one day being bugged by thoughts about Bo Nui.  He tried digging through books and search engines to the strange emotion he was feeling and finally confronted the evidences thrown at him.  He chased Bo Nui with all his geeky might, but the latter refused to admit her mutual feeling worried that she might brought misfortune to him.  But persevering Se Hoo’s effort paid off as Bo Nui dismissed her woes and claim the love he offered.

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Just when everything is going smooth along with their new found love and Bo Ra’s positive recovery from her coma state, Se Hoo’s company hit another attack when the game they will soon launch was corrupted by a virus leading to casualties as the computers by the people who downloaded the game was also affected by the virus.  To make Se Hoo’s situation even worse, he got into accident on the day he decided to propose marriage to Bo Nui.  Feeling that her jinx caused all of Se Hoo’s troubles, Bo Nui ran away thinking it will protect the man she loves.

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When Se Hoo was left no choice but to leave the business he built, he set up a new company and created an anti-virus program to revive the “IF” game.  He tracked down Bo Nui and broke up with her formally leaving a note in her hand.  After a year, they met again in a new game presentation conference where they both introduced two games that symbolized the different paths they took on their quest to find love.  Bo Nui came back to their old house along with Bo Ra and reconciled with Se Hoo to continue their halted romance.

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STORY & SCREENPLAY

“Lucky Romance” had a simple plot of a girl who deprived herself of being in love out of fear that her built in jinx instigated by a quack shaman’s advice would make her pure love turn to a curse to people she cares about.  Then she met a man who cured that deluded credence and never gave up on her no matter what even if she kept pushing him away.  The narration started well for the story.  It threw a hook using the extremity of the love couple’s personalities and how they eventually fell in love with each other.  The middle part was a cotton candy festival as delightful scenes paraded before heading to the conflict.  However it failed to end with a smooth finishing kick.  Lucky Romance made use of cute epilogues that viewers look forward too as an aid to what really conspired to notable moments in the story. 

The stride to emancipate the heroine in acknowledging that she deserved to be happy was fueled with redundant scenarios that didn’t help propel a gratifying ending for the story.  It would have been nicer if they resolved the industrial spies that they weren’t able to corner while leaving Bo Nui and Se Hoo blissfully inlove, instead of laying a “road to love perdition” for them to conquer in the closing episodes.

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CAST AND CONFLICT

Being a pure romance story where the conflict was centered to the main characters’ sensibility, it was a really good showing for the love couple especially the hero.  I am suffering from Hwang Jung Eum rom-com drama saturation that I didn’t feel something new on her portrayal as Bo Nui.  But Ryu Jun Yeol as Se Hoo was a chimeric bliss with his antics as a grown man experiencing being in love and in a relationship for the first time. 

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When the lead couple finally surrendered to the idea that they were bound by fate and unrequited love, that for me was the resolution for the conflict having established a heroine that has an insufferable sacrificial lamb nature.  So when they pushed to going back to where it all started confusing Bo Nui all over again, when she just had denounced her attachment to her illogical fears, I felt that it did not make any sense. 

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RATING AND RECOMMENDATION

Mediocrely done with some wacky and sweet notes, Lucky Romance is a rom-com drama perfect for those who still grieved on Ryu Jun Yeol’s Jung Hwan Reply 1988 character.  At least his role here was spot on decisive.  It had a stable and sunny story-telling but failed to tidily fetter the conflict to secure a satisfying closure.  Nonetheless, it notched a safe landing with its last minute tweak of bringing together the unified game developing and lifetime wishes in the finishing frames.

HOW I ENJOYED IT:  7/10

HOW I RECOMMENDED IT:  8/10

GRADE:  B-

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Next on my KDrama Challenge are the Best Romance Dramas I have witnessed in the last 10 years.  This is no easy task given that this is South Korea’s house special.  They may still lack on crime, legal or medical dramas, but they are very creative when it comes to romance dramas.  Just like my first post, I only have 3 requirements.  First, the romantic plot should be something new and refreshing.  Second, it made my heart flutter and squeal like an 18 year old girl or made me cry big time remembering my love failures.  Lastly, it refrained from using kdrama love cliches or if it did at least they tweaked it.

Remembering these dramas brought smile to my face as I recall the beautiful love stories and the memorable characters.

P.S  I didn’t include the following Kdramas on this list as they already belonged to my best kdrama list, but they sure have amazing love plot fused in the story.

City Hall, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, Secret Garden, Dong Yi, The Greatest Love, City Hunter, Queen In Hyun’s Man, The Master’s Sun, You From Another Star, King2Hearts, Healer, Reply 1988, Descendants of the Sun

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Goong (2006)

Theme:  Cinderella, School, Palace life

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I still get heart flutters on that scene after Lee Shin’s Thailand escapade with the ex-gf when the princess confronted the ex and she fainted and Lee Shin carried her and nursed her back to life.  And that love admittance back hug scene after the fire conflict, I remembered how I was holding my teddy bear’s hand and swaying it like crazy because I was so elated that at last they finally  realized they love each other for real.  *giggles

This is one of those dramas that I watched a few times in a year for my own traditional purposes and if I’m under major emotional stress, typically another failed relationship or when  my favorite basketball team didn’t get the championship again.

Crown Prince Lee Shin and Crown Princess Chae-gyung’s love story is the typical I-was-not-meaning-to-fall-for-you-but-I-fell-anyway romance.  You will love how the marriage for convenience and ancestor’s promise to marry their future descendants paved the way to one of Korea’s most endeared romantic drama.

What I loved here is I saw how the loved progressed from nothing at all to “I want you to be always beside me” kind of adoration.  They matured as the romance grew, and they grew as the romance matured.  The heart-felt lines were superbly delivered and left me feeling the pain and the bliss at that moment.  There were a few lag time and scenes that were not really necessary and were just there to fill up the minutes, but like a package, it’s so pretty outside, you have to take time to unwrap it and feel happy at what a beautiful gift it was.  It’s the same thing with Goong, it slowly moves but then it will leave you breathless.

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My Girl (2006)

Theme:  Cohabitation Romcom

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Lee Dong Wook is one of my calendar oppas.  My Girl was part of the drama selections that I watched when I had my first heartbreak and it brought me back to living.  *chuckles  My Girl is your prototype Korean rom-com in the sense that it targets the viewers’ emotions through the placement of sweet scenes and heart-wrenching i-have-to-forget-you crying frames.  

Geol Chan, a son from a rich family took in a con-woman  to pretend as his long lost cousin to appease his sick grandfather.  He was prepared to deal with the repercussions of the lie but was caught off guard when he started falling in love with her.  

All throughout the plot, the characters were bubbly and the story was engrossing even when the love conflict was tangled with equally challenging second leads.  My Girl was a very patient drama when it comes to fulfilling the love promise of the story and that’s why it was even more special.

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Which Star are you from? (2006)

Theme:  You and Me against your family

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After the death of his girlfriend, a film director secluded himself only to be reminded of the past he unhinged himself from, by meeting a woman that looked exactly like his dead ex-gf.  It turned out that the woman is indeed his ex-gf’s long lost sister and her family is against her connection to him after blaming him for the death of his past lover.

The premise looked crazy on paper and with Kim Rae Wom and Jung Ryun Won’s chemistry, it was a love feast in my eyes where I wept and laughed and also went problematic on the integral conflict of how they can fulfill their romance.

This is one of those pioneering love dramas where the writer was focused in conceiving a resolution for the conflict by propeling the magical power of love even in fiction writing than throwing unnecessary set backs to hurt the main leads.  It pushed the love couple to tackle their indifferences heads on and relied on how they trust and love each other.

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The First Shop of Coffee Prince (2007)

Theme:  Workplace Romance

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Hail to the grandmother of kdramas with cross-dressing heroines.  This is a follow up hit for Yoon Eun Hye and the drama that made me look at Gong Yoo as an oppa. *wink “Coffee Prince” developed in a feel good manner where the lead man battled out the possibility of his affection to a fellow guy not knowing that the heroine was in disguise.

It was something new when it was aired hence the rave because we saw an unconventional romance between a strong willed heroine who has to pretend she was a man  to secure a job in a coffee shop.  The scenes where Gong Yoo was trying to reconcile his feelings with a guy come what may were hilarious.  It is also one of those dramas where the lead man was presented as someone who wanted to fulfill his woman’s dreams first.

 

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The World that they live in (2008)

Theme:  Workplace Romance, First love

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This is the first drama where I saw characters moving in a very familiar manner with each other.  It was like stepping exactly in a work place where each person was not minding my presence and just doing their jobs accordingly.  This is my most heartfelt and realistic portrayals for both Hyun Bin and Song Hye Gyo.  It felt like they were acting like how they normally are as a person.

I love the romance plot in the story because it’s what a normal love relationship is… messy, uncertain, sweet.  It stepped back to avoid complications but it will eventually realized the mistake of doing so.  

Set in tv drama world, the lead couple were both working as PD’s for a tv station.  It doesn’t have quirky plots infused but it was very appealing to me because I get to see a story without so much embellishments and just plain emotions of the love couple as they rediscover their love for each other over and over again.

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You’re Beautiful (2009)

Theme:    Musical, Cohabitation

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Another cross-dressing heroine drama in our list but this time with a twist. Wanting to be a nun, our lead girl had to pretend as a man to help her twin brother who will be launched as a member of a hot boy band.

Perky and fast-paced storyline, well written script and fresh sweet moments at it’s best.  You have to prepare yourself for a second-lead syndrome, not that Jang Geun Seok was not good but because Jung Yong Hwa was equally sweet.  

Looking back this is still my favorite Park Shin Hye drama because she displayed a memorable heroine that was naive but refreshing and vulnerable but persevering.  With 3 men battling for the lead girl’s attention and parading their skills regardless if it’s awkward or not manner, it was so hilarious watching the heroes bleed love hearts to get noticed.  “You’re Beautiful” is that one drama that would make you realize how beautiful it is to fall in love without any reasons but just pure unadulterated adoration you felt for that someone.

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Boys Before Flowers (2009)

Theme:  School, Rich-boy-poor-girl

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This manga based drama swept my heart when it was adapted by Taiwan TV back when I was in my college days.  It was so popular and introduced me to my first fictional love Dau Ming Si.  To say that I have expectations of it when Korea took it for their own production was an understatement, nevertheless I say they presented it well and good, that I went back to being in my teens, and even watching it in raw videos every week.

What made it different from the rest of the remakes done was it stayed on the original context of young and sweet high school love as opposed to Taiwan’s college setting.  The Japan version I don’t really like that much I only liked the second lead.  On that note, “Boys Over Flowers” presented a strong battle between the main and second lead in claiming the lead girl’s heart.

It may not be perfect because of the moments when the drama has to ride its popularity so additional fragments were added but it was definitely one beautiful romance that will remind us of our first love, school crush and being young and full of dreams.

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Prosecutor Princess (2010)

Theme:  Workplace, Revenge

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Hello Again Ma Hye Ri!  Albeit the conflict centering to the hero’s revenge to his lead girl’s father, this drama has been one of my favorites with how it navigated to bringing in the love couple slowly and then shattering them into pieces after the revelations.

But in the end though, love prevails and while the hero had his own strong convictions with his retaliation, he let himself be swayed and let go of his pain to be with the woman he loves.  The “confrontation-kiss-scene” brought me to the edge of ever after and had me promised myself I will vow to be a single if it’s not Park Shi Hoo that I’m gonna marry with.. *giggles 

Given the heavy conflict, it surprisingly started flashy and breezy where character development for our heroine was a back story.  Give it a visit if you are tired with the romcoms airing these days.  I assure you it will be a nice stay.

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My Gf is a Gumiho (2010)

Theme:  Fantasy, Folklore

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This supernatural spectacle fused with local folklore brought to play a heroine like no other and a lead man who took whatever it takes just to be with the woman he loves.

A rich, lazy college student dreamt of becoming an action star accidentally freed a pretty woman who turns a nine-tailed-fox.  The two work on their dreams of becoming an actor and becoming a human and soon enough fell in love with each other.

The fantasy and reality mixture of the story was what kept it engrossing and Shin Min Ah’s gumiho character perked up the drama all throughout.  You can never go wrong giving a chance to this drama because it will give you varied emotions leaning to the positive side.  The love fulfilment though hindered with the supernatural bead that would sacrifice one or the other from the main love couple gave me a dilemma when it was airing.  

Serve yourself chips and soda on a rainy day and be enthralled at this buoyant and bewitching romance story.

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Personal Preference (2010)

Theme:  Cohabitation

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There were lots of bright tones here which I can say compensated to some dry moments and knots that were loosely conspicuous in a kdrama addict’s eye. The doting scenes melted me and made me craved for more… so scenes that are really unnecessary were left forgotten.  “Personal Taste” is your typical I’m-here-to-protect-you-love-story but with a twist. 

We had a vulnerable lead girl who was betrayed by her bestfriend after seducing her ex-boyfriend and an architect lead man on a mission to redeem his father’s lost glory by analyzing a house designed by a legendary architect who is the lead girl’s father.  Our lead girl mistook her hero as homosexual and let him board in her house but then later on, they both fell in love with each other.

Why it made my list is because even if I refrain from weak heroines, the romance was sweet and fulfilling in the sense that the lead girl redeemed herself through her hero’s encouragement to be a better version of herself while the hero learned to step back and appreciate the people around him instead of keeping all his woes alone.

This is a classic romcom prototype with adorable love couple, easy storyline and a box full of sweetness.

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Myungwol the Spy  (2011)

Theme:  Spy, Enemy turned lovers

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The endearing eye-candy Kang-woo and the equally loveable and charming Myung-wol were the source of a few weeks of bliss and cheerfulness for me when I was watching “Myungwol the Spy”.  

This dandy show was oozing with cute couple bickerings.  The premise of having the heroine protecting the leading man was a relief on the usual vulnerable leading ladies needing a chaebol-in-the-shining-armor to rescue them.

A North Korean spy, Myungwol, infiltrated South Korea in her goal to seduce Hallyu supahstar Kang-Woo.  Her persistence will pay off but her true intention will make or break an impossible love affair.

This is one of the perkiest romcoms you will see given the dynamics of a strong heroine for her character as a spy incognito and the top actor with immense hubris falling in love with his protector.  It will leave you laughing and asking for more.

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The Princess’ Man (2011)

Theme:  Vengeance, Historical

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This Romeo-and-Juliet-like drama sent me to the edge of a cliff and I got affected so much with the struggles and motivations of the main characters.  

The directing and cinematography were captured efficiently projecting a gripping story throughout its conclusion.  How they maneuvered the movements of the conflict without making the protagonists looked so annoyingly pathetic was strategically laid which made me admire the writer of the story. 

The acting was top-notch.  Everyone stepped up and portrayed their characters as they balance their roles to complement and support each other.  I was so moved with how the lead couple struggled to claim the love that is rightfully theirs.  

The Princess’ Man is a drama so complete and will suffice the addiction you will endure as you gape each episode.   It has a conflict that was justified well and was concluded in a realistic manner.  It was agonizing and yet a very loving tale that will remind you of the risks in committing yourself to someone, the bittersweet pain of coming to terms that love has always casualties and the reality that until you learn to forgive, you will not be able to feel in your arms that person who defined you what is love.

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My Princess (2011)

Theme:  Princess Romance

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The modern day princess themed drama did not give me the “my-girl-ish” kind of fondness, but there are really moments that I was able to painfully and delightfully relate to the characters.  

The long lost princess of Korea will embark on re-claiming the honor of her royal family in the modern times, but it will not be easy owing to her need to prove her worth as a princess to her country  and the evident rivals determined to stop the Monarchy’s re-emergence.  She has to rely between the devil and the deep blue sea to fulfill the responsibility laid on her hands.

This drama has been Kim Tae Hee’s way of saying sorry to me after I saw her movie Grand Prix. (Pardon me, I’m having a Princess moment here… *giggles)  Also, this is my favorite Sung Seong Heon oppa’s performance to date.

Sassy couple fights, well rendered sweet hero display, and the mischievous yet vulnerable princess… These are some of the reasons why this love tale was pleasing and captivating.  It managed to give depth to the princess-darkknight love premise without losing the focal character of the story but maintaining the bliss of the romantic element of the narrative.

“My Princess” is that drama you watch with your girlfriends on a pyjama night when you don’t want to talk about work and love problems and just want to rest and feel each other’s presence.  Sweetly made for a woman who loves freely as it can be.

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I Need Romance (2011)

Theme:  Modern romance

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It was like watching my very own love story in the television screen (less the ever-after part)… I cried… I reminisced… I laughed and for a moment, I yearned how it feels to be in a blissful, addictive, sometimes-painful-yet-binding and worth taking a risk kind of romance.  Before the love month wanes, “I Need Romance” filled me up with so much retrospection and argued with my existing love standpoint and rules of dating. 

This love drama was tailored in a sex and the city vibe and narrated the modern love stories of women in their 30’s and how they struggled to keep a romantic relationship and the lack of it. 

The funk and the feistiness of the story and characters, the importance of sex, love and honesty in a relationship along with the sassy girl friendship were enough for me to be drawn and stayed peeking at these lovely women who covered the different faces of a relationship love boat.

I Need Romance was a very fulfilling love drama to watch.  It drew the depth of commitment and the pain it comes when loving so amazingly and truthfully.  It has been bound realistically that the problems and happiness made the story so moving that I was able to relate to it.  When a drama can make me sit to finish it in one sitting, that drama is definitely superb and brimming with exciting-real-world love, Sung-soo and In-young’s adoration did it to me.  I strongly vouched for this romantic series, women should watch it, and men should learn a lot from it.

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Flower boy ramyun shop (2011)

Theme:  Cohabitation, rich-boy-poor-girl

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It is a definite rom-com drama at its best, full of sweetness, charm and endearing characters that you will surely adore.  It was one of the quirkiest-so-pleasing-to-watch-cast-ensembles.   You will keep in your heart the love story, the characters in lead and supporting roles, the humor, the wit, the love triangle sometimes love polygon, and the drama moments.

What I loved in this drama was when Chi-soo and Kang-hyuk set to claim the cup on Eun-bi’s heart.  It felt like Legolas and Gimli boasting at their orc killing showdown.  The kiss scene after Chi-soo snatched Eun-bi while she was on a date with Pillar, was the defining kdrama kiss for me so far.  It was like “you are mine” kiss nailed and defined.

I was so puppy faced all throughout my stay at Flowerboy Ramyun Shop.  I craved for more and they sufficed me beyond what I expected.  I got the closure I hoped for and this will be included in my yearly series to watch tradition.

 

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The Moon that Embraces the Sun 2012

Theme:  Historical, First love

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This drama opened the year with a grand fireworks display.  The ratings stayed up even if there were times that I was wishing for it to speed up.  But the production team sure know when they should wake you up when you were about to doze off so I remain positively raving.

The young love which bloomed and defied time, reasons, and political issues were the reasons why the production was applauded immensely, I think.  The strong and consistent character portrayals, supernatural seasonings, family issues and brotherly love cemented the viewers’ loyalty, I say.

The series as a whole was creatively conceived, but I won’t say I’m all praises to it compared to what I felt with the recent sageuks I saw (Tree with Deep Roots and The Princess Man).  It was euphoric on its strong notes and contemplating on its sad tones.

My verdict?  This is a drama full of love and anguish, but you will eventually CHERISH it.

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Faith (2012)

Theme:  Fantasy, Historical, Medical

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It was not as polished and calculated as City Hunter or Ghost, in fact it was sort of slow moving but it was moving to a direction where it was making the viewers joined the drama production… cheering for them, feeling each of the character’s pain, engrossed with the happy moments and frustrated with the inability to end the villains vile ways.  To make it simple, Faith was successful in establishing a connection that will not make it forgettable.

The major conflicts were mainly divided to the political assertions and the save-the-doctor-struggle in the winding part of the drama.  The main character Choi Young, weary but bound to his responsibility to the king was always resolved in prioritizing him, and it has pained him that he cannot protect the love of his life.  When his inability to wield his sword struck in the home stretch I was so worried that they may not get an ever-after, so when he went back to his nothing-fazes-me attitude and went Kenshin Himura to all the people who has been blocking the road to happiness with his woman, I just told myself that it’s really not a bad idea to be single as long Lee Min Ho will always be there on the TV screen.

Assimilating the action plot with the supernatural spices and decorating it with folklore, having a band of villains equipped with mojos and x-men powers, a sassy and bubbly modern day doctor that was lost cutely to a new kind of thriving she was forced to live and of course the Thor-ish General who made my Kenshin Himura looked so inferior… were the essentials that made this drama such an enthralling TV experience.  The provocative plot matches the annoying villain assaults and the firm, arresting retaliation of the underdogs.  I know that goodness will prevail in the end, and it was amazing how the protagonists took their final stand considering how smooth the pounces were of the bad guys.  A drama moving through governance contention and draped by the traditional settings normally sets a serious tone, but how the heroes and the villains pulled the tricks on their sleeves eased out the ambiance to set an immersing watch.

“Faith” is a remarkably premeditated tale where notwithstanding the consistent dawdling and sageuk clichés it successfully notched the path where it was directing the audience – hope, holding on faith and happiness.  Faith’s ability to balance the transcendent elemental nonsense was plausible and cohering to how it mounted to the story’s peak.  The back to the future arc linked the primary message and the title of the drama – FAITH.  Every essence of it and how a person should have faith to claim the love he deserves.  “Was I lacking of my yearning to see him or was I lacking faith?”  This was a very strong line I remembered and has pierced directly to my romantic veins. 

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Cheongdamdong Alice (2012-2013)

Theme:  Black Knight Romance

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What would you do if you truly love the person but you started not with the right intention?
This Cinderella-like tale brimmed with interesting characters and have splashes of mirth, reality slaps, gold-digging lessons, PTSD nonsense and thought-provoking love arguments.  With a rich-girl-poor-guy love affair premise, this was not a case of true love, but a love that was proven to be true.

I had hair-tugging moments when Se-kyung was confused with the lie she started but she convinced me with her tenacity and justifying that even if her love was ugly, it was still love.  I love that line she mentioned about how poor girls were looked down because they married a rich man when rich girls who arranged marriages also marry for money.  There are a lot of reality check scenes in the drama inferring love disparities and that has made the texture of the story different from your typical you-and-me-against-my-rich-family premise.  Se-kyung was blatant with her intentions even if she knew that it will destroy her.  She was not your typical “I don’t care if you’re rich I just love you” girl because she’s been through a relationship saddled with financial constraint, and in the real world when you build a future with someone, love will be a foundation but money will sustain it.

Seung-jo passed through 5 stages of grief in overcoming and renewing the love he had and he raised the most important message of the story.  There are always reasons why you love someone and you can never ask for a proof of it.  When love fails, you can never go back but you can always start again.  Alice in Cheongdamdong depicted a typical love story but twisting not just the conflicts and the characters, and in doing so it raised an imbalance that has made the story true.  Women dig any Cinderella-story because they wanted the feeling of being rescued.  In this love tale, the girl started the conflict, she made the the person who will rescue him part of the conflict, but she found the way to overcome it.  Way to go girl! 

The daddy-and-first-love-issues, the brave but twisted love of the heroine, the circumstances of why the main love was in a tug-of-war setting, the opposing beliefs in romance were detrimental factors in imaginary and real-life ever-after.  Cheongdamdong Alice was able to hit all those considerations of people who are looking for the kind of love they deserve.  Sometimes love started because it was meant to be but it has to end because we have to get the love we deserve.  If you are looking for a romance, this drama will show you the love at its purest, vilest and fulfilling appearance.
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Rooftop Prince (2012)

Theme:  Time Traveling, fusion sageuk

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Joseon Era –  All was doing well with Prince Yi-gak.   The empire is smooth sailing and he enjoys afternoon walks with his princess and riddle games with his sister-in-law.  Until a morning of surprise when the Crown Princess was found dead floating on the lake.  Determined to catch the culprit on the Princess’ death, he gathered 3 of the most useful Joseon men he could find and off they go to uncover the mystery. 
In their pursuit to unveil the cause of the Princess’ death, they were transported 300 years after to modern Korea and landed to Park Ha’s rooftop house.  From there the real adventure began.  They have to face the difference brought about by the time and villains with equally pathetic motivations who failed miserably to their evilness act. 
This was the first drama I saw with reincarnation plot in full swing (memory searching… really no other drama with reincarnation plot yet).  The adorable 3 Musketeers were a bundle of bliss, a sight to behold, a manna from Heaven.  The laughter I got from their modern living transformation supplied enough happiness pills to cover the recent job nausea I’m getting at work. 

The cute lead couple exhibited on screen chemistry.  Lead couple for rom-coms has a tendency to be so tiring to watch if they get either super-insensitivity attack or overly-loving complex.  Yi Gak and Park Ha were smooth as a couple.  The romance was not rushed, and with that love-transcending-time premise, excuse me Romeo and Juliet here’s the couple to beat.

It was not your perfect drama technical and script wise… in fact there were a few labyrinth-bound story plots and out of place conflicts, but then again the sweet moments and the laughter were all so worth it, so you would hardly notice the lapses…  It’s that love tale that I don’t want to end and I can’t get enough of, and the reincarnation storyline somewhat helped me to move on.  I begged that the drama will not end.  Honestly, I felt that they could still have made it longer.  It made me feel so insatiable watching it.  

 

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A  Gentleman’s Dignity (2012)

Theme:  Bromance, Testing Waters

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“A Gentleman’s Dignity” tells the story of quadruplet 40+ men who grew up as friends since Highschool and nurtured their friendship since then.  The morning breakfast forums, the constant cover ups to survive the feisty wife, the one-sided love, the mischievous-kiss-may-december-love-affair, the now-we-break-up-tomorrow-we’ll-get-back relationship, the opening hilarious anecdotes, the sweetest, heart-wrenching love declarations and love-believe-me’s, and the bromance were some of the reasons why I highly recommend this romcom drama.

For a woman’s perspective, I never thought I would enjoy this so much and I felt that even if Jang Dong Gun was the main attraction among the boys, having them all together were the strongest points of the drama.  All four of them were a big pile of mirth and love. 

They say life begins at 40, and these men who were friends since Highschool rocked it.  Having their own stable life, they have to balance personal, family and relationship issues while maintaining the best bromance I’ve seen so far.

The conflicts mainly focused on their finding and keeping love.  Do jin and Yi Soo depicted how sweet a one-sided love can be when it became two-sided.  Yoon and Me Ah Ri defied friendship and age to hold on to each other.  Tae San and Se Ra had a rough ride before they finally realized they belong to each other.  Jung Rok and Min Sook defeated jealousies and discovered that you sometimes have to lose love so that you can find it again. 

I have very positive feelings towards this drama.  All those minor so-what-situational-supporting-conflict I just disregarded because the story and the characters have such reverberating resonance that has made me reflect on how I’ve been dealing with my own relationship and commitment issues.  Come to think of it, they made this to make you remember how vulnerable and how defiant you can come after because of love.
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Reply 1997 (2012)

Theme:  Young love, First love

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Answer Me 1997 sprinted all the way to my heart with its vibrant characters, nostalgic premise, fan girl foolish escapades, friendship we all have at some point and we still have at the moment and of course the crazy first love.  

Kdramaland was all out and has maximized the use of time element in the dramas for 2012, and for Reply 1997, they went to nostalgia… I sighed, cried and laughed out loud as I joined the characters in their younger years memory delving.  Nothing magical, mythical and supernatural, just a pure trip down to the moments everyone watching can totally relate.  Spicing the flashback element, the drama will be switching from present to the later part of the ‘90’s showcasing the trademark of that generation where tamagotchi, flip top phones and the rest of the ancestors of the modern technology in their conceiving stage.
The familiar feeling of first love if given another chance could become a “fated love”.  I finished the drama in one sitting, that’s how engrossing and fetching the story was.  It was just there sharing a wonderful friendship and love story without hassles and annoying conflicts but the emotions were resonating and striking at the memory veins that it will make you recollect the good old times when you first passionately and recklessly fell in love.

The charming screenplay and story have brought out the best of the newbie artists.  The novelty and evasion from the drama rom-com clichés has made the plot a winner.  It was like reading a predictable book… you know what’s going to happen but how they made it happen was sweet, comic, beautiful and realistic so you stayed fondly watching them.  The story will grow on you without you realizing it.

This is a wistful memoir of that point in time that we first fell in love… and when you finish the story, you might wonder what if you tried to go back.
“The reason why first love is always special is because you kept the memories… since you can never go back”.  Answer Me 1997 will prove this quote otherwise. 

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Operation  Proposal (2012)

Theme:  Fantasy, Time travel

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Once upon a time there was a man who lacked confidence in declaring his love to the woman he adored since they were young so the girl was left no choice but to accept another man’s marriage offer.  Realizing too late that he let go of his one great love, the man cried and a bored time conductor was moved by his lamentation over losing the woman she cherished most.  So he was given a magical potion to drink and a weird renovation incantation to say for him to go back to the past to correct the wrong choices he made in his life and make room for the love he thought was meant for him and his girl.

Operation Proposal was sweetly and richly narrated that even if I went to a lot of time travelling for 2012, I enjoyed it so much.  I love how they moved the romance from young childish love to a taking time to realize kind of love to a love that didn’t understand reasons but felt what’s important and to a love that was meant to have and to give.
I lost count of how many times he went back and forth to correct something in the past to avoid the eventual wedding of the woman he loved, but I was so fond of Kang Baek Ho that even when I was tugging my hair because he can’t do it right when it came to expressing how he felt… I still gave him a chance… actually he’s the only person I’ve given myriad of chances to prove his love, and it paid off…  it was such a fetching feeling to be with him in his rollercoaster ride to be with someone who has been with him all his life… to finally own what other people may say to be love written on the stars. 

The fantasy element fusing to the reality was layered in such a way that you don’t question the magic pull they put in the drama.  In the latter episodes I was also begging for more chances of going back to the past because like most of the people around him Kang Baek Ho grew fond in my heart. All throughout I was feeling what the lead girl was — “there’s this man I’ve loved all my life, I’ve sent signals for him to realize that I like him, but he’s so clueless about it.”  Being a lady-in-waiting, I was able to relate to what she was feeling… it’s hard to be in a situation when you love someone all your life, and in that long span both of you are groping if there will be a romantic future that you can both share. 

There were a lot of love situations tackled in this drama but it all goes down to two main points:  How far you are going to wait for someone for them to realized your worth and that you are waiting?  And being brave to fall in love and discarding the what-if’s and saying it at the very moment you are feeling it.  I’ve seen a lot of beautiful love stories this year but Operation proposal took me from blushing to crying to understanding that in love someone can run to you that’s why he might have let you wait.

The time-space continuum voyages of Baek Ho was an endearing journey full of twist, oh no’s and romance.  It was a refreshing feel to have a conflict that was not evil motivated that’s why I loved the supernatural spike in this drama.  The lead character was competing with himself – with his past self for that matter and his forebearance endured his painstaking drive to be with the girl he loved.

The pacing and the timing were injected smoothly in the movement of the time wrinkling happening in the drama.  It was neatly done that I didn’t lose interest in it.  If you are looking for a complete romance drama with a magical side dish – Operation Proposal would serve the purpose.
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That Winter the Wind Blows (2013)

Theme:  Fake siblings turned lovers

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I pretended to be a long lost brother to a blind heiress because I needed money to continue to live only to find myself waking up wanting to protect my fake little sister every single day” in between anti-histamine and sleeping.  Given the drama bucket I’ve piled in the past few years, making me stay sitting on a drama was a feat hard to achieve, and this year, “That Winter, The Wind Blows” was the first one to notch it, and no candy crush nor any other distraction can compete with Jo In Sung oppa for my attention.  *wink

This is how a melodrama should be done, enough emotional scenes to stimulate the heart and tear ducts, but not bordering to weep fest.  This spectacle was like Innocent Man, but what was half-achieved by the former, was strongly fulfilled by this winter romance show.  Loving someone when you are literally blind takes faith beyond reasons, and finding a reason to live because you love someone takes bravery beyond faith. 

A tale of not really brothers and sisters who were entangled by fate, unexpected fondness, blind trust, and true love, this drama blew me away on the early episodes and the intense scenes when the revelations were surging up.  It took me a while to be convinced on how the lead girl’s firm grasp of things disregarded how her hero abnegated his own happiness because he got infected with the love he was feeling for her, but as I realized, I without disability have insecurities and would really feel awful if I will be betrayed, how much more for a blind girl like her.  It always help to step on the character’s shoes to see through their perspective.

It was not a happy-yey!-ever-after closure, but at least they were together.  And I’m happy about it. I really loved this drama because it didn’t give me the satisfaction of getting a fairy-tale ending.  And because at those scenes that really mattered I was able to feel for the characters and the struggle they were hurdling.  It drove to the path of how Oh-soo and Oh-young’s self-contemplation on what they have to offer with each other to be worthy of each other’s love.  Oh-soo who has never saw meaning to his life has found it when he met a woman who was also sharing the same sentiment as his.  Sometimes it’s really the pain that makes the love so worth it, because without it you can never differentiate if you are willing to let go or to love the person.

“That Winter, The Wind Blows” was a poignant love drama that will make you remember how you were scared to start a love you were unsure of, and how you took the odds to claim it.  This was a cure for people with “trust issues” and its delightful and piercing romance take will definitely appeal to people wanting to love… wanting to be in love and wanting to be loved back.  It was a splendid romantic drama ride for me.  It was not perfect but it was emotionally astonishing.

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Fated To Love You (2014)

Theme:  Strangers turned Lovers

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Rom-coms are as always the main drawers of Hallyu wave followers through the years therefore competition to present a romcom that will stick and hook the audience has always been a tough case… Some may start strong and then dwindle in the end and some may start slow but go frenzily good towards it closure. “Fated to love you” has hit all the bullet points of a typical rom-com, even the cliches and the character prototypes but its endearing lead couple won my heart over even if there were dragging moments in the story.

I think being able to put up strong romance filled scenes as well as the chemistry between the eccentric, suave and winner of the best male laugh ever in the kdramaland and the meek and good-hearted heroine created a venue where audience are reminded that they too once dreamt of a Cinderella-ish romance.

Being able to focus on Lee Gun and Kim Mi Young’s relationship as it build up from perfect strangers to true love drew a connection that all viewers can relate to. It was able to examine how much a person is willing to give because of love.

Fated To Love You invested on the bread and butter of Rom-Com dramas and luck was on their side because they have such endearing couples that made the easily foreseen scenarios still appealing to watch. They worked on the essence of “timing” in romance and remained steadfast with their theme until the conclusion and resolution of the love story.

It’s a comfort drama pill best watch in the rainy days… its romantic magic will soothe your love veins.
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Discovery of Romance (2014)

Theme:  Second Chance on Love

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One of the reasons why I like this drama so much is because it went to the unconventional path of presenting the love story between estranged couple and how they were able to realize that their love was true even then, and even years after.

I wept over the heart breaking dialogues during those “if you only did that” scenes and it honestly ripped me apart because of how truthful those lines are, and because given the situations and dilemmas raised in the storyline, it was really how a normal person would have thrown words at his lost love who presented himself to you again, and just when you thought that you are done and over him, you will realize that he has never left in the first place.  It gave us that painful reminiscing of how after losing a love we greatly cherished, it would make us discern on how someone will always remind us that beautiful things change painfully in a moment, and there would be no way for you to prepare.

Han Yo-Reum has a happy life and stable doctor-boyfriend Nam Ha-Jin. Her story looks perfect as she lives quirkily with her two best friends while enjoying woodwork as her career. In her attempt to catch her faithful boyfriend who was forced by his adopted mother to go on blind dates, she chanced upon her ex-boyfriend from 5 years ago, Kang Tae-Ha. Having inherited his family’s interior design company, he commissioned Yo-reum to collaborate in their projects while brewing his intentions in trying to win her back again. And as they meet up in doing the projects, glimpses from their past were narrated in flashbacks while they try to assess why fate led them to another chance in their future.

I barely suffered from a second-lead syndrome because I’m not really a fan of comfortable relationship. Well in this aspect I know that people have different perspectives, but I want a love that will bring me the extremes of pain and bliss. I remembered Yo-reum’s best friend saying how love should be a mixture of emotions, how you fight and make up for the indifferences and understand that it should always lead to a compromise.  Moving in a slow but sure path the first half of the love memoir spectacle featured the background story that have made the viewers joined the heroine when she was finally overwhelmed in trying to justify that her stable relationship is what she needed in her life, and not the old flame that kept throwing her to myriad of emotions she can’t process.

Hitting all the realistic elements of what it really takes to be in a relationship was the best part of the love triangle in this roller coaster romantic ride. Diverting to the usual cushioned approach or drama-infused conflicts they usually put on their storyline, they dug to the root of love problems in a coherent world – the strength to let go of a half-baked love and the choice to be in a not so perfect but true love.

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It’s okay that’s love (2014)

Theme:  psychology explained kind of love

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It might be the most unconventional modern romance drama I have ever seen but it has such a very affecting and unique story given that sickness in k-dramaland usually involves amnesia or anything fatal. Perhaps it comes with me being at my 30’s too that I don’t like being given tailored romantic dramas with the usual illness premise that is sometimes really tiring to watch. 

The dots connecting the characters in small groups are as functional as when you view the cast as a whole. The friendship circle of the psychiatrists presenting a utopian human interaction that doesn’t follow bias and excess baggages was a delightful package that has driven the deft writing of the storyline. Jae-yeol’s emotionally wounded family was a picture of how even the most dysfunctional family need one another to heal each other’s wound while Hae-soo’s misplaced hatred with her mother’s infidelity that helped sent her to medical school has created a scar inside her which her professional self can’t even cure

“It’s okay that’s love” is just how relationship realities are translated in a cherished, ardent, unadulterated, lingering, failing, and blissful TV drama scenes. The last 4 episodes has had me at my knees clutching my pillow, trying to subdue the emotional outburst from a beautiful and heartfelt thread of painful and fervid love moments that cut deep in my heart and my very own memories of how it felt to love someone deeply without holding back.

Seamless and unfeigned, it progressed from warm to romantic to sacrificial to against-all-odds and eventually to you-were-meant-for-me love timeline. I saw all the faces of love tackled bravely and painfully in this love story.

Without annoying third parties and excessive misunderstanding scenes, I grew fond of all the characters while enjoying a love narrative which took a different approach to defy rom-com rules by presenting the genuine feel of being with someone… the scare, the heart flutters, the denials and the bliss.

The fate of a successful romance lies not on how much effort each other has to put on to keep the love going because love is always never enough… it is always the choice to love someone that keeps a relationship endure.

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Kill Me, Heal Me (2015)

Theme:  Multiple Me Love

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The complexity of the multiple personality disorder fused with the fated but hindered romance of the main couple has made me ruminative deducting the precepts of the story premise of this smartly and playfully written korean drama.  I knew it was all about trauma and I was happy that there was no extreme sacrificial bordering to stupidity acts done by the main leads in avoiding their destined love.

Overall I like the ambitious writing of this drama.  It was meticulous in inserting the conflict of the story, although it came to a point when it became too detailed dragging the denouement which they could have used in a few romantic notes in the penultimate episodes of the story.  The sending off of Do Hyun’s characters warmed my heart especially that of Perry Park and Se Gi scenes.  I don’t know the extent of this psychiatric condition, but I liked that it was explained well how each characters emerged.  It was like Voldemort’s horcruxes in a positive way.  *chuckles

Typically kdramas with chaebol power struggle plot involved unreasonable conspiracies and surprises so I think since the multiple personality is the carrying story conflict, it was good that it didn’t dwell on the money-filled but problematic chaebol world.  With multiple characters bursting in and out, the humor was ever present but not slapstick. 

I actually feared that the characters might act stupid once the revelation of their connected past and linked present will be uncovered.  Thankfully they sailed all throughout with their rational minds.
Beautiful in its strongest points and faint weaknesses, this is a perfect drama that will leave you happy and intrigued.
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Beloved Eun Dong (2015)

Theme:  Unrequited Love

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If there’s a first love drama that warmed my heart recently, it would be a man’s unrequited romance to a woman who was kept being separated to him by fate.  Beloved Eun Dong narrated a love story so blissful and agonizing like it came straight from a classic love novel.

The love couple met when they were young and became each other’s puppy love, they met again in college where they formally entered a relationship, but the girl, Eun Dong who dreamt of being an actress met an accident and left the lead man’s life.  He soon became a top actor and in his quest to find his true love commisioned a ghost writer to bring to life his love story.  Eun Dong who suffered from amnesia took the job and while writing the book, her memory came back and realized the lies her current disabled husband and adopted father did to her.

The conflict having been Eun Dong already married while the lead man fervently waited for her was mind agonizing.  It was a test of justifying what you’ve been through to lose your greatest love and will you be happy if you reclaim your love that is legally not yours anymore.  The love triangle were all in a helpless state trying to break out from that suffocating bind.

“Beloved Eun Dong” has a very strong narrative which will put the audience on a trance in finding a solution for everyone to be happy.  It taught a lesson that love involves two people loving each other the best way they can and not how the people around them understands it.  

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Oh My Ghost (2015)

Theme:  Haunted Love

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Bright, Cheerful and Feel Good have always been the after effect of an episode dose of Oh My Ghostess for me.  Supernatural plot is a make or break deal in kdramas.  It needs to be flaunting when the plot needs it, and it needs to see reasons when you over expose it.

I like the richness of the father-daughter filial love in the story as it literally transcended the after life.  I like how cheeky and sweet Sun Woo was at the same time, his reactions were adorable.  I like how Park Bo Young was able to differentiate Na Bong Sun and Shin Soon Ae’s characters to fit in with the way the actual Soon Ae was playing in the story.  I like how the romcom elements fused well with the metaphysical plot of the story by  making the love leads face their issues straight on and seeing the reasons right away.

Every main character in this drama has his own story that the love line was not the main thing that got me hooked with it.  It was how each character’s story along with the conflicts that entwined them brought the love story closer and concluded the conflicts neatly.

It was the most consistent romantic-comedy for me for 2015, yes even with the slight tragic plot.  The chemistry of the love couple was impeccable that all the followers of this drama would agree how Bong Sun and  Sun Woo made our heart fluttered with their bipolar-disorder-misguided-romance.  It’s hard not to drum your feet on your bed and grin when Sun Woo went to his usual i’m-the-man antics and Bong Sun’s pesky man cravings guided by Soon Ae.

If you are needing a love elixir to boost your already blooming relationship of if you just want a perfect romcom drama getaway.. This one is for you.
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Another Oh Hae Young (2016)

Theme:  Rebound Romance

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Dear Another Oh Hae Young,

For the spot on bliss and tears you gave me as a woman and not as a kdrama critic this time, I forgave the extension to benefit some more money for the high ratings.  *chuckles  For me your story reached its most beautiful place when the heroine, after all the betrayals and half-hearted i-love-you replies and confusions, still chose to be with the man she loves.  She might appear weak for letting her love for him consume all the reasons why she should let him go.  She might look desperate for throwing away the fears she felt, the days she half-lived and the moments she almost gave up.  But at the end of it all, she just wanted to love and be loved back.   She just wanted a love that beats in her heart. 

love, jediprincess

We typically get utopian love stories, but that was not the case for “Another Oh Hae Young”, they shared the pain and the bliss in its barest and heart piercing manner.  What drew the viewers is how the angst and confusion of qualifying love was stripped to its messiest and yet sweetest state just how someone would remember how he fought for his one great passionate love.

I think anyone who has loved someone to the point of being drained and crazy will have a weep fest watching the drama.  I can only imagine the heartbreak the writer of this drama had experienced in his life to capture the real emotion someone has to go through when he is bargaining with love and when he is angry and missing the person at the same time.  If there’s one lesson Oh Hae Young and Park Do Kyung’s romance would leave their viewers is that how you don’t overthink when you intend to love someone all the way… how you say I love you because that’s what you felt at that moment… and how you embrace the love feeling because you believe it to be true.  

Another Oh Hae Young is not just your typical rom-com drama.  It takes pride on its keen perception of the difference between how a man and a woman take on distinct approaches on loving someone while weighing on their pre- conceived inhibitions that the relationship might not work.  It tackled playfully and seriously the kind of love someone can give after learning lessons from a heartbreak.

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Dear Another Oh Hae Young,

For the spot on bliss and tears you gave me as a woman and not as a kdrama critic this time, I forgave the extension to benefit some more money for the high ratings.  *chuckles  For me your story reached its most beautiful place when the heroine, after all the betrayals and half-hearted i-love-you replies and confusions, still chose to be with the man she loves.  She might appear weak for letting her love for him consume all the reasons why she should let him go.  She might look desperate for throwing away the fears she felt, the days she half-lived and the moments she almost gave up.  But at the end of it all, she just wanted to love and be loved back.   She just wanted a love that beats in her heart. 

love, jediprincess

Another Oh Hae Young took me by surprise because I was not hooked on its opening episodes.  I gave it another chance because I know how great Eric Moon was in his previous roles and I’m happy I didn’t give up easily.  The love progression was realistic and at the same time surreal.  It tapped on those moments when we were all left hanging and indecisive to admit that we were in love.

SYNOPSIS

On the day before her wedding, Oh Hae Young told her parents that the wedding will be cancelled because of her change of heart.  Her parents who can’t understand why she passed on her wedding when she’s in the ripe age to get married was upset on how everyone they know will think about the current situation not knowing that it was the fiancé, Han Tae Jin, who called off the wedding but Oh Hae Young pleaded for him to make it appear that she halted their marriage plan.

Passing on to the stages of grief, Hae Young’s parents can’t keep up anymore to her craziness and forced her to be kicked out of their house where she ended up renting a space with an unblocked door connecting to a neighbor tenant.  The hot neighbor is Park Do Kyung, a sound producer who has been seeing a psychiatrist because of his vivid visions of a woman whom he never met and who turned out to be Oh Hae Young.


In a ludicrous twist of fate, Park Do Kyung learned that the revenge he pulled on his ex-girlfriend’s supposed boyfriend who left him on their wedding day went to Oh Hae Young’s fiancé because they have the same name and attended the same high school.   Han Tae Jin was forced to end the relationship with her and provided a crazy reason for the break up because he will soon serve a jail sentence.


Hae Young and Do Kyung started up on a cold start as the latter is confused on the unexplained apparitions of her in his life.  He foresees what will happen between them and saw how he will die in the future.  After chasing over Do Kyung, and recognizing the reason why his consciousness gave him a peek of what his tomorrow will be, he finally reciprocated and take all the way his love for her unfazed of the premonition warnings he was getting. 


 Just as everything was settling, Hae Young learned why Tae Jin had to leave their wedding behind and has to confront the truth if her love for Do Kyung was worth the pain she went through when she was ditched in her wedding and if it is fair for her to leave her ex-boyfriend after knowing the reason why he had to hurt her.


In the end, Hae Young chose to follow her heart and embraced Do Kyung regardless of what happened before their romance’ fulfilment as Do Kyung learned how to break the unexplained mirage affecting his relationship with Hae Young.

STORY AND SCREENPLAY

“Another Oh Hae Young” was as prettily written as Descendants of the Sun, but even more heartfelt because of the realistic approach of the love plot.  The kisses were intense the arguments were heart-wrenching and the scenarios created were what you really do in a real love world.  


We typically get utopian love stories, but that was not the case for “Another Oh Hae Young”, they shared the pain and the bliss in its barest and heart piercing manner.  What drew the viewers is how the angst and confusion of qualifying love was stripped to its messiest and yet sweetest state just how someone would remember how he fought for his one great passionate love.


I think anyone who has loved someone to the point of being drained and crazy will have a weep fest watching the drama.  I can only imagine the heartbreak the writer of this drama had experienced in his life to capture the real emotion someone has to go through when he is bargaining with love and when he is angry and missing the person at the same time.  


If there’s one lesson Oh Hae Young and Park Do Kyung’s romance would leave their viewers is that how you don’t overthink when you intend to love someone all the way… how you say I love you because that’s what you felt at that moment… and how you embrace the love feeling because you believe it to be true.  


Another Oh Hae Young killed the hype of Descendants of the Sun effortlessly in my heart when I thought it will linger for a while because I can relate so much to the heroine on how she bravely fell in love while in pain and acknowledged that she can’t unlove the person overnight.  


CAST AND CONFLICT

I can’t help but admire Oh Hae Young for her fearless understanding and strength of her nothing-left-to-break-but-still-willing-to-love kind of heart and her relying to her family in her moments of vulnerability. 


Her love comprehension of her next door neighbor could-be-could-be-not one sided love, tested her unique character if she will love defying reasons or if she will love to understand everything in the process.  She is that perfect example of a woman who loves at the moment and will push to it regardless.  I was laughing hard when she was begging her parents’ permission for her to live in with her boyfriend.  How cool is that.  On that note, I love the direct and implied lessons her parents delivered in the story.  How they stood up and stayed with her in her moments when she can’t even think for herself. 


 Park Do Kyung also represented the kind of man, us girls dig.  That kind of man that will make it hard for you to calculate his next move or if he is testing the waters because he doesn’t want to complicate things


I love the supporting cast who went to portraying crazily amusing roles.  From Do Kyung’s jaded older sister who speaks French when drunk… which is usually every night… to the womanizer lawyer-best friend and easy go lucky younger brother with free spirited girlfriend and to rival Oh Hae Young who didn’t make her quasi villain character looked pitiful.  I only have high praises to Hae Young’s parents who supported their daughter as she embarked on all unimaginable things she did for love.  

RATINGS AND RECOMMENDATION

Another Oh Hae Young is not just your typical rom-com drama.  It takes pride on its keen perception of the difference between how a man and a woman take on distinct approaches on loving someone while weighing on their pre- conceived inhibitions that the relationship might not work.  It tackled playfully and seriously the kind of love someone can give after learning lessons from a heartbreak.

HOW I ENJOYED IT:  10/10

HOW I RECOMMENDED IT:  10/10

GRADE:  A+

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aigoo  My head burst in selecting the best of the best from my memories.  I stayed strict to my simple qualifications of breakthrough writing, brilliant directing and beautiful cast portrayal.  This will be my first entry for this kdrama challenge and I’m excited to fill my list on my future posts.

Korean dramas have evolved to the most innovative themes in the past years.  The competition  is stiff and if the yearly trend is set, production companies will make their drama even more superb than the copied idea.  

There are myriad of stories to choose from in kdramaland hence the growing popularity in the world.  My last rule in this list stripped my being romantic self and reminded me to choose the most polished and creatively conceived story and not the main lead that made my heart fluttered.  *chuckles

So here are my picks for the best 20 kdramas in the last 10 years.

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Jumong:  Prince of the Legend (2007)

GENRE:  Period, Action, Romance, Drama, War

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This loooong period drama is the proof of my unwavering commitment to South Korean dramas.  *chuckles  While journeying with Jumong to the endless political wars, rooting for his love fulfilment with Seo So No and his ascencion to the empire he built, I learned about korean history, war strategies, economic principles and winning over people’s greed.  You know that Machiavelli book about politics and governance, skip that and watch Jumong for a more interactive education.  I promise it is more enjoyable.  Jumong managed to maintain the excitement even with its long run.  It made use of detailed and thrilling storytelling that hooked me to connect with the main hero.  True, there will be a lot going on in the story, so you might as well take notes and don’t fall asleep because when you wake up a lot already happened.  *giggles

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City Hall (2009)

Genre:  Drama, Romance, Comedy

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This politics based romance drama crawled in my heart without me realizing it.  It beat the regular favorites Coffee Prince, Goong and even My Lovely Samsoon to get to the top of my list, because it’s not your conventional drama with cushioned and frosted romance.  It is a love story where the prince did not rescue his damsel in distress, but pushed her to be brave and resolve things on her own.  With an uncomplicated premise, the writing was exceptionally thought provoking for women experiencing challenges in finding their worth not in the standard of what the society dictates but on the dreams they have as a woman.  A memorable performance for Kim Sun Ah and Cha Seung Won with a bonus heartfelt love story on the side.

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Dong Yi (2010)

Genre:  Historical, Romance, Drama

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It was beautifully imagined and crafted.  The conspiracies, surprise moves, evil ways, and fighting the evil ways are the reasons why I stayed afloat finishing this 60 episode period drama.  Dong Yi displayed such appealing and stimulating TV drama while presenting the richness and intricacies of Korean culture. More than how they presented the elaborated palace life, power struggles, vibrancy of the culture, I love that the narration was so subtle in its approach and yet so daring on its conviction.  The story was well developed and connected. I appreciate that they minimize the number of villains because I can only hold contempt of three to five people at the same time.  The beginning was dishearteningly good, the ending will make you pull the strings for it to end out of weary, if not for the fact that you so wanted to know what will happen to the bad guys… Now the middle part…. that was the best part of the series.  

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Sungkyunkwan Scandal (2010)

GENRE:  Period (sageuk fusion), Romance, Comedy

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 I present you “Sungkyunkwan Scandal” – the drama that changed my belief that sageuk presentations are not fun.  A bromance-filled tale incorporating a touch of traditional Korean history and way of living made the series so riveting, you will find yourself insatiable with the charm it has cast upon you.

Sungkyunkwan Scandal was a Hana Kimi-Boys-Over-Flower-fusion set in the Joseon era.  This is where I suffered the most mind-boggling Second-Lead-Man syndrome, in the end the second-lead prevailed.  *chuckles  This is a kind of school life every girl wished for, having three gorgeous men as your friends and even two fighting for your heart. Considering the setting was in traditional times, they were able to execute love melting and love sighing scene while studying in the library, getting stranded inside a wooden elevator, and all the rest of those happy moments shared by the Sungkyunkwan Scholars. Despite the political strain conflict, what I loved most on Sungkyunkwan was that it was full of optimism and the bravery of the characters stood alone making each of their portrayals worth remembering.   The drama gave epic romantic scenes, REALLY EPIC… the kind of sweet love scenes that when you tell your friends, you get transported back to the moment where you were actually watching it. *promise

 

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Secret Garden (2010)

GENRE:  Fantasy, Romance, Comedy

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The sparkling tracksuit, the sweet sit-up kiss and coffee kiss, the hilarious body swap and Hyun Bin’s melting gaze were some of the things that I remember most about “Secret Garden”.  It was a breather from prototype romcoms with its perfect blending of fantasy and romance and with its main love couple’s reversal of roles having a strong heroine and a weak-hearted but charming lead man.

“Secret Garden” is your drama to see when you want a kdrama marathon vacation.  It played well in keeping its excitement stable and hit a love progression where the viewers were left all cheering for it to happen.  The fantasy body-switching plot was a brilliant addition to keep the story bubbly but the strength of how the love couple communicated or should I say bicker along the way eventually realizing they were both rendered by the love bind they threw at each other unconsciously.

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The Greatest Love (2011)

GENRE:  Romance, Comedy

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The love drama staged in the showbiz land exhibited a top actor in his prime and a struggling actress who used to be from a famous girl group but was condemned unfairly by the public’s judgment.  In a series of forming-a-love-story event, their lives sort of crossing their paths every now and then and before he knew it, the cutely egoistic and blithely mischievous Dokko Jin’s protective instinct was awakened by the pure, sometimes vulnerable, but never failing to be optimistic and to trust in life character of Ae-jung.

This is my favorite battle-for-the-leading-lady’s-heart showcase, as the two lead men warmed my love veins with their creativity to let Ae Jung noticed how much they love her. The Greatest Love was like a heroin disarming me from earthly life making me thrive inside my protective romance bubble.  It was done short and sweet with basket full of romance delivered personally by cupid to all of us.

 

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Scent of a Woman (2011)

GENRE:  Melodrama, Romance

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Looking back what I loved most about this drama is how for a change I got the conflict first in one big blow at the beginning of the series and I stayed glued at it all throughout even if I knew the expected possibilities.  I felt that the tears, the smiles, the bright side, the falling flower petals, the optimism, the strong heroine and Lee Dong Wook oppa were all perfectly placed to the finish line.

Knowing that the conflict was initially laid, what I anticipated was how they will reach the climax, and how the characters will play together to achieve it.  Since the conflicts were mostly character-based, the portrayals should be able to thrive in the emotions of the viewers, I say I got affected so much and was moved beyond what I expected of it. 

I did anticipate and prepare myself for the pain because I know that she will eventually die as it was the main premise of the story, and I did appreciate that they were able to come up with an ending that Eun-jae, Ji-wook and I deserve.   It was a conclusion that was so befitting of this death defying romance.

This was one of the most endearing love drama binge I have seen.   It was so love and life affirming.   If you are looking for a drama that will make you laugh, fall in love, cry and be hopeful all at the same time, this one is for you.

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City Hunter (2011)

GENRE:  Action, Drama, Romance, Thriller

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This action-filled series was definitely all business.  The reckless City Hunter left me awe-struck and wanting to be kidnapped and wishing he would rescue me.  Lee Min Ho playing devil-may-care-ass-kicking-casanova was enough not to scroll down the teaser and go straight on board the drama.  I should know.  I did.

With a pinch of romance, gorgeous fight scenes and definitive plot, City Hunter raised the bar to action drama set in modern times.  The nifty plot left life lessons and each episode was done where the tussles did not exhaust the viewers but left them wanting for more.

Directing and editing wise, this is one of those dramas which knew how to pull cliff hangers even to the finale episode where the hate-you-love-you character of Jin-pyo showed a befitting redemption.  I really thought his dark heart will not be swayed otherwise and that finale scene sent me moping reminiscing Vader saving Luke when the remaining inconspicuous goodness in his heart reminded him that he was his son regardless.  

The main character ensembles were so buffed making the story ever moving and exciting.  The show stopper “ajussi” and his online shopping addiction made me look like an occasional shopper.  The other dark apprentice was also oozingly hot orchestrating ruckus for City Hunter.  I liked that Kim Nana was also strong-willed and that he didn’t go to the usual sometimes mopey and always looking for a rescue lead woman.  Overall, this is a drama that will satisfy your cravings and your mind maunderings.  It was exceptionally done and a must see Kdrama delight.

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Ghost (2012)

GENRE:  Drama, Cyber crime, Action

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There were no guns triggered… no swords drawn… it was a battle between heroes and villains equipped with digital powers. It was an enthralling power game that involved, system hacking, all-knowing CCTV cameras, secret bugging, and heroes and villains almost equally genius to take one step ahead of each other.

Ghost/Phantom broke my love drama binge 360 degrees and I was left dumbstruck and on a cliff hanging state all throughout the series. I was like in a trampoline were I was bouncing up and down without the rush hitting the bottom level.  Ghost/Phantom will hold your interest in a very gripping fashion. The cunning power plays and counter measures were ever present to the story as it progressed. The brilliantly done ending emancipated the withheld secrets that were carefully and nifty hidden so as to achieve a closure befitting of this cyber world investigating drama classic.  Be prepared to be stimulated and trust me there will be no give-aways here… so you cannot defocus less you will be lost to the story.

The race on who gets to maneuver efficiently the power of the computers will earn the opposing team an instant digital karma so all the while, the villains and heroes have worked double time to raise the bar in outwitting one another.  If you want a breather from rom-coms, this cyber-crime drama should be on your list. The dexterous cast and perceptive plot will take you all the way to an exciting oblivion where you will feel like you are also part of this buffed cyberspace police officers.

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Queen In Hyun’s Man  (2012)

GENRE:  Romcom, Time traveling

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It’s over and done but Queen In Hyun’s Man now Abby’s man has left me insatiable.  Your drive to bring your viewers to your spontaneous romance binge whilst holding the reign to an incessantly bewitching plot was quenchless and I thank kdramagod for that.  
“Queen In Hyun’s Man” disarmed me each and every episode with the deviant drama pulls and going maverick to what I was predicting so I had me grab my tarot card to check if my seer abilities need a refresher.  It deviated from the typical KDrama conflict norms of unresolved unfinished love issues, family problems, useless vengeance driven characters, personal exhausting battles and all those other tiring fillings they would insert to make the spectators just go with the flow. 
Given the time-voyaging premise of the story, I was amazed on how the production team worked on the smooth transitions.  It was playing at past and present ends without losing the spontaneity and fluidity of the story.  The writer whom I stalked from then on was a delightfully mischievous conceiver who got down to the nitty-gritty of the screenplay and pulling off the conflicts and its deliverance in a make-sense and you-got-me-there kind of vibe.  It was a supernatural rom-com drama at its best, no questions asked, period.

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The King 2 Hearts (2012)

GENRE:  Drama, RomCom, Thriller

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King 2 Hearts was staged in a quasi-utopian Korean world where the North and South Koreans are sort of in peaceful communicating terms.

King 2 Hearts has always been polished, calculated but never failing to entice and push me to my assumed outcomes. That being said, what I applaud about this drama is how it seems predictable but will prove the viewers otherwise.  It met all the criteria for a superb kdrama and ended with conviction.  It has one of the most memorable villain who graced the evil camp land and it broke the struggle on second-lead-syndrome by killing the off the character.  It was an honest story yet tender at the same time.

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Gaksital/Bridal Mask (2012)

GENRE:  Period, Action, War, Romance

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Move over Ajussi, City Hunter, Masked Rider Black, Shaider, Spiderman, Superman, Batman… and all the rest of those superheroes who took the imaginary world by storm… Gaksital has only a  flute and superb martial arts move, but for the first time in my life, I fell in love with a local hero.  A bromance defying all bromance invented… *giggles  Every episode, if not the same intensity as the last, always ended at a very strong note.  I found myself immensely enjoying the gun shots, punch sounds, skin rips, sword slashes, blood spatters, and cat-and-mouse chase.

Gaksital went to this milieu… “I accidentally killed my brother because our mother was killed by my bestfriend’s brother.  So I killed my bestfriend’s brother, but he caught me doing it and because of the circumstances and my family’s past which was just revealed to me when I have already denounced my patriotism to favor the Japanese empire, I’m not sorry I did it.  A test of best-friends-forever pledge.  Yes, that it was.  How’s that for a conflict?  Not to add that they both love the same girl whom they met when they were young.  Avenging the death of their family members, first love duel plus fighting the Japanese regime.  If this looks crazy in writing, it was astonishingly gripping in action.

There are a lot of reasons why I would highly recommend this drama but I’ll start with its strength to depict a stimulating story brimming with facets of history and layered with conflicts and resolutions that disheartened and made me happy at the same time.  It was as if my father’s World War stories came to life, and I can only imagine how life was hard back then.    I’m enjoying period dramas lately, there’s just so much to learn that’s why maybe.  It has so much depth and substance and youth of today will learn a lot from it.  It was an epic tale that perfectly bloomed along with the characters and was so successful in sending out the Patriotic theme where love, loyalty, family and friendship where at stake. 

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Master’s Sun (2013)

GENRE:  RomCom, Supernatural

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Once in a while a surprisingly good love story would remind me why I became addicted to Korean Romantic Comedies.  In the sea of dramas where stories are usually woven from the rich-boy-poor-girl love affair or the male-pretending-lead-girl, a you-and-me-against-the-ghosts love story hit all the romantic nerves in my body even with its comic spooky vibes. 

“The Master’s Sun” has given me a lot of elating moments and back-to-when-I-had-my-first-love heart fluttering scenes.   In a way the calculated but not false-hope promising story pace has made me join the lead love couple in discovering the reasons why they fell in love with each other alongside why they were in denial and scared to admit it. 
When you have a stubborn romantic lead man who with-and-without amnesia know how to claim the heart of the woman he loves and a heroine who struggles in confusion to the path on how she is supposed to love her man, it will give you a love tale full of acceptance and understanding.  It will inspire you to trust why your heart fell in love with the person and how your mind will be overpowered by reasons.  

 It was a nicely blended romance which showed a love pair growing together while understanding why they both need each other. It was a relationship where the couple did what they can do so that they won’t end up in the position where they will ask “what they could have done”. Being with someone is not half-loving yourself and half-loving him. It should be loving the person with all you can.

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You Who Came From Another Star (2014)

GENRE:  RomCom, Scifi, Supernatural

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Rarely did a Korean romcom drama approach me and sweep me off of my feet every episode up to the finale, and to say that I was happy throughout my drama-stalking was an understatement, I was so elated with it.  You see, love stories need not to be so big romantic kind of way, not that I didn’t like the “alien-who-loved-me” twist but “You From Another Star” drew a great following because of the vibrant characters who has really brought to life their fictional images to an unforgettable and you-can’t-help-but-relate-to kind of way. I think the lightness of the conflicts and not involving much negative emotion, but focusing on making the lead couple work their way to defy the cosmic problem inhibiting them from being together gave a gratifying closure for the story.  You see once in a while jealousy, greed, family intervention, amnesia and annoying 3rd parties are not required to create a heartfelt love tale, you only need two hearts that love bravely and love back deeply.
Feisty and fun, it has surely and splendidly built up the conflict, the romance, and the conflicting romance, binding me in perplexing contemplation on how a drama with typical romcom premise surged a romantic bliss, never looking back and coming strongly and  surely each chronicle episode and seemingly faultless in executing the how-to-make-a-perfect-romcom guidelines.
Fate, chance encounters and brave “i-love-you-right-now claims have never been so perfectly achieved until this love story graced kdrama screen and though there were minimal things that I wished was explained fully, I didn’t care less because the love progress moved to a pace where the character’s connection is sensitive to the story they are into, while the story glued out perfect pieces of events that maybe kdrama cliche, but were effectively used and concluded just the same.

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Nine Times Travel (2014)

GENRE:  Drama, Romance, Supernatural

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Notching superbly those climactic cliff-hangers and seamlessly presented the consistent timeline transitions and convergence, this drama would have mocked all the time-traveling stories that graced dramaland.  My Sherlock veins was immensely gratified that I paid less attention to the romantic side which in all fairness was also a satisfying bliss.  It was a balanced fusion of a character and plot-driven tale where its incredulous premise was chronicled unembellished and not leaning to injecting inconceivable trajectories due to its supernatural setting.

It was the story of a man who obtained 9 incense sticks that functioned as a time-trekking machine which helped him leave clues to his past self in escaping his looming death in the future.  His time warping brought him to events of 20 years ago and divulged pieces of information that his future self utilized to change the course of time in the past to protect the people he loved and his soon to be taken away life.  The incomprehensible plot paraded a stunning picture closed to perfection where I was set into constant debate with my thoughts, but Nine Times Travel was always emerging victorious when I’m deconstructing the path and curves on where it was heading.

It was an exceptional labyrinth themed story where the enchanted incense sticks functioned like Ariadne showing proudly the coherent flow of events and the liaison of the past and present time.
With its smart characters, nifty writing and dexterous editing I fell in love with this drama big time.

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Healer (2014)

GENRE: Drama, Action, Romance

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Healer is one of the best korean dramas you should include in your list if you haven’t seen it yet.  It has a brilliant premise about a one-of-a-kind hero who chose to disconnect from the society, but accidentally grew attachment to a woman who drew him out of his hibernation.  The drama quaintly linked the furtive relationship of the characters while building up the plot’s climax and romance to perfection.  It is so addictive, stimulating and amusing — and that one drama you can sit on with family, friends and even your lover.  I’m almost two years late to review this drama but I hope you can find time to watch one of the best dramas on my list.

The story’s main conflict focused on peeling the truth behind the lead couple’s fathers’ death while journeying on their fated love.  It aligned to Healer’s character strength to propel the excitement while he did his gripping missions… circled on Young Shin’s character as the focal tug-of-war battle between the Moon brothers’ villain and hero complicated relationship and surged high to the my-father-might-have-killed-your-father-but-i-promise-i-love-you-and-i-will-protect-you love plot of the main leads. Healer justified the superb writing with how the characters went passionately driven to bring out a scintillating storytelling.  While a lot progressed in the story, it never missed it steps in binding the romance, the back story and the conflicts together.

The story got so intoxicating because it assimilated Healer’s Promethean skills and heartfelt media coverage to battle the conscience-less power players of the country.  When your cast is smart and the writing is nifty, there’s no way the notes will not be hit. 

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Misaeng (2014)

GENRE:  Melodrama, Drama

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Without supernatural intervention or genius fusion ideas, I landed on a pensive mode while watching the reflective and heart wrenching workplace drama “Misaeng”. And it’s very rare for me to do so because my excessively diverted mind usually craves for something different and evolving but with Misaeng, I was sent back to ponder on my forgotten dreams, regrets and what-nows?

Misaeng provided an engaging experience for me because of its wonderful cast and their interaction. Though mostly shot in the office premise, the candid pantry small talks, the rooftop heartfelt confrontations, the cubicle power struggles were able to capture in detail and in pure emotions the many faces of employees struggling everyday to get their job done.  It was like stepping to a company’s door, sitting silently in a corner while you watch all of the employees get to their job. For the jobless and people who wish for a different job it would be a great encouraging watch.

It is hard these days to find a human TV drama that follows the fundamentals of how and why storytelling emerged to inspire people.  We frequently have to see stories to escape from the problems we are facing so sitting down upfront a courageous and flaw-filled human nature TV presentation chronicling what is true and happening, what we hide to people relying on us and what we don’t want to admit to ourselves because of too much pride has had me really feel high spirited to surmise that fulfilling personal goals need not be happening in an instant and all at the same time.

With its simplicity and amazing depiction of the daily life of the working class, Misaeng is no frills, never superficial and all heart and a must watch for all of us on board and soon to be boarding on the corporate world. 

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Punch (2015)

GENRE:  Courtroom Drama

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Awed and at the edge of my seat every episode’s finishing kick, I can’t help but wondered how brilliant the writer of this story by bringing out a drama where heroes and villains don’t waste time outmanipulating each other to secure the highest possible position befitting to their greed and wickedness.  With a dying man as a lead hero in charge to intellectually brawl with his superiors in the Prosecutor’s office, the stake was always at the highest as the people involved raced to protect their families, reputations and personal ambitions.

Punch is a literal badass with its scintillating and intelligent writing.  It was full of surprises that will make the viewers grab their hair out of frustration.  I wondered how much hate the writer might have stored in himself to motivate him to write a chronicle that was able to maintain a level of grit all throughout his depiction of the corrupt Korean Prosecutors Office.    It was a nerve wrecking display of shrewdness played equally well by all the characters who was in the running to claim the most cunning of ’em all crown.

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Reply 1988 (2015)

GENRE:  Drama, Period, Romance

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They say that as you age along, you get more sentimental as you look back on what has happened in your life. Sitting on this neighborhood drama set between 1988 – 1995 made me reminisce the good old days of endearing family love and friendship full of memories and laughter. “Answer me 1988” pays homage to the irreplaceable bliss of being young – of our young dreams and our young love. It gives you a trip to memory lane when technology hasn’t taken over the world yet— when friends meet up at a house to watch movies, to eat and to chat and when romance comes true by heartfelt love declarations, stolen kisses and warm hugs.

Hands down to the extent of the research and the meticulously vibrant writing that were fused together to bring up a chronicle that warms the heart and lingers in one’s mind. The setting, side stories and the cast ensemble will make the viewers feel like stepping to a time-warping machine and bringing out the best memories we could ever have in our lives.

 I only have the very best things to say for the neighborhood I grew fond watching, for the childhood buddies who defined lifetime friendship and for the sincere love that bloomed from the purest friendship and memories.  Delving on nostalgic premise “Reply 1988” brilliantly use sweet melancholia by sending the viewers back to their very own youth, like it did to me. It made me want to pay a short visit to the street I grew up with and reminisce the times when I hang out with my childhood friends to play traditional local games. It made me glad that most of my precious memories were not digitally induced as is the case of the youth nowadays. And it reminded me to still go for the purest romance I can ever have that won’t make use much of the world- wide web and social media.

Reply 1988 is a strip of mementos any person with a euphoric youth can relate to. I strongly vouch for this drama if you have a weekend to spare. 

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Descendants of the Sun (2016)

GENRE:  Romance, Action, Drama

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Rarely do we get a story in dramaland that is so affecting when the narrative is relying on the love plot.  Most of the time it maintains a decent showing but in the waning part of the series it will lose its magic.  No romance kdrama has made it to my top favorites basing on the screenplay and the acting.  What they all failed to achieve, DOTS casually slayed in a watch-us-this-is-how-it-should-be-done manner.

The raves it got can be attributed to how fit the actors to their characters were, the realistic-sometimes-cheesy-most-of-the-time-pure-love of the main characters, the snappy lines and giggle inducing captured frames and how the story depended on the fulfilment of the romance just as the romance bloomed because of the flowing story.  The issues resolved in the story focused on braving the odds for love and the death defying conflict in the finishing kick of the series.  The charm of Captain Yoo Si Jin would have not been possible if his lead girl was not as endearing as our clever surgeon Mo Yeon.

I gave a 10/10 score for Descendants of the Sun for its ingenuity in capturing the heartfelt romance even with violence and disaster plot.  It left lessons on patriotism, life, career and friendship.  There are stories that need not to be embellished because they can stand alone when you chronicle it without confusion and with a direction. 
“Descendants of the Sun” defied all the resident kdrama cliches and presented a balanced character portrayals and heartfelt, unscripted romance.  I have never seen a drama so beautiful in each chapters and even more stunning as it flows in the culminating closure.

Not only did the drama nail the romantic notes to an almost impossible perfection, but it created a story where every person who knows how to love can relate to.  It left an inspiring message to become the best that we can ever be to the person we love, to the profession we have and to the life we live. 

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Out of all my fictional boyfriends that change every now and then depending on my mood, Healer is the one I want to spend the rest of my life with.  *wink  I could choose from princes, time travelers, rich guys, military and police officers, doctors and the rest of white collar jobs available to men, but the night courier who takes on highly confidential work commissioned secretly and dangerously by powerful men in the society is who I want to wake up with if it is permissible.  *wink

Healer is one of the best dramas you should include in your list if you haven’t seen it yet.  It has a brilliant premise about a one-of-a-kind hero who chose to disconnect from the society, but accidentally grew attachment to a woman who drew him out of his hibernation.  The drama quaintly linked the furtive relationship of the characters while building up the plot’s climax and romance to perfection.  It is so addictive, stimulating and amusing — and that one drama you can sit on with family, friends and even your lover.  I’m almost two years late to review this drama but I hope you can find time to watch one of the best dramas on my list.

BACKSTORY

In 1992, Moon Shik was friends with four other people – Kil Ahn, Myung Hee, Jun Seok and Young Jae.  They hang out at a junk yard where his 3 friends Healer’s father and Young Shin’s biological parents ran a pirate investigative radio program tackling society issues that were being hidden to the public. 

Moon Ho who has long harbored love to Myung Hee, took on an offer by the Elder, a powerful man that secretly calls the shot on the political and economic control of the country.  Later on he married Kyung Hee who was binded in a wheelchair because of an accident.

SYNOPSIS

Meet Joong Ho aka Healer – the best night courier in town.  He lives alone without social interaction aside from his partner hacker and a young lady in the team in a wide space dreaming of buying an island for his retirement.  He is skilled in avoiding CCTV cameras and can crawl, leap and climb from one building to another.  He works with an ajumma hacker in mission impossible courier service of stealing and delivering items ordered to them by clients who are usually from the rich and famous.  

 

We opened the story with Healer being asked to receive a package by JaeIl News, a big news company ran by Kim Moon Shik.  He faced another private team hired  by Kim Moon Ho, a famous newscaster also Kim Moon Shik’s brother, but successfully completed his mission beating the group of thugs assembled by the private team.  After his defeat, Kim Moon Ho placed a mission for Healer to find his long lost niece who disappeared 20 years ago and was believed to be dead.  Off Healer to chase Chae Young Shin, a writer from an online entertainment website specializing in tabloid news.  She hero worships Kim Moon Ho and dreams of becoming an influential Broadcaster someday.  Healer managed to get Young Shin’s finger nail for DNA and Moon Ho confirmed his sister-in-law’s  daughter is alive.

 

Healer was again commissioned by Kim Moon Ho to research about Chae Young Shin so he stalked her all night and day.  Young Shin witnessed a  woman, Joo Yun Hee being assaulted by a man, Hwang Jae Guk, who turned out to be an entertainment company president while she was stalking on a top actor.  When she realized the woman will be taking her life, she rushed to save her and brought her to their house where her father agreed to be his lawyer to plead her sexual assault claim.  

But Hwang Jae Guk is under the protection of an influential, top secret group where Kim Moon Shik is also affiliated.  Moon Ho who has long confirmed the puzzle pieces he was working on will have to stop his older brother succumbed to even more wickedness.  

When Jae Il company double-crossed him by pinning him as the murderer of the man involved in the work he did for them, he found the scenario on how his recent jobs are strangely hitting something inside him. While on the job watching over Young Shin, he saw Moon Ho late at night staring at Young Shin and figured the connection of the client who asked for the paternity test and his connection as the brother of Jae Il company’s president.  He followed him and broke into Moon Ho’s house and saw the group picture of his father’s friends which he also had. 


 Wanting to unveil his recent discovery, Healer assumed a new identity the next day as Park Bong Soo and went to work in Someday News and became Young Shin’s junior for him to get information in processing the mystery of his father’s death and his friends of long ago. Meanwhile Double S courier service teamed up with Moon Ho to do tasks that will cover their organization’s evil works. 

Young Shin asked her boss to publish her article related to Yun Hee’s case but the boss refused to challenge the repercussions of the article if it gets bigger since it involved a major political party player and a famous entertainment company president.  But after Young Shin got drunk from their team dine out, she published an article without his superior’s permission and caused a ruckus the next day as the parties involved in the story made a move to silence the scandal.  

Moon Ho offered to take over the story but Young Shin declined.  Soon Moon Ho’s men cornered Young Shin and Bong Soo.  Young Shin asked Bong Soo to run and call the police but he suit up to his Healer self and came back to rescue Young Shin.

Healer trapped the leader of Double S affirming the involvement of Kim Moon Ho in almost kidnapping Young Shin, but over Yoon Hee’s case, Moon Ho’s men was able to reverse the situation by naming Yoon Hee as a gold-digger and accusing her of slander so they had to halt on their initial plan.  While Healer is getting to the point of finding out how his father died, worried ajumma hacker and his master who has returned from his hiatus asked him to take a vacation but stubborn Healer wants to get to the bottom of the questions in his head bothering him.  

He visited Hwang Jae Geuk and secured the saved videos of the women he traded to his clients while Young Shin is being mentored by Moon Ho to her new role.  Healer asked Young Shin to go to the rooftop to retrieve the video he got from Jae Guk’s safe.  She tried talking to him about the DNA test and the last time he saved her, but Healer held back on the growing emotions he is feeling for her.

Kim Moon Shik and Congressman Kim meet with “The Elder”, the head of their untouchable triangle.  The Elder castigated Congressman Kim on his reckless scandal as Kim Moon Ho bought Someday News to build a more compelling online news broadcast site.

Healer paid a visit to Kim Moon Ho to clear his name or he will expose their secret organization, but on his way out Myung Hee was on the door and called him Jun Seok after Healer’s resemblance to his late father. Just as Healer taunted his superior’s to reveal the relationship of the woman who called him his father’s name, his master interfered and confirmed Myung Hee’s identity as the woman in the group picture.  Young Shin almost get to the verge of his connection to Moon Ho, but  the latter was able to dodge the tough spot he was on.

Sang Soo from double S met with Moon Shik and disclosed Young Shin’s details and we get a flashback on how Myung Hee asked Moon Ho to find Ji Ahn who was left near the garbage bin when their whole family fled after learning they will be chased by the people behind the risky scoop they got.  Moon Shik found Ji Ahn, but lost her when he bought a drink for her in a nearby convenience store.

The Elder learned from Moon Ho’s psycho secretary Oh about the latter’s wavering heart out of the guilt he has been carrying from the death of his friends.  He ordered Secretary Oh to give a warning to Moon Ho by trapping Young Shin in a broken elevator, but ajumma hacker alerted Healer and saved her from that near death experience.  Trembling from the experience, she worriedly thanked him for saving her life again and just as he walked away from her, it dawned on him how the woman he has been protecting has understood and accepted him without asking anything in return.  He went back and scoop a sweet kiss under the falling snow.

After Young Shin’s elevator encounter, Moon Ho rushed to warn his brother not to touch Young Shin or he will lose Myung Hee once she learned the truth that her daughter is alive, but the latter doesn’t know about what the Elder commanded his psycho assistant and that Ji Ahn was still alive.  Young Shin called Bong Soo from a telephone booth and cryingly confided how she is waiting for someone to meet her but worried that he will not come at all.

Young Shin confided to Bong Soo how her heart fluttered with Healer which made our hero smiled as his protective instinct has long been hooked by Young Shin without him realizing it.  Ajumma hacker and Master deduced how Healer/Jung Ho has finally fallen in love with a woman but it gets complicated because she is the daughter of Kil Ahn who was supposed to be the friend his father killed.

It was Congressman Kim’s press conference and Moon Ho’s company can’t get through it so he sent Young Shin and Bong Soo for a make-over and pretended to be attending a wedding on the same hotel of the conference.  Young Shin successfully threw in questions that made Congressman Kim felt off guard and was broadcast live on the internet website.  Back on the villains’ den, they were left no choice but to drop Congressman Kim as a Seoul mayoral candidate.

The Master met Jung Hoo to clear the things he wanted from his father’s picture only to worsen it by learning that his father committed suicide because he killed someone.  The Master challenged Jung Hoo to find out the real truth behind his father’s death by finding the person who took the group picture as he strongly believed his father won’t kill anyone.

Healer went to Moon Ho’s place, revealed his identity and questioned him about the missing pieces of the puzzle he was trying to solve just as Moon Ho found Young Shin’s cellphone on Bong Soo’s jacket.  Healer offered Moon Ho his night courier service in exchange of the story from 1992 but he made an agreement for him to reveal himself first after using Young Shin’s cellphone as a bait.  Moon Ho made Jung Hoo remembered a memory from his childhood where he played with a young girl.  Healer confirmed his identity as Joon Seok son and recalled the uncle who used to baby sit for him.  Moon Ho told him about who his father supposedly killed which made Jung Hoo frustrated because he was Young Shin’s daughter.  He challenged Jung Hoo to clear the suspicion on his father’s murder accusation.

Healer conversed with ajumma hacker on how he will continue working on Someday News and blabbed about his fondness over Young Shin and his plans to clear his father’s name so that he can like her freely.

Hwang Jae Guk committed suicide after Someday News’ exclusive online broadcast.  Moon Ho and Jung Hoo went to the old dumpsite to start unveiling on the what-happened-in-1992 project.  

Ajumma hacker told Jung Hoo about Young Shin’s email and intention to go on a midnight movie date with him without him showing himself but just his presence.  Jung Hoo and ajumma prepared a candle lit pathway and stuffed toy for their first movie date.  They sat silently watching the movie.  When the movie ended, Jung Hoo reached for Young Shin’s hand and held it tightly.  

Healer went to retrieve Joon Seok’s confession file but found it empty so he used his teue identity to get the information relating to his father’s death.  Moon Shik was alarmed of Jung Hoo’s visit for his dead father’s file and went to meet him directly.  Myung Hee who has started being suspicious of Moon Shik feigned ignorance when she saw their guest.  Jung Hoo learned about Myung Hee’s lost daughter Ji Ahn and confirmed with Moon Ho that Ji Ahn is present day Young Shin. Moon Ho explained that she had to hide Young Shin because he had to protect her. Jung Hoo denied him of involving himself to them anymore even with Moon Ho telling him how powerful their enemies were.

Jung Hoo conversed with ajumma on how she really cared for him thats why she tried to make his connection with Young Shin break. She knew about their fathers’ backstory so she didn’t want him to get hurt but Jung Hoo bluntly revealed that he can’t run away and just want to protect Young Shin because he liked her a lot.

Moon Ho and his Someday team went full throttle in attacking Kim Moon Shik with their online broadcast.  Jung Hoo asked Moon Ho to not make Young Shin in the dark and revealed everything but the latter wanted Young Shin to learn everything on her own.

Meanwhile Moon Shik threw a bait to catch Healer by using his mother after ajumma tracker was alarmed that the psycho assistant met with his mother.  Healer was disarmed by a poison gunshot but was rescued by his Master.  Ajumma hacker called Young Shin to find Bong Soo and took him to the hospital. While tending to sleeping Bong Soo, he reached for her hand and she suddenly realized the feel of Healer’s hand and realized Bong Soo and Healer were the same.

Master Young Jae was transferred from Moon Shik’s Men to the police station.  Young Shin pretended that she doesn’t know Healer’s identity yet.  The Master was interrogated by cyber police Yoon Dong Won but the poison given by Secretary Oh kicked in and killed the Master after admitting in to all Jung Hoo’s recent works.

 

Healer went off the radar after his master’s demise so ajumma  hacker was left no choice but to bring life to him by sending Young Shin.

Jung Hoo tried pushing her away but he surrendered the idea and let the pain in his heart washed away by Young Shin’s warmth.

Moon Shik finally confirmed Jung Hoo and Healer’s identity and was apprehended on how everything will turn out if Myung Hee the only thing he wanted in life will know everything soon.  Healer and Young Shin proceeded to obtaining information to support the news they are working on about Hwang Jae Guk’s suicide.  Moon Ho confirmed that his brother paid a man on Detective Dong Won’s team.  He made an agreement with Dong Won to get a scoop on the police officer who poisoned Healer’s master.  The police officer called Moon Shik’s assistant as he planned his escape route but Healer held him binded until Detective Dong Won’s team came.

Someday News aired the story of Moon Shik’s connection to Ki Young Jae’s death to ruin his Seoul Mayoral candidacy campaign.  Myung Hee almost reaching his breaking point wondering about how much lies her husband has been hiding refused to talk to Moon Shik. The Moon brothers had a phone spat and raised war to one another.  

The next day Myung Hee called Young Shin agreeing to an interview but Moon Shik quickly get to where the game is heading and asked her to spare some time for him.  Moon Shik asked Secretary Ahn to divulge the made-up lies of Healer killing people to frighten Young Shin adding the murder of Jun Hoo’s father to his friend.  Moon Ho rushed to Jae Il news and finally told Young Shin who her real mother was.  

Jung Hoo worked with ajumma hacker in tracing the interview files needed to absolve his father’s supposed crime not realizing that Moon Shik and his team already placed a bait. 

Young Shin called Jung Hoo about the revelation she had that day so he had to rush back to be at her side.  While thinking over the events of her day, Young Shin felt frustrated about being kept in the dark.  When she mustered to get back at her feet, she picked up the case files and realized Jung Hoo’s father and her father’s connection.  Jung Hoo arrived at Young Shin’s room and she trembled at his sight signaling she figured out everything.  He reached for her but she can’t help but act cold and stepped back so Jung Hoo had to walk away promising he will find the truth about their fathers.  Young Shin ran to catch up on Jung Hoo, embraced him and made him promise to come back even without not being successful with securing evidence.

Jung Hoo met with the police who took his father’s statement.  He learned how his father’s statement was fabricated and that how he has a tape recording of the interview.  Ajumma hacker thru Myung Hee’s bug information alerted Jung Hoo that Moon Shik’s men tailed them through the police.  Jung Hoo fought with Moon Shik’s men but the police got hit by baseball bat causing his death and making Jung Hoo appeared to be the culprit.  Before the police faded, he managed to tell Jung Hoo three numbers.

Secretary Oh was released from the jail and went back to Moon Shik’s house on the same day Young Shin visited Myung Hee.  Jung Hoo rushed to the location while Secretary Oh reported to the Elder.  The Elder ordered Secretary Oh not to reveal it to Moon Shik having known that he will fall apart is Myung Hee left his side.  Jung Hoo scared Secretary Oh and while fumbling on things at Moon Shik’s study room, he saw his Master’s charnel house documents and realized that the numbers given to him by the dead police was for a charnel house – his father’s charnel house.  Myung Hee narrated the story of what happened in 1992 to Young Shin and suffered an attack in the process.  Young Shin finally realized why she wasn’t able to talk when she was young as it was the last thing her mother told her to do.

Moon Shik met with the Elder to proceed with their future plan.   Someday News prepared to go on a live internet broadcast uncloaking the events of 1992 as Jung Hoo and Young Shin headed to the field site to support the report.  They went to So Jung Seok’s charnel house and went to retrieve the confession tape but acted as a decoy to thwart the men chasing them.  Jung Hoo’s junior already emptied the spot before they came and delivered the parcel to Someday News team.

Jung Hoo was captured and was brought to where Elder’s location is.  On cue his meeting with the Elder was captured to live online feed through his camera glasses.  The broadcast narrated how Kil Ahn and Jun Seok stumbled on a secret group that manipulated politics and laws to suit their taste.  Kil Ahn was caught by the men and killed him as Jun Seok fled with Moon Shik from the scene.  The same organization – Farmers is led by the Elder who recruited Moon Shik with the promise of making him powerful and letting him live with Myung Hee by his side.

Moon Shik retaliated by doing and impromptu interview to answer allegations about his candidacy and his relationship to the Elder. 

 

He reverted his current predicament by attacking Moon Ho’s irresponsible journalism move and made himself shine by presenting how he has fought for press freedom in the past.  Moon Ho received summons from government offices and the office was ransacked following his brother’s attack.  

Moon Ho was abducted by Moon Shik’s men so Jung Hoo left Young Shin to rescue Moon Ho.  Young Shin was caught by psycho Secretary Oh and held her captive while Moon Shik’s men coaxed Jung Hoo to reveal a tip they got from Russia and to state his involvement in the recent killing of the police witness while Young Shin is on the brink of being poisoned.  

He agreed to state the forced confession and went off radar to catch the Elder’s secretary.  Myung Hee finally left Moon Shik and went to Someday news for interview.  They disclosed a bridge accident that involved Omega Investments where the Elder is also affiliated to present their final story of the illegal venues of where the Elder’s money is coming.  Jung Hoo secured the finger prints of the dead police’ culprit and ajumma hacker handed it to Detective Dong Won.  

Unfortunately, ajumma hacker took the hidden bait of Secretary Ahn so she had to leave her technology crib just as Jung Hoo penetrated their headquarters.  Jung Hoo rushed to help ajumma and they stayed at Young Shin’s place in the mean time.

On the final win or lose match to end the Elder and his men, Someday news had to broadcast an interview with a biochemistry researcher who was a witness on a bacteria research to contaminate the public drinking water so that privatization will take place.  The research harmed and killed village people where the tests took place.  The company behind the research was also led by the Elder.  The villains pulled another shot by publicizing Jung Hoo’s confession so he was left no choice but to join Elder’s camp.  

Young Shin was able to lead the researcher to the rest room for an interview but Healer took on his role with the villains and dragged the researcher out.  They ran and chased each other and finally Detective Dong Won fired a shot to Healer.

It turned out that the heroes devised a plan to get rid of Jung  Hoo and Healer’s identity while catching the last story to put the main antagonist to jail.  

STORY AND SCREENPLAY

As a night courier serving privy and expensive tasks, Healer’s routine life changed after his encounter with a woman connected to the death of his father.  What made me like the drama a lot is how the story telling was focused and neatly tied up without room to uncalled for sub plots.  It moved engrossingly while uncovering the link of the main characters in the past and their children in the present time.

The writing made the audience cheer for the characters and even feel the heart fluttering romance that built up for the lead couple while being excited on how the main conflict will be resolved.  I think most girls will agree that Healer’s story just held us breathless and those moments when he kissed Young Shin we felt it leaving the TV screen like we were all kissed by him too.  *chuckles  His enigmatic charm will make any girl want to be in his arms for protection.   

The story’s main conflict focused on peeling the truth behind the lead couple’s fathers’ death while journeying on their fated love.  It aligned to Healer’s character strength to propel the excitement while he did his gripping missions… circled on Young Shin’s character as the focal tug-of-war battle between the Moon brothers’ villain and hero complicated relationship and surged high to the my-father-might-have-killed-your-father-but-i-promise-i-love-you-and-i-will-protect-you love plot of the main leads. Healer justified the superb writing with how the characters went passionately driven to bring out a scintillating storytelling.

While a lot progressed in the story, it never missed it steps in binding the romance, the back story and the conflicts together.  It made use of the parallel plot about upright journalists in presenting the same events of the characters in the past and the present.

Song Ji Na is a seasoned TV writer but it amused me how she pulled a modern story that will make superhero movie romance plots look stupid compared to Healer and Young Shin’s love line.  Even with Faith, she has shown a commanding conception of how each role players would give justice to the shifting of the narration.  She was patient in explaining the smallest details without losing the thrill of the conflict.

CAST AND CONFLICT

Having Old Boy’s Yoo Ji Tae on board is already a reckoning force in the cast but the drama has such impeccable main leads and supporting characters that stayed focused and immersed in their roles hence giving such an impressive life to the story.

Healer’s role is one that will sweetly haunt women in their dreams.  Ji Chang Wook pulled his kickass character so well I can’t associate him anymore but with Healer.  

The bromancenemy between Moon Ho and Moon Shik left me annoyed on how their blood relationship inhibits themselves to go all-kill on their endless battle of their opposing views.  The Master-apprentice relationship of Healer and Young Jae although short, brought life to building our main hero’s integral presence as well as tying up the mess of what happened to the friendship circle that he once belonged to.  The ajumma-healer partnership was the most amusing connection in the drama, it was even more fun because ajumma who likes making kimbap and knitting wowed me with her acting as an invincible hacker that defies the cyber police and tricks in the country.

There were small problems that were laid along the way to boost the main conflict of how the protagonists will bring justice to their fathers’ death by ruining the villains through innovative news broadcast.  In this crime-romantic-drama-thriller premise, the story got so intoxicating because it assimilated Healer’s Promethean skills and heartfelt media coverage to battle the conscience-less power players of the country.  When your cast is smart and the writing is nifty, there’s no way the notes will not be hit.  That is the case for Healer.  I would also like to commend how I enjoyed Healer’s theme music on its placement in the drama and how the villains even with their old personas masterfully made the lives of the heroes hard by utilizing their vile ways.  

RATINGS AND RECOMMENDATION

Healer is one of the best dramas of all time in my list.  I refused to number them because there’s not much on my list.  It’s already hard for me to fall in love with a kdrama so I always go for ingenious plot and how the cast suited up to their roles in bringing out the beauty of the story.

HOW MUCH I ENJOYED IT:  10/10

HOW I RECOMMEND IT:  10/10

GRADE: A+

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Only when you have learned to appreciate Sageuk productions can you really claim that you are a certified kdrama addict because understanding the beauty of period dramas requires patience and total immersion to Korean history and culture.  So it is but a challenge and a path you have to go through in discovering the extent of your kdrama addiction.  *chuckles 
The longer the period drama the greater the struggle so it will be a blessing if it will be a mid length drama that can tackle the story without rushing it.  Unfortunately that was the case for me for Six Flying Dragons so I settled with Jackpot/Daebak as it didn’t tire me out with its 20 episodes.
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Jackpot managed to nail the fundamental elements of a historical drama.  It has a thrilling plot with Joseon gambling scene on the side, birth secret and family issues, conspiracy woven conflicts and the strong showdowns of the villain and the hero. Though it may not be perfect, it presented a solid story that didn’t go astray but focused on the main characters’ discovery of the lessons they have to learn on their own journeys.
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SYNOPSIS
Known to his superb control of the political factions in his era, King Sukjong and the Royal family endured the cunning ways of gambling Lord Yi In Jwa in maintaining the power of the monarchy.  The main villain used a beautiful woman to set a game that he will play with the monarchy out of personal vengeance and more of unexplained problem with his self worth.  
Yi In Jwa successfully sent a married woman, later being hailed as Suk Bin, to seduce King Sukjong and became an official concubine of the King.  When Suk Bin gave birth to her first born, a month earlier than expected, she had to save the baby who has already been doubted to be the King’s offspring upon his conception.   After severing her ties to Yi In Jwa, Suk Bin sacrificed herself to make sure her baby survives with her ex husband, Baek Man Geum.
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He raised him away from the palace and named him Baek Dae Gil.  He later on lived learning his adopted father’s gambling tricks.
 Years later Yi In Jwa came across the father and son and took interest of the role Dae Gil will play  on the grand treason plot he has been orchestrating all his life.   When Dae Gil realized how being powerless caused his father’s death, he vowed to make himself stronger to avenge the hardships he suffered in Yi In Jwa’s hand.  Dae Gil  befriended the King’s second son, who unbeknownst to him was his half brother.  They share the same love for Dam Seo, a woman who works for Yi In Jwa.
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Dae Gil begged a famous swordman to become his master in his goal to become stronger, and soon after he was able to return to the city to challenge Yi In Jwa.  He first took over the gambling houses ran by the villain around the country and cut the hands of people helping out his nemesis.  
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But the sly In Jwa has constantly slip on an escape plan and return even stronger than what he used to be.  
On his last attempt to  overthrown the leading monarch, Dae Gil who was highly taunted to have been more a greater King than his prince brother Yeoning, stood beside his brother in finishing with conviction the rebellion initiated by In Jwa’s personal vindication.
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STORY AND SCREENPLAY
Jackpot opened to the brilliant rawness of the set design of the gambling scene of Joseon.  The antiquated but thriving in excitement ambiance of underground gambling houses more than 200 years ago put me on a hypnosis and before I knew it,  I was religiously watching a drama that didn’t thrive on the romance plot of the story to sail the story to its finish line.
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Jackpot has all the required elements of a period drama but it focused more on the development of the character.  The story was not as shifting when it comes to the outwitting moves of the heroes and villains but it was steady to the protagonists’ goal to defeat the villain and vice versa.  When I looked back to what I recall most about it, I remember most the equally brilliant depiction of the main  cast.   I really enjoyed the gambling scene premise and any story  with master-padawan-ish story arc is sold for me.  I also like that the brothers chose patriotism over love.  lol  The ending scene put tears in my eyes while the OST airs because it made the picture even more poignant and satisfying.
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CAST AND CONFLICT
Period dramas biggest charms are the perfect  unveiling of conspiracies and the quest for the heroes and villains to outwit one another.   Yi In Jwa and Baek Dae Gil were amazing in their yin-yang mind games in trying to defeat one another.   The main story problem was also not messy and just hit straight to let’s-get-this-showdown-and-be-done-with-it spirit for the opposing characters.
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Yi In Jwa is in the running as the best villain for me while Jang Geun Seok earned my respect in his commitment as an actor in his brave and flawless portrayal.  Yeo Jin Goo also expressed evident depth in his character.
It was well and good that they went to just one main conflict as what typical sageuks do with its  endless conflict.
There were hurdles scattered for the heroes to conquer but it ultimately  catapulted to a closure involving the final defeat of the villain who made them suffer all throughout.
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RATINGS AND RECOMMENDATION
Though it was not perfect, Jackpot delivered and its length didn’t drag me from dozing.  Kudos to Jang Geun Seok.   As always he can do well in romantic stories but even more in drama.  It started strong, sailed steady and closed without any rush and with finality.  
If you like organic historical story,  you would appreciate its authentic drive to present the story without unwanted plot swervings and misplaced characters.
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HOW I ENJOYED IT:  8/10
HOW MUCH I RECOMMEND IT:  8/10
RATING:  8/10
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Maybe because I like history that’s why I have patience with period and war films.  Plus the fact that the plot covered espionage and and it was top billed by acclaimed South Korean actors, those are enough reasons why I enjoyed the swift moving and easy to  follow historical movie based on the happenings of Korean  Independent movement in the Japanese occupation period.

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The story and screenplay were not complicatedly conceived which is good because the film was mostly filled with gun fights and action scenes.  But even with the brawling binge, the conversations of the cast flowed naturally in the story explaining what was happening and where it was going.  That’s what I first notice, the narration was neat and straight to the point without diminishing the thrill of the plot.

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If I am a guy Ji Hyun unni will be my first love. *chuckles  Through the years I love how she experimented on the roles she took in the big screen including her role in this film.  I think being powered by an amazing cast, the storytelling was achieved quaintly because of the commitment of the actors to their roles.  Lee Jung Jae was cold blooded and annoying as a villain but you can also understood his sentiments as a double faced freedom fighter who just wanted to survive in those trying times. Ji Hyun unni looked like a professional sniper not budging whenever she shot those bullets but was also vulnerable in scenes that tested her faith to the cause she was fighting for.  Ha Jung Woo was as always cool and collected and slipped  in to his character perfectly.

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The conclusion was half-sad and half-resolved as the conflict culminated to the freedom army completing their task although losing the hired assassins who helped out in the spur of the moment for that cause.  It’s not typical to get happy  endings with all your main characters intact on the closing curtains in action films, but at least the closure satisfied the decently written story.

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A perfect Saturday movie if you are into thriller action and spy film.  Definitely worth the hype and will not disappoint you.  -jediprincess♡♡♡

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SYNOPSIS
After failing to murder the governor general, freedom fighter Yeom Seok Jin fled with Kang In Gook’s wife and her twin daughters.  Kang In Gook is a Korean businessman supporting the Japanese empire. 

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A traitor to his country, Kang In Gook trapped his fleeing wife and resistance fighter and ordered the death of his wife but one of his daughters escaped with the hired caregiver.

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Years later, the sporadic factions of Korean Independence Movement set to motion an assassination attempt and asked Yeom Seok Jin to gather the needed players. 

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Stubborn resistance members Ahn Ok Yun, Chu Sang-ok, Hwang Deoksam were brought to Shanghai and met Kim Won Bang who gave the details of their mission.  They were set to enter Gyeongseong to kill Kang In Gook and a Japanese General Kawaguchi who has mass murdered Korean people including Ok Yun’s adopted mother. 

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Sniper Ok Yun was appointed as the leader since Won Bong reasoned out that she shot her own leader to which the two men agreed.

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Unbeknownst to them Seok Jin sold their plot to the Japanese and Ok Yun was almost captured inside a hotel cafe but was helped by a hired killer “Hawaii Pistol”.

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Ok Yun, Deok Sam and Sang Ok entered Gyeongseong and was sheltered by a madam club owner.  Meanwhile Seok Jin commissioned Hawaii Pistol to preempt the planned assassination by ordering him to kill the three freedom fighters.  Hawaii Pistol wounded Deoksam who fell in a creek.

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When the Japanese missed the freedom fighters they threw the wrath at Seok Jin and the wily villain proceeded to Gyeongseong where he can be useful. 

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His teacher who suspected his double sided blade confirmed his being traitor and ordered the younger freedom movement members to kill him but he was able to defeat them.  It was revealed later on that he pledged allegiance when he was captured and tortured after his failed assassination. 

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Hawaii Pistol and sidekick ajussi rode the same train cart with the General’s son Mamoru who was scheduled to wed Kang In Gook’s daughter Mitsuko.   Hawaii Pistol pretended as a navy officer and left a friendly impression with Mamoru.

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Seok Jin reached Gyeongseong and saw a picture of Kang In Gook’s daughter.  He realized how she looked exactly look like Ok Yun and later on confirmed that Ok Yun was one of the twin sisters who survived and was raised by the nanny.

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The team proceeded with their attack plan without Deoksam but failed when Seok Jin notified the Japanese of the assassination plot. They switched cars so while  Ok Yun  and his team wounded the Japanese army, they weren’t able to kill their targets and sadly Sang Ok was killed in the encounter. 

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Ok Yun met Mitsuko for the first time and was shot in that moment of confusion.  She was subdued together with Hawaii Pistol who was supposed to kill her but was caught in the scene by the army.

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They routed their captors and entered a hospital to treat Ok Yun’s bullet shot.  He convinced Ok Yun to give up on her mission but she reasoned out that even if everything was seemingly hopeless, it is important to have people like her to carry on the mission.  

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Hawaii Pistol retreated to his kill mission and left Ok Yun.  He was welcomed by an impromptu check up where he posed as a navy officer. The soldier troop ready to question him rushed to accommodate General Kawaguchi’s son, Mamoru, who was set to marry Kang In Gook’s daughter Mitsuko, Ok Yun’s twin sister.  Hawaii Pistol witnessed Mamoru brutally shot a young girl who accidentally bumped on him and vowed that he will soon get the poor girl her vengeance.

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Mitsuko learned of her twin sister’s address through her prescription glasses and paid a visit to her apartment.  Around that time their father learned of the existence of his long lost daughter.  They rushed to the address as Mitsuko pushed Ok Yun with her bag and told her that she will deal with her current situation.  Not recognizing the daughter she raised, Kang In Gook killed Mitsuko as Ok Yun fled the apartment. 

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She was offered a ride by a cab driver thinking she was Mitsuko and her nimble mind took advantage of the situation and assumed her dead sister’s identity.  PicsArt_04-24-02.57.38

 

Deoksam survived and his wounds were tended by madam club owner.  Ok Yun met Hawaii Pistol when he visited Mamoru and and  revealed her true identity to him.  She halted his plan to kill his groom on a stand that it was her mission.  She reminded him not to miss the celebration tomorrow.  

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On the wedding day, Deoksam and Ok Yun were posed to fulfill their mission.  Seok Jin recognized Hawaii Pistol as a guest and dragged him out of the  wedding hall.  When the fathers of  the couple were called Deoksam showered the  hall with  bullets. 

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The bullet chaos were exchanged as Hawaii Pistol freed himself and helped Ok Yun and Deoksam win their battle.  When  Ok Yun hesitated to kill her father,  Hawaii Pistol saved him as Kang In Gook pointed a stuck gun to her.  Deoksam unfortunately died as Ok Yun was able to kill the General. 

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They escaped the scene by holding Mamoru and Ok Yun as hostages.  Seok Jin still unaware that Mitsuko is Ok Yun negotiated with Hawaii Pistol to release the hostages.  Hawaii Pistol and his sidekick took a tunnel for their escape route and let Ok Yun go in the front door. 

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Seok Jin and his troop moved to the end of  the tunnel and waited for Hawaii Pistol and sidekick ajussi to emerge.  Hawaii Pistol stabbed Seok Jin in his heart  but the latter survived and attended a trial to his evil doings when Korean Independence was finally achieved.

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In the closing seconds, Seok Jin saw Mitsuko and followed her.  He was led to one of his freedom fighter brothers, Myeongwoo, whom he thought he killed.  Seok Jin was shot alternately by Ok Yun and Seok Jin’s old brother.  He ran for his life but fell on the  ground lifeless.

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Dazed and intoxicated in a fictional one-sided love, I got more than what I bargained for choosing “Descendants of the Sun” as my first pick this year in my favorites and placing it on my all-time-favorite list.   And no, it’s not because of Captain Yoo Si Jin’s dashing and magnetic appeal nor the running topless army guys doing their morning routine.  It is simply because it deserves all the hype and kdrama addicts’ rave it got because of its superb screenplay and well-executed story.

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When a drama is great, I usually am lost on how I can possibly write about it without prejudice, but the case for me now is how I can contain not thinking about Captain Yoo Si Jin and blushing and smiling like an idiot as if we have an existing romantic relationship.  *chuckles 

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I will try to focus with all my might.  If I get sidetrack for a bit, forgive my romantic self.  *aigoo

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I never had a standard pattern when writing on reviews, but since the hallyuwave rennaisance suddenly surged again because of Mo Yeon and Si Jin’s story.  I will now patent my flow of thoughts for a more pleasant reviews.

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SYNOPSIS

On their break after a successful military operation, Special Forces Alpha Team Captain Yoo Si Jin and Sergeant Major Seo Dae Young were lost like children playing in a bullet shooting range, they got sidetrack when a thief was declared in the area and they used their military skill in stopping the teenager who stole a motorbicycle. 

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The soldiers hit the wheels rendering the inexperience thief in place on the ground with evident body injuries.  He was sent to the hospital after a quick first aid fix done by Captain Si Jin and the two headed to a cafe with stuffed toys as their dates.  They soon realized that Sergeant Major Seo’s handphone was missing and they headed to the hospital where they saw the young thief being bullied by a gang after escaping the hospital’s ER.  They took back the fleeing stubborn patient after giving some lessons to the bullies but Dr. Kang Mo Yeon insisted on getting Si Jin’s details as she thought they cause the patient’s bruises even when the patient backed up the story.descendants-of-the-sun-song-joong-ki-song-hye-kyo

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Soon the growing attraction became evident between Mo Yeon and Si Jin, but Mo Yeon’s personal conviction that a relationship with Si Jin was not workable.  They met again after Mo Yeon was forcibly send to a volunteer work in Urk where Si Jin was leading a station.  Si Jin pushed for a second try but Mo Yeon still refused to give in.  On their way back to Korea, the medical mission team was caught up by reviving lives from an earthquake.  The outbreak summoned the Special Forces led by Si Jin for the rescue operation.

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Even when Mo Yeon accidentally declared how Si Jin occupied a place in her heart when her last will recording was aired in the camp after almost dying on a car accident, she stuck to being stubborn by not wanting to admit her true feelings to Si Jin.  But when they unfortunately landed to an active land mine and have to hitch their ride back home, she finally gave in and reciprocated his emotions.

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The second lead has a great supporting love story too.  Having been forced to not continue their relationship by Myung Jo’s general father but through their undeniable display of true love, the father finally blessed their relationship.

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STORY & SCREENPLAY

Rarely do we get a story in dramaland that is so affecting when the narrative is relying on the love plot.  Most of the time it maintains a decent showing but in the waning part of the series it will lose its magic.  No romance kdrama has made it to my top favorites basing on the screenplay and the acting.  What they all failed to achieve, DOTS casually slayed in a watch-us-this-is-how-it-should-be-done manner.

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The drama was pre-produced and raked millions with its budget.  KBS really gambled in taking over the drama meant to go to SBS, but the risk paid off a thousand fold because of its success.  So why did a drama set in a not so positive environment won over the viewers’ heart?  The raves it got can be attributed to how fit the actors to their characters were, the realistic-sometimes-cheesy-most-of-the-time-pure-love of the main characters, the snappy lines and giggle inducing captured frames and how the story depended on the fulfilment of the romance just as the romance bloomed because of the flowing story. 

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I am a Hong sisters’ fan and I will be a new Kim Eun Sook follower.  She was so efficient with how she writes the pictures of her drama.  I have lots of favorite scenes but that one scene that I love was when Si Jin rescued Mo Yeon and having left no choice but to kill the villain, he pulled the trigger while covering Mo Yeon’s eyes.  It was so beautiful that I cried and I think I’m the only person who cried over it.  *chuckles  The buoyancy of the lines she wrote suited well to the blithe characters she created.  She was very clear on the roles of her characters and she didn’t misplace or misuse all the people that moved in the story.

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CAST & CONFLICT
I am still moving on from the fictional separation to my favorite imaginary soldier.  I’m sure as of this moment, a lot of kdrama addict girls are still viewing back episodes in trying to cope up with the mass break up we have with Alpha Team and Captain Yoo Si Jin.  So far Descendants of the Sun is the yardstick of what to achieve by upcoming kdramas this year.  That being said it has one of the best cast ensembles that communicated with impeccable chemistry to grace a superb kdramaland show. quot-Descendants-of-the-Sun-quot-Episode-16-final_97bbeddb709304e6b91b5137a5f153a00346fede20

Even the supporting casts who are newbies were not sleeping and did well their homework.  The main lead hands down displayed a memorable love couple we can all relate to and we wished we could have.  Wolf and Myung Joo’s love affair was equally amusing as the main leads which made me realize why all those past dramas relied on making the second leads hinder the success of the lead couple when they can do it neat like this.  I didn’t suffer on a second-lead-syndrome but I was always all smiles to Alpha team’s bromance.

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The issues resolved in the story focused on braving the odds for love and the death defying conflict in the finishing kick of the series.  The charm of Captain Yoo Si Jin would have not been possible if his lead girl was not as endearing as our clever surgeon Mo Yeon.  I have to admit that episode 15 was the weakest episode because it struggled in a denouement or conflict limbo.  I was hoping the finale week would just be a fan service but they scared me when I thought it would push an open ended closure or everything-is-a-dream-lead-man-is-dead ending.  That’s the only negative point I had in its entirety but it was definitely forgivable given the balanced conception of a drama thriving in a love premise.photo697049

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RATINGS & RECOMMENDATION
I gave a 10/10 score for Descendants of the Sun for its ingenuity in capturing the heartfelt romance even with violence and disaster plot.  It left lessons on patriotism, life, career and friendship.  There are stories that need not to be embellished because they can stand alone when you chronicle it without confusion and with a direction.

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It was a finale befitting of the beautiful story we all watched from day 1.   It is safe to say now that “Descendants of the Sun” will become one of the best korean dramas that ever aired in kdramaland.  It defied all the resident kdrama cliches and presented a balanced character portrayals and heartfelt, unscripted romance.  I have never seen a drama so beautiful in each chapters and even more stunning as it flows in the culminating closure.  I’ve never been so dazed until Captain Yoo Si Jin strut his army uniform looking dapper and manly honoring the call of the country he serves while fulfilling his promise to the woman he loves.  

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Now I won’t be confused and answer right away when asked for a kdrama recommendation.  Not only did the drama nail the romantic notes to an almost impossible perfection, but it created a story where every person who knows how to love can relate to.  It left an inspiring message to become the best that we can ever be to the person we love, to the profession we have and to the life we live. -jediprincess♥♥♥

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From the moment the film opened to the agonizing and poignant scene of the king who ordered his son to death by imprisoning him inside a rice crate, I was rendered confused on what I will learn and who I will blame on the ill-fated life of Crown Prince Sado.  *chuckles

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The director achieved a well-executed story-telling even when he started on a climactic point while traversing the past life of the main characters.  It was a brilliant switching of character thoughts and development while unraveling the conflicts and the plot of the film.  It was an exchange of point of views that were equally battled out making the protagonist turn to being an antagonist and vice versa.

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I thought how Joseon era has a really intense and dramatic history in trying to keep up with the challenges of the empire and the changing times.  The Royal family through the years have a fair share of inadvertently killing family members to protect the Crown and to claim power.  When I was browsing Korean history in preparation of my review today, I maintained a soft spot to Prince Sado, but on the last tearjerking minutes of the movie, I felt how helpless the father and the son were at that situation.  King Yeongjo mentioned how he would be remembered as the father who killed his son and his prince will be remembered of all his wrong-doings that were unbecoming of a future King. 

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All his life Prince Sado lived up to the expectations set to him as a future King.  He was forced to focus on his studies and was forbidden to cultivate activities that won’t help him build his character as a future father of the country.  His stern father who was pressured immensely by the government officials became even more uptight in raising his son that even the smallest error he committed would anger him.  And as the son, who wanted to please his father but was unsuccessful in doing so, he might have been caught up in what we call today as depression but he channeled it through outraged rebellion in his time.

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Hands down to Yoo Ah In in another exemplary portrayal of the disturbed Prince who defied and yearned his father’s love at the same time.  I was flinching on his head banging scene feeling the pain of what he had to endure in suiting up for that sporadic persona.  Maybe because I’m a daughter too that’s why I pitied him, but granted that his communication with his father was off beat and mostly resulting to both of them frustrating each other, at that time it was still not fair and good to have his rage go to innocent lives that served him.  The lesson of this movie in simple words is that how parents and children should find ways to communicate well and not allow pride and personal beliefs to cloud their judgments when they are both to decide on life changing situations.  If all else fails they should always choose to be forgiving and loving as they are both each other’s life.

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Albeit the despondent tone, for me it did not mar the ruminative effect of the film.  It was definitely meaning to present the inconsolable truth about the depth of a parental and filial love.  In the case of the main characters in the narrative, it was an unfortunate conflict that was not resolved both in real life and the film.

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I think this movie would appeal more to contemplative people who like biographies and period films.  It is also educational for film majors with its editing and screenplay technique.  I would like to say I would let my future children watch this to learn from it, but it would be too cynical.  *chuckles

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The movie experience despite the forlorn gave a pensive mood after for me or should I say made me depressed I had to eat chocolates after hahaha.  It was  nicely narrated and superbly acted so the challenge would be how it will be engaging.  So placing the climax in the beginning was I think a premeditated move because it will allow the viewers to be hooked on it and subconsciously find themselves immersed in the story.  It was also not overly dramatic and yet it moved my heart big time.

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If you are into history, biography and drama, choose your favorite tea and enjoy an afternoon viewing the life of a once unfortunate Korean prince – Sado.  -jediprincess♥♥♥fullsizephoto628593

 

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Halfway through the drama, I liked what I saw even if I saw it already.  The only peculiar thing in the drama was the use of the haunted radio that linked the main police officers from the past and present.  But I have religiously watched Criminal Minds, Dexter, The Mentalist and the rest of police procedural hollywood tv series so there’s nothing surprising that I saw with the criminal files they tackled.   It was more of me waiting if the writer will niftily tie the loose end and connect the relevance of the supernatural twist as a whole.

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While the story conflict was resolved, I didn’t like the open-ended closure.  I followed the thrill and analyze the situations like I was also a police officer, and then I was given something to ponder on in the dying minutes of the drama.  I was like what was that?  You already baked a satisfying conclusion, why cool it down and put it in a fridge?    But for the record, that’s my only concern about “Signal”.  Over all it was excitingly projected.  The runs on how they made the cases simultaneously being solved from different timelines were easy to follow and the main actors exhibited great chemistry.

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Signal tells about two police officers from the past and present communicating through a broken radio in solving cases that were happening in the past and were re-opened from cold cases vault in the present.  The cases involved led them to discovering the connection they had in the past and the clues from the present to be given, so the future can be changed to save them and their loved ones.  It’s a crazy timeline but when you watch it you won’t be lost.  Plot like this isn’t supposed to be described in details so I’m just going to warn you that the ending is the only thing that I thought felt lacking, but the narration all throughout was well directed and engaging.

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If you are up for quick fix of cop drama with a supernatural serving, plan your next binge-watching activity and set it to the radio frequency of Signal.

jediprincess♡♡♡

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Oppa virus (n) – is a virtual addiction caught when someone fictional in kdramaland hits the hearts of a kdrama addict.  The affected woman will exhibit dreamy state after watching the episodes, grumpiness while waiting for the next episodes and craziness watching the cute and sweet scenes over and over again. 

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Because of the recent Yoo Si Jin syndrome, I have looked back on my favorite oppas in the past years.  I think they have also covered almost every dream guy character there is.  And as a known rule regardless if  the character is young… if he is handsome, we call him “oppa”.   *chuckles Let’s see if you remember them all and if I missed someone. ^_^ 

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Lee Young Jae/Rain in Full House – The top star who had an everyday bickering session with his lead girl.  He was so full of himself, but he sure knew how to nurse his girl when she was sick.  The cohabitation plot and the eventual romance was perky and engaging, and I’m sure legit kdrama addicts will agree.

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Jung Jae Min and Kang In Wook/Jo In Sung and So Ji Sub  in What Happened in Bali – This is my first serving of second-lead syndrome.  Who won’t be crossed between them?  Albeit the sad ending, I enjoyed the promising portrayals So Ji Sub and Jo In Sung oppa offered that I accepted the let’s-all-die-together closure without any objections.  *lol  Now that I’m looking back on old melodramas, I can’t help but compare how agonizing they did it back then without so much weep fest compared to how they do it these days.

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Kang Hyun Woo/Ji Sung in Save the last dance for me – Hyun woo’s story is now “the problematic chaebol prototype storyline mixed with series of unfortunate events before the love finally gets realized”.  He literally went through sickness  and defied fate and made my  college self swooned over him.  Brimming with cliches, the romantic melo’s love story did not wash out its beauty because of the heartfelt love fulfilment.

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Kim Hyun Woo/Kim Rae Won in Lovestory in Harvard – Kim Rae Won can fit any dream guy character and make it work.  His I’ll-be-your-hero kind of love to  his girl while challenging law school in Harvard was just as piercing as when they finally claimed their disrupted love when they  became a lawyer.

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Choi Seung Hee/Kim Rae Won in What star did you come from – Laid back Seung Hee oppa moved mountains and solidified his top actor who really knows how to act status in this I-fell-in-love-with-twin-sisters drama, but made sure that his girl would not feel that he was trapped in her sister’s memories.

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Hyun Jin Hun/Hyun Bin in My Lovely Samsoon – The guy who made all the chubby girls feel happy on the thought that a you-and-me-against-my-flabs-and-pesky-ex-gf is achievable.  *chuckles

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Gong Chan/Lee Dong Wook in My Girl – With the premise of hiring a fake cousin to appease his rich grandpa and finding himself loving his fake cousin in the process, Gong Chan had a lot of cutesies and refreshing chemistry moments with the con girl he hired.

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Lee Shin/Joo Ji Hoon in Goong/Princess Hours – I think Lee Shin is one of my favorites because of how he progressed in the story and how he made me so dreamy on   his projection of a crown prince who got in an awkward arranged marriage to a normal girl.  He literally came out fresh from a fairy tale book in a modern twist.

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Jung Ji Oh/Hyun Bin in  The World that they live in – this underrated drama is one of my favorites because of its rawness and spontaneity.  I think the reason  why I like Ji Oh oppa’s character here is because it was not coated and tailored fresh from a woman’s euphoric state, his being natural in his approach to love was relatable and his interaction with his woman was delightful and soothing.

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Choi Han Kyul/Gong Yoo in First Shop of Coffee Prince – Distant cafe boss who struggled thinking he was falling in love with a guy was adorably fun. period.  When he was liberated with the truth about his lead girl’s identity, boy he was so smooth in showering the love that he initially denied.

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Gu Jun Pyo/Lee Min Ho in Boys over Flowers – Suiting up for a famous manga character, Gu Jun Pyo swept the women of kdramaland with his undeniable charisma and pretty face.   His love approach started off bullying his girl and when he realized the girl seemed to be lingering in his heart, he did adorkable things by parading his wealth and protecting his girl at all cost even defying his witch-like mother.  He had to prove that rich-guy-poor-girl love affair can be achieved at the right time.

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Jo Guk/Cha Seung Won in City Hall – My ideal man is very close to Jo Guk oppa’s brilliant character.  He was smart and encouraging to his woman’s dreams.  He listens well, contemplative and yet he gives you some charming surprises.  His declaration of love in the closing scene of this drama is still my favorite  up to this date.

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Seo In Woo/Park Shi Hoo in Prosecutor Princess – With his killer gaze and the secret-vengeance-twist-turned-love-wins plot, I liked that In Woo’s pained character chose his emotions than revenge.  He was blithe at one moment and then blatant at the next which has made him more interesting and engaging aside from his handsome self.

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Hwang Tae Kyung/Jang Geun Seok in You’re Beautiful – In the spirit of presenting how idol stars could be when they are in love, Hwang Tae Kyung and the rest of ANJELL’s fired up a following on how an idol star faced the same dilemma coffee prince did.  He emerged victorious even with the second lead’s equally mesmerizing run for the lead girl’s hand.  He operated on a stuffed toy, took care of her when she was sick and a lot more little things that melted my heart.  

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 Sungkyunkwan Scholars/Park Yoo Chun, Yoo Ah In, Song Joong Ki in Sungkyunkwan Scandal – Before they became established lead men of their generation, they were the righteous, the charming and the dangerously sweet scholars of Sunkyunkwan.  I rooted for Geol Ah and this was before I was caught with Song Joong Ki syndrome.  If you haven’t seen this drama, please free your time.  More than the amazing story, you will be showered with pretty  boy faces that will bring you good vibes.

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Jun Jin Ho/Lee Min Ho in Personal Preference – He just walks in a drama set effortlessly bringing out the vibrancy of the character with his looks and charisma.  Architect Jin Ho not only protected Kae In but has  urged her to protect her dreams.  

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Cha Dae Woong/Lee Seung Gi in My GF is a Gumiho – Going extra mile to provide meaty food for his supernatural dream girl whom he has to protect against the rain, this vivacious love affair was well handed by Dae Woong matching the memorable portrayal of Shin Min Ah.  His I-will-be-here-for-you promise was just enough to win every girl’s heart.

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Kim Joo Won/Hyun Bin in Secret Garden – His sparkling jumpsuit and the dimples and the thirst to prove to the stunt woman he loved his devotion to be by her side was addictive and took kdrama addicts in frenzy.  The curl-up sweet scene still gives a smile on my face.

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Dokko Jin/Cha Seung Won in The Greatest Love – The top actor who fell in love with the struggling then-famous actress was so quirky and competitive that it made the drama a superb watch.  The crazy antics and the crazy development of love story was a runaway hit and the see how much i love you showcases of the crazily sweet Dokko Jin will sweep you off your feet.

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Kang Woo/Eric in Myungwol the Spy – Another top actor who used efficiently a manual to woo a secret North Korean spy.  It was no easy task but with heartfelt desire, Kang Woo oppa moved me with his unwavering strength to conquer the divided country conflict.

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Lee Shin/Jung Yong Hwa in You’ve Fallen For Me – Served youthful and cute, Lee Shin is every school girl’s dream boy.  He reminded us of those days when I have secret crushes and when we I do things so that they will notice me.  

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Lee Yoon Sung/Lee Min Ho in City Hunter – There’s something appealing to a man with a dangerous job.  His enigmatic performance was a high-octane hit and the added bonus of his suave ways of making his girl’s heart flutter was an icing on the cake.

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Kang Ji Wook/Lee Dong Wook in Scent of a Woman – All a woman needs is for a man to stay by her side and support her dreams and worries.  Ji Wook oppa encouraged his woman who realized too late how she missed enjoying her life that it was not too late to chase dreams.  He made sure his terminally ill girlfriend would be loved by a man who knows how to love and stayed with her even if she kept pushing him away.

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Cha Chi Soo/Jung Il Woo in Flower Boy Ramyun Shop – The persistent chasings of Chi Soo on his noona romance were most of the time hilarious but definitely worth the wait.  The rest of the flower boys alongside the main lead were also additional perks.

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Lee Jae Ha/Lee Seung Gi in King2Hearts – He proved that a man’s pure love can be a driving force to change for the better.  In this utopian unified korea story, he was a delightful mix of a man every girl wants to have.  Cheeky and charming, not perfect but caring, refraining from complicating things and loving.

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Choi Young/Lee Min Ho in Faith – Wielding sword has never been sexy until Choi Young.  His suave and manly ways in protecting the time traveling lead doctor made me resurrect those girly dreams of a knight in a shining armour.  *giggles  That scene where he chew the meds to give to the sick lead girl was oh so sweet.  

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Prince Lee Gak/Park Yoo Chun in Rooftop Prince – The quirky prince who traveled from the past to solve the murder mystery of his princess-to-be threw me at laughing fits when it was airing.  He was so cute that Yoo Chun finally made my list of actors to watch.  With an era he was not accustomed to, he was able to do one thing that is constant from the past and present – a sincere love.

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Kim Boong Do/Ji Hyun Woo in Queen In Hyun’s Man – My smart dream man swept my heart with his nimble mind and spontaneous ability to melt his woman.  He remains to be at my favorite characters’ list along with Healer and now Captain Si Jin.

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Kim Tan/Lee Min Ho in The Heirs – What makes Kim Tan different from Gu Jun Pyo is his reckless attitude defying his family and not waiting if time will resolve something.  It went out fine with him taking the risk to be with the girl he loved.  I think out of all Lee Min Ho’s dramas, it is here where he kissed so well considering his role is a college heir.

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Joo Joong Won/So Ji Sub in The Master’s Sun – This highly anticipated romcom deserved a place on my favorites because of its impeccable romcom storyline with a funny supernatural twist.  Joong Won oppa falling in love with a ghost seeing woman was hilariously fun and sunny.  His straightforward attitude in love cracked me up and drew sigh from me at the same time.  

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Kang Tae Ha/Eric in Discovery of Romance – Discovery of Romance is a secret kdrama gem you should take time to watch.   What I liked about Tae Ha oppa would be his never giving up on love and his realization that just because the first serving in love didn’t go well, it doesn’t mean the second chance won’t be too.  He made his first love realized the reason why after all those time fate still kept them bound.

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Do Min Joon/Kim Soo Hyun in You Who Came From the Stars – If aliens are really as hot as Do Min Joon then all girls would be permitting alien invasion.  The stranded alien who fell in love with a top actress has used his ability to protect his woman at all cost even defying time.  His unmatched chemistry with Cheon Song Yi had raised a frenzy addiction through his alien love definition.

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Jang Jae Yul/Jo In Sung in It’s Okay That’s Love – Jae Yul’s unconventional character won my heart because of his vulnerabilities.  Because he made me think that if I was in that position, I would also become his shield.  You see some girls would appreciate more if their men will be brave to admit to something they can no longer bear.  That’s what made Jae Yul oppa special.

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Seo Jung Ho/Ji Chang Wook in Healer – My 2015 favorite swept me off of my feet because of his manly-McGyver-ish charm.  A courier of impossible missions, his dangerous side made my eyes turned to hearts.  The Healer hideout kisses left me on trance.

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Kim Young Ho/So Ji Sub in Oh My Venus – Coach-nim is women’s solution to weight loss problem.  It would be heaven to do sit-ups with him… to feel his hands and body in the workout drills… and before my comment turns rated R, I have to go back to reality.  So Ji Sub is my dream guy period so if the drama is bad or good I don’t care as long as there will be topless scenes lol.  Thankfully the drama was generally okay so the romantic cuteness was a bonus.

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Kang Sun Woo/Jo Jung Seok in Oh My Ghost – When he thought his lead girl is suffering from bipolar disorder because of her ghost-possessed body, I was so amused with his line of thinking on how he resolves conflicts and was happy that he did  not linger to sulking and chose love over the absurdity of the situation.

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Choi Taek/Park Bo Gum  in Reply 1988 – He only knew baduk but he warmed my heart with his gentleness and knowing when to surge forward when it comes to claiming the love he waited for a long time.

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Yoo Si Jin/Song Joong Ki in Descendants of the Sun – He is the reason why I came up with this post.  haha  I was not so much his fan before but when he suited up in military uniform, everything changed.  His melting gaze, sweet remarks and soldier bearing are and will be putting me in frenzy right now.  

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Kang Chul/Lee Jong Suk in W:TwoWorlds – Strutting his dapper look and protecting the woman he loves while crossing two different worlds sent me to varied emotions ranging from a giddy-ish high-school girl, a woman tapping on her inner goddess and a lady who wants to fall in love again.  

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I think I can now conclude that I’m a secret Jang Na Ra fan because I have seen all her dramas underrated and the famous ones too.  I don’t like the male lead in this drama for some reason I also can’t explain  but I stayed faithful because of the relatable friendship plot in the story.

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So I met Han Mi Mo, a former famous girl group member who owns a marriage match-making company of sort who was also positive that she will be given a second chance in love.  She remained friends with her fellow girl group members who were also having love and relationship issues on the side.  On the day that Mi Mo learned about her  boyfriend’s infidelity she chanced upon a childhood friend, Song Soo Hyuk, who was working on an online showbiz newspaper catching celebrity scoops here and there.  He appeased her betrayed heart in soju bottles and they ended up causing ruckus in the city hall trying to register their instant marriage.  When they sobered up, they ironed their crazy act and went on to their own businesses. 

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Mi Mo in her sleeping night gown landed to the hospital where doctor bestfriend, Goo Hae Joon was working and confessed to the handsome doctor her attraction  towards him.  Yes the characters here were sort of moving in a typhoon like level in their impulsiveness and rational thinking but it was more cute and exciting nonetheless.  Hae Joon was revealed to have been a fan of Mi Mo in her girl group days so after contemplating he told Soo Hyuk about his intention to date Mi Mo to make sure that the latter won’t have problems with that.  Soo Hyuk gave her blessing and soon enough Mi Mo and Hae Joon became a couple. 

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Later on Mi Mo realized that the thing she had for Hae Joon was not  enough to move her heart and to make the matter worse she was slowly realizing that it was Soo Hyuk that she wanted all along and Soo Hyuk who felt the same way was torn between her and his best friend.  Soo Hyuk took a break and left the country just when Mi Mo braved the odds that they can be together.  When he returned from love hibernation they finally claimed their love second chance happy ending.

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Cooked and prepared like your average romcom, One More Happy Ending was a delightful watch.  I would like also to applaud the strong side stories of the supporting characters which were equally vibrant as the main love story.  The plot delved on the varying emotions of women struggling to keep up with love and relationship.  The marriage camp and relationship board sticker ideas were also some of the cutesies I will remember about this refreshing romcom.  This most likely will appeal to singles in 30’s who have failed their marriage once… who are finding the love lost along the way in their current marriage… who are unsure of finally settling down and who have been waiting for the right person to come along.

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Love perspectives change as you age and as you learn from your past mistakes.  What I learned about this drama is to never give up on love and romance and to understand its importance in sustaining a relationship.  Love will take different forms in a relationship as time goes on.  It will kick off to adoration, go steady through memories and romance, move to years of comfortability and will stand firm to loyalty…  and it is important that in  those changing moments you are by your lover’s side.

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Nicely blended, safely done and just pure encouraging love and dating narrative.  One More Happy Ending was as bright as spring and feel good as summer… perfect to add on your romcom binge list.
-jediprincess

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Though dwindling in numbers in the recent years, I still go to Korean Romantic movies for my digital source of love vibes.  There’s just something piercing on how Koreans do it, and they never run out of stellar ideas to bring out breath-taking sketches of love stories that transcends across different ages.  Even now, I still feel giddy-ish when I go to a sudden trip to my Kmovie library and watch films from more than 10 years ago.  And since it’s Cupid’s favorite month, if you will be staying home this Valentine weekend, I would like to share you my personal favorites, picked from the bottom of my heart and validated by my fond memories of watching it.

Happy Love Month everyone!  
Happy Lunar Year too!
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My Sassy Girl – Because every girl secretly wishes to have a Gyeon-woo in their lives.

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Il Mare – Because you only need a time warping mail box to exchange letters and eventually fall in love.

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The Classic – Because we cannot end up with our one great love.

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Daddy Long Legs – Because there will be that one person who will love you greatly with all his heart.

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My Little Bride – Because we realized too late that love is there all along sometimes.

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Daisy – Because we protect the one we love at all cost.

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A Moment To Remember – Because our best love memories are kept in our hearts.

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A Millionaire’s First Love – Because we become a better person when we fall in love.

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Lost and Found – Because we get confused reading which love is really given to us.

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Love Phobia – Because a man has only one first love.

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100 Days With Mr. Arrogant – Because we literally do everything for the one we love.

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Lovers Concerto – Because a fated love can end due to an un unfortunate chance.

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200 Pounds Beauty – Because hell hath no fury when a woman in love got fooled not so nicely.

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Heaven’s Postman – Because love can happen even in the most impossible beginning.

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Someone Special – Because love happens surprisingly when we stop looking for it.

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Always – Because love can spring  unexpectedly and truthfully.

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Neverending Story – Because two strangers can take on a journey and fall in love with each other deeply.

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A Werewolf Boy – Because love waits.

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My PS Partner – Because love can be served sassy and sexy.

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Love 911 – Because love can overcome the fear of losing someone.

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More than Blue – Because we overlook love when it comes from a friend.

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Once in a Summer – Because young love is the sweetest and most kept in our memories.

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Christmas in August – Because you love in the moment so that you won’t regret it when it’s gone.

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Two faces of my girlfriend – Because you have to love your girl in her ups and downs.

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Hello Schoolgirl – Because we love even with the discrepancy in age.

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Closer to Heaven – Because we love in sickness and in health.

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A wolf’s temptation – Because love is being tangled in a sweet love triangle.

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The Beauty Inside – Because you always recognize and feel in your heart when you finally fall in love.

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They say that as you age along, you get more sentimental as you look back on what has happened in your life. Sitting on this neighborhood drama set between 1988 – 1995 made me reminisce the good old days of endearing family love and friendship full of memories and laughter. “Answer me 1988” pays homage to the irreplaceable bliss of being young – of our young dreams and our young love. It gives you a trip to memory lane when technology hasn’t taken over the world yet— when friends meet up at a house to watch movies, to eat and to chat and when romance comes true by heartfelt love declarations, stolen kisses and warm hugs.

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Hands down to the extent of the research and the meticulously vibrant writing that were fused together to bring up a chronicle that warms the heart and lingers in one’s mind. The setting, side stories and the cast ensemble will make the viewers feel like stepping to a time-warping machine and bringing out the best memories we could ever have in our lives.

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Answer Me 1988 tells the growing up years of five childhood friends living in a same block as they go through their studies, dreams and life. Relying to one another, the friendship circle’s families were also entangled as one big family thriving happily and harmoniously in the changing times. Sung Duk Seon the only girl in the friendship circle belonged to a family of five with a scary sister she always bicker with and a younger brother who doesn’t look young at all. They live humbly with his banker father’s salary which has been immensely diminished due to his kind heart always extending help to people in need even sacrificing the finances meant to be spend for the family. Choi Taek is the son of a clock repair man who is also a widow. They live quietly amidst the crazy families surrounding them. Choi Taek was a Baduk prodigy but since not having a normal life, he was often sheltered by the people around him because he was kind-hearted to a fault and didn’t bother much about the cruelties in life. Kim Jung Hwan grew up not being wealthy but in a stroke of luck, their family won in a lottery and became rich overnight. He has one brother who didn’t run out of a new hobby to try in his life as their parents worried about him not being able to secure a normal career in his prime. Yoo Do Ryong was the easy go lucky and the dancing machine of the group. He craved for his busy mother’s attention and was scared of his teacher-father’s scolding. Sung Sun Woo assumed taking care of his mother and little sister when his father died young. He was a model student and the most responsible in the group. As a trademark of the “reply franchise”, the drama will also give hints on the main love couple that will blossom in the story. But out of all three Reply dramas, ’88 was the most discreetly conceived and it took the last two finale episodes to finally reveal who the lead girl married. 

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One of the many things I loved in this show was the genuine on-screen bond of the cast giving life in the best possible imagination of the sketched characters in the story. There was no passerby among the cast. All have contributed to an almost perfect depiction of how uncomplicated life then. With neighbors living up to become a functioning support group with their fellow parents whose dreams were mainly directed to the well-being of their children and of children who were pressured to chase their dreams so as to make their parents proud. That is definitely not the case today with the internet controlling human interaction. People will choose to just browse on the superficial social media status of their family and friends than to take time to catch up with them in person.

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Another wonderful feature evident to all Reply-dramas would be the building up of the romance which has been fixed in presenting a love triangle and would always break the viewers’ hearts as they want both guys to get the same girl they were chasing. I was Team Taek-i all throughout. Who wouldn’t fall for Taek-i’s puppy face? I just really go for cute nerds who are clueless in life but advances strong when the situation required them to go for their one great love and Taek-i rose to the occasion by waiting for the right time and seizing the moment without looking back. Jung–hwan had his fair share of sweet moments capping up with that heartbreaking love proposal practice which Duk-seon never realized to be what really was in Jung Hwan’s heart.

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But the one great love lesson learned from JungHwan-Dukseon-Taek love triangle is to not blame timing or fate for your one great love to happen. Taek-i braved the odds and defied a 20 year friendship and sealed every love he had for Dukseon in a heart-stopping kiss because he wanted to know right at that moment if there is just not a chance but if love was really there for both of them. It’s not just knowing that love is there, it is being in absolute certainty that both of you feel the same way.Reply_1988-012

I only have the very best things to say for the neighborhood I grew fond watching, for the childhood buddies who defined lifetime friendship and for the sincere love that bloomed from the purest friendship and memories.  Reply 1988 was a great spectacle to seal K-drama parade of 2015 and I can only hope that the writer won’t get tired of delving on nostalgic premise like this.

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Reply 1988 is on my top 3 dramas for 2015 because of its brilliant use of sweet melancholia and sending the followers back to their very own youth, like it did to me. It made me want to pay a short visit to the street I grew up with and reminisce the times when I hang out with my childhood friends to play traditional local games. It made me glad that most of my precious memories were not digitally induced as is the case of the youth nowadays. And it reminded me to still go for the purest romance I can ever have that won’t make use much of the world- wide web and social media.

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The ever present humor, the love stories and the amazing neighborhood are surely a quick relief for life stress. Reply 1988 is a strip of mementos any person with a euphoric youth can relate to. I strongly vouch for this drama if you have a weekend to spare. –jediprincess ♥♥♥

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P.S Images Source Asianwiki

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Forget the grueling gym work out, home yoga sessions and sadness inducing diet plans… Just allot 2 hours in 2 days watching Oh My Venus and you will miraculously lose 10 lbs in 2 weeks. It’s true. No hidden agendas, no diet pills, and no aggravating body pains. Sign up for a 14-day trial period at Coach John Kim’s Venus boot camp and see for yourself what the rest of the women who tried the program have been talking about. *chuckles

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Seriously now, if they want a solution to the alarming woes of women struggling to keep up with their weight, they should hire So Ji Sub oppa to be their personal trainer and the world will be a better place. *giggles

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Oh My Venus went to the typical Korean drama rom-com milieu of a rich heir who fell in love with a normal girl but with a fitness program twist. Kang Joo Eun was a feisty Korean lawyer with a steady long-time boyfriend. She was living a calm life and the only concern she has was her weight loss struggle.

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She used to be the high school boys’ dream in her hometown Daegu, but life’s complications took over and she failed maintaining her goddess self. She eventually lost her boyfriend to an old chubby law school friend who managed to discard her old fat self.

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Wanting to reclaim the self-esteem she has been losing, Joo Eun took the opportunity of forcing herself to be coached by a famous weight loss trainer, John Kim, when she chanced upon their identities after retrieving their belongings which was left in her possession. When John Kim’s crew was visited by Joo Eun to impose herself on taking their training, she assumed the manager was John Kim and not Kim Young-ho, the crew was forced to accept her request to shut her mouth in publicly declaring John Kim’s hiding in Korean soil following a scandal he had with a famous Hollywood celebrity. They went on the quest to recover Joo Eun’s Venus body though unbeknownst to Joo Eun, the training was not being done properly.

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Young Ho unfortunately witnessed Joo Eun’s love humiliation with her old flame and has stood by her side to salvage her depleted self-worth. With Joo Eun’s unfailing determination, he corrected her initial understanding of who John Kim was and decided to formally coach her and bring her back to life. Sparks eventually connected them together and just as Joo Eun’s body fats were falling, they too began falling in love with each other.

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I could stare at So Ji Sub oppa’s steamy self all day and it won’t still suffice the sweet craving I feel for him.  He’s my dream guy, a manna from heaven and the only arms I dream being imprisoned with. hahaha Hallyu land is like a big aquarium of hot guys , but So Ji Sub oppa’s cold exterior and warm heart is just a solid punch on why he’s able to pull his cliché character in this drama and trance a multitude of women to an intoxicating bliss. Yup I’m not ashamed that my religious following of “Oh My Venus” stemmed from my undying one-sided love with him and I can’t be any happier when the story enticed me with enough Kim Young Ho’s smoking topless exposure and knees-weakening gaze to keep me from being inspired to the fitness goal the drama was trying to impart. So there drama… mission solved! *giggles

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But seriously, I already outgrew the over-used rich guy-normal girl love story setting, but for the lightness and the girly-drooling moments, I would forgive the shallow conflict of this drama. Oh well and because anything is forgivable with So Ji Sub oppa in it.  But it would have been nice if they push it to Joo Eun’s initial dream to recover her old Venus self. Putting that Young Ho’s family’s company problem conflict was a bit awkward for the plot. It was not fitting.  Since they presented Young Ho’s broken self, I think they should have followed that lead.  There’s a lot of emotional struggles for couples in their 30’s because most tend to not unpack their baggages so they could have circled in their plot.  They could have lengthened Joo Eun’s rally to win Young Ho’s rich family to make the drama even more sassier and feel good.  But anyway, I got what I bargained for, if not for Joo Eun and Young Ho’s chemistry I would have really pouted.

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I want to commend on the show’s drive to encourage women with weight worries to lighten up and push themselves to be even more disciplined in following their fitness programs as it would be a propelling force to reclaim their confidence and to live a robust life.  If you can get a supportive partner/boyfriend with that then you are definitely on the right track.

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With ample cutesy love scenes and charming on screen adorable couple, this rom-com offering will wear out a week’s work stress. If you want an uncomplicated blithe and feel good love drama, this will definitely satisfy your craving. Add So Ji Sub on the side, and boy it’s definitely a winner all throughout. –jediprincess ♥♥♥

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