Golden Rainbow Episodes 5 & 6 KDrama Musings

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It would be nice if City Hunter would come and help out Aboji to battle the villains in this drama.  *chuckles Well it was just a silly thought as there are plethora of villains showcased so far — the confused villain, the greedy villain, the unreasonable villain and the nonsensical villain.  But I’m still happy that so far they are not turning into a weep fest and not making me bump my head on the computer screen.  I love the adorable kids.  I haven’t checked how long this back story will go and since I signed up for this long agreement, I won’t complain.  Still strong as a family drama, there were a lot of heartbreaking scenes and life lessons explained.  This kdrama is so far best served to our grandparents and a must watch for the entire family.

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Baek-won raised her voice to her estranged grandmother upon hearing her call her father bad names.  She argued with evil Halmoni but she remained victorious in sending Han-joo aboji to prison.  Aboji secretly gave Baek-won the film and asked her to take care of it. 

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Jin-ki’s minions stormed at Baek-won’s house in their quest to find the film scaring the younger kids and menacing the house.  Just as when they are about to stress Baek-won, Man-won came and tried a duel with the minion leader to protect his younger siblings.  Jin-ki ordered to halt his frightening tactics and left the kids and the older kids crying and traumatized.

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Young-hye learned of what happened with Han-joo and confronted Jin-ki about it but the latter diverted the blame on her for making grandma-chairman think that the children are theirs.  He reminded her about their illegal shipment business that will be coming up.  Young-hye tried to confront Halmoni but she didn’t use her “I-was-your-secret-investor-card” yet, she again rescued the older kids when social workers were trying to get them to be sheltered.  She learned that the younger ones were already grabbed by the social workers and was staying at an orphanage.

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Do-young learned the truth about his father’s evil-doings and castigated him about it and threw a long “you’re a disappointing father spiel” to his father’s face and marched out to regret having a father like him.

Jin-ki who retrieved the film after Han-joo was left no choice when he learned that the younger kids was taken away gave the evidence to Halmoni and told her that he will call the police to order Han-joo’s release, but evil-Halmoni countered it by telling him that she already ordered the police to have him incarcerated.  Jin-ki tried to appeal to her decision, but Halmoni who was previously visited by Young-hye wanted to take that opportunity having known that Han-joo’s pain is also Young-hye’s worry.

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Young-hye saw Baek-won crying as she stared at Il-won’s drawing of him and her.  She worried about how her younger siblings as she cried and was comforted by Young-hye.  The latter seeing the pain of Han-joon’s children went to visit evil Chairwoman and kneeled for forgiveness to have Han-joo be freed but was shown a news article about the company’s illegal fish activity.  Young-hye swore they were not behind it but the old fox remained firm.  Jin-ki dragged her out and told her that her visit to the Chairman yesterday aggravated Han-joo’s situation.

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Baek-won tried her luck to speak with the Chairwoman but she was not let in by the guards and was shoved to the ground in the pouring rain.  Do-young heard her step-mom talked about a young girl staging a vigil in front of the house and offered his hand so she can go inside the house.

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Halmoni-chairman showed Baek-won the news article but the latter denied that it was her father’s doing.  Do-young took the instant family meeting and revealed that it was his doing and that he sent the picture to the press along with the article.  He got a slap from his father by that revelation that infuriated his step-mom and evil Halmoni.

Do-young and Jin-ki engaged in a conscience versus power argument and this time enraged by his father’s principles Do-young won their debate. 

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Baek-won explained to Halmoni how his father raised 7 orphans and tried to sway her previous decisions.  She promised her that she will repay her graciousness someday by raising fish.  Halmoni was surprised when she put her up in a fish culture quiz bee and she was able to answer it all in flying colors.  Halmoni stood up and left Baek-won unsure if she has softened her heart.

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Baek-won went home tired from her conquest and cried again to Young-hye.  Man-won on the other side accepted a deal with the gangsters relying to the promise that it would release his father.  Uk-jo told Cheon-won and ajumma Young-hye’s identity while Baek-won listened to her father’s jail history narrated by Young-hye.  She also told her about the daughter who was taken away by her mother-in-law.  She showed her the baby pictures and told her that she was about her age.

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It seems that there’s still a little goodness in Halmoni’s heart so when Jin-ki tried to talk her out about Han-joo’s case, she agreed to have him call the police and order his release.  She stared at Ha-bins picture as her encounter with Baek-won reminded her of her lost granddaughter.

Il-won was bullied at the orphanage and the game boy was taken away from him by force.  His siblings came to rescue him successfully but he won’t stop crying telling them that he missed their father and Baek-won.  But the cries were interrupted when Han-joo came to embrace all of them. 

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They walked back home happily but the rain suddenly poured so they looked for shelter.  Han-joo taught his children how they should never be scared when they have each other.  They told them that as long as they are together no matter what storm might happen, they would get through it, and no matter how big winds may challenge them, it will make them stronger.

Jin-ki told Do-young that Han-joo was released and was so happy about it.  He reminded him to be wary of his actions.  Young-hye prepared a feast for the family reunion.  She asked Han-joo why he still keep the first gift she gave him even if it’s already broken but he remained distant with her and went out to go fishing.

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Young-hye contemplating about staying with the family or taking her revenge to her mother-in-law took sick Il-won who was delirious crying out his mother’s name.  Baek-won came to the room to pour some hot water for Il-won and narrated how their strange family came together.

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Do-young and Baek-won went to their secret place and talked about their life sentiments.  He told her how he envied her for having a warm father because his father isn’t.  He thanked her for listening to his daddy issues and sob stories.  They rode on his bike and Do-young asked her out to go with him to watch a movie on Sunday.  Baek-won saw Cheon-won washing the kids’ clothes and was welcomed by Young-hye.  They went inside the house as Cheon-won gave that slightly envious-glaring stare.

Jin-ki asked Uk-jo to help them with getting the illegal goods from Japan but he replied how he can’t navigate ship and to convince Han-joo to do it.

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Man-won was threatened by the gangster boss to continue working for them and his fight skills video had him tied up to the agreement.  Jin-ki met with Han-joo and offered him the gold smuggling job in Japan. 

Baek-won and Young-hye were saying goodbye to each to each other when a car suddenly stopped revealing the gangster people who were chasing Young-hye.

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Images From Hancinema.net

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Nine Times Travel Episodes 1-4 K-Drama Musings

 

Nine Episode 1

A man battled the snow blizzard and held on to an incense stick in his dying moments.

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We shift to Park Sun Woo, a news anchorman having troubles when the plane took off. He was welcomed by Joo Min-young, a junior news reporter at work who has expressed adoration towards him.

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Sun-woo headed to the excited Min-young, he kissed her and proposed a 6-month marriage offer to her surprise. Caught off guard, she agreed to the instant love offer and happily assumed herself to be his tour guide. When she realized that he was not joking about the wedding talk, she bickered about his idea of offering a lifetime love offer but he reminded her that he got it from her. And we flashback to when she begged him to date her for 6 or 3 months. They engaged to a sweet heated argument about the sincerity of his intentions, and Sun-woo emerged victorious.

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He dropped by at a police station to face the sad news of his brother’s death in the frosty Himalayas.

While he flips over his hyung’s possessions he found a picture of the last time they met together. His brother asked him for some money because he was on a mission to go back to when their family was happy.

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Sun-woo settled in his hotel room to rest. He noticed the incense stick which he remembered to be what his brother was holding when he died. He lit it up but he didn’t notice that he was briefly transported to a snowy field. He thought it was just a lucid dream and a side effect of his existing medical condition.

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Sun-woo went back to Korea and did his regular job. He was supposed to do a live interview to Chairman Choi Jin Cheol for his stem cell therapy breakthrough. It was a smooth interview but Sun-woo surprised the newsroom and the Chairman by throwing allegations of the hidden casualties and unethical procedures done for the research.

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The newsroom was in frenzy because of the unscripted outburst. Sun-woo was scolded by the station director and he revealed to him how his family suffered because of Choi Jin Cheol. He added that his imminent death because of a brain tumor can’t even compete with the old man who caused his family’s downfall but he should at least expose his evil-doings because he owe it to his family.

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On their way to the base camp of an expedition they will be covering, Min-young asked for some time and called Sun-woo to ask him again why he was setting a dating timeframe. He gave an excuse that getting attached breaks someone’s heart because he can’t reveal his dying status to her yet.

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Nine Episode 2

Min-young called Sun-woo’s bestfriend-doctor, Young-hoon, and he revealed to her the extent of his medical condition. On their way to the base camp she was crying and cursing the man she loves who will soon be dying.

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Sun-woo visited his schizophrenic mother who can’t recognize him. He got a text message from his work assistant about the status of the exclusive interview he initiated. He met the broadcast station’s director and he rejected his resignation telling him they will be supporting him on his claims.

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Sun-woo rested in his room and lit the incense stick again. He thought another epiphany stroke as his surroundings changed revealing his room when he was in high school.

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He saw an old beeper and went down to see his mother calm and sober, but when she saw her son’s future self she freaked out, Jung-woo from the past defended their mother and hit the aquarium which wounded his nape. He went back to his room and it changed changed to current time. Wondering about the weird epiphany, his phone rang and he spoke with the evil chairman who convinced him to set the things straight, but Sun-woo won’t budge and warned him to stay away from him.

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Outraged from the phone conversation, he noticed his bleeding neck and got the friendly ire of Young-hoon who was still convincing him to start on chemotherapy.

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He told him about his lucid dreams but he just went on his bromance spiel of not listening to him. They went for a drink and Sun-woo learned that Min-young already knows his condition.

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Sun-woo watched the news coverage of evil chairman’s arrival when his head got attacked by a searing pain. The technical team who knew Sun-woo and Min-young’s supposed love affair played cupids and told her that her lover was in the room. She agreed to extend her long distance message but launched a jaw-dropper by showing her middle finger as her message to him.

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Sun-woo asked for a satellite phone and asked the Himalayas team to have Min-young on the phone.

MY: “You’re an asshole! I don’t want to see you ever again. Proposal? I didn’t give you an answer yet so don’t count on that.. Just be alone quietly, and leave quietly. 3 months? You can’t do that even to your pets! Do you take me for granted? At least make an excuse!”

SW: “Excuse? You want to hear the facts or the fantasy? You want me to tell the truth? When I heard that I was dying, I had two things in my mind. The first one was, who will take care of my mother… and the other thing was a steamy night with you before I die. I also can’t believe that. There are a lot of pretty girls in the world. It was not the models in my computer, not the glamorous female anchor hitting on me, but it was you I was thinking of having this hot bed scenes.”

MY: “I asked you to make an excuse and not to sexually harrass me.”

SW: “I’m just telling the truth. If you go out with someone, remember what I told you. If a man says that he will be happy seeing you smile for the rest of his life, he is a liar. If someone talks like me marry him. He is an honest man. Are you disappointed? You want me to tell the fantasy version?”

“For the last 5 years, you were just a junior at work who have still a lot to learn. But your mind was always fixed on being a girl. When I learned that I’m dying, I realized something… I have loved you for the past 5 years. I realized that there was not a moment that I didn’t love you. But it was too late. That’s why I wanted to be with you for the remaining months to give you everything I could. If you knew I was sick, I thought I would never see the smile of the girl I love again. Why is your smile important? I’m trying my best to be cheerful, but I really want to cry a lot of times everyday. It’s not just a smile. It is everything for me.”

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Sun-woo accepted her rejection and demanded her to write an apology letter for her being unprofessional in the camera. He went back to work and received a phone call from the cleaning lady about a beeper ringing. He then remembered his back to the future hallucination and asked for the number ringing the beeper.  He dialed the number but it was not in service. A courier was dispatched to get the beeper.

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Sun-woo called doctor-friend and explained to him his theory that everytime he lights the incense, he sort of wrinkling time. He deduced the possibility of narcotics causing the vivid wild imaginations but his mind can’t rest to the idea that the incense was doing it, and if he’s not drugged nor crazy, why was it happening?

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Sun-woo asked his assistant to research the beeper’s origin and left back to his dresser. Wanting to prove his theories, he burned the incense again, and went back 20 years ago. While the station frantically looked for the missing anchor, Sun-woo surveyed the room he was in and spotted a newspaper that confirmed his speculations.

Just then the beeper ring, so he called the number and spoke with Sun-woo-of-20-years-ago.

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Nine Episode 3

Sun-woo got back in the present in the nick of his scheduled broadcast airing but he was still bothered on the idea that he could be wrinkling time.

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Choi Jin Cheol watched Sun-woo’s report and got the confirmation from his secretary of Jung-woo’s death.  Sun-woo also got the affirmation that the beeper was his from 20 years ago. 

He called Young-hoon about what he discovered, and he too remembered the incident when his beeper went missing and the strange burglar in their house.  He still can’t believe of the absurdity of what’s happening as his friend also remembered the events.

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In the past timeline, Sun-woo entered his brother’s room and interrupted him of the love letter he was writing.  He muttered about his strange conversation of his missing beeper but he was called by their father.

Present time Sun-woo looked for his high school diary and saw an entry of him about his strange phone encounter with the man who took his beeper. He browsed at his brother’s mini notebook about his Himalayas visit and read his writing about nine incense sticks.

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Young-hoon told Min-young about Sun-woo’s High School hallucinations and his going back to Nepal to check on his hyung’s unfinished business.

Sun-woo looked for the lodge where his brother stayed. He started on a voice diary for doctor friend about his quest to follow the footprints left by his brother about the incense-sticks-time-machine urban legend.

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He told doctor friend how Jung-woo hyung obtained information about the 9 incense sticks alleged mojo and that his brother failed to witness its supernatural powers because the blizzard took him.

Sun-woo has to use the remaining time of the stick in his possession to go back from when the lodge was still functioning to grab the remaining 9 sticks.

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Just as he inferred he landed back to when the inn was still running and has to force his way to the room’s occupant to retrieve the incense sticks.

Time was ticking and the enraged couple staying in the room was not helping, as the man fumes over Sun-woo’s barging in and the incense tube rolled on the room’s floor. He was chased by the man and just as the incense he left was dying, the incense tube was tossed in the air… Sun-woo mustered his strength, reached the tube and appeared in the snowy field delighted of his goal’s success.

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While Sun-woo listened to a Whitney Houston LP, Min-young stepped in quipping about their 3-month relationship and they could even go directly to the honeymoon part.

So off the love couple went to a sweet sharing of love sheets.

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Nine Episode 4

In the past time line, Sun-woo’s aboji was in his office at the hospital talking with someone over the phone about some documents under his care. He headed home and bumped with Sun-woo who time-traveled in that time.

Sun-woo took a cab and saw his brother drowning in liquor and wondered about the source of his heavy heart. Jung-woo fell down from alcohol intoxication so he dragged him to the waiting taxi cab. Sun-woo discovered his hyung’s love letter to a girl named Yoo-jin.

Sun-woo went back to the present time just as 20-year old Sun-woo came to get his drunk brother.

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The next morning Min-young woke up from the alarm and smiled reading Jun-woo’s text message. He told him to just rest because they had an exhausting honeymoon. He told her they will have dinner since it’s Chrismas eve. She pouted at his inability to inject some sweetness in his message like “ilove you baby, all i can think of is you when i wake up”, but Jun-woo just dismissed it and replied that it’s better for them to break up. She grinned expecting his response, so she texted it to him. Sun-woo beamed and responded how he won’t be able to do it, but he liked hearing it. Min-young contemplated on the numbered days she could probably have with the man she loves.

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Young-hoon called Sun-woo and warned him to proceed with the treatment.  Sun-woo went to a trip down memory lane and reminisced his seasoned friendship with the doctor.

In the past timeline, Young-hoon received a strange card telling him that he will be receiving a letter on December 24, 2012 at 10 am. He looked at the card and noticed that it was manufactured from a future date.

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Present time Young-hoon woke up from his wife’s call and fumbled at a dinner reservation he forgot to make. He got the voice diary email from Sun-woo and his jaw dropped remembering the Christmas card he got from him 20 years ago. He freaked out at the unconceivable situation happening and rushed to see Sun-woo.

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Sun-woo spoke how he wrote the Christmas card and the email in 30 minutes but it took him 20 years to receive it.

Young-hoon was still bewildered at the whole time machine idea. He showed the remaining 7 sticks to his friend but Young-hoon was still fuzzy about the supernatural happening. He coached him to go back in time so he can saved himself from the tumor but Sun-woo wanted to fulfill his dead brother’s wish first and reasoned that he will be needing to convince his past self to the nonsensical thought and it will raise pandora’s box of question. He told Young-hoon how he will devise a way to go to the hospital naturally but he has to do his brother’s earnest wish to go back in the time when their father was caught up in the flames.

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In 6 days, he will sojourn in time to save his father and gather evidence that will pin down evil Choi Jin Cheol. Sun-woo realizing how his brother went to the extent of gathering the 9 sticks also wanted to locate the woman his brother loved so much who based on his assistant’s research was a widow with a child, and that could be the reason why their father was against their relationship.

Sun-woo visited Yoo-jin and found her daughter crying as she thought her mother was dead. Yoo-jin lay unconscious from alcohol abuse. He gave her daughter his brother’s phone number and asked her to call him so her mother will feel better.

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At present time, Sun-woo phoned Young-hoon about what he did, and the latter was worried that it could change something in the present, but Sun-woo was nonchalant of its repercussions as nothing has changed yet, and he was just merely giving a second chance. Young-hoon joked not to waste all the sticks as he wanted to change his wife, and on cue, blithe Min-young appeared in their dinner date.

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Min-young grabbed his head and requested him to show a big heart because her production team thought that she just begged him to date her, Sun-woo agreed to their observations but she was firm with her pleading. Sun-woo did as she requested to Min-young’s happiness because she won the bet with her sunbae. Min-young still high getting the see-how-much-iloveyou request mumbled how she was heartbroken for five years but now she felt like she should be in guinness world record. Sun-woo smiled and answered a phone call from the nurse of the hospital where his mother was. She urged him to pay her a visit but he replied that it was too late, but he got a memory snap of the first time he stood her mom up on a Christmas eve so he asked Min-young to wait for him as he will do something quick.

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Sun-woo-20-year-ago has to sit with his mother on Christmas eve dinner but he got a call from a girl he likes who asked him to watch The Bodyguard, he initially declined but when she countered it with just asking another guy, he gave in and made excuse to his mother that he will be going somewhere. He met up with the girl, and present-time Sun-woo avoided breaking his mother’s heart by stopping her from going inside the theater. They chatted while waiting for the eyeglasses to be fixed. He hailed a taxi for his mother and when his mother searched her bag for her wallet, she saw a necklace gift from her youngest son, and in the present time, we see omoni wearing that necklace.

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Sun-woo went back to see Min-young and they talk about their mothers. She uttered how she had a rough relationship with her mother and how her mother changed her name as per a fortune teller’s advice. He stopped on his drinking when she blabbered how her name used to be Shi Ah. He asked her to repeat what she said and it hit him that he was talking to the daughter of his dead brother’s first love.

And then we went back to Shi Ah calling her mother’s boyfriend Jung-woo.

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Nine Times Travel Series Review

Captures credit to Hancinema.net/dramabeans/yobosayowordpress

Golden Rainbow Episodes 1-4 Drama Musings

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The only reason why I am watching “Golden Rainbow” is because of Jung Il Woo.  I adored him more than his bestfriend Lee Min Ho… must be the lazy smile, the flirty eyes and the always heartfelt character portrayal, but I pledge to catch up as much as I can to this family drama no matter how long it would take.

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Golden Rainbow opened in May Queen/Stars Falling From the Sky vibe.  I witnessed a lead heroine from riches to rags story striving to be a good sister to her fellow adopted siblings.   Jang Ha Bin was born from an affluent family whose mother, Yoon Young-hye is despised by her aristocratic grandmother, Kang Jung-shim.   When her father died, Young-hye was left no choice but to watch her baby from afar.  She grew up in an orphanage with Kim Han-joo, Chung Uk-jo and Seo Jin-ki, the latter married the sister of her deceased rich husband and was serving the devil-chairman’s company.

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Seeing the sadness as Young-hye longed for her child, Han-joo with Uk-jo kidnapped Ha-bin with Jin-ki’s help who harboured hatred towards his mother-in-law who has always treated him as an outcast.  Young-hye and Ha-bin had a short reunion but was halted when Jung-shim’s men found them.  Han-joo and Uk-jo were jailed for the attempted abduction.

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Having money problems and being always scrutinized by his chairman-mother-in-law, Jin-ki has to find a way to sway her attention to bid him time to raise funds for the money cover up.  He tasked his man to kidnap Ha-bin when she was out with Halmoni-chairman at a theme park.  Smart Ha-bin faced with danger was able to escape the safe house she was brought to and walked to where her feet could bring her away from where she was kept.

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Halmoni-chairman mustered all her power and riches to search for the missing granddaughter and when they found her clothing in the waters, they presumed she was dead.  Young-hye cursed the old woman for not taking care of her little girl and vowed to avenge her pain someday.

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Ha-bin later showed up with an older boy who has to steal some food for his sick grandmother.  Han-joo and Uk-jo who learned about the culprits who were taking their fish castigated the children, but Han-joo’s warm heart won over the helpless siblings.  He decided to adopt the boy and the girl after knowing that their grandmother passed away and Uk-jo took the liberty of naming them after money.  The boy became Kim Man-won and Ha-bin became Kim Baek-won.

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Han-joo’s kind heart later acquired new adoptees Shib-won, Yeol-won, Il-won and Young-won who were taken care by Baek-won being the eldest sister.  Life was hard and the family tried to stay afloat.  Baek-won has to sacrifice what normal teenager girls do to take care of her younger siblings.  Later on, a young lady about Baek-won’s age was added to the family after she squealed about her own father’s evildoings, who was also the same man who kidnapped young Baek-won/Ha-bin.

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Not even visiting Han-joo in the jail, Young-hye emerged again after running away from some mafia-ish men with a lot of money.  She woke up with wounded leg and was helped by Baek-won.  They later on marked all their connection and Baek-won was happy to see the woman her father loved so much, but Uk-jo felt otherwise.

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Jin-ki took in his son, Seo Do-young to Chairman’s house and has to bear the bullying of his father’s stepson just so he wouldn’t add weight to his father’s burden.  He displayed failure in his school grades but his father later found out that he was hiding his ability and following his instruction to him when he first entered the house.  Do-young developed fondness to Baek-won and has constantly been playing with Young-won who has to stay at his sister’s school before they could both go home.

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Young-hye trusted her acquired money to Jin-ki and they planned on taking down the old chairwoman whose business is in the merge of bankruptcy.  Han-joo learned about the chairman’s business illegal activity affecting the town he was settling and confronted Jin-ki about it, gbut the latter remained blinded of the power and money he has so he disregarded his brother’s plea not to take the livelihood from small people like them.

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Han-joo and Uk-joo were able to stalk and take pictures of the illegal fish trawling but Jin-ki’s men caught up with them and they all ended in the police station.  Old chairwoman who hated the man who abducted her granddaughter met again and ordered the police to imprison him but Baek-won and Man-won came to check what happened and unbeknownst to her true identity, Baek-won questioned the evil old woman spiting harsh words to her father.

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QUICK MUSINGS

So far so good for me, I like the children and the development of the characters.  Although I hate this kind of antagonism where the conflicts would evidently circle to the lead girl’s true identity, I am expecting a family drama presentation that won’t dig on vengeance but what the characters all deserve.  I am looking forward to how the romance would bloom, get intertwined and even get confusing. 

Dear Il-woo and Uee, Fighting!  Love, abby

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The shining love of Joong-won and Tae-yang

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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.

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Although there was a lengthening kick in the final stretch, “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. 

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What can I say? Hong sisters are back for a cotton candy vengeance. They have created the perfect lead man and heroine to score a romance frequently seen in kdramaland and yet watching them together would make you ask for MORE… It was really an endearing and sweet “I’m-sorry-Abby-for-making-you-watch-BIG-now-drool-at-sojisub oppa” gift by my favorite Korean scriptwriters… The romance was built slowly, surely and strongly… It brought the rich-boy-plain-girl romance in a whole new level as Tae Yang and Joong Won fully understand the extent of how much emotions they can invest to each other. So refreshingly done and yet so polished. I’m running out of adjectives.  *wink

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A once promising student, Tae Gong-shil, was called “Tae-yang” when she was studying because of her brilliant mind, but she unfortunately met an accident and woke up to a creepy ability.  She could see ghost.  For years, it caused her to live a hard life as ghost after ghost came to ask favor for their souls to be at peace.  Alcohol intoxication is also a no-no because a spirit can take over her body if she’s drunk.  She lived as if waking up in a hospital, a jail or even a tomb is normal, until she met the person who will change her life.

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A rich chaebol CEO, Joo Joong-won has only been living to make his very rich self even richer.  Having an estranged relationship with his father because of a trauma from his past, he has built a cold exterior that no one can get through… until he met her.

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In one of Tae-yang’s spirit-favor-operation, she hitched at Joong-won’s car after his driver was blinded when a lightning struck.  Not really wanting to give a ride to the weird girl in that stormy night, Joong-won was forced to oblige, when she fearfully screamed when a ghost appeared before her.  They stopped at a place to calm down the frightened Tae-yang and when a ghost tried to chase Tae-yang, she realized that when she touches Joong-won, the ghost vanished.

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Having found a way to shelter herself from the spirit attacks she so not wanted, she went to Joong-won’s mall to get a cleaning lady job.   Tae-yang’s ghost-seeing ability has put her on situations that made her interact with snob Joong-won and without him realizing it, Joong-won fell in love with her because of their casper-ish adventures.  Although Tae-yang felt the same way her woes of putting him in danger because of her ability hindered her in staying in his arms.

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A romantic comedy needs a “hook factor” to keep a loyal following.  At times the story may be incomprehensible and recycled but the lead actor is eye-candy or the acting is mediocre but the story and writing is brilliant and refreshing.  Master’s Sun doesn’t fall in any of those categories.  It has a solid chemistry from the main lead which made the quirky writing and story appeared like a classic fairy tale.

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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.  

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When I learned that So Ji Sub oppa will be in this drama, it was already a done deal for me even if it would turn out bad, so seeing him make those boyish smile, mischievous smile, flirty smile, melting smile and all the rest of the smiles and grins he made in this drama, I felt my heart-broken self curse was healed.  *chuckles  The onscreen chemistry with Gong Hyo Jin really worked out well.  Her chameleon self can really create a vibrant, lasting character that complements the love tale prince.  I gasped, blushed, giggled and cried to the love admittance push-and-pull and jedi-mindtricking by this lead couple. 

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Master’s Sun has always been consistent with its cliff-hangers and that’s why maybe kdramaland addicts have been raving and buzzing about it. It is so caffeinated like that feeling when you are in the beginning of a relationship when you don’t want a night to end and yet you want another day to begin. This has been making me act like a prisoner marking my calendar, waiting for that day that I know I will be happy. *chuckles

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All throughout the series, they have established the main conflict involving Hee-joo while inserting those other ghost cases in building up the circumstances that helped in making Joong-won and Tae-yang get closer and that sweet finale episode sealed this beautiful romance with a passionate kiss.  True there were some insertions that didn’t give the answer why it was included, but Joong-won has made me just disregard those lapses.  The supporting cast and the side love stories were also neatly included.  I am delighted that they didn’t pull a make-believe transition towards its finale.  While it went to the amnesia cliché, it didn’t make it like they were stuck somewhere. It went strong to portraying how even without his memories of her, his connection with her is somehow still intact and his reflexes were helping him to fathom what and who he was supposed to be missing.

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I am still feeling the after-warmth of Joon-won and Tae-yang’s love story.  I did get annoyed at how how she was playing hard to get in the dying episodes, but then I just realized how hard it really is to feel that you don’t deserve someone’s love. Master’s Sun is all I will remember in kdramaland this year. 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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It’s amazing how one drama can make me forget all the rest of the bad kdramas this year.  I’m still waiting for Heirs and Jun Ji Hyun’s drama, but I have placed Master’s Sun to my top pick this year (waiting for possible company) and included it to my All-time favourites. -jediprincess

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Good Doctor Episode 7&8 Recap

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GOOD DOCTOR EPISODE 7 RECAP

Si-on rushed to Eun-ok’s aid and inadvertently hurt one of the security officer in the process.  Eun-ok then fainted and she was rushed to the OR for surgery.

Do-han scolded Si-on on his presumed mistake as the affected patients during Eun-ok’s ruckus complained about the hospital’s situation.  The director saddened about what happened was left no choice but to make a decision.

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Eun-ok’s operation was successful.  The director believed Si-on was innocent but he can’t make the other people believed him too.  Another urgent meeting was summoned to officially decide on Si-on’s release, and when the doctor villains brought out the Director’s previous guarantee to leave his position, the management team disregarded it for the mean time.

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Assistant Director knew where to dig and was able to deduce that it was the Pediatric Head’s minion who last entered the isolated room.  The Director talked with Si-on and explained to him that he has to leave the hospital.  Disheartened and still not accepting why he has to leave, Si-on tried to check on Eun-ok one last time but Do-han won’t allow him to. 

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Yoon-seo rushed to see Si-on before he left the hospital but she failed catching up on him.  Eun-ok’s guardian paid a crude visit at the hospital and scared the recovering girl she has been abusing.  Yoon-seo, Head Nurse and Senior Nurse attended to her complaint of proceeding with the operation without her consent.  She insisted on taking Eun-ok out but the hospital people held their ground in refusing her request.

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The children patients who has been closed with Si-on learned about his leaving.  Patient In-hae called Si-on who was sitting at a bench.  She feigned she was hurt somewhere so he would answer her phone call.  She left the hospital and luckily found him at a robot museum as what she predicted.

When she asked him why he liked robots, he told him how robots stay still and believe in whatever he has to say that’s why he liked them.

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The Director explained to Yoon-seo how Si-on won’t understand illogical and irrational situations brought to him as he has been surviving in the world through memorizing what he was supposed to do.  He further explained how he was left by his parents when he was young and that after his brother died he has erased his memories except that of his brother’s.

Si-on was sitting lonely at his room when Yoon-seo barged in.  She told him that they will go to the library when she led him to a bar.  Drinking lesson 101 was taught to Si-on happily by Yoon-seo.   She cleared the misunderstanding of her possibly not believing him as he replied how he was okay if people don’t like him as long as he will not lie.  Yoon-seo suggested other fields in the medicine world where he can work for but Si-on remained firm in his dream of becoming a surgeon.  After drowning in soju, drunk Yoon-seo rode Si-on’s back and urged him to curse, but the latter refused doing so as he didn’t want doing it and listening to it.  Yoon-seo hit it again with the ajussi she always fought with whenever she’s drunk.  After exchanging unpleasantries, Si-on laid her down on her bed and just as he was about to leave, she sleepily called his name and mumbled how it was okay for him to cause trouble everyday so long as he won’t leave.  Si-on reached for her hair and touched it softly as he stared at her sleeping self.

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The next day Assistant Director met Pediatric chief minion and confronted him about his leaving the door open intentionally for Eun-ok to escape her room.  He denied the allegation but Assistant Director knew where to break his stance.

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Si-on prepared his luggage and was set to return to his hometown.  Meanwhile Assistant Director met with the Director and explained to him about the door incident being a technical malfunction issue and that it was not Si-on’s fault.  He proposed Si-on’s reinstatement and offered him a secret deal.

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Si-on’s mother learned about Si-on’s quitting the hospital and spoke with Yoon-seo about it.  She finally confirmed her connection with him and told her how she has been tailing him to at least become his mother from afar.  Yoon-seo explained why he can’t recognize her as Si-on’s mother made her promise to keep it a secret for the mean time.

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Si-on checked on Eun-ok through a video phone call.  He apologized for not saying goodbye properly and promised her that he will bring her in his hometown so she can play.  Eun-ok cried staring at his face on the phone showing how she missed the good doctor who has been taking care of her.

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Darcy Do-han met with his girlfriend about the robodoc that was cancelled because of financial constraints.  He argued about its value but she can only refer him to Assistant Director who does the budgeting of the hospital.  Do-han appealed to Assistant Director but the latter explained to him all those business decision run around.  He also took the opportunity to make a secret proposal to him.

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Just then, Eun-ok’s rude guardian showed up again with a police officer demanding the patient’s release.  Yoon-seo refused her request demanding her to present a legal document but the evil aunt went super sayan to her demand.  Their argument heated up, and just then Si-on cut the unpleasant patient tug of war scene by telling evil aunt that she cannot take Eun-ok.

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GOOD DOCTOR EPISODE 8 RECAP

Si-on stopped evil aunt from getting Eun-ok by pleading his case to let the patient decide who she wanted to be with.  Si-on explained to Yoon-seo that it was found out that he really didn’t left the door open so he was called back to the hospital.  Eun-ok miraculously uttered that she wanted to stay at the hospital as she happily clung on Si-on’s hand so she was able to stay at the hospital under Si-on’s care.

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Assistant Director revealed in the meeting that it was a technical problem that caused the isolated door’s room that’s why it didn’t get lock properly.  The meeting concluded reinstating Si-on to the villains’ annoyance.  Pediatric Chief followed Assistant Director bursting in anger on how SI-on escaped the predicament, but AD just shrugged his shoulder muttering how technical issues are beyond his control.

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Do-han confirmed SI-on’s coming back and it has made Yoon-seo happy like finding her long lost brother and Do-han noticed how it was the first time he saw her so happy.  Yoon-seo went to Eun-Ok’s room and asked Si-on to go meet the rest of the team.  Yoon-seo hugged him as he hiccups continuously.  Unbeknownst to Yoon-seo the hiccups are because of Si-on’s growing fondness over her.

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The team welcomed him except for Pediatric Chief’s minion.  They decided to eat out to formally welcome him in the department and when asked about what he wanted to eat.  The student drinker answered he wanted alcohol to his teacher’s Yoon-seo’s amusement.

The director contemplated on his conversation with Assistant Director about the plan to boost the Pediatric department of the hospital as well as securing Si-on’s residency training.

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Si-on narrated how he has helped Eun-ok talk by always talking to her things that a mother would normally say to her child.  Yoon-seo asked him if he remembered his mother, but he replied that he can’t remember his parents but he is sure that they must have loved him.  Yoon-seo advised Si-on’s mother that her son came back as In-hae jumped at Si-on and gave him a bear hug to welcome him back.

Worried about the recent emotions he can’t understand, he confided to In-hae his recent unexplained feelings.  In-hae asked who was the woman he was feeling it with, but Si-on wanted to keep it a secret.  Annoyed by not sharing his secret love, In-hae explained to him that what he was experiencing were symptoms of liking a girl and of course his brilliant mind is having a hard time digesting it.  Still thinking about his newly revealed capability to love, he got distracted when he heard a heavenly voice airing in the hallways.  He entered the room and saw a talented young boy belting his magical voice to his television onlookers. 

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Yoon-seo asked Do-han if he will be coming to Si-on’s welcome party but the department head has a previous commitment.  He met up with Assistant Director who as a resident proposal guy, brought out his offer to Do-han who was skeptic about his visions of strengthening the Pediatric Surgery Department.

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Yoon-seo’s group were drinking soju and headed to noraebang to continue Si-on’s come back party.  Do-han was on a pensive mood as he thought about Assistant Director’s proposal.  Do-han stared at the happy faces of Pediatric department singing drunk and joyful.  Yoon-seo caught Do-han’s presence and they engaged on a small talk outside.  Do-han hinted about a decision he will be making but of course Yoon-seo was confused on the thoughts she was hearing from him.  They bickered about Yoon-seo’s military voice as Do-han insisted on having her changed it.

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Then we see our next patient coming up… the boy with the heavenly voice who has been singing all his life.  He was practicing with his vocal teacher and stage mother when his voice caught up in pain so he was rushed to the hospital.

Fully intoxicated with liquor, Yoon-seo and Si-on got back to the latter’s apartment but Yoon-seo insisted on a third round so she asked Si-on to buy some beer.  When Si-on got back, she was already sleeping like a baby. And our little boy who has just have his first crush stared at her as he entered a dear hyung diary confession about him liking the girl sleeping on his bed.

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The next day we see Do-han scanning a list and we flashback to Assistant Director telling him last night to recommend the best of his doctors because they will be scouted for recruitment.  At the doctors’ room Yoon-seo told Si-on not to drink alcohol anymore and then sprayed some perfume on her clothes.  She asked him if it smell good but he replied that because her perfume mixed with soju, it smelled like lemon soju and it’s making him want to drink again.

Eun-ok’s treatment was halted because her bills were not settled yet.   Unfortunately her aunt’s evilness extended to her even taking the money Eun-ok was getting for her disability.

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The boy with the heavenly voice, Kyu-hyun, sought Do-han’s expertise and the mother who only worried about her son’s performance kept rushing Do-han with the treatment.  Do-han ordered the needed tests and asked his team for a meeting.  The team drew the usual diagnosis and being always a lot of steps ahead, again Si-on was able to diagnose the illness.  Pyriform Sinus Fistula.  It is a congenital malformation of branchial cleft and the surgery would make the patient lose his voice.  So the dilemma was presented to the patient’s parents and stagemom expressed rage about the treatment presented.  The parents deliberated on what’s best for their son as Do-han ordered Yoon-seo to try to convince Si-on to give up on his dream of being a surgeon.  Irritated at the line of thought she was throwing at him, Si-on blurted a litany.

“Dreams and doing something well are different.  I draw the best.  I have confidence that my drawing skills are better than performing the surgery.  You can’t grow dreams because you just want to do it.  I think about it when I am eating or when I am sleeping.  That is a dream.  The thing that makes me feel good is a dream.” 

Grumpy Si-on stood and left Yoon-seo so to appease him with the rage she saw for the first time, she offered him to take care of Kyu-hyun’s case.

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The Director ordered Assistant Director to leave the hospital within a week.  Si-on was getting on the nerves of Kyu-hyun’s mother because of his always pointing out how he sort of miss his life because of too much singing.

Kyu-hyun was sleeping soundly sitting on the hallway’s bench when Si-on passed by and when he tried to listen to his MP3, he was surprised that there was no music on the playlist. 

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While the Director was eating at the cafeteria, his secretary came up for an emergency.  Pediatric Chief was put in question about his previous use of the prohibited drug by the Food and Drugs Administration.  Just as the commotion for the investigation was happening, Kyu-hyun’s condition was worsening but his mother won’t still allow surgery.  Si-on poutily quipped how a mother like her doesn’t worry about her son who was actually standing on the hospital’s rooftop on his sad quest to end his pain.

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P.S  Thank you HanCinema for the stills.

Good Doctor Episode 1&2

Good Doctor Episode 3&4

Good Doctor Episode 5&6

Good Doctor Episode 5&6 Recap

GOOD DOCTOR EPISODE 5 RECAP

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Yoon-seo failed to prolong Min-hee’s life in the operation and has had her very first patient died on her operating table.  The grieving parents blamed Yoon-seo for the lost.  Pediatric Surgery Head threw a fit at Do-han for what happened.  Do-han later saw Shi-on sewing Min-hee’s blouse and the non-empathic surgeon again saw Shi-on’s act as foolishness and that he didn’t believe in Heaven, he again scolded Shi-on’s belief.  Toughie Yoon-seo went on with her life while she was unaware that her fellow residents were trying to shield her.  Do-han asked for a reprieve to his suspension to take care of what happened. Shi-on stayed in front of the morgue for him to accompany the little girl’s cadaver. 

No matter how he was asked politely and forced to get up for lurking in front of the morgue, he didn’t budge even if he was also scared and he explained to Yoon-seo how Min-hee might be so scared of what happened, that’s why he wanted to be with her.  Shi-on asked her if like Dr. Do-han she also doesn’t believe of heaven, and she replied that living in heaven and spending time with the love of your parents and they took that away from Min-hee.  Shi-on narrated how when he was an intern an incident like that of Min-hee’s happened, and the hospital would always reject the patient for surgery when they were in the brink of dying. 

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Shi-on:  Min-hee will be thankful to you.  They all gave up and didn’t perform the surgery.  The only person who didn’t reject the surgery was you.  The Director told me this before… Treating a patient is important, but giving an opportunity for the patient to live is also important.

Yoon-seo remained sulking and crying over why her patient didn’t arrive earlier for her to save her.  She sobbed how her heart also stopped when she heard the sound of her dying and she couldn’t do anything.  She poured on her fear of seeing Min-hee’s dying face and that she might not be able to hold a scalpel anymore because of it but Shi-on assured Yoon-seo that Min-hee is grateful for her so she should not worry… Shi-on tried to reach his hand to console her but Yoon-seo’s phone rang.  Do-han asked her to perform another surgery.  She complained on his intention to strengthen her after her failed first operation, but upon Do-han’s taunting, she agreed to do the procedure.

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After her successful second operation, Yoon-seo went to the wake of Min-hee to pay respect and overheard Min-hee’s parents talking to Do-han.  They apologized for the rash comments and asked him to extend their apology to Yoon-seo.  They admitted how they were unfair to the doctor who bravely accepted their daughter when all else rejected her for the operation.  Because of that, Yoon-seo’s heavy heart was relieved. 

Meanwhile in the hospital, evil pediatric surgery head met with assistant chairman to present the complaint he worked on the past few days.  The chairman was also meeting the hospital’s foundation head and she brought out the complaint petition raised about Shi-on.  She was worried that someone is orchestrating it that’s why it was brought directly to the foundation’s attention.

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Shi-on’s long lost mother who I was also wondering where she went was coincidentally working at the hospital’s cafeteria as well, and when she saw Shi-on she recognized the son she abandoned.  She turned her back as Min-hee’s parents approached; Shi-on took the opportunity to give Min-hee’s clothing that he sewed.

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Yoon-seo visited Shi-on at his room and she marvelled at the walled drawing of his brother, the rabbit and Min-hee.  When she asked him, if it was the heaven, he replied that it was not like that in trying to explain what he really drew, he motioned to his heart and sang cutely that “Knock, knock, knocking on Heaven’s door song. “  Yoon-seo hugged Shi-on at his cuteness, and our boy-next-door who has his own world hiccupped at her action.  She thanked him for making her realized that it was not good being a surgeon without heart.

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Later on the two sat outside to eat and Yoon-seo learned about the tragic accident that caused Shi-on’s brother’s life.  He told him that because he was scared to go inside the abandoned land mine, his brother went to accompany him.  He showed him the toy green scalpel and told her that he wants to keep his promise to become a real doctor to his brother.

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As if the night bonding time was not enough, Yoon-seo showed up at Shi-on’s dishevelled, topless fresh from bed face the next morning.  He tried to cover himself, but Yoon-seo smiled at what he was doing teasing him that she has already seen it before.  She asked him to go out that day and they went to the zoo, and our cutie genius tired Yoon-seo exploring the place in many rounds.  Yoon-seo got the insight of how Shi-on’s extensive brain stretched to even animal sickness diagnosis which will be coming in handy because the next case they will be dealing would be werewolf boy’s long lost little sister.

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 GOOD DOCTOR EPISODE 6 RECAP

So the ER was in distress and werewolf’s boy little sister has been biting and scaring the doctors that were trying to calm her.  Shi-on who deduced what might have happened with the little girl, tried to communicate with her in animal’s wavelength but his first attempt failed.  Just when he was gaining her trust though, heartless Do-han intervened and ordered his students to sedate her.

They learned of how the young girl was raised amongst the dogs her aunt was also taking care of thus she has an autistic and savage nature.  Yoon-seo put some medicine on the arm of Shi-on that was bitten and our shy boy is surely having a dose of cotton candy and romance which I am so excited to think of.  He explained to her why he needed to align his connection with her like he was communicating with an animal.  Yoon-seo told him not to say those things when the other doctors are around.

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The hospital officials were going crazy about the companies withdrawing investments on them and I’d rather not delve on it, but they were all fussing about the lost and they were all plotting to put the blame on the Director by using the current hospital’s troubles.

Little girl patient Ya-eun has been feeling some pain after her surgery so Yoon-seo and Shi-on went to check her.  What Yoon-seo can’t understand, Shi-on fully grasped as the little girl explained the sounds she can hear emanating from her body.  Shi-on translated the sounds so Yoon-seo can understand her.  As it turned out she was feeling the itch and discomfort as a result of the healing process after surgery.  Ya-eun thanked Shi-on for understanding her predicament and gave her some food stick that he can share with his girlfriend.  So who did he share the food with?  Yes, he shared it with Yoon-seo.

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Shi-on bravely asked Do-han to become werewolf’s girl attending physician to which he strongly declined but the pediatric surgery head who was furious because the Shi-on complaint he worked on was thrashed because of the on-going hospital conflicts saw an opportunity to make matters worse for Shi-on.  He ordered Do-han to let Shi-on took care of the werewolf girl, and the latter was happy about it.

When chubby senior nurse was having problems making werewolf girl to eat, Shi-on came to rescue and got a bowl of food for her.  He explained that she was accustomed in that way of eating so they have to proceed with what she was used to.  Yoon-seo saw what was happening and tried to interfere but the Director stopped her and reminded her about the talk he had before about the human-animal connection.  He narrated that he got the inspiration from Shi-on and his pet rabbit.

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Yoon-seo castigated Do-han and his harshness towards Shi-on but the drama won’t still disclose the reason for that except parading those sad Do-han moments while he grieved at the wake of a young boy.

Do-han stood up hospital-heiress who prepared a heavy and sumptuous dinner and he texted her that it was  because of an urgent surgery he has to attend to when in fact he was drowning himself of soju.

Yoon-seo who is now the resident audience for untold stories of this Korean drama listened as Do-han reminisced the memories of his younger brother who passed away.  He was also mentally challenged but received enough care from their parents.  He suggested for his parents to stop dropping him at school so he can learn his ways in the real world.  Unfortunately that advice caused his dear brother’s life when he had an episode attack and was hit by an approaching truck.

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The next morning Yoon-seo grabbed Shi-on for a quick bit as hospital-heiress learned about not having an operation at all from Do-han’s student.

The two ate at the cafeteria as Shi-on’s mother smiled while watching at her son from afar.  After eating, omoni felt a twinge of pain and collapsed, Shi-on and Yoon-seo came to her rescue.

Shi-on did a good job taking care of werewolf girl Eun-ok and the patient children also started befriending her.  Evil Chief of Pediatric surgery’s resident spy was seen spotting the children with Shi-on and Eun-ok at the isolated room.

Yoon-seo helped Omoni with the admission papers and when she got her wallet for her ID, her family picture showing Shi-on and his brother was dropped.  Smart Yoon-seo connected the dots to Omoni’s true identity.

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Meanwhile Assistant Director’s friend spoke with the latter about the current progress in the situation at the hospital and after chatting we see him entertaining another guest who turned out to be hospital heiress.  It turned out that it was her manipulation that made two investors withdrew from the hospital.  Hospital heiress Chae Kyung mentioned about Assistant Director  Kang Hyeon-tae who has been making her moves thwarted because of his keen mind in helping her step-mom.

So the doctor spy from the evil camp called Shi-on for assistance.  Shi-on made sure the door was locked before he headed to his destination.  Doctor spy left the door opened and Eun-ok eventually caused havoc in the hospital.  The guards have to subdue her and when Shi-on saw what was happening he shoved off a guard trying to get to the werewolf girl.

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EPISODE 5&6 COMMENTS

There were a lot of heartwarming notes and craziness for this week and as long as our Shi-on-ie is happy, I am happy.  What’s very amazing in this plainly conceived hospital drama is that they pay attention to the lessons you will be learning each episode.  Since this drama mostly involved human emotions, the situations raised have been so far satisfying.

I hope to see why Chae-kyung is such an unreasonable step-daughter here, because she appeared to be a nice girlfriend even if her boyfriend is robotic, her patience is undeniably CAPSLOCK BIG.  Actually the whole hospital political thing slowly injected in the story felt like a commercial for me, I don’t want to watch it but they have to be there.

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I am slowly being fond of the blossoming romance that Shi-on is now feeling but not understanding.  I am really worried on to whether the love story will even come to pass.

Thank you for drama for not dwelling on making life even harder for Shi-on.  I am excited for next week.  I hope omoni will try to make up for leaving Shi-on.

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P.S  Stills credits from hancinema. soompi, koreandrama,dramabeans.

GOOD DOCTOR EPISODE 3&4 RECAP

GOOD DOCTOR EPISODE 1&2 RECAP

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Good Doctor Episode 3&4 Recap

GOOD DOCTOR EPISODE 3 RECAP

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Not grasping the weight of the action he made, Shi-on confessed that he approached the parents about the surgery idea.  Do-han got the ire of the senior doctor handling the case, and the former has to clean up the mess Shi-on created.

The patient’s parents were disheatened about the false hope given to them.  The baby patient was returned to its original doctor team.

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Back on the other villains’ camp, they were brewing a plan to take down Do-han and his father. 

They planned on purposely letting Do-han know that no treatment was even performed.  Do-han eventually took on the bait and claimed the patient for surgery.

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A medical meeting was called as the parties involved battled the responsibilities they should have taken and not, but in the midst of deciding what punishment should be done, the infant was crashing at NICU. 

An emergency surgery was performed while the evil pediatric head gloated at the urgent situation. Just when the procedure was hitting its success, there was a perforation in the billary tract.  Shi-on contradicted Yoon-seo’s diagnosis to remove the tumors to which Do-han agreed, and the surgical team froze to a medical miracle to save the day. 

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GOOD DOCTOR EPISODE 4 RECAP

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The doctors were stuck on their next move to salvage the infant’s life while the doctors viewing outside talked about the inevitable dead end.  Shi-on again sensing the right track to take suggested draining the leaked bile and his last minute suggestion saved the day.

Now it’s time to continue the interrupted medical caucus earlier and given the weight of the surgical procedure done by Do-han, the severity of the punishment was reduced to a week suspension for him.

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Shi-on was bullied by the other residents so Yoon-seo dragged him out for a pep talk.  She told him how it is but normal to commit mistakes during the internship but his attitude would be the important factor to approach the undertakings, and of course Shi-on’s fixed thinking was only after the idea that the patient lived.

Do-han and his girlfriend hospital heiress went to a vacation so Yoon-seo led the team for the mean time.

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The villain head of pediatric stirred woes to parents of the children who were already having bad impressions on Shi-on.  It catapulted to an accident when the playing children were caught by Dr. Shi-on trying to eat snacks in secret.  One of the children mentioned the same line the ring leader form Shi-on’s childhood used to say to him and it brought out memories that shook him and caused the nearby glassy objects to fall on the floor wounding the kids.

An emergency case came in and against the approval of the Pediatric head, stubborn Yoon-seo called the shots to carry on with the surgery when the patient has a very slim chance of surviving.  Do-han who can’t focus on his getaway with his girlfriend, rushed back to the hospital upon hearing Yoon-seo’s tough call.  Yoon-seo struggled to sustain the patient’s life but the patient flat-lined.

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GOOD DOCTOR EPISODE 3 AND 4 COMMENTS

Episode 3 and 4 delineated the line between the good and the bad doctors.  It was also establishing the underdog self of Shi-on which I will be taking in for these episodes, I don’t want this to become a permanent thing or a seesaw kind of thing.  If they will make him rise to the occasion, I hope not to the expense of always making him suffer first.  I love the complex relationship between Shi-on and Do-han and I hated the bullying scenes threw at Shi-on.  It’s unimaginable in the medical field I guess.  I fully comprehend the intention but it just doesn’t make sense.

I don’t know when I will start liking Moon Chae Won here but at times when she is not acting over the top, the rest of her acting is bland for me that I can’t feel for her character.

I hope for a lighter tone next week, I can only take a little of bullying.  I also look forward to the unravelling of the quasi-villains of the story and to how they will be leading to the romantic side of this drama.

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GOOD DOCTOR EPISODE 1 & 2 RECAP

Good Doctor Episode 1&2 Recap

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This is it!  This will be the break I badly need from the sad summer kdramaland this year.  Joo Won-ie is really coming strong in this drama, I just hope that her lead girl would do her part as she seems to be in extension from her previous role in Innocent Man so far.  I worry on how they are going to create the love line, not that Shi-on’s character is not likeable it’s just unrealistic if it will lead to a full pledge love… maybe just maybe they will have him undergo a neuro operation that will touch a vein somewhere and will make her normal and not autistic anymore… I worry about these things when it’s just the pilot week… that’s how much I miss talking about Korean dramas.

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 I have tried and failed so many times to do the recapping in episodes, so I am hoping this time will do the trick.  So let’s get on board and cheer for our newest favorite doctor.

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GOOD DOCTOR EPISODE 1 RECAP

So we opened at the sight of Joo Won already suiting up to his autistic savant persona. He will be playing Park Shi On. On his way for an appointment, he was calculating the directions given to him but got distracted with a 3D tv showing in the subway.

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His autism has caused him a hard life with his brother and his mother as a little boy. So that Si-on can join the local kids when they are playing, his brother agreed to get a train bearing as ordered by the neighborhood’s local children’s ring leader, but the ground erupted and just like the rabbit his father threw out of anger at him, his brother also died trying to make him a happy normal kid.

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Young Shi-on frequently visited a volunteer doctor and the doctor discovered the genius in him. With eidetic memory, he has mastered human anatomy at the age of 7 but his social and communication skills need to be worked on.

So the doctor who saw Si-on’s exceptional ability mentored him to become a medical practitioner and he stood in front of the director and doctors’ panel to present the skills of Si-on so that he can take a job post in the prestigious hospital but because of his mental issues the proposal was rejected.

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Meanwhile as Shi-on explored the wonderland thru 3D television, a young boy accidentally got caught in an accident when a suspended glass panel fell on him. Shi-on’s medical skills responded to the urgent situation and was able to administer a perfect first aid procedure. He rode on the ambulance who headed to the hospital where he was supposed to be going to and when he realized that another after trauma condition was happening to the little boy, his instinct forcedly made him try to deliver the message to the surgeon who later realized that the crazy man’s warning was essential to the operation and has made him save the young boy.

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After the autistic doctor’s evaluation, the panel got caught in the lobby when press people showed up to the hospital looking for the doctor who miraculously saved a little boy and was already going viral on the internet. The autistic doctor they first denied was eating with the hospital’s director and was given another serving to prove his efficiency as a surgeon with the director of the hospital guaranteeing his resignation from his position if the doctor prodigy will mess up in his probation. When asked why he wanted to be a pediatric doctor, Shi-on replied it was because of his rabbit and his brother who died young… he wanted to treat children so that they they can grow up to become adults.

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Shi-on was introduced to his fellow residents in training who were supervised by Professor Kim Do Han. The latter argued with his the Director about his decision to acquire the savant doctor in testing his ability and the possibility of him to function as a doctor but his mentor begged him to take care of him. They engaged in a pep talk but Shi-on’s eyes kept looking at the complex rubix cube on Prof. Kim’s table. Shi-on mumbled how he diagnosed the young boy’s condition to Prof. Kim’s annoyance and god-this-guy-is-really-amazing admittance. Their civil conversation was interrupted for a quick consult by one of the student resident, and Shi-on seized the opportunity to solve the cube.

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I almost forgot about Moon Chae Won, she played Dr. Cha Yoon-seo, a second year resident in the pediatric section. She was stubborn and got the ire of his superior because she was sort of Izzy Stevens with her temperament.  She’s that doctor who gets entangled with her emotions thus it clouds her judgment to what she is supposed to do as a doctor because she takes care of what her patient would feel and would be more comfortable with. She got scolded by Dr. Do-han… okay for the sake of easy talking I will just call the doctors by their first names. She went to a bar, which made me think of Grey’s already, are doctors really hanging out at bars?  I should try going there sometimes.

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Shi-on sat in front of his birthday cup cake and remembered that moment when he celebrated his birthday with his brother. He gave him his birthday gift and it was a doctor kit. His loving brother told him that he will become a doctor because he was very smart. His reverie was cut suddenly when drunk Yoon-seo muttered her hatred over Do-han started stripping her clothes and hit the sack. Shi-on watched the weird looking girl in amusement and wondering. Yoon-seo woke up and screamed at the top less man she saw brushing his teeth in front of her.

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GOOD DOCTOR EPISODE 2 RECAP

Yoon-seo woke up bewildered at the sight of Shi-on’s bare top self and threw everything her hands were able to grab at clueless Shi-on. On cue, the remote control of the tv set start up to broadcast an escaped rapist and scared Yoon-seo even more. Shi-on who was focused on prettyfying and cleaning his teeth muttered that it was his room when she demanded him not to come near her. Yoon-seo asked the unit number and was embarrassed to realize she slept on the wrong house. She ordered him to turn his head around, and cute Shi-on moved his head like he was exercising. Yoon-seo shouted at him by not getting that she meant for him to turn his back so she can put on her clothes on. Shi-on turned his back and she hurriedly clothed herself and stormed out of his unit.

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They met again while heading out to work and Yoon-seo apologized for the incident which Shi-on really doesn’t care about. She explained that she used to live in his unit and she learned that he’s the new resident. She continued babbling about the incident but Shi-on was busy doing his monologue on the direction to go to the hospital. Not realizing his fixation to his own world, Yoon-seo thought he was being impolite at her. When they got to the hospital, she learned about his case with the fellow residents.

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Do-han stepped inside the department’s room to get his students in the morning rounds. Yoon-seo bickered at Shi-on’s not taking down notes and not meaning to impress, he told them that he has memorized it. When the team stepped out of a patient’s room, Si-on saw the butterfly drawings and praised the little boy patient for his artistry. His keen eyes then noticed the limpness of his body and the bile vomited by kid who had just a surgery for liver cirrhosis 3 days ago. The team turned their back to the patient’s room, and Dr. Kim scolded Si-on after mumbling relentlessly the danger the boy is having. Unfortunately the surgeon who operated on him was out golfing with his friends.

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The team assembled for Eun-ji’s surgery who was the cause of Yoon-seo and Do-han’s fight yesterday. Uneasy about leaving the boy he discovered to be in danger, Shi-on left the OR and called the Director.

The nurse team finally reached the doctor and he insisted to wait for him after 2 hours, but knowing the urgency of the situation, Shi-on kidnapped the patient with the help of the mischievous Senior Nurse and forcedly book an OR beside where Do-han and the rest of the team were performing a surgery.

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To resolve the dilemma brought about by Shi-on’s sage ability, Do-han operated on the 2 children simultaneously, just as Shi-on’s patient was cleared from the operation blood swelled in his body, and through his mumbling he directed Do-han to deduce what was done wrongly in the previous surgery. Do-han salvaged both children and hit Shi-on who smiled after being hit. He cut down his working hours as punishment and because he really don’t know what to do about him, and Yoon-seo tried to step up for Shi-on to no avail as Do-han has a closed mind to the feasibility of his autism being treated.

Yoon-seo learning Shi-on’s routinary dinner decided to cook for them while assistant director met with the careless doctor and his brother in law who was a high ranking person in the hospital. They tried to appeal the Department Chief’s carelessness and usage of banned medicine to treat the patient.

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While walking Yoon-seo jokingly babbled that Shi-on could really be perverted because he didn’t wake her up when she was sleeping last night. She teased that it can’t be helped considering her god-give body. Shi-on replied cutely who was the god who gave it, and told her that he was not looking at her body but at her pretty face being shone on by the moonlight. Yoon-seo smiled at the cheesy line which was of course unintentional on Shi-on’s part and muttered that he could definitely survive in the world. They reached home and started preparing their meal. While she cleaned up the messy table, Yoon-seo accidentally throw the green scalpel which was so important to Shi-on and when they found it inside the garbage bin, annoyed by disregarding it Shi-on threw her out of the place.

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The next day Assistant Director appealed to the Director to cover up on the malpractice done by the Pediatric Chief department to maintain peace in the hospital because it could be an act of retaliation when he was initially taunted of his prodigy doctor proposal. Do-han learned of the meeting cancellation and threw a fit at the director. He went to the department’s room to spit his anger at Shi-on but held himself up for the sake of his promise to the director. Just then evil doctor from vile doctor’s camp marched in the room furious about his patient being transferred to Do-han’s team.

Not sure about the instant outburst, Yoon-seo tried to reason out that the matter was already a closed case but doctor evil remained angered to everyone’s confusion.

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GOOD DOCTOR EPISODE 1 & 2 RAMBLINGS

When I saw Joo Won embraced his persona right away in the opening scenes, I really felt good about it.  That was something he wasn’t able to showcase in his recent detective drama stint.  He really is that kind of actor who would take the extra mile in suiting up for the role he will be playing.

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The pilot week was strongly presented hitting the premise and the background story all at the same time so I think and I hope we won’t have problems with the pacing.  It will be more of what medical cases they will be bringing in the show.  Thank God I was House and grey’s anatomy educated I won’t have a hard time to grasp what will be happening.

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And yes, it’s not that I don’t like Moon Chae Won, but I don’t see her growing as an actress in her dramas.  I really thought the persona she played kicked off from her stubborn pretending to be strong heiress persona from Innocent Man, but i will be hopeful that I would be able to see a dimension of her this time.

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I won’t rave that much, in case the writer suddenly suffer some heart problems and make the drama move 360,but Episode 1 and 2 was neatly sketched and presented the main lead profoundly.  It has also established the rest of the characters and how they will be circling around the main role.   I am expecting medical scenarios that will be sanely conceived alongside the would be running permanent conflict difficulty to make Shi-on’s character jell with it deft and quaintly.

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FAVORITE SCENES:  That scene when Si-on was asked why he wanted to become a doctor and he replied that it was because of his rabbit and his brother.  he said he wanted to help children grow up  as an adult.

That scene when Si-on’s brother gave him the doctor kit birthday present.  I really dig bromance.. sometimes even more than man-woman romance.  *giggles

That scene when Si-on muttered that he was looking at her pretty face under the moonlight.

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 P.S Thank you hancinema.net, soompi and dramabeans for the images.

GOOD DOCTOR EPISODE 3 & 4 RECAP

The Sweet Music and Young Love of “Monstar”

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I was really adamant to see Monstar at first, I thought it would be another youth drama with characters having parental issues, but when I saw it was only 12 episodes I gave it a chance because its coinciding airing summer productions were all disappointingly flat and unmoving. It was like a sad summer kdrama ensembles special that I have caught up with all the variety shows.  

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Then came this delightful school drama with vivacious musical insertions, I found myself swooning and giggling at how the equally gorgeous and talented high school boys score points to win the heart of a bright-eyed guitar girl whose social skills was nurtured by growing up with talking to a sheep.  Albeit my short lived baffled look when I can’t find the meaning of “Monstar” in the search engines, I really enjoyed hanging out with these teens.

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Monstar is that sweet summer walk you had with your crush when you were young and the unadulterated fleeting kiss you shared with your first love. It’s an endearing youth drama that was neatly planned that even with its predictable plot, the story as a whole flowed in cheerfulness, vibrant characters, friendship and blush-inducing romantic interludes.

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Yoon Seol Chan was a famous band vocalist with incredible musicality but poor social skills.  His temperament was sporadic and most of the time unreasonable that the talent agency housing him was struggling to clear each trouble he might catch which is basically most of the time.  In one of his filming schedule he first met the girl who would change his ways without him realizing it after.

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Min Se Yi was a transfer student who was lost wandering the school which was currently busy because of an on-going video shoot.  While exploring her new school with her cellphone, she entered the space where Seol-chan was exchanging words with his lead actress in the video production they were working with.  The teen actress confiscated Se-yi’s camera when she thought she was a student paparazzi and returned it to Seol-chan who realized Se-yi was really not intending to eavesdrop on them in their awkward kiss position but was really taking a picture of a lip poster.

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Their second encounter happened fast and indirectly when Seol-chan thought Se-yi was hit by their van when they were trying to evade the swarming of Seol-chan’s screaming fan girls, but it was a fluke and he ended up being kissed by a desperate follower whom received a face slap instead of a kiss back from him. 

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Because of the fan-slap situation Seol-chan’s talent agency was left no choice but to send him to school to purify his image.  From there he became seat-mate with Se-yi who was also rejected by the silent-girl-bully Na-na. 

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Class president Jung Sun-woo was tasked by the home room teacher to take care of the new student and idol student who came in late to school.  Little by little an old feeling that he had from his childhood crush resurfaced as he gets closer with the little girl who was Se-yi all grown up.

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The homeroom teacher who was also Se-yi’s aunt was being pressured by the school principal to convince the mini orchestra club whose members were from the elite family to perform in a charity event, but “AllForOne” don’t want to engage in that activity.  The teacher saw a glimpse of hope when she heard Se-yi and Sun-woo’s duet for their practical exam and when an incident involving vandalism in Gyeongbuk palace happened, a forced band was formed as they were made to believe that they will be in dire position if they won’t form a band and practice a production for the charity event. 

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A friendship circle emerged as the music bond them all together.  As Seol-chan’s anger management accidental program was giving positive effects on him, he has also realized that he was falling in love with Se-yi who was also eyed by Sun-woo who has kept her in his heart for years… and thus the young love sweet love triangle emerged.

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When “AllForOne” realized the charity performance was not a bad gig after all, they expressed intention of their participation to the school vice principal and because Color Bar (Se-yi and Seol-chan’s group) was already putting their might on it, a contest was launched to determine who will be the performers.  Sun-woo also left AllForOne to join the underdog students’ band.

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It was a fiery exchange of musical talent but “AllForOne” emerged victorious but Color Bar trended so much in the World Wide Web and Se-yi and Seol-chan finally mutually acknowledged their love connection by sealing it with a kiss. 

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Nearing to the story’s culmination the lead girl discovered a trauma from her past that almost didn’t make them appear to their second battle with AllForOne, but her Idol Prince Charming rose to the occasion and used his own wound to strengthen his girl who sheltered herself all her life by fronting her optimistic, free-spirited outlook.

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Monstar is a drama case where an extension was needed, and with or without an extension, it would not make it less beautiful.  I rarely pick youth themed series because I don’t like it when the immature characters are moving in an immature plot.  So I thought I hit jackpot by sitting prettily as the characters charmed me with how they move in the story.  No hassles, no pout moments, just smoothly moving tale of the typical faces of youth as they battle whatever life throws at them.

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The love lines strengthened and gave zest to this drama, while the splendid music made it so addictive, it was the main love couple, the strong love triangle taunts and the prototype love square I-love-a-boy-who-love-a-girl-who-love-another-boy context that made Monstar not just your boring and recycled youth drama spectacle.

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There were no wasted sub-stories and the plot was always steady focusing on one simple conflict after another while maintaining the sweet sizzling brewing of the blossoming romance between the young love couple.  The 3 way one sided love story between Se-yi and Sun-woo and Sun-woo and Nana produced most of the love lessons I learned or shall I say I once learned but now forgotten.  That brave Se-yi’s rejection of Sun-woo after giving him a sweet I’m-sorry-I-can’t-love-you-back date was piercing but it was one of my favorite moments because the lead girl was decisive but knew the extent of what she can do to cushion the pain she will be inducing.  Nana on the other hand spoke a lot of quotable lines all throughout while her tough composure made her bear the pain of seeing someone she loves love another girl who loves another man.  I like the girls in this drama, they swerved from the typical lead girl drama face to bring about girls who cried for a reason.

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Since the cast were mostly rookie actors, I liked that the director didn’t force the issue to present real-acting required scenarios.  The production sketched mediocrely with how the story grew, and portrayed the people simply and sincerely.   They played it safe, but they play it safe refreshingly and gorgeously. 

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I was also crushing on Se-yi, there’s something about her face that’s really engaging, and her pureness and her bracing naivety will trigger a lot of kdrama lead girl for her I think.  Her lead boys gave candid and staunch performance and yes it may not be a seasoned acting but they did make me blush anyway.  I love those boys. Period. CAPSLOCK.

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4 months more and my yearly favorites bucket is now half-filled, thanks to this engrossing tale of all of us when we were eighteen.  Sassy and sweet, this will be 2013’s youth drama to beat for me. -jediprincess

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When A Man Loves and the Woman doesn’t *chuckles

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CAST

Han Tae Sang – abandoned by his mother when he was 17, his bright future was shattered and was taken in by a gangster group.  He was later in constraint with the leader of the mafia group he was in and survived the leader’s attempt to kill him.  He founded a company and has made himself rich after 7 years and then fell in love with a woman younger than him who shared a memory from his dark past.

Seo  Mi Do – barely hanging from her family’s financial hardship, she bravely stood up for her father after the latter was being forced by the loan sharks to give what he owed.  He offered her body to the leader (daddy-long-legs-Tae-sang) but he refused her offer.  She was later helped by daddy-long-legs for her tuition to finish her studies, and they met again and she was offered to marry him,  but just as she was beginning to like him, the man of her dreams came in her life, and her confused self was torn on who she has to be with.

Baek Sung Joo – pilates girl who loved Tae-sang to infinity and beyond.  Her one-sided-love is already written in Guinness world records.  Her selfish love caused problems and also solutions for the main lead and when not pushing herself to be in Tae-sang’s arms, you would see her exercising.

Lee Jae Hee – When his brother was imprisoned after defending Tae-sang who was badly wounded by the thug leader, Tae-sang took the role as his bestfriend’s brother’s benefactor.  He sent him to study abroad and he later worked in the company.  Upon knowing that he cannot love the girl he likes, he tried hard to avoid it but he sunk deeper and later betrayed his brother-benefactor.

Lee Chang Hee – the man torn between his brother and bestfriend.  He could be given the bromance cookie for his unfailing sacrifice, loyalty and love towards his brothers.

Gu Yong Gap – sporty dirty old man who harboured one-sided love with Sung-joo and was always the witness to all the killings in the drama.  He has been the source of evil in the story but not that hateful to curse on.

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We have at some point in falling in love, have thought and wished we have loved differently or love a different person.  “When a Man Loves” sweetly and painfully depicted all kinds of love known to the universe.  They have a 3-way obsessive love, one-sided love, love that took time, secret love, brotherly love, filial love, love that got away, gangster love, confused love, and selfish love.  It was like the evolution of love in documentary but yes with characters and plot.

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Successfully incorporating Daddy-long-legs, Helen of Troy and The Godfather in a romantic blend with angsty spice, I raised my hand in the auction and shouted SOLD!

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Han Tae-sang  was taken in  by a gangster brotherhood after his mother left for another man with his brother when he was 17 years old.  His father committed suicide because of the unfortunate event.  His anguished past has made him a cold person through the years.  They visited a bookstore owner for the debt he owed and gave an ultimatum to pay it or else he and his family will be in trouble.  The bookstore owner’s daughter Seo Do Mi rose up to the occasion and pleaded for another chance to set up the payment.  She was late on the suggested meeting and didn’t bring any money either, instead she offered himself to Tae-sang.  Tae-sang seeing his past self on Mi-do decided to give allowance to her family’s debt. 

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In the gangster’s lair the head gangster was picking on Tae-sang because of jealousy and his smart brain, he ordered a plot to kill him, but Tae-sang defeated the assassins and marched to seek his boss’ attendance. Mi-do was dragged to where the mafia brothers reunion was and the ceo gangster chased the uninvited guests.  He stabbed Tae-sangs back as he covered his body on Mi-do’s and pushed his might to set the girl free from that dungeon.  Tae-sang’s bff Chang-hee arrived at the location and accidentally killed their leader.  Gu Yong Gap who met with the leader to borrow money calmingly watched the bloody entanglement like it was a movie.

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Tae-sang survived the fatal attack and requested Chang-hee to give the bank book to Mi-do.  Chang-hee knowing he would soon be caught by the police asked Tae-sang to take care of his brother, and soon enough he was imprisoned.

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After 7 years, Tae-sang successfully established his company and was making waves in the Korean economy.  He also sent Chang-hee’s brother Jae-hee to study abroad.  Meanwhile Mi-do was struggling to get a regular job and has been working part-time.  Tae-sang and Mi-do’s paths crossed again when Mi-do after humiliating a rich girl from a party was visited by her and her minions in the restaurant she was working.  Tae-sang who has been sending her money every month for her studies rescued her again and dragged her outside.

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After learning her father was hospitalized he paid the medical expenses, took care of the book store, offered Mi-do a job and also his heart.  The nice things Tae-sang has done for her made her start to like him, but then the man of her dreams came to confuse her young heart.  Faced with Jack Dawson and Daddy-long-legs, Mi-do took the road less travelled and succumbed to her emotions with Jae-hee who at first tried to hide his feelings for Mi-do to honor the man who helped him and his brother.  But blinded by love and the false hints given by desperate Sung-joo who doesn’t know anything but love Tae-sang selfishly, Jae-hee disregarded his connection with Tae-sang to claim Mi-do’s heart.

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Mi-do and her incomprehensible love definitions along with her inability to see the goodness of the man who has been there helping her, broke his heart and when she realized too late what she lost it was already the last 5 minutes of the last episode.

There were no plot craziness but plenty of love bewilderment in this series, and that’s why maybe I liked it.  It was not complicated to understand and the characters were fun, annoying and interestingly good to watch. 

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Han Tae-sang with his cold exterior and warm heart won me over that when he was being fooled by Mi-do and Jae-hee, I was really wanting to enter the tv screen so that I will be the one to love him.  I mean can we give a healthy and bright eyed girl for Song Seung-hun oppa next time for his drama?  Those moments with the mother who abandoned him and yet who has made him realize the current love problem he has was heartbreaking and said a lot about human emotions.

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Seo Mi-do who was given a chance to pick between Jack Dawson and Daddy-long-legs earned the ire of the viewers of the drama, but his inexperience of the complications of love was well portrayed.  When you’re young and in love you tend to overlook what will be in store for you in the future because you are focused to the emotions you have at the moment.  We love differently as we age and as we grew from all those broken relationships.

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I sympathize with Jae-he and his right love at the wrong time moment with Mi-do but no matter how his love was meant to be with Mi-do, it has a hint of selfishness on his part that’s why I was never rooting for them.

Sung-joo and his pilates moments were amusing to watch along with her obsessive love that spun all the conflicts in the story.  Her very late redemption I say didn’t make up for the half-baked character she portrayed in the story.  The only thing I looked forward in her character was her endless bickering with that dirty old man and yes her stretching routines that were so frequent in the dying episodes of the series.

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Chang-hee’s character was the most loving person in the drama, when his brother and bestfriend fought for the same girl, he tried to kill the girl.  I was like, cool!  That was the best move I’ve seen so far in kdramaland in settling dispute on love triangle… kill the girl so we all live happily ever after.

There were a lot of quirky moments in this drama, with all those uglies, I still love how it threaded to reach the culmination, hell I even liked the craziness.  I was drawn in the series because the characters and their love problems were immersing, retrospecting and engaging. 

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Among the spring dramas with romance in their theme, When A Man Loves will be the most stimulating for me because it got my heart and my mind both involved in analyzing the main characters trapped in the web of love impossibilities, pain and bliss. 

Sad and Sweet, Tae-sang and Mi-do will remind you of what you did because of love and what you did because you cannot love someone back.

-jediprincess

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variety land, spring dramas and birthday-girl abby

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Someone asked me if I do watch Korean variety shows too… I have only seen 4, so I am pretty much new and I’m intending to catch up because I laugh a lot when I’m watching those humor-filled shows.  I used to pay live comedy shows but really a eureka moment for me when I discovered the fun in variety land.

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I like 1 night 2 days because I am more drawn to humor in unscripted narration setting and I like that they go to nice nature trips.  I am chasing Running Man these days, I also like it but not reaching yet my fondness towards Dad, Where are We Going? which is really a delightful program to watch.  Barefoot Friends is a newbie, and so far they have some good episodes but battling consistency is really evident.

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I am done with Spring Dramas, and I am also surprised that among Jang Ok Jung, Gu Family Book, Mandate of Heaven, Nine Times Travel and When A Man Loves A Woman, the last I mentioned was my best pick.  I liked Ok Jung and Nine but the bertie botts every kind of love drama was really a comfortable watch for me.  

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I have included God of Workplace along with Yawang, Iris 2, and Incarnation of Money for my scheduled November kdrama bucket moment and I am really hoping I get to finish some of them before my dead line.  I dropped All About Romance, Ad Genius and The Virus for my 2013 drama watch list for good, and yes no regrets.  I am half-way through Horse Healer, Cruel Palace and 100 years of Inheritance… loong series is really a feat to conquer.

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I was hit by omg-I-will-become-30 as soon as July hit the calendar, and what I did to cheer me up was to listen to my favorite classical music pieces whenever emotional strain hit me, very traditional, and yes, it worked.  There are a lot to ponder whenever someone’s birthday approaches and a lot more when he will finally say goodbye to sweet 20’s.  And I really felt that, HARD and LINGERING.  Anyway, I am all good now, looking forward to my birthday vacation with my work buddies, munching summer dramas, and pushing hard to follow my reading assignments.  ^_^

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The Freeing of the Fugitive of Joseon

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Since they labeled it a thriller, I was wondering if the flu meds I was taking didn’t allow me to feel the gripping sensation they promised. A conspiracy laden historical tale where most victories were won over by an alliance of old villains and an evil Queen but ended at the truth that finally set the hero free note. It managed to live up to its title as the fugitive hero really was in search of justice in the duration of the series.

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While they paraded interesting characters and showcased the adorable and sometimes disheartening love line of a doctor father who would do anything for his sickly daughter, most of the time I really folded my arms and sighed out of exasperation to how they thread in proving the hero’s innocence of the crime he didn’t commit. Ghost and Gaksital I guess spoiled me that much.

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The effective vile Dowager-Queen-Sauron has her A-game unleashed to damage the consistently weak Crown Prince who if not for the last minute realization to put on his thinking cap would have really made me blame him on his out-of-joseon way of thinking. Is it really a constant to have an indecisive member of the royalty family in every sageuk drama? 

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Derived from the reign of King Jungjong, the sickly Crown Prince was the target of assassination of the Secret Peony order that was backing up the ambitious reigning Queen who secretly coveted the Crown Prince’ position. They set to poison the Crown Prince but his physician, Min Ju-bu who was forced to take orders from the Head of the Royal Physician whilst inducing poison was counter-acting it with antidotes so as not to harm His Highness. The fatal blow was supposed to be taken by the Prince but Doctor Min countered the venom thus the Crown Prince survived the next morning.

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However, the old fiends intercepted a letter from Doctor Min to his bestfriend Choe Won, also a doctor but was hiding his medical aptitude to remain in the steady hierarchy of doctors because he has to tend his daughter who was suffering from tuberculosis. The letter supposedly asked Doctor Won to meet him at the restricted section of the library but he was sent to another location. Prior to his meeting Won has been having encounters to Female Physician Hong Da-in, and when he found out her tending of a sick palace maid and her knowing he stole a banned book in the library they were glued to an I-got-your-back understanding.

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Doctor Min didn’t show up and was found dead the next day with Won’s medical knife stabbed on his neck. Won who learned of the news rushed to the scene of the crime and saw his friend’s corpse and a chinese character “turtle” written on the floor, but he was seized by Red Demon and the Royal Investigation Troop for questioning. A broken trinket he has been carrying was also found in the crime scene along with its other half which was dropped by Da-in who as it turned out was looking for the doctor who has saved her life when she was young.

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Da-in tried to reason out with Red Demon but the witness minister gave a false testimony of her romantic involvement with Won thus her claims won’t be accepted in the investigation. Won’s father also died as ordered by the villains in trying to secure a document to clear his name but was able to hold on to a portion of the paper showing a red peony in his dying moments and it was later found by Won’s daughter Rang.

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Won took the opportunity when a prison break was launched by a bandit group whose leader was imprisoned in the same cell as his. Red Demon and his men chased him in one episode, all day, all night… in the city walls, in the forest, in the rice fields, until Won jumped from a cliff and was successful in warding them off.  He sought the help of his other friend and analyzed his instant fugitive status as his sister and daughter became slaves in the Royal Investigation Bureau.

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Won took refuge at the bandit’s lair and later rescued her daughter who was taken by Minister Kim as an ace card to make Won kill Deok-pal, who was a witness to all of Secret Peony Order’s wicked plans. When the witness died, the hope of clearing his name seemed opaque but he figured out that the “turtle” clue might not be the hunchback Deok-pal but his secret place with his bestfriend.  He went to the turtle rock and found a box where Min JuBu’s confession letter and the medical prescriptions were hidden. He gave it to Red Demon, who has now realized with his keen mind what power plays have been happening in the palace and was focused to bring out the truth about the connivance to frame innocent Won.

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Won who was in good terms with the Crown Prince fell into a misunderstanding when the latter saw the peony flower at Rang’s pouch thinking that Won sided with the Queen, but he deviced a plan to settle his supposed crime by having Red Demon posed as him as decoy while Won set to meet the King on his hot spring trip to bring the Confession letter that will pin down the Queen’s minister minions. But the Queen won’t budge and presented the King with a book that listed the names of a reformist group who was in contact with the Crown Prince. She stood firm in her belief that it was the Crown Prince who wished her harm thinking that there will be no evidence that will point her as the leader of the villains. However Won and Red Demon already secured the proof of the Queen’s connection which made the King order the Queen’s demotion and Won’s freedom.

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The Queen ranted to the Prince her unreasonable and really irritating ideas and just as she was scolding him, the King emerged and gave the ultimatum, but the Queen responded hurtful and disrespectful litany to the King that made him fainted and finally died. The Queen got hold of Won’s freedom order and burned it as she made an agreement with the weakling Prince to kill Won, release her men and his men so that they can all live.

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The almost freedom was still swinging in mid air as the good and the bad camps tried to hit the final surge. Da-in’s adopted father’s right hand, Doo-mun, was luckily alive and sided with Won and his friends to stop the Queen and her minions. Doo-mun revealed a secret room in Minister Jang’s house where they might probably be brainstorming on their final attack to the prince who will become the King in two days. They gate-crashed the meeting and had the evil Queen caught raising a sword to the Prince whom they thought came alone in their tea party. But the Crown Prince people surprised them and again reversed the situation.

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I don’t know what wall of non-sense the Crown Prince has really but he just demoted the crooked oldies and didn’t even do anything on the Queen who has been trying to kill him when he finally ascended the throne. The moment the clouds were cleared, the Queen got ready again in poisoning the King and this time it was lead poisoning thru scented candles. But of course, Won was there to save the day and they figured out of the Queen’s last fatal strike. Then the bandits, the yangbans and the palace were freed from constraints and entanglements in this really loong fugitive chase.

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Ironically, this was a case where the characters were quick to uptake but the plot was moving snail-paced. The characters were all on board to find/free the escaped prisoner but they were always losing the evidences and the Queen can overturn the evidence to her advantage.  I liked that Won was smart in this drama but it was really a tiring Herculean task to absolve him of the crimes he didn’t commit.

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The love sprinkles in the series thankfully were not forced and were always cute and were not hindering the let’s-help-doctor-prove-his-innocence storyline.

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Although this is not a strong performance by Lee Dong Wook oppa, it was still hours of watching worthwhile for me. And yes, I’m playing favorite.  Well to be fair at least the writers have all figured out what to do with the opening and if the ending will fit perfectly unlike the makers of… that drama I know which ended in reincarnation twist. *wink Imagine if they did it on this drama?  A steady flowing drama deserved a real ending, because no matter what happened, the closure will leave the last impression.   On this note, I hope oppa would be back to chaebol prince role on his next drama. *grins

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Interestingly while I felt the story moved slowly, the sole main conflict of uncovering the truth about the Crown Prince assassination plot framed to an innocent man has made me not lose my focus on watching it. Just like that one problem, although supporting problems arose, it was just that one big problem they were trying to resolve. So for me it was a breather, it was like listening to a courtroom battle where the defendant and the prosecutor laid down their evidences and it will be up to me to judge accordingly.  No twist and turns, no confusions rolled just clean narration of this sageuk tale.

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I mentioned how the baddies have mostly the upper hand scenes, and if not for Won’s functioning brain, they will really be swallowed whole by the Queen, who I really hated the character. That’s why I have issues with the Prince, who I also disliked because he was really that sageuk character you don’t want to have because of his stupid filial piety. The queen has been trying to kill you in capslock, but you remained stoic.  *pfffttt

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I have minor complaints mainly on the characters drawn in this series but the story regardless of the unnecessary lengthening was nicely moving for me albeit all the eye-rolling I did while stalking on it due to circumstances that really tested the endurance of the protagonist.  And because it was needed to strengthen the characters and make the plot thick, I can only comply.  Not ending at a confused state in each episode was good enough for me as I never put such high hopes on it.

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Certainly not extravagantly made or quaintly conceived, but it was a fair showing all throughout. -jediprincess

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Jang OK Jung: The girl who lived for Love

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Tapping the hopeless romantic me, I felt so many emotions watching this sweet, melancholic love series.

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Love can only be realized if you love someone back.  A romance that blossomed from fate disguised as accidental meetings, this cliché but nonetheless piercingly sweet rich-boy-poor-girl-you-and-me-against-the-world-the-King-who-loved-Me love tale can swept away any person who has loved, was not loved and is waiting to be loved.

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When they promised a different approach to the story of Joseon’s femme fatale, I was curious as to what they were trying to arrive at. You see it’s hard to sway someone’s preconception of an existing character that has been hailed as a she-Sauron on TV and film adaptations, but it managed to satisfy my curiosity plus it gave me days of happiness staring at my now favorite flower boy Yoo Ah In.

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Most of its episode I really enjoyed though at some point there were lapses leading to its culmination as the production team struggled as confused bakers who were momentarily baffled on how to put the icing on the cake. Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love was strongest on its love arc especially on those moments when the romance was on its way to be realized, and although the eventual ugly side of love shattered slightly this Cinderella-like tale, I stayed loyal because of the King’s unfailing loved to his concubine.

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Presenting an antiquated famous Joseon romantic tale by garnishing with hints of modern vibes without sacrificing the elegance of the grandeur of the era it was derived, my hopeless romantic self added a list on my bucket to experience dating… Joseon-era style. *wink

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Our modern era has simplified pressing heart-fluttering scenes in dramas and movies.   Kisses, declaration of i-love-yous and some more kisses always do the trick.  Thus the challenge on a period romance melodrama would always be how they can create scenes in a historical premise that would make the audience lovingly sigh, swoon and squeal… and that was satisfyingly achieved by the Concubine and her King.

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The moon gazing, the walking side by side together beneath the stars, the never-let-go-of-my-hand-promises and the see-how-much-i-love-you scenes were some of the most superbly captured moments in this series.  This drama is a memory trigger that will surely hit someone watching it because he will be reminded of that point in his life, when because of love he accepted pain, he sacrificed, he let go of someone’s hand but he left a spot in his heart.

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Born from a mother with a slave status, Jang Ok Jung has experienced a difficult life with her family. Her father born from a merchant family was disowned after his marriage to a slave and eventually died protecting his family.

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Jang Ok Jung’s uncle, a prominent merchant has been waiting for the right moment to get revenge to the royal family who caused his daughter’s death and saw an opportunity to strike back after seeing Ok Jung, but the poor girl who got separated from her brother and mother decided to stay in the teacher’s home to learn the craft of dressmaking from her. Ok Jung showed untapped potentials in dressmaking and it bloomed alongside her radiant self. When she was learning how to design clothing, she accidentally bumped with a young man (crown prince) who also wanted to peek at an intimate book.

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Finding it weird that a young woman was into that kind of book, the young prince incognito later learned that she loved sewing clothes. The young Crown Prince found his first love and promised her that he will wash away her social status worries and asked her to meet him in a place, but palace problem occurred and the prince wasn’t able to meet Ok Jung. Uncle Jang who can’t wait anymore to get Ok Jung in his hand ordered someone to burn the house where Ok Jung was staying which caused the death of her teacher. 

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She was left no choice but to live with her cunning uncle. Fast forward to the future and we see Ok Jung busy preparing for her fashion show. She was a sought-after hanbok and accessories designer and has gained clients from women of nobility but the madam of the household where her mother was serving caused a scene in the fashion show and exposed her mother’s identity. Ok Jung who has been saving up money so she can pay for her mother’s freedom was humiliated and lost most of the customers.  With the recent mishap in her business, an opportunity came when Ok Jung was commissioned to create a hanbok for a woman’s matchmaking date who turned out to be the King.

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Through a series of fated meetings, a love that was unimaginable to happen between the King of the country and a low-born maiden was made possible by the strong attraction that built up to an unrequited adoration felt by King Sukjong to a woman he soon learned to be his first love.  Defying his mother and the government people who are against his relationship to a lady not from a noble family, King Sukjong who has married a woman to appease a stubborn political wing, dauntlessly took the hand of the woman he loved and appointed her as his Royal Concubine.

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Jang Ok Jung’s life as a concubine was a painful experience and if not for the strength she was getting from the comfort of her King, she would have lost hope.  The Queen Mother portrayed a perfect example of a she-devil-mother-in-law who can only rationalize and more evil.  Whenever the Queens and the Concubines engaged in icy conversations which they will start and end with a bow of respect *giggles, what I am always checking was who will collapse first because I swear I really can see their veins moving because of their self-inflicted woes, rage and annoyance.

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But the mighty political faction always complained about the King’s favor to his concubine, actually the ministers can’t seem to run out of things to whine, little did they know that their persecutions would toughen the woman they kept on stepping on, and when she got pregnant, knowing she has the upper hand she ended the unreasonable clamors of the Western faction.  Every time the King has a caucus with the officials I swear I felt like I want to do an apparition to cheer my King and pout at those hard-headed yangbans.

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Jang Ok Jung in her misfortunes has had enough from attempted poisoning to losing her unborn baby to kidnapping woke up and fought back the best way she knew would make her not lose the most important person in her life.

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Queen In Hyun was deposed and Ok Jung was raised to Queen Consort.  An event that provided opportunity for Ok Jung to turn the tides on with In-hyun’ father who was behind all those dangerous plots to harm her.

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Then the writer of the drama discovered her boyfriend has another woman so she inserted Choi Suk Won whose face annoyed me and Chi Soo who wasted Jae Hee oppa’s talent.  Their unnecessary screen time confused the characters and almost made me drifted away from the drama.  But then, Hallelujah!!! The writer’s boyfriend made a good alibi so the writer remembered focusing on Jang Ok Jung and her love story.

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The final blow of the conflict was unexpected, very painful but a fair closing for me.  When Jang Ok Jung’s brother tried to poison the Royal Concubine Choi Suk Won, the majority party didn’t waste time to taunt the King on the right thing to do, so again for Ok Jung to protect the King, she decided to step down from the Queen position. 

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Queen In-hyun was restored as the Queen of the country but suffered from a serious medical condition.  At that time the Crown Prince fell ill of chicken pox and Ok Jung left no options to save her son resorted to agreeing with her mother to call a priestess and do an offering which was at that time prohibited in the Confucian society.

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Now Royal Concubine Choi Suk Won and the ruling party seized that opportunity to defame Jang Ok Jung by accusing her of doing the shamanic offering out of jealousy and to harm Queen In Hyun.  The villains were successful in leaving the King no choice but to order Ok Jung to commit suicide.  But of course, King Sukjong had a back-up plan and he sought another man’s help to carry out Ok-jung’s escape. Chi-soo again took Ok Jung to save her from her imminent death.

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When Ok Jung realized what was happening though and how King Suk-jong will be put on a grueling situation with the politicians by securing her, she went back to the palace to face her fate once and for all and to fend her unrequited love to King Sukjong.  In the arms of the King she fell in love with, she also took the last breath of her life.

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Swaying the pages of history books to package Jang Hee Bin in a different light, was a feat that was accomplished because they delve on the pain and sufferings she battled out because she was a woman in love.  By showing Ok Jung as a sacrificial lamb I bet has shook the built in impressions of her, because it did to me.  There she was, pretty and loved unconditionally not just by the King but two other men, but then again she still died protecting her son and the man she loved.  

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When she went back to the palace to face the suicide order, I would have normally annoyed by its stupidity but her actions were understandable and have sealed the kismet yet tragic outcome of their love story.

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All you are willing to give up because of love has been the poignant theme of this drama and it concluded in a heartbreaking moment that made me cry like a baby for this star-crossed lovers who surrendered on destiny.

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I have a love-you hate you relationship with the makers of this production but I really liked how they use the details of history but giving it a different motivation and reason to weave and strengthen the love conflict of the story.  They were following what we knew what happened but they made it look favorable to the lead heroine thus making them accomplish the different Hee Bin they pledged to give.

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King Sukjong hindered by his position and the unlimited arguments thrown by the political parties he presided was always sensing the intangibles surrounding the wicked plot thrown at him and Ok Jung.  Perceptive, just and not easily swayed, most of the time he was one step ahead of the vile ministers that were always positioned to strike on him. In most of the sageuk dramas I’ve seen, the Kings indecisiveness really annoyed me, but this time and not because Yoo Ah In is fated to love me, it was really a splendid performance by him especially on the finale episodes when his position as a King was not enough to protect the woman he loved so much.

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I was almost drifting away but an eonni called me back to stay faithful, and I am glad I followed her instinct as the closure was befitting to the gladdening moments and even to the anguished closing scene of this ardent romance story that was filled with so much love and yet losing to fate inevitably.

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Jang Ok Jung, Live In Love was a two-faced romantic story loaded with tears and rose petals. Painfully stirring, I will take it as one of my drama favorites this 2013. -jediprincess

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The 9 Sticks that made him travel through time

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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 last year.  Halfway through 2013, story, directing and editing wise, I found my kdrama to beat.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Park Sun-woo, a broadcast journalist, went to Nepal to validate the news of his brother’s passing and to propose a short-stint marriage to a junior at work, Joo Young-min.  He retrieved his deceased brother’s possessions and was drawn to the incense stick his brother was holding when he died.

Min-young was boggled at the sudden love offer and unbeknownst to her, Sun-woo was actually dying of brain tumor thus he wanted to live the remaining moments of his life with her.

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On his news program, Sun-woo was posed to interview Choi Jin Cheol about his stem cell therapy research breakthrough.  All was going well until the journalist threw unscripted allegations of the unethical procedures and casualties done for the research.

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Min-young learned from Sun-woo’s doctor bestfriend Young-hoon about his diminishing days and was upset knowing that it was his motivation to marry her.  Sun-woo finally uncovered the mystery of the incense sticks as time portal and was sent back to his room of 20 years ago.  He got his old beeper back to the present time.

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Sun-woo appeased Min-young’s angered heart with his sweet convincing and when he went again to Nepal to prove his deductions on the stick mojos which his brother was in search before his death, he acquired not just the 9 magical incense sticks but also Min-young’s heart.

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Sun-woo discussed with Young-hoon the impossible power he just obtained and told him that he will be using it to honor what his brother wanted to have.  So off he went to meet the woman his brother loved so much.  He rescued her from a suicide attempt and gave her daughter Shi Ah his brother’s number for her to call to make her mother feel better.  Jung-woo bound to his filial duty broke up with her but softened when he got the call and decided against his father’s will.

Sun-woo didn’t know that the change he made to happen will affect the present time as Min-young who was with him vanished and became his niece since his brother in the past time line married her mother Yoo-jin.

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Sun-woo and Young-hoon faced the dilemma of the altered memories as the former has to accept that his girlfriend became her niece overnight and that she will also be soon engaged.

Jin-cheol hinted how he owed nothing to his family and that he never killed his father and to uncover the events of his father’s murder, he leapt through time and got the biggest surprise of his life.

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Sun-woo woke up his younger self and ordered him to prevent their father’s imminent death.  The younger Sun-woo was asked to phone aboji to make him come home, he agreed half-way but blurted an intrusion.  Worried aboji left office to go home as younger-Sun-woo was knocked down accidentally by his future self.  Before his 30-minute time lapsed, Sun-woo told younger self that he will be saving another life and he has to meet him the next day if he wants to know who it was.

Back to present time, Sun-woo was almost done unriddling the connections but was afraid of his suspicions.  Jin-cheol’s taunting was not helping too as he told him how his father has been dead even before the fire started.  Sun-woo left his just starting news program and went back again to face the sad truth that it was his brother who killed their father.

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Enraged at finding the truth, Sun-woo punched his brother in the current time and fainted afterwards.  When he gained consciousness, he went back to the scene of his dead father.  He saw the camera feeds he recorded and witness Jung-woo out of protecting their mother accidentally killed their father.  It was also revealed that Jung-woo was Jin-cheol’s son.  Sun-woo made it back to present time, collapsed in exhaustion and since his time-trekking took also his life span while doing it, an emergency surgery was set to save him.

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In the midst of battling for his life, younger Young-hoon stumbled on the medicine pack that made them realize why Older Sun-woo didn’t show up.  Having knowledge that he will soon suffer brain tumor, they have made adjustments on it to save future Sun-woo.

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Sun-woo bought a Whitney Houston LP when he went to Nepal to get the sticks and Min-young.  While he was asleep, Min-young wrote an “iloveyounote” on the record and accidentally discovered by her fiancé who jumped into assuming her infidelity.

Min-young sat to write again the text and the lost memories dawned on her.  She confronted Sun-woo about it but he was left no choice but to deny it.  Overnight Min-young reclaimed all her memories of her togetherness with Sun-woo and went missing trying to reconcile what was happening to her.  She called Sun-woo who was frantically searching for her and told her that she was in the place where they shared their first kiss.  Sun-woo showed up to Min-young’s wondering, and Sun-woo kissed her in the pouring rain.  He reeled off the unearthly fate he unintentionally unfold and gave her an option for them to flee in a far place or stay as family.

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While taking care of sick Min-young, younger Sun-woo sent a message to his future counterpart if he has received what he sent him.  And presto! The remaining sticks were back in Sun-woo’s hands.

Sun-woo sought his brother’s opinion in using one of the two sticks by revealing all that has happened.  They were intending to surrender evidence that would pin Jin-cheol but in the past time line, Jin-cheol has warned younger Jung-woo of the witness who might approach him.  Sun-woo luckily escaped the record store after eavesdropping on Jung-woo and Jin-cheol’s conversation but was chased madly by the villain’s man Chang-min.  He stabbed Sun-woo but he was able to speak again to Jung-woo to convince him to turn himself in.  Sun-woo was cornered and in the dying seconds he jumped to the river and appeared fatally wounded in his dressing room.

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Jung-woo from the past finally saw sense in his conflicted life and went to the police station but unfortunately he spoke with the detective who was also bribed by Jin-cheol.  Jung-woo from the present informed Sun-woo that their plans failed.

Min-young’s fiancé also confirmed of her true relationship with Sun-woo and as Sun-woo wants to use the last stick to hope for making it right one last time, Min-young insisted on him not doing to protect him from the adverse effect of utilizing the unpredictable sticks.

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They decided staying as family.  Jung-woo visited his hermit-ing brother and blaming that he was the source of the problem attempted to kill himself.  In the morning when Jung-woo died, Young-hoon and Sun-woo fought for the stick as the latter wanted to use it one last time.  Young-hoon was in the brink of destroying it but it vanished.

Aware now of the mystifying trick Sun-woo has played Jin-cheol ordered his men to look for clues of what his secret was.  The incense was highlighted from Sun-woo and Young-hoon’s conversation as Jin-cheol remembered it while waiting for the verdict of his crimes to be in his possession when the detective 20 years ago gave it to him.  He feigned losing consciousness and commanded his right hand to get the incense stick in the archive. 

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Jin-cheol lit one of the two sticks but it transformed to ashes, so he lit the second one and landed him to his office.  He called Chang-min not to stalk about the body of the man he stabbed and just kill younger Sun-woo.  Older Sun-woo forced himself to Jin-cheol’s room and abated his time warping but he has already sent out the command for Chang-min to kill.

Young-hoon and Sun-woo delved to their memories but they can’t recall what errand Sun-woo did and in the past timeline, Chang-min found younger Sun-woo and they engaged to a fight.  Younger Sun-woo was able to escape and went back to the store but the psychopath broke the lock, but just as he would swing the hammer to kill younger Sun-woo, future Sun-woo stopped it and knocked the killer down.

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Older Sun-woo asked him to go to the police station with the evidence that will convict Jin-cheol and called younger Jung-woo who was about to get married.  Deciding that he will atone the sin he committed, he walked away from the wedding.  Sun-woo waited for his 30-minute time to end and hoped earnestly that he has made everyone happy in the future.  The clock ticked to the end time but when he opened his eyes, he was still in the past time line.

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In the present timeline, everything changed and people were getting ready for Sun-woo and Min-young’s wedding not realizing that the groom was suspended 20 years ago, to make it worse, Jin-cheol from past timeline saw Sun-woo inside the telephone booth and his character reeking of Darth Vader’s theme geared up to bump the telephone booth fatally wounding Sun-woo.

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In the present time Young-hoon and Jung-woo got the police report about Sun-woo’s accident and death 20 years ago.  In his dying moment, Shi Ah saw Sun-woo when she returned to get her favorite teddy bear before their flight abroad.  Sun-woo summoned his strength and made the little girl promise that if she see someone who look like him in the future, she has to stay away from him.

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Then we jump to Sun-woo working at a crime scene.  He headed to new recruits party where he knocked out Min-young.  Min-young was initially smitten by his pretty face but remembered the promise she had 20 years ago.  Sun-woo learned of her stupid trauma story and promised her that them together will never happen but over the years, Min-young’s adoration grows stronger. 

Sun-woo met up with his brother who was set to go to Nepal and when he arrived in the station, Min-young was waiting for him.  She was also sent to cover an expedition.  He played with her locked the door, kissed her sweetly and muttered that he will kiss her again in 5 years.  Confused at how Sun-woo was playing with her emotion, she went back and ranted that what he’s doing was really what the dying man he met him 20 years ago meant. 

The last piece of saving my life quest dawned on Sun-woo so he set off to Nepal to reach his hand to his brother lying down in the frosty land.

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For a change, I witness this hindered love story not because of vengeance or inability of the couple to sit down and talk about the usual jumping into wrong conclusions.  This time around there’s no trusting blindly, there’s no let’s leave it to fate or love something resolution but a pure, most of the time cute love tale fighting to survive 9 incense sticks.  *giggles

For me it was a satisfying ending that fulfilled the hard work of all those time warpings.  I stuck to my preconceived notion that it will be the couple’s love that will resolve everything so the dying part I thought didn’t make sense and even the lead man’s suspension in the past he doesn’t belong, but the finale explained that it was bound to happen for him to give an unrealized warning that he will be needing for him to survive and to make everything right.

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The connection of the sticks and Sun-woo was not explained to the fullest and we can only conclude that when he used it, its binding power can be luck or curse depending on how his mind works to process the incidents presented to him.

The fluidity of the characters from past and present helping each other out to pin down the villain whose evilness transcended time was depicted efficiently even if the antagonist was a more contrived worker than the joint protagonists.

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 Sun-woo has always been leaving clues for his future self to pick up, so the last clue he left to Shi Ah enabled him to save his brother’s supposed frost accident which span his awareness of changing the past.

True, this was a hard to follow drama as the supernatural kicks bordered to beyond impossible but that’s also what made it strong.  It was not afraid to push its limit without abusing the “this is metaphysical banner”.

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The well linked conflicts and the focus on just one villain helped in drawing a clear flow on the main character’s battle.  Instead of myriad problems coming from the usual meanies appearing most of the time with no basis, the hero-villain showdown here was solid except the part when the baneful old fiend’s does his habit of mouth twitching.

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.  –jediprincess ^_^

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 Nine Times Travel Episodes Recap 1-4

 

 

The lovestory of rich-Bond-wanna-be and bright-eyed breadwinner Level 7 Civil Servants

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Commencing at a very strong note with hilarious situations and a lot of cutesiness, Level 7 Civil Servant hit a boulder midway as it got struck with trust issues that would have been easy to explain scenarios if not for the writer’s sticking to unreasonable judgment perception that he only understood. The happiness saved from its early episodes dropped fast as it went berserk and confused on the main conflict the show was talking about and even in the dying episodes it was acting like it was a more than 50-episode sageuk when it will be soon hitting the closure.

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So there were two stories, the love story between rich-boy and poor-girl agent and NIS leaders being stalked out of revenge by the weak villains in the story. They put it together and they created chaos. Or we can just say there were two parts, the “happy” part and the “what happened?” part… they forced it together and left me disappointed… not Big-fashion-king-disappointment but it was a sad tv experience because I was so hooked in the first 10 episodes only to be left stranded when the drama writer switched to his Jekyll character.

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There were a lot of inefficient and inconsistent characters who functioned as annoying conflict and regular fillers to the story and I disliked how the cast have all moments of decreased IQ and skills in moments when they were required to use either their intellect and muscles. The cluttered patriotic sense was really all over in the series that I felt like I was watching Paris Hilton in a Criminal Minds episode.

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Rich, debonair-devil-may-care-I-have-rich-father’s-money to spend on dreamt of entering NIS (chief intelligence bureau in Korea) eversince he saw James Bond when he was young. Pampered by his mother and bribed by a new car he agreed to match-making sessions and met Kim Kyung-ja who was paid by her friend to pose as a daughter of a diplomat to attend the scheduled blind dates. After a not so pleasant first encounter, they met again at NIS training camp and slowly changed from bickering to understanding each other’s pain and dream.

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Pil-hoon’s rich father covertly engaged in a deal with an NIS wanted person and his connection was being used by the bureau to track down the fugitive. The discipline officer faked Pil-hoon’s dismissal and gave him a secret mission to stay close to his father and Pil-hoon who has aboji issues was left no choice but to comply out of filial duties and his patriotic drive.

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The villains in the story were composed of a 3-man crew who were children of then NIS accomplices who were also trading illegal weapons. After their families were wiped out, they vowed to avenge their families’ fate by killing the NIS leaders involved. They have managed to kill two already, but the second leader they killed also fatally wounded the leader leaving his girlfriend and younger brother to carry on their vile payback mission.

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Pil-hoon/Gil-ro started working in his father’s company and after a year, he got a surprise when Kyung-ja/Seo-won applied in their company as a new employee, little did he know that she was on an NIS mission to get closer to him to obtain the documents they needed which was under Pil-hoon’s father’s care.

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Seo-won knew that if her cover will be discovered, it will shatter Gil-ro and although she truly has genuine feelings for Gil-ro she has to accomplish her task. Then came the unveiling of his girlfriend’s intention which was also the turning point as the story turned hazy. Gil-ro was appeased by the betrayal he felt and his love for Seo-won overpowered the honesty issues he first can’t forgive.

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Gil-ro joined the team in their chase to track down the remaining two villains but the internal movement in the agency where the NIS Director conspired with the villain girl to obtain valuable information in the expense of selling down the bureau’s river was really uncalled for I think. I just can’t understand why in their immense power they were actually laying cards with the baddies when they should just take actions. I mean the fiend-duo didn’t hold a detonator for the agency building so I can’t understand why they made it look  so hard for the NIS people to close down the mission.

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I was not caring anymore when it hit the finale episode, I just want it to end because I can’t comprehend what they were trying to chalk up or if they were really trying to. And then they pulled that “kidnap-the-lead-girl-thing” and discipline-officer’s hospital absolution of sin moment and I was sent to purgatory. If the revenge and romance plot will be divided, it would have stood alone and it would have been okay but it was really a fusion gone bad. 

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The love moments of Gil-ro and Seo-won and the breaking of those love moments were the only flicker of bliss that gasped every now and then in that 20-episode series. It was a disheartening thought because it has lot of potentials but it got perplexed and wasn’t able to get back to its footing.

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Like a bubble gum it will be sweet in the beginning but it will turn tasteless as you chew it. Well, Joo Won will be there to drool with but this will be a forgettable project of his. 

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Level 7 Civil Servant was not badly thought but it was badly executed. So I won’t say that it was a bad drama as there were episodes that really showed promise but the more important ones were notched unsuccessfully. So I’ll be safe in saying “watch it at your own risk”. -jediprincess ^_^

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The sometimes-consistent-sometimes-inconsistent-path of Jeonwoochi

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<insert mixed mission impossible and Harry Potter theme>

 

I have to create a time line to connect the pieces, the characters, the trips to memory lane, the events and the conflicts evolving to the magical world of Jeonwoochi… and yes Hello Harry Potter, meet your long lost Korean brother. •wink
 
It started off beat for me but my part-witch-and-even-now-still-Gyeonwoo-lovestruck-self stayed loyal and while it groped its way to my curiosity, it finally hit the right nerve, and I stayed firm and loyal happily sending him off on the finale episodes. It was a scenario where patience is required to finish the drama to realize its potential and worth.

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Jeonwoochi relied on its profound characters to cover the loose ends and frustrating subplots of the story.  But it was also where I saw a very stubborn cast as a whole and a hero who albeit his magical prowess and sort of brainy-self was sometimes confused on his strategies to defeat the opposing warlocks.

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 Jeonwoochi narrated a Taoist wizard who hunted down his former fellow sorcerer friend, Gang Rim, after he destroyed their Taoist wizard community and runaway with the woman they both loved.  He has the Naruto cloning ability which comes in handy when he went to Joseon to track his frenemy.

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Gang-rim almost killed Jeonwoochi if not for the last remaining help Jeonwoochi got from a surviving Wizard of the temple.  Gang-rim served his uncle-evil-wizard who harbored hatred to the Wizards of Yuldo.

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They resumed the battles and adventures in Joseon era and both parties worked their way to protect and outsmart one another.  Jeonwoochi looked like he was Hercules on to a series of task to avenge his Wizard clan, to save the girl he loved and to protect the people of Joseon. 

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He has to first undo the poisonous spell controlling Mu-Yeon to progress in his plans to obliterate Gang-rim and his Lord-Sith-Evil-Uncle.  As the grand-daughter of HongGilDong, Mu-yeon possessed strong magical powers and she also held the knowledge of the location of the silver mine Evil-uncle needed to proceed with his dark plans to devastate Joseon.  With the help of a book Jeonwoochi acquired he was able to take out the evil mojo bridling Mu-yeon but Mu-yeon convinced him that she has to pretend she’s still with the baddies to help him win over them.  Saddened by the thought of the people she killed when she was in her villain self, when the time came that the Evil-duo can be defeated, she used her powers to destroy the cave and trapped her with the fiends. 

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Years later Jeonwoochi went to his news-reporter front while rendering justice to yangbans and officials that were misbehaving in Joseon.  He crossed path again with Mu-yeon who has lost her Taoist skills.  They reunited and cut to the Uncle-nephew-warlocks who were able to survive the mountain accident.

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The conflict on the second half of the story involved the King and the Queen and the Left Minister.  While the Left Minister rampaged on his connivance with Uncle Evil to spite the young weak king, Jeonwoochi and Mu-yeon backed up the King and Queen. 

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They were able to trap Gang-rim with Taoist runes. Mu-yeon begged him to leave the dark side, but he shoved her off and left to go back to his camp.  Mu-yeon threw a dagger at Uncle Evil, and in his dying breath revealed to him that he was his son and that he was meaning to destroy Joseon because he wanted him to get his rightful place to a country he really belonged.  Sparked up with his birth secret and his Uncle-real-life-father’s death, he set forth to blame the world.

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First he kidnapped Mu-yeon and sent a note to jeonwoochi to choose who he will be protecting, the reunion of King and Queen or the love of his life.  Jeonwoochi walked the Queen towards the waiting King while arrows were pointing to tied Mu-yeon.  Gang-rim pulled the arrow towards the happy Royal couple and with his enchantment turned the single arrow to multiple ones as Jeonwoochi plunged to cover the Queen’s body.  Mu-yeon on the other hand closed her eyes as the arrow was approaching her and opened her eyes to see Jeonwoochi. 

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It turned out that Jeonwoochi’s servant volunteered for him to feign Jeonwoochi’s stature to walk the Queen.  Gang-nim and Jeonwoochi engaged to a final showdown where of course the goodness prevailed.

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As what I’ve mentioned earlier, you have to be really patient as it was an adventure that was really not that engrossing. If truth be told, it was really Cha Tae Hyun’s Jeonwoochi portrayal that saved the day.  I almost sent a howler to Mu-yeon to make her understand that there are really people who can’t be given a chance to change when she let Gang-rim out of the talisman cage.  For me her performance was flat. 

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Jeonwoochi might have failed to live through its “consistency” mantra but it was still a good watch.  This drama has half-convinced me to give a fair rating because of the humor surge and main actor’s performance.  Other than that the screenplay, directing and even the visual effects were just mediocrely done.

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If you need a neutralizer to the 2013 romance drama spree, trust Jeonwoochi to provide you a breather.  Bewitching and fun, this drama won’t brag much but will make you smile. -jediprincess ^_^

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The love, the flowerboys and the neighbor.

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Flower Boy Neighbor started very strong with its interesting characters, humor and romantic developments between the love receivers and givers, however it failed to accomplish a closure befitting of its cheerful beginning and heartfelt middle revelations due to the lead girl’s inconsistent and indecisive nature and the lead man’s inability to own the love he worked so hard to earn.  When you have made a she-agoraphobic embraced the past she was trying to forget and you scored another miracle by having her fallen in love with you, that’s already an extra-mile in the world of love.  No other things can come between the two of you if you both agree to face it no matter what.  And that is why the ending for me was a half-baked-okay-let’s-just-end-it conceived one, but then again it pulled a lot of crazy-Abby-laughing scenes for me from its onset, so there, the 3rd Flower-boy series would be absolved of not nailing a worthy and fulfilling ending.

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Go Dok Mi has shut herself to outside communication because of the trauma from her past.  The only entertainment value in her agoraphobic life was her peeping on a cute neighbor, but she was soon discovered when the cousin of the cute neighbor, Enrique, realized her binocular moments with his cousin.  Enrique was on a short visit to Korea because of her game business.  He was famous in the gamer and nerd world because of the games he developed.  He also harbored a long-running secret adoration to a girl who loves his cousin hyung.safe_image.php211a8_neighbor01-00040a

In streaks of awkward moments he got curious about Go Dok-mi’s hermit life and before he realized it, he wanted to  heal her sad past and show her what she ahs been missing in her life.

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To complete and make the love conflict move, son-of-chaebol-and-frustrated-webtoon-artist Jin-rak has been secretly loving the girl next door who was afraid to see the world.  Everyday he writes an encouragement note attached to a milk carton for her, but his secret love failed to launch because sunny Enrique in his blithe personality warmed Dok-mi’s heart. 

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So far Jin-rak tops my list on the best supporting male lead.  He stabilized the story and gave a depth to the simple love conflict.  I dig “mimi” love big time, I don’t know why but his version of love was the same as that of the doctor 2nd lead in Greatest Love.  It was a very sincere love but then again no matter how honest a love is, it has to be reciprocated.

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Enrique won me over with his suave, comic and don’t-worry-be-happy-smell-the-roses-life-is-beautiful-attitude, but at the end of the day I liked him but not to a point of loving him.  Maybe because this drama was just for the refreshing feel of love, it was that kind of love you look back sometimes even when you are happily in love with someone.

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I have issues on the moments when Dok-mi can’t make up her mind and was dwelling on “I’m ruining his dream” thing because realistically, since she has already came to terms with her hermit self and has acknowledged that she has also the capability to love, she should have not gone to the extent of dawdling around and playing a she-loves-me-she-loves-me-not game with Enrique.

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In all truthfulness I liked the “Jack Dawson I’ll show you the world love story of Enrique and Dok-mi, but this time I felt more on the unreturned and unwarranted love of Jin-rak to Dok-mi, because it was so heartfelt and realistic.  To make me remember more of the second lead’s love meant that the focal love tale was not cemented well. 

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This was a good while it last drama case, but you eventually will forget as time passes by.  While there are a few moments that will make you feel good and love-filled, it was not a solid love story you get to tell your friends.  It lost the vigor along the way when they have inserted the “love, dream, leave” triumvirate.

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The conflicts that arose in the story were half-acceptable, I really hated the nerd fans controlling the gamer-god Enrique, and the latter can’t do anything about it.   I mean, man if this is a modern-time problem, can you just give me a “you-and-me-against-the-world” love barrier  instead of geeks between Romeo and Juliet kind of conflict.  That basically was the weakness of this story, the “challenges” that pushed the characters to redeem and expound their personas and the resulting effect of the discord to how they deal with their emotions.

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Sassy and sweet, this is a soothing spectacle perfect for teens this summer. I would still recommend this for a nice watch, but consider you’re forewarned on a quasi-Lie-To-Me closing episodes.  If you want to go with an upbeat characters, cute couple bickerings and cotton candy scenes, and a fairly done love story, go get your binoculars and take a peek at Flower Boy neighbor. -jediprincess

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