Open Thread: My Mister Episodes 1 & 2

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Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! Thank you for joining me on this group watch of My Mister! 🥰

Here are our usual ground rules, before we begin:

1. Please don’t post spoilers in the Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point. If you really need to talk about a spoiler, it is possible to use the new spoiler tags, but please know that spoilers are still visible (ie, not hidden) in the email notification that you receive, of the comment in question. We have quite a few first-time viewers among us, and we don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.

Edited to add: If you’d like to discuss lots of spoilers retrospectively as a re-watcher, here’s a Spoiler Zone for you!

2. Discussions on this thread don’t have to close when newer threads open, just so you know! But as we progress through our group watch, please keep the discussions clear of spoilers from future episodes, so that future readers coming to this thread won’t be accidentally spoiled. Does that make sense?

Without further ado, here are my reactions to this set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️

My Mister OST – Adult / Grown Up

In case you’d like to drown in the music as you read the episode notes, here’s Adult, which I feel is one of Show’s iconic tracks, and that we hear featured right away, in episode 1.

It’s so ethereal and delicate, and yet, so lightly mournful and wistful, at the same time. It’s quite possibly my favorite of the entire soundtrack.

Just right-click on the video and select “Loop.”

My thoughts

Episode 1

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What a solid, solid opening episode. I’m reminded all over again, of why I love this show.

Before we get into anything, full disclosure that I’ve watched this show once before, when it first aired, in 2018. Since then, most of the details have faded from memory, and so I find that this rewatch basically feels fresh.

I find that on this second watch, I’m picking up on a fair number of details that I missed on my first watch. For example, I hadn’t noticed, the first time around, that Dong Hoon has so little money in his bank account. The money that he gives to Sang Hoon for his daughter’s wedding, is a credit advance.

Wow. Immediately, that tells us so much, doesn’t it? It tells us that he’s not doing well at all, financially, even though he’s got a manager position in a well-established company. And, it also shows us how willing he is, to extend himself, for the sake of his family.

I mean, the way he pushes that money onto Sang Hoon is so generously insistent, you’d think that Dong Hoon was doing well, and this was money he could spare. But that isn’t the case. He’d gotten that money on credit, all for the sake of his brother.

This detail, about the meager balance in Dong Hoon’s account, also lends a layer of important context to the way he responds to the bribe that lands in his hands by mistake.

With Mom asking for money for Hyung to start a small business, and with Dong Hoon having so little money in the bank, it becomes clearer, why an otherwise decent, upstanding person like him, would be swayed to perhaps consider taking the bribe.

I don’t think that Dong Hoon’s sure about taking the bribe. From what we see this episode, he’s discombobulated; nervous; uncertain. I feel like if Hyung hadn’t been in a situation where he needed money, Dong Hoon would have found it much easier to report the attempted bribe. Again, it says a lot, that Dong Hoon would consider compromising his morals, for the sake of his family.

It’s telling, that Dong Hoon seems to have a more open sort of communication with his brothers and his mother, than his wife.

He does call her to ask if she’d like him to buy anything on the way home, but when he’s home, I can’t help but notice that he doesn’t answer, when she asks if he’d like her to cook him some steamed egg, to go with his soju.

This husband-wife relationship feels distant, and that’s even before we talk about the affair that his wife Yoon Hee is having with his CEO, Joon Young.

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We aren’t given more than the structural details yet, on the affair, but already, it sounds highly dysfunctional. Joon Young had been Dong Hoon’s hoobae in college, and now he’s Dong Hoon’s CEO, AND he’s having an affair with Dong Hoon’s wife..?

I have to wonder how that happened. Were they all acquaintances in college? Did Joon Young have a thing for Yoon Hee even back then? (On a tangent, doesn’t Kim Young Min vibe completely different compared to his character in Crash Landing On You? He’s so versatile! 🤩)

Either way, I’m sure we’ll find out soon. For now, I just want to say that I’m rather struck by how different Yoon Hee looks, when she’s at home with Dong Hoon, compared to when she’s with Joon Young.

At home, she really does look like a typical ahjumma, taking care of the household stuff, on top of her work. She looks tired and jaded. However, when she’s with Joon Young, she looks carefree, excited and alive. I don’t endorse her affair, for the record.

I just can’t help noticing how the affair seems to have sparked something in Yoon Hee, that seems absent when in the context of her marriage to Dong Hoon.

And then there’s Ji An, who is utterly fascinating and mesmerizing, in her reticent, almost sullen, yet delicate way.

In the course of a single episode, it becomes clear that Ji An’s living a very hard life.

Not only is she in debt, her creditor Kwang Il seems intent on bullying her (Jang Ki Yong is so different here, compared to his recent turn in My Roommate is a Gumiho!), her grandmother requires help and care, and she can’t afford it.

In fact, Ji An can barely afford to eat, from what we see. She works two jobs, but it seems like all her money goes towards paying the interest of her debt, and taking care of Gran.

I feel so bad for her, that she’s secretly taking leftovers from the dishes that she’s about to wash, and eating that as dinner.

It suddenly makes sense why she’d take those sticks of instant coffee from the office pantry; they’re free, and they’re full of creamer and sugar, which help to keep her feeling full. It’s an awful life to live, and I feel bad for Ji An, because she’s ruining her health, slowly but surely.

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Because of Ji An’s difficult circumstances, I can see why she’d resort to actions that are less than above-board.

The way she basically steals Gran out of the nursing home, bed and all, is so full of chutzpah, honestly. (On a side note, the sight of her pushing Gran, bed and all, under that giant moon, has such an interesting sense of whimsy about it, considering the overall tone of our drama world.)

Plus, she’s creative, putting Gran in a supermarket cart, and putting hot bottled drinks in Gran’s hands, to keep Gran warm.

And then there’s the way she steals the bribe money out of Dong Hoon’s cabinet drawer. She’s really quick-thinking and bold, I have to say. First, there’s how she just blocks the drawer with her leg, when Dong Hoon reaches for the cabinet drawer, and asks that he buy her food.

And then there’s how she outright tells him to go straight home, afterwards.

Plus, it’s just ballsy of her, to get her cleaner friend to down the power for a few minutes, while she races against the clock, to get that packet of money out of that drawer, and then get back down to the ground floor again.

Ji An’s decisive and daring, and while her actions can be questionable, given her circumstances, I can understand why she’d feel compelled to do the things that she does.

I can’t even blame her too much, for stealing that bribe money, because Kwang Il’s made it clear that she’s not bringing him enough money to repay her debt.

By the time we’re rounding off the episode, Dong Hoon’s in a bad situation, though. Although the bribe money had been meant for Director Park, Joon Young’s decided that using this mistake to get rid of Dong Hoon’s not such a bad idea either.

Is this.. because Dong Hoon is Yoon Hee’s husband? It sure looks like it, at the moment.

With CCTV footage showing that Dong Hoon had received that package from the delivery rider, and Ji An not responding to Dong Hoon desperately calling out her name, things don’t look good for Dong Hoon, at all. And we’re only at the end of episode 1. Gulp.

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Episode 2

One of the first thoughts that comes to my mind, this episode, is that Ji An would do well as a secret agent. I mean, some of her moves really feel like they came out of Espionage 101. 😅

The entire way she navigates that visit to the loanshark office, is just really impressive. When she realizes that Kwang Il’s just out to get her, whether she returns the money or not, her decisive, quick thinking, where she really is just improvising on the go, is nothing short of fantastic.

She even has the presence of mind to call Ki Beom, to get him to take Gran away from her apartment, to his place, so that Kwang Il won’t be able to find anyone there, henceforth.

I mean, to be able to think of this detail, in the height of the adrenaline-pumping task of distracting both Kwang Il and his partner, and stealing the money back, is Quite Something.

Ji An’s clearly been through a lot on in her life, and that’s definitely helped to make her as scrappy as she is, but she’s also really smart, creative and flexible. It makes me wonder what kind of achievements she might have had, if she’d only had better opportunities in life.

On a tangent, Kwang Il definitely has a personal agenda against Ji An. We’re not told what this grudge is, but from the sound of it, it’s something that’s deeply upsetting to Kwang Il, because it seems that his goal in life, is to make Ji An as miserable as possible.

He doesn’t want to kill her; he wants to make her life a living hell. That’s gotta be really miserable, not only for Ji An, but for him as well.

I’m glad to see that Ji An’s quick to find an alternative way to deal with the money, that would go towards clearing Dong Hoon’s name.

I mean, someone else in her position might have kept the money, right? I’m sure that, being as resourceful as Ji An is, she’d have been able to find a way to launder the money so that she’d have been able to use it to help herself and Gran, even if she can’t use it to pay off her debt?

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Instead, she goes right back and works with her cleaner friend, to make it look like Dong Hoon had thrown away the bribe, after receiving it. That strikes me as pretty decent of her, since, to her (at this point in our story anyway), Dong Hoon’s basically a random colleague in a job where she won’t work for long.

The other thing that strikes me during this whole thing where Dong Hoon’s in trouble, is that Yoon Hee isn’t out to get Dong Hoon either.

She may be cheating on him, and planning to leave him at some point, but she’s not out to destroy him, and she’s actually shocked and disappointed, when she realizes that Joon Young’s basically taking the opportunity to get rid of Dong Hoon – and in a ruthless manner, at that.

And since we’re tangentially on the topic of Joon Young, I just wanted to say that it was a stroke of casting brilliance, to have Kim Young Min play Joon Young.

In Kim Young Min’s hands, Joon Young looks sharp and suave enough to pass for a CEO, but at the same time, there’s a hint of insecurity about him, like he knows he doesn’t quite measure up. I feel like Kim Young Min not being as tall as the average kdrama lead adds to this effect.

I have to confess that I’m not super interested in the corporate machinations that are going on, and it’s probably not Show’s intention for us to take sides in this corporate fight, but for now, I have to say, I rather like the way Director Park’s sharp enough, to see through Joon Young’s ruse.

His investigative questions are varied and on point, and he zooms in on the most important piece of information of all: that the bribe had been addressed to him, Director Park, and not to Dong Hoon.

I can’t help but cheer a little on the inside, when Director Park tears down Director Yoon’s made-up story about Dong Hoon taking the money. Not only that, Director Park is able to detail exactly why Joon Young’s even doing this, in the first place.

YES. You tell him, Director Park! I don’t know if I like you yet, but for today, you’re in my good books. 😁

I feel bad for Dong Hoon, that he’s randomly ended up as a pawn in this corporate fight that should have nothing to do with him in the first place.

Through all of this, I feel that Dong Hoon does what any average person would do, in his place. He tries to find ways to trace the money; he tries to locate Ji An; he follows Ji An onto the train and attempts to reason with her.

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There’s nothing particularly outstanding about the way Dong Hoon attempts to get himself out of trouble, and I think that’s the exact effect Show is going for.

The reason Dong Hoon’s so inept at this, is because he’s usually so upright that he doesn’t have a reason to try to get out of trouble.

On a tangent, I’d like to say that so far, I find Dong Hoon’s brothers frustratingly loud and low-key annoying.

It’s clear that they care about Dong Hoon and mean well, because otherwise, they wouldn’t stake out the train station for Dong Hoon’s sake, but I have to admit that their drunken ramblings, their apparent habit of peeing on the street when they’re tipsy, and the fact that they are adding burden and worry to Dong Hoon, which, really is the last thing he needs, don’t endear them to me at all.

I do recall that I eventually warmed up to them, so let’s see how that shakes out.

I hafta say, the way Ji An basically pickpockets that burner phone right out of Joon Young’s coat pocket right in front of him, then acts like it’s her phone, to throw Director Park off the scent, is impressively audacious.

I mean, not only is she quick to see an opportunity when it presents itself, she’s decisive in taking it, and has the skills and the nerve, to make it actually work.

I’m so impressed, seriously. Her deadpan nonchalance is such a great contrast to Joon Young’s tamped down discombobulation, for the rest of that elevator ride. 😆

What really blows my mind, though, is how Ji An makes use of the situation, to set up a deal for herself, where she’ll help Joon Young get rid of both Dong Hoon and Director Park, for 10 million won each.

The matter-of-fact nerve, and the sharp discernment, is so surprising and yet so pitch perfect; she’s the one controlling this conversation with Joon Young, and not the other way around, even though he’s the CEO, and she’s a temp worker. I kinda love it.

It’s only when Joon Young caves and makes to talk terms with her, that Ji An indicates that she’d been at all worried. In fact, she’d wondered if Joon Young would have her killed.

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I guess that really drives home for us, just how desperate of a situation Ji An is in, and how Ji An really is almost at the end of her rope, for her to do something so daring, that might have put herself in mortal danger.

With this as context, Ji An’s request for Dong Hoon to buy her dinner, does take on darker overtones. It’s not spelled out for us that Joon Young takes Ji An up on her offer, but it’s a reasonable conclusion, based on what we see of their conversation.

And so, as we see Ji An and Dong Hoon share a meal – an expensive Japanese one – and then take the subway together, I can’t help but wonder what kind of plan Ji An has in mind.

If she’s so quick and effective when coming up with a strategy on the fly, what might she come up with, when she’d had more time to think things through..?

WHERE TO WATCH:

Available for free on iQIYI and Viki. Also available on Netflix.

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Rachit
Rachit
11 months ago
Reply to  kfangurl

Dear kfangurl, this was such a cool thing to do!!! You rock!

matrice
matrice
7 months ago

At home, she really does look like a typical ahjumma, taking care of the household stuff, on top of her work. She looks tired and jaded. However, when she’s with Joon Young, she looks carefree, excited and alive. I don’t endorse her affair, for the record.

I just can’t help noticing how the affair seems to have sparked something in Yoon Hee, that seems absent when in the context of her marriage to Dong Hoon.

I re-watched the relevant clips from the first two episodes, and this is simply not there. She just puts some clothes in order (probably unpacked/fixed stuff up after her trip to the beach with her lover).

She does not seem overstressed/overworked, either at work or at home. She just had a trip to the beach, so there is really no reason to be. Surely she works hard as a lawyer, but from her conversation with her lover it seems like something she wants to do: she wants to accomplish all her dreams.

She has a casual conversation with her husband, that shuts down in pain because she was not there with him, with his family, and because she did not call him. This is a parallel to the conversation she has wit her lover.

I think that with her lover we also see a streak of possessiveness and clingyness/needyness that seems to permeate the relationship The first time we see them, she is having a fight with him about him not carrying his phone and calling her. This to me is a quite clear signal that things are not all as good as they seem: they are starting to have this argument when they are just meeting up, and not even living together.

matrice
matrice
7 months ago
Reply to  matrice

By contrast, Ji An is seen pushing her grandma on her actual bed. Sorry, not impressed by wife’s performance here. And Dong Hoon going up an actual tower.

Last edited 7 months ago by matrice
matrice
matrice
7 months ago

It’s telling, that Dong Hoon seems to have a more open sort of communication with his brothers and his mother, than his wife.

I mean, this statement is quite funny given the episode, considering that he had just been at a wedding when they started stealing money gifts and he was the only one that did not know of the plan. If this is open communication…

He does call her to ask if she’d like him to buy anything on the way home, but when he’s home, I can’t help but notice that he doesn’t answer, when she asks if he’d like her to cook him some steamed egg, to go with his soju.

That’s not really true, they did talk about his day, he started to shut down when they talked about the wedding, and he gave some generic answers. I got the feeling he felt uncomfortable remembering the stolen gifts and his brother and his wife having an argument and making a scene.

Plus she asked if anybody asked about her absence, and he was probably disappointed by her not being there, and by the fact that she had not ever bothered to call. Remember that scene where he checked his phone and she hadn’t called? She was instead at the beach with her lover: she had spurned his invitation to be with his family in order to spend the day with her lover.

In my opinion, he felt upset that she had ghosted him, and then he had thought to call her (he always did, when he went home, asking if she needed anything), but she didn’t call him all day.

Consider this also in the context of her general behavior, and how she pestered her lover because he didn’t call her, telling her she checks the phone 12 times. But, contrary to her, he was someone that put up with things and suffered in silence, because he didn’t want to bother her.

Last edited 7 months ago by matrice
matrice
matrice
7 months ago
Reply to  matrice

To clarify this further: he answered questions about the wedding generically, because he was embarassed by the situation with the stolen gifts and his brother fighting with his wife and making a scene.

He begun to shut down when she asked him whether they asked about her absence. It’s clear he was upset about her being there, and about her not bothering to call him (we see him checking his phone at the wedding). She had spurned his invitation to be there with his family, in order to be at the beach with her lover.

This was his behavior: when he was upset he shut down and bore the pain, instead of throwing it in her face like she would have done (and did with his lover in this chapter… again, same episode, the spouse/lover not calling, different reactions).

Consider this in the context of him always calling her when he went back from work, and asking whether she needed anything, versus her scene at her lover because he never calls, and her checking the phone 12 times.

Last edited 7 months ago by matrice
matrice
matrice
7 months ago
Reply to  matrice

I think that in general, when he is in pain he shuts down, probably out of a desire not to bother people, while she goes on the attack (might be because she is so self absorbed that the thought does not really cause her any problem).

Last edited 7 months ago by matrice
matrice
matrice
7 months ago

At home, she really does look like a typical ahjumma, taking care of the household stuff, on top of her work. She looks tired and jaded. However, when she’s with Joon Young, she looks carefree, excited and alive. I don’t endorse her affair, for the record.

I just can’t help noticing how the affair seems to have sparked something in Yoon Hee, that seems absent when in the context of her marriage to Dong Hoon.

Actually, we are told that *her husband* was the one that took care of housework at home, readying everything before she would come home from work so she wouldn’t have to and could focus on her career, and not even watching tv because he wanted to avoid disturbing her. She did not seem particularly tired to me (at least compared to his level of stress), though they *were* distant. I agree with your previous review here: https://thefangirlverdict.com/2018/07/13/review-my-mister-my-ahjussi/ regarding her not wanting context in the relationship being the reason she functioned so well in the affair, but that wouldn’t have worked in the real world.

Last edited 7 months ago by matrice
matrice
matrice
7 months ago
Reply to  matrice

Though I must admit that, had he not been scum (and not just because he slept with a married woman, but won’t spoiler), and had this not been an affair, I would have really liked to see them as a couple: the older woman that couldn’t believe she would ever feel love, them both being ambitious and wanted to attack life (we later see that he is not ambitious in a honest way, as in “I will do my job well”, but in a crooked way).

matrice
matrice
7 months ago
Reply to  matrice

I must say that this comment baffled me so much that I actually had to go back and check whether I had fallen asleep while watching the series. But the only think even remotely related to household activities she does in the whole two episodes seems to me to pick up a handful of clothes from the floor. They might even be hers (the black pants and grey coat do kind of resemble the ones she wore at the beach a little bit… though the coat is a bit lighter and a different color of grey. None of them are her husband’s white shirt, so they are not the clothing he wore at the wedding.

In terms of her job, besides the fact that she seems to really love it (she was positive and enthusiastic about her career when talking with her lover at the beach), in this specific scene she didn’t even work that day, but rather went to have a relaxing day at the beach with her lover. The walk on the shore might have been tiring (though they seemed to keep a relaxed pace). I don’t know that Dong Hoon has taken any vacation recently (we see him climbing a tower, though), and Ji An was seen pushing her grandma around in the night in what appears to be some sort of hospital bed that I don’t know where she could have found.

MC
MC
11 months ago

Hey all. A bit late to the party and I’m loving everyone’s comments. As someone who loves this show a lot (an understatement), I’m really glad we are doing this group watch and am so happy to see all the newbies joining in. I hope you’ll love this show at the end (but if not, at least don’t feel you’d wasted your time journeying with us!)

To keep it non spoilery, I’d forgotten how much this show packs in its first 2 episodes. A lot is shown and a lot of background is set in these few minutes.

Much has been said about all our characters so I’ll just add my 2 cents

  • I’m more sympathetic to Yoon-hee, Dong Hoon’s wife. Yes she should not be cheating but DH, as much as I love him, is very shut down and disconnected, barely saying anything to her. He’s probably the reticent sort and burdened with his family and life and work but it doesn’t make for a healthy marriage. They seem like housemates rather than spouses.
  • The cinematography and directing. It was a little jarring to realise how muted and washed out everything was. It’s clearly a directorial decision since most shows produced in that year (and it wasn’t long ago!) and kdramas in general are filmed prettily with bright spring shades. But the lighting and colours reflect the somber heavy lives that our protagonists face.
  • The jokes. I remember it being a heavy show and it is. But I had forgotten how funny it is. The lady bug scene, the jokes from the brothers and their absurd imaginations, their mum drily saying “let me know when my funeral is I won’t want to outlive it”, Director Yoon’s face when he realises his plan has failed, the music at times, the pog pieces… like what someone said above, enjoy the light moments as they’re not that common! Lol. But I enjoy the sense of humour in this show.

Yay, that’s it for my thoughts. Not very short, lol. can’t wait for more!

eda harris
eda harris
11 months ago
Reply to  MC

mc, thank you for reminding us, somehow we completely omitted the humorous parts here, and that joke is on us. but i did pay attention, laughed and enjoyed with all the ones you mention and more. it really lightenes up the mood quite considerable, as the events can be quite grim and taxing on our characters as well as on us getting involved with them.

merij1
merij1
11 months ago

@the_sweetroad
I was so happy to read that you took the time to compare subtitle translations for My Mister on Netflix versus TVN.
I hope you’re share those insights as appropriate!

the_sweetroad
the_sweetroad
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

I’ll try to share differences between Netflix and Viki subtitles when relevant! 🙂 (Never did get to watch it on TVN, but would love to know how those subtitles differ as well.)

MariaF
MariaF
11 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

I’ve noticed only two differences in translation that I thought were really significant. It’d be interesting to know if you considered them important too.

the_sweetroad
the_sweetroad
11 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Yes, I’d be interested in knowing what you found! Guess we’ll have to wait until we get to those episodes :).

MariaF
MariaF
11 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

Yep.

BE
BE
11 months ago

While I always appreciate KFG’s reaction to characters in the real time of dramas, and in the case of a couple of dramas myself my antipathy to major characters made it impossible for me to watch shows, I think that one thing to have a perspective on is that the most serious (and for me, best) K Dramas are those in which character development and growth are essential to the drama playing itself out. Part of this show’s hooks into everyone is how the two main characters are indeed pitiful, and yet….

eda harris
eda harris
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

BE, looking at your comments i get a feel of what kind of dramas you are attracted to and enjoy, i think that you would truly enjoy another quite impressive work from the same director with many of the same actors as in SLA.
beez turned me on to this drama, and now both of us think that it could be a great drama for our next group watch. for some reason not too many people know about it, but i would really like to hear your opinion on it, as you are probably the greatest authority within this group. so the drama is “hearing though the grapevine “. this amazing drama seems quite different not only from other works of this director (although you can definitely recognize his eyes, his voice, his abilities, his sensitivities..) but other kdramas in general. what i find different for example, is that the character development is so expansive, so rich in it’s progression – it’s truly a psychology trip. that’s just one aspect how the drama engages the viewer, although it might seem a bit slow, but never losing it’s march forward and never letting you drop the interest. hope you’ll watch it.

BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

Thanks—will try to locate it

merij1
merij1
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

s/b: Heard It Through the Grapevine

It streams on Viki, at least it does in the US.

LaVieEstBelle22
LaVieEstBelle22
2 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

SLA?

Last edited 2 months ago by LaVieEstBelle22
BE
BE
11 months ago

Probably gonna lay back for a lot of this one, and let folks on the repeat savor, those first timers–what a drama! I might as we go along speak to the minor characters in this ensemble, like the wonderful Park Ho San as Sang Hoon, the pathetic, funny, so human brother of our ml.
Ah, My Mister–I think a better title for this show would be The Beautiful Losers.

And then this. IU. First time watchers. A couple of things. One, when I first saw it, at first I thought her performance in the early episodes lacked much affect. If that is your impression, just pay attention how subtly her take on Dong Hoon changes from one episode to the next over the course of the first eight episodes. Just ever so slightly, episode by episode. Secondly, notice her body language, the tough girl strut when she walks, the earnest facial expression when she runs.

If you have not seen her in anything else or only in drama, you should know her musical fame is rather greater than her fame as an actor, though she has an actorly approach to her performance styles–a love of costume, dramatic enactment of song. But one thing that really gave me a sense of wonder about her enactment of the unforgettable Li Ji An, is to see her performing persona and then think what a stretch this role must have been (57 million views) THE worldwide Queen of Popular Dance Music!:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_nxIQTM_B0

reaper
reaper
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

Very well said.

Didn’t know you are a IU fan ^^

BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  reaper

A world popular music fan. Used to write about it.

reaper
reaper
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

D*mn thats cool 🙂

reaper
reaper
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

Very well said ^^

Didn’t know you are a IU fan. ^^

J3ffc
J3ffc
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

Well, I am not only an IU fan, but – get your flames ready – also thought she was very good in Hotel del Luna. She is one seriously talented and, it would appear, grounded, individual.

I love the alternative title: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BRSTJeHwEk.

Trent
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

As I said immediately after my first watch of this show (and have repeated several times since), I had not contemplated or realized that Li Ji-eun (aka IU) had that level of performance in her. Having only seen her act before this in Hotel del Luna, which pace J3ffc, below, she does a respectable job in what strikes me as a fairly limited role, I was not prepared for the pathos, strength, and nuance she brings to the table here.

I haven’t read a detailed IU biography, but I am given to understand that her younger years were spent in quite straitened circumstances, with she and her younger brother living in a studio apartment with her grandmother after her parents suffered financial setbacks. I’ve often wondered if and how that experience informed her performance here.

And as usual when we turn to her musical performances, I always have to share my personal favorite IU song (“Love Poem”) (I actually hadn’t seen this particular performance of it before):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcVmaIlHZ1o

merij1
merij1
11 months ago
Reply to  Trent

Great music clip, Trent! I consider it a bonus that she resembles her Ji-eun role in the video. Except with lipstick and nicer clothes.

Unlike her earlier looks, as seen in this “IE Evolution” video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiwfoS2iACs

May I admit that my love of K-drama does not transfer to K-pop? It’s just not my thing. However I definitely think IU is awesome.

Last edited 11 months ago by merij1
BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

In one of her earlier albums, “Modern Times,” she pays serious tribute to Charlie Chaplin. And the video performance of “Red Shoes,” tips its hat to the classic film by that name. I am not a big K Pop fan either, my specialty in World Music mostly African and Latin dance music. But to put it in the terms I think of her–there is to her approach to song something that distinctly reminds me of the spirit of youth, everyperson feeling that infected the Beatles in their heyday.

BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  Trent

She has stated she was bullied as a child, and has spoken out against it. And she did grow up with her grandmother for at least a period of time. IU has always had a good relationship with elders.

Rachit
Rachit
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

Dear BE, as a ‘My Mister’ geek, I’m loving your ‘gold nuggets’ 🙂 :)… Kamsahabnida!

merij1
merij1
11 months ago

Final segment of my multi-part A-D observations further below:

D. enjoying this blog for free vs. helping KFG “keep the lights” on with financial support via Patreon

I urge you all not to think of Patreon primarily as a consumer service you pay for. Sure, it’s true that KFG offers multiple tiers of early-access to her notes based on how much you donate that month. (While encouraging the practice of ramping monthly donation levels up or down as necessary based on which notes you want to read.)

But there’s a reason it’s called Patreon. Back in the day, the only way creators like J.S. Bach or Mozart were able to devote themselves to their muse was the financial support they received from one or two wealthy patrons who believed in what they were doing.

Whereas Patreon provides a means for many not-so-wealthy people to support talented artists they believe in.  

Besides KFG, I support two other creators at present — a wonderful but struggling country singer-songwriter (Nora Jane Struthers), and a longtime writer of excellent fantasy novels who fell on hard times in her personal life and is now taking on the extremely hard task of overcoming writer’s block to finish a long abandoned book cycle. (I won’t name her, since not all that is public info.)

I get nothing from those monthly payments, other than knowing I’m doing what little I can to support a person I admire.

So if KFG’s blog has been useful to you, please consider supporting her.  Not for whatever content she throws in as a reward. But just to support her. 

Due to the pandemic, this is her only significant source of income. So if you’re one of the lucky ones like me who has held onto work this last two years, please consider sharing some of that good fortune with talented creators like her who are less fortunate. I’m in awe of the steady and thoughtful effort she puts into this site. Honestly, it’s astonishing.

Last edited 11 months ago by merij1
J3ffc
J3ffc
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

What merij1 said. 👍

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

I second, third and fourth that merij1!

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

Second this! I found that since I use Kfangirl’s blog constantly as a reference to see if a drama is worth my time, I’m happy to support this effort. I figure she is saving me lots of time and angst as I can avoid mediocre shows, (She even has a blog post on which shows have the noble idiocy trope which is my pet peeve! Haha) I hardly watch new shows so only infrequently delve into her Patreon exclusive show notes. I also encourage more people to support if they can, to whatever level you are comfortable with 😁

MC
MC
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

THANK YOU for what you said. I personally didn’t join Patreon initially thinking “Oh I don’t follow current shows, it’s not relevant for me” and I was also having financial issues. But now that things have improved, I thought about it and like you said – it’s my way of supporting KFG so that she can have some small income and keep the blog going (and herself going!!) cos she can’t work in this pandemic. And we all benefit cos there’s so much quality content that she produces! I may not follow most of the shows she shares on her Patreon page but I’m just there so that my monthly contribution is an assured sum for her. I encourage you that if you like her work and want more, to contribute on Patreon so that she can keep giving us more of what we love ♥️

merij1
merij1
11 months ago

A few observations on the following intermingled topics:

A) spoiler etiquette and the limits of spoiler-alert technology

B) group-watches that mingle first-time viewers with those who’ve seen the full show 

C) how some of us use Patreon for private spoiler exchanges while watching shows together

D) enjoying this blog for free vs. helping KFG “keep the lights” on with financial support via Patreon

I too wish there were an elegant solution to A and B. There are times you want to speak freely during a re-watch, talking directly to others who’ve already seen the show.

Note that this will be an even greater issue when we start the group watch for Someone Or One Day, which has all manner of twisty developments that one would like to discuss freely yet not be spoiled on.

Unfortunately the spoiler tags that black out selected text don’t block the text in the email notification most of us receive when new comments are posted. I asked KFG about this and she confirmed there is no known workaround for how those emails transmit.  

It’s not a great solution, but those especially concerned about being spoiled might consider choosing not to receive email updates on all new comments and rely instead on regular visits to the group watch page to catch up.  

Note that when you subscribe to notifications on a post, there are two options in the dropdown menu — the default, which is to be notified of ANY new comment vs. only be notified of replies to YOUR comments. As long as no one posts spoilers in reply to a first-time watcher, that should more fully protect you from being spoiled.

I’ll address the two Patreon observations in a separate reply below.

merij1
merij1
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

C. How some of us use Patreon for private spoiler exchanges while watching shows together

On Patreon, KFG does provide a monthly “Drama Exchange: Deep Dive Zone” thread where a number of us freely discuss K-drama with zero moderation by her. Spoilers are allowed as long as you preface with preceding lines announcing Spoiler Alert for [Name of Show].

At present, it’s just one big monthly bucket, where anyone who wants to watch a show with someone else can do so freely.  

Unfortunately, the technology there was not designed to promote dialogue, so it’s not as friendly in terms of email notifications or multiple nesting comments. With many hundreds of comments each month on a wide range of topics, it’s hard to keep up unless you check each day in concert with whomever you’re watching a specific show.

However, I suppose KFG could create Patreon threads for the same two shows we’re group-watching here on the blogsite. (Perhaps at the lowest tier of support, as a sample for newcomers to Patreon?)

Personally I would hate for that to lead to segregation, with only the first-time watchers posting here on the blog and others only posting at Patreon. But it might work as a compromise, with an announcement here to the effect that “I just posted a comment at Patreon on [vague reference to the spoiler topic] if anyone has something to say about it.”

That would be a clumsy solution, for sure, but I’m just trying to brainstorm…

(I’m going to post observation D. up top so it gets equal billing.)

Last edited 11 months ago by merij1
merij1
merij1
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

Here’s another suggestion to protect people from spoilers in the email notifications:

Spoiler blackout technology is unique to HTML-driven blogs like this or Reddit.

In conventional public commentary, one simply announces that a spoiler is about to follow — often using ALL-CAPS and a line break — and then when the spoiler commentary is done, one announces that as well.

It’s not fool-proof, but at least it give readers a fair chance to skip over a section.

The issue here is that we aren’t doing that on the blogsite because we’re assuming spoiler blackout brackets have solved the problem.

So since this is actually hybrid media, with the brackets not protecting anyone in the emails, how about we all agree to do both things, at least for the spoilers that matter most? Announce the spoiler like so, but also use the brackets:

— SPOILER ALERT —

—————————————————

Not really a spoiler, unless you’ve never seen Romeo & Juliet
My gosh, I hate to tell you this, but Romeo and Juliet ends very sadly. One might even call it . . . a “tragedy!”

— END SPOILER —

—————————————————

Anyhow, as I was saying, Juliet is just the cutest gal ever. And so spunky! Kinda like Se Ryung in The Princess’ Man! (Which my wife and I just finished, btw.)

Last edited 11 months ago by merij1
JJ
JJ
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

Rome & Juliet
What Romeo & Juliet is a Tradegy? Say it isnt so?!!! 😂

reaper
reaper
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

Just a little question: Does a spoiler inside a spoiler work?
How about we check if it works.

First
[spoiler title=”Second”] Does this show in the email?
[/spoiler]

reaper
reaper
11 months ago
Reply to  reaper

Doesn’t work…

Princess Jasmine
Princess Jasmine
11 months ago

Finally its “My Mister” time and I was waiting for this group watch for 3 months now. Two episodes in and I am totally liking it. And the discussion here takes it to another level altogether.

My initial views: I am more forgiving of Ji-An and her antics so far. Especially she does not know what Dong Joon might go through (with suspension etc) when she takes the money. From her point at that time – it was just an unreported bribe money that Dong Joon takes in and he cannot report it if stolen.

She joining hands with the CEO – I am not going to judge her for this as its too early. Even otherwise I want to watch a story where the female lead maybe is bad or has shades of grey given the circumstances that she was born into and/or is put through. Not everyone can survive with ethics intact under such hardships and in a not so helpful society.

And unlike some views here which is fine – I am liking the corporate scheming in the drama and honestly I never expected it. Hope this track progresses logically.

Spoiler Alert – My only question so far is that why she owes money to the loan shark and if its because of someone else debt (maybe her parents or grandparents)- Can’t she report it to the police or how/why is she expected to clear off someone else debt. I think I will have to wait for a few more episodes on this.

merij1
merij1
11 months ago

Why does Dong Joon‘s wife cheat on him?

It’s depressing being married to a depressed person. Even if you love him and even if you know life has been unfair to him.

His career went sideways, most likely because of our dear rat friend from Crash Landing On You becoming his boss.

But it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s also just inclined in that direction. A very good man, but one who is prone to keeping his troubles bottled up inside, leading to depression.

Last edited 11 months ago by merij1
MariaF
MariaF
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

I agree it’s hard being married to a depressed person. But the way I see it, their marriage issues weren’t caused by Dong Hoon being depressed. There’s more to that. Unfortunately, I can’t say much right now.

I’d like to say this though: I’m definitely enjoying the group watch. At the same time, I wish there were some kind of “Enjoy the spoilers thread” for those who already saw the show or didn’t mind the spoilers. I’ve noticed that people make some interesting points in the beginning, but these points cannot be freely discussed. By the time they can be discussed, the conversation moves on and nobody remembers them. Too bad.

sadie
11 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Very good point, and I agree with you. I think a good compromise is to put these discussions under the spoiler brackets.

MariaF
MariaF
11 months ago
Reply to  sadie

It’s a compromise, but you still have to constantly police yourself to make sure you don’t write anything ‘inappropriate” outside those brackets. Well, it’s better then nothing…

merij1
merij1
11 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

The other problem is that anyone who reads new comments via email notification will see the spoiler, since the text isn’t blocked there.

If it’s a serious spoiler, I recommend all-caps spoiler language above that blackout section, then the blackout brackets. That gives email readers more of a chance to avert their eyes.

If you support KFG with monthly contributions at Patreon, there is a Monthly Deep Dive open comment thread there, where some of us discuss shows without moderation. We still shout SPOILER FOR MY MISTER!!!, but then we speak freely. lol.

JJ
JJ
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

– LOL! Yes, we do SHOUT SPOILER ALERT over on the Patreon Deep Dive Zone and then commence to say whatever, LOL!!!!

eda harris
eda harris
11 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

 “Enjoy the spoilers thread” I AM VOTING FOR IT. mariaf, such a brilliant idea. that’s exactly what i was missing.

BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

I might suggest that one enjoy show as it is being presented. For example, instead of wondering why, why not dig on how show sets us up to understand the adulterous affair is going on, how it dawns upon the viewer, and see how show goes about developing that. For me, that is one of the great joys of rewatching a drama. Getting inside the how/why it works so well.

merij1
merij1
11 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Yes, as to why we think his wife would cheat on him, we’ll see more and can revisit the topic in the weeks ahead.

However I do think some of it is a response to his nature, which is to become passive in the face of adversity. He is resilient, but only in the sense that he quietly endures in a reliable but low-functioning state of depression.

His career derailed for reasons that were not his fault. But rather than seek employment elsewhere, he just puts up with the daily humiliation.

Furthermore he doesn’t talk openly about any of his troubles. With anyone. He just endures…

Whereas she is a well-educated and highly successful attorney. In a culture where men are expected to be have more prestigious careers than their wives.

It’s old-world sexist, for sure, but that’s the world they live in. And by the standards of that world, this man has become a loser. So the fact that he sees himself that way and behaves like one greatly compounds the problem.

Sad sack behavior earns you pity. But no one finds it romantically attractive.

Last edited 11 months ago by merij1
MariaF
MariaF
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

They are wrong for each other, and it’s taken toll on both of them. So she is cheating, he is just sick of life in general. They’d be better off with other people.
He might meet a person who will help him to become more outspoken, to open up.

merij1
merij1
11 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Yes I agree with that.

And, to be clear, I certainly did not intend to suggest her cheating on him is OK. Only that it can be understood.

BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Is this your surmise after the first two episodes? I do not remember having any opinion at all about it, other than it was going on. At this point, all I know about Dong Hoon is that he is the one member of his family able to make a living, he is married to a lawyer, he is in an uncomfortable job situation, especially uncomfortable as it quite appears especially with regard to his older brother that any salary man position is tenuous, and she is in the throes of a passionately erotic relationship with his boss. I cannot guess as to why.

As I said before, all of this will be detailed, quite understandably, later in the show, but for now it seems like speculation.

merij1
merij1
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

Yes, it is only my speculation.

MariaF
MariaF
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

It’s speculation, but that’s how things look to me so far:
Both of them are educated, reasonable, well behaved people. There is no physical violence. He even tried to save a ladybug. Both of them make a decent living. She apparently makes more money, but still. As far as we can tell, they are both healthy. His
mother is still alive, and he has two brothers. There are pictures, so they might have a child. And yet, he is miserable, she is cheating, and they pretty much trying to stay out of each other’s way. They don’t ever touch each other, let alone hug, kiss, etc.
Is it not reasonable to speculate that they are just not right for each other?

merij1
merij1
11 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Yes, but thus far she hasn’t squashed any ladybugs. So I guess there’s still hope!

Last edited 11 months ago by merij1
eda harris
eda harris
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

as always, i am with you, as long as nobody kills ladybugs.

BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

Well ladybugs are harmless, but still given the todo in the office, I did get a bit of a kick how Ji An makes short work of it. Everyone calms down immediately after. Sometimes I am amazed watching K Dramas how skittish Soeul young people are about stuff that seems so relatively innocuous. Really, never seen a ladybug before? Don’t know the difference between a lady bug and wasp?

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
11 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Oh yeah there was a family photo with a kid! Is the kid away at boarding school? *gulp* dead?! Or not theirs? Hmm.

BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Well “right for one another” implies something pretty vague covering a wide range of possibilities. They certainly do not seem right for one another in the present tense, but haven’t you met married couples going through bad patches, or ones in which one or the other is seduced by the kind of erotic attraction going on in her life. Would we say those two are, thus, “right for one another”?

MariaF
MariaF
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

All good questions. I’ve made a comment on this subject in the “full of spoilers “ thread. It wouldn’t be appropriate to post it here at this stage. But she looks too fancy for him, among other things.

BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

The problem with his not resisting things at work, though I do not recall that being an issue up to this point, is that show via his brothers makes a strong case for how difficult for someone good at what they do hold on to their employment. His family is dependent on what he can earn. Most people work in fields that are less than comfortable, I did, put up or find yourself unemployed.

Glogló
Glogló
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

Sad sack behavior earns you pity. But no one finds it romantically attractive.

I find this statement a bit harsh and kinda of untrue if you ask me in many ways.

First I would not say that the ML’s behaviour signals incompetence, not at all. The people who might think that way are all those big wigs around him at work, all those guys in management who were introduced with a halo of stars, and who think themselves brilliant because they are successful in that corrupt and cut throat world our ML (very clearly and I’d even say very purposely) does not want to be part of. I think the show is trying to criticise the arrogance of the big wigs and making the somewhat pathetic predicament of the ML relatable and endearing to us, because it’s upright and somewhat heroic.

As for “sad sack” behaviour being romantically unattractive for everyone, I disagree too. People who put up with crap at work or in life and keep their head down can be admired for their grit and their patience. They can also be admired for rising above appearances, petty ambition or desire to impress others. I personally have a soft spot for this kind of person. Attraction is not black and white.

eda harris
eda harris
11 months ago
Reply to  Glogló

gloglo, Attraction is not black and white. spot on.

merij1
merij1
11 months ago
Reply to  Glogló

By “sad sack,” I was referring to his demeanor, not his actions. He puts off a depressed, beat-down vibe.

Obviously each of us is attracted to different things, but in my experience not many people find depression attractive. (And the ones who do have special issues of their own!)

In any case, the context of my comment was specific to his wife.

Spoiler – please move this type of discussion to the Spoiler Zone
But also  Ji-An, now that I think about it. Whether that’s part of what she finds attractive about him might be an interesting thread to pull on during our watch.

I was thinking it was his decency that she found attractive. But I suppose she might identify with his troubles due to her own history.

Last edited 11 months ago by kfangurl
Gloglo
Gloglo
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

I know that you were referring to how the ML looks from the outside, not what he’s made of, but that is precisely what I disagree with: A sad and downtrodden look is not necessarily unsexy. Maybe it’s just me but I always found “sad boys” attractive… I always felt that the quieter, milder and shyer probably had more interesting things to say than the more outwardly outgoing, although, of course, that wasn’t always the case. It was just an impression.

Also, it is interesting how the FL is just as depressing looking as the ML, but she’s not deemed incompetent or unattractive because of her”bad girl” actions, which are much more obvious than the muted, yet still subversive, integrity of the ML.

On the subject of the wife’s feelings for the ML, I would say that a person might become jaded with their depressed spouse if the latter does not make attempts to get get help and get better, not because the spouse looks depressed, is unsexy, boring or no fun to be with… in the first instance the conflict is motivated by love, whereas in the second it is the result of a person not caring enough for their depressed spouse.

merij1
merij1
11 months ago
Reply to  Gloglo

Excellent point about FL and double standards.

BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

In episodes one and two he does not look particularly down trodden. I think I see why some folks need to deal in spoilers, but why watch the show as it develops, even rewatch it, it you cannot appreciate how slowly this show unfolds. Li Ji An in no way right now is attracted to Dong Hoon. I am amazed that this is coming up at this point. Just saying.

merij1
merij1
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

It was a mistake. I downplayed my reply when you called me out earlier because I didn’t want to draw further attention to it.

Please accept my apology. I might just stop posting in this section.

reaper
reaper
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

People rewatch the show but how can they appreciate the developments again when they already know most of it. People know what happens they can’t wait for the excitement that will come in the next episodes. It is understandable. Not everybody has the patience and discipline to keep it together.
I think you are unfairly judging them (Even tho spoilers belong in the spoiler thread) and it seems like you judge the creation of the spoiler thread overall.
Just because you watch show in a certain way and “appreciate the developments” doesn’t mean everybody else has to.

Especially when you base everything off your personal opinion. “He isn’t down trodden” in the first 2 eps? I would disagree just like a lot of others.
“Lee Ji An is not attracted to him” I would partially disagree again. I think from all the people there she is definitly interested in him. That is at least in my book some kind of attraction. Nobody says attraction has to be romantic.

No offense intended.

MariaF
MariaF
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

There are many ways to enjoy the show. I can certainly understand the benefits of watching and rewatching the show as it develops, and appreciating how slowly this show unfolds. 

Yet, there is also a pleasure in realizing that, let’s say, there is a connection between what happens in episode 1 and a conversation in episode 5, sharing this newly found understanding with fellow viewers, and getting their take on it (I’m using a fake example to prove my point).

Also, I think you are being a bit harsh. If you saw “One Spring Night”, you might remember how ML said to FL: “Please forget I ever said that”. And she answered: ”How can I forget it? It’s impossible“. The same is happening here. People cannot just turn off their brains and their memory. However, I believe everyone here is doing their best to keep future plot developments to themselves. 

eda harris
eda harris
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

i agree, i guess it would be very difficult to live next to a depressed person, especially if you can not really help and especially if it’s clinical depression, although i myself have never been in a situation like this. i am not sure though that our ML is in this state. so far he looks kind of …subdued. but it seems he has a very even, low key almost zen nature (listen to his voice), so it is difficult to differentiate at this point whether he’s depressed or it is simply part of his nature. even if he does not know the extent of his wife’s betrayal , intuitively, subconsciously he know something is wrong compounded with situation at work and his dirty boss. anyway, i already feel a lot of sympathy (not pity) for him. after all, he wanted to save a ladybug, life is life, and to stand up for any life in my experience gets a lot of brownie points.

BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

Have you been around depressed people? Dong Hoon in episodes one and two does not appear to be a depressed person. Geez!

Trent
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

I’m no clinician, and in no wise qualified to make a diagnosis, but I definitely incline towards your view. DH isn’t depressed, save in the casual colloquial way one might say “I’m feeling pretty bummed out”. He’s a reserved guy with a lot of normal responsibilities, and some extra stuff on his plate in the family and work arenas to deal with.

Glogló
Glogló
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

If I tell you the truth. (and I’m watching this drama for the first time and am up to episode 3) I don’t see Dong Hoon looking more downbeat than anyone else in this drama… His brothers are the most boisterous, but they seem to be the odd ones out too.

eda harris
eda harris
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

be, yes i have been around depressed people, it is almost an epidemic especially in the west (i think when one is really poor, like making $3 a day in some 3d world countries) one simply has no time for depression and no time for analyzing one’s situation, as survival is on the agenda. but how on earth did you get the impression that i implied that dh was depressed. quite to the contrary! and here is what i said above: i am not sure though that our ML is in this state. so far he looks kind of …subdued. but it seems he has a very even, low key almost zen nature (listen to his voice), so it is difficult to differentiate at this point whether he’s depressed or it is simply part of his nature. 
does it still sound to you that i consider dh depressed? at this point it is at the most a question, but that is not my impression at this time.
also, we can not just discard our knowledge that already exists in our brains, so it will definitely influence how we think and more importantly how we feel about those characters. so even that we try to avoid putting spoilers, our perceptions are already formed if we watched this drama in the past, even some time ago.

BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

I think she makes an eloquent argument later in the show.

Glogló
Glogló
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

I personally don’t care why his wife is cheating on him. I suspect there is a reason why the marriage has failed. I’m just going with something I realised in ep 2 that had me thinking:  

Possible spoiler?
  the wife of the ML had the photo of a child on her desk. I suspect this child is her son and he either died or is not around the anymore… I may be wrong. Maybe it is someone else’s child. Maybe this woman longs for a child. I’d say that at 40 having children is something expected in the world we live in… is this the issue in their marriage? A dead child or the wish of a child?
I’m watching ep 3 tonight. Maybe this will become clear soon.

Giving up on a marriage is not an easy thing…You need a strong reason for an intelligent sensitive person to give up on a marriage and endure the aftermath (family and social upheaval mainly). A partner being depressed, per se, is not a good enough reason. Depression can be treated and if there is a will to resolve issues and love, chances are the marriage will survive. A partner who cannot or is not willing to communicate and bridge chasms in a relationship is more likely to destroy a marriage.

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
11 months ago

Someone mentioned in the comments how the brothers being out of work is not necessarily their fault. I think I have some sympathy for that having watched Misaeng last year. To lose your salaryman position after 40 pretty much condemns you to unemployment as you are too old to hire or unqualified for other industries. Unless you are willing to suppress your pride and go for unskilled jobs. Like the security guard post mentioned by mom for eldest brother but it would entail moving far away =( youngest brother is pretty much the cautionary tale all Asian parents use when you say you want a career in the creative industry haha.

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
11 months ago
Reply to  Elaine Phua

Another tidbit about Dong Hoon being downtrodden, did you notice that in the big team meeting when his Team 3 got assigned with yet another thankless and challenging project, how Team 1 and 2 had much more staff than Team 3, yet were only doing 10-20% more projects than them? One of his team members mutters how Dong Hoon is too nice to fight back against unfair assignments and hence their team is always overworked. Similar to Misaeng, Manager Oh’s team was also Team 3 if I remember correctly, smallest in size and always getting the worst projects.

MariaF
MariaF
11 months ago
Reply to  Elaine Phua

The management is after Dong Hoon, setting him up to fail, or quit, and they are not even trying to hide it.

BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

spoiler
His immediate supervisor seems to have it in for him, but the business about the bribe was an error . Then later we realize this is convenient for his boss on 2 accounts, one the affair; two, to keep his position in an upcoming election. At the start of the show, it mostly seems like a mayter of petty jealousy on the part of the ninny that is his immediate supervisor

MariaF
MariaF
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

Yes to what you said in the spoiler about the bribe. I didn’t read it as jealousy. To me it looked like trying to read his boss’s mind and anticipate his wishes. So the immediate supervisor gives Dong Hoon’ s group more work. He is also very rude to Dong Hoon, making others aware of his disrespect.

MC
MC
11 months ago
Reply to  Elaine Phua

I totally get you… about the Misaeng reference and the asian parent thing, hahah. It’s the same director for My Mister and Misaeng! So that’s probably why they’re similar, vibe wise.

eda harris
eda harris
11 months ago

may be you already know it, but i just had the happiest discovery – the director of this drama is the director of “sungkyunkwan scandal”. omg, this is my “pet-drama”, really, as my true pets whom i love to death. you get the connection. if there is still anybody who did not see this drama SS, it is truly a must, it is 20 episodes of most exclusive psychotherapy. spoil yourself.

merij1
merij1
11 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

I did not know that. Interesting!

Princess Jasmine
Princess Jasmine
11 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

I did not know that. Thanks. I am very happy for you that you found your “pet-drama”. For me its Healer and Suspicious Partner. I always wanted to watch SS as like both Park Min and Song Joong but somehow was not motivated enough. I am going to watch SS right after My Mister ends. Thanks for this.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
11 months ago

Princess Jasmine – Please do not miss it – it is a true classic and worth the watch. Song Joong Ki and YAI are electric in this.

Princess Jasmine
Princess Jasmine
11 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

many thanks. I will definitely watch it once My Mister ends. Done.

BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

Along with my love for old folk shows–Dear My Friends (Go Doo-Shim! seriously; Shin Goo!) and to lesser degrees Radiant, Navillera, and the special K reviewed, “A Jaunt’ featuring the wonderful Son Sook in a speaking role–My Mister and Secret Love Affair are my two favorites. Sageuks are a different story, and I am so grateful for the group watch of Chuno, as well. Chuno, Beez!

beez
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE – 1st CHUNO!
2nd – I’ve been tactfully hushed after you pointed out Dagil’s glorious abs and my unquestioning loyalty to them. 😄 But they did show us early on that he did… Nevermind. I can’t justify it. 😆 😂😂🤣

I can only say that I feel far removed from Daegil but I know plenty of Jians personally. if anyone really dissected what I’ve been saying, it’s not Jian herself I’m criticizing (although it’s true I don’t like her but that’s a reverse on the actor because I’m not too fond of IU), but rather how we can look at individuals and find sympathy yet when we see an entire culture flailing in like circumstances, we don’t see people (who all have back stories)… I’ll leave that there.

Trent
11 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez — Ah, that’s a deep cut, and I say that in all seriousness.

I’ve been thinking about that while watching this…it’s very easy (well, for some of us, at least), to deeply empathize with Ji-an’s plight, for whatever reason–I’d say mostly because of the artistry of the storytelling, which really is quite elevated, in my view–and yet so many people, even “an entire culture flailing” as you aptly put it, don’t get the artistic treatment, or the great storyline that makes it accessible, and so they don’t get the easy highway into our hearts.

(I’m speaking in general terms of “us” and “our,” but to be clear, I include myself in this indictment…)

eda harris
eda harris
11 months ago
Reply to  beez

beez, for the little that i have seen IU, i also have no warm feelings about her performing on stage, i like her way more as the actress ji an in my mister. i think she is doing a close to perfect job so far. do i like her character at this point? i have mixed feeling, but i can not just excuse a “professional crook” regardless of her tough circumstances (which i totally feel for) – and that is how she appears for now. where is she coming from, how did she become soooooooooooo professional? yes, she seems quite bright, but her calculated and coordinated with her friend crookery, seems beyond that. the way it will develop further is for us to discover. (well, i already discovered, since i have seen it already, and i find it very difficult to pretend as if i do not know anything. it’s almost like i am playing a stupid game, really do not know if i am not engaging in disclosing forbidden stuff and spoiling for others. that’s my dilemma for now)
beez, i wanted to ask you, how’s you progress in grapevine, what episode are you? i finished it.

beez
11 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

Hi eda! 👋 I’m not familiar with actually following IU as a singer (although, of course, I’ve seen a couple of her music videos years ago). I’m sure she’s good or she wouldn’t be such a big star but her personality and “star quality”, as a whole, doesn’t attract me. That’s fine. We need all types of folks, she’s just not my cup of tea.

I haven’t progressed past episode 2 of …Grapevine. I’ve been crazy busy. When you see me on KFG’s Verdict, I’m not watching any dramas and vice versa. I can’t seem to find a good balance of my time. Hopefully, after the holidays, I’ll have more time. I see the blog is doing year-end lists but I don’t think I finished even one series this year! Oh! I did watch Squid Game (Which doesn’t count) and Mr. Queen ❤️. I dropped a lot – more than I have since I started watching in 2013.

eda harris
eda harris
11 months ago
Reply to  beez

i guess i’ll wait for you . or may be we’ll be blessed to have it as a group watch. i will definitely rewatch it with enthusiasm – it is so good. even without the group, i’ll still rewatch at some time. i just hope your own enthusiasm will not burn out.

beez
11 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

@eda harris – I might be burned out with the new shows, but I’ll never be too burned out to discuss the shows that I love and can rewatch over and over! (…Grapevine, Healer, Chicago Typewriter, Sunkwanyun [sic] Scandal, etc. I don’t have a lot of hope for …Grapevine winning any votes for a group watch but I do hope that Mr. Sunshine makes it. There’s so much there to talk about despite it’s somewhat slow burn.)

Georgia Peach
11 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

EH, loving me some SS als0! I’m such a sucker for the KKiss…and the ‘gat kiss’ is still one of my favorites. Pet… as in Crazy Horse?

eda harris
eda harris
11 months ago
Reply to  Georgia Peach

georgia peach, i could not find anything more appropriate to compare my love, admiration and adoration for this drama SS, and most of it’s characters as i love it on the scale of my feelings for my pets. (thus this drama is my “pet” in the land of pets) and that is the highest scale possible for me, so much so that my husband and kids always complained that whatever pets i had they always were number one for me. (there is some truth to it, i must confess, but that is because people can talk and tell me what hurts or what is the problem, while with animals i am left to guess and worry – dreadful side effect of having pets).

beez
11 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

@georgia peach @eda harris – I miss the older dramas style like SS (never can spell it).

Glogló
Glogló
11 months ago

Episode 1:

I like the real life style of the show. This appears to be a story about regular people with money struggles. The sound design, with all those mundane office noises and background conversation, and the docudrama filming style give it a daily life feel. It’s interesting how in the midst of this realism we encounter the “big” suits introduced on the screen on those whimsical moving cup-mats with a circle of stars around them… representing money like on bank notes perhaps? Not sure about that one. I liked it. It was a good way of keeping track of the chain of command, because I do find that that part of the story requires a bit of attention.

The ladybird’s point of view starting the show is rather absurdist, but it somewhat adds to the pathos as it shows all these office workers running around the office freaked out about something so minor… It’s setting the tone: These are small people. The killing of the bug itself is significant as it sets apart the two leads. After that incident we know exactly who they are. He’s nurturing and upright. She’s a callous survivor. The rest of episode 1 brings incidents that reinforce those character traits. What they have in common: They both are there for the people they care about, even though life is tough.

I’m curious about why he’s so jaded in his marriage, as it sits oddly with the fact that he’s a caring man. His wife is in love with someone else, someone he was a college senior to. Does he know? Does he care? Does he perhaps feel emasculated after being demoted at work? As for the FL, I’m intrigued about her situation. There are a lot of useless man-child types around her. She definitely has a strong motive to steal that office bribe and pay off her debt to that violent creepy guy…

Having this placid and nice yet unsatisfied middle age ML sweating about losing that bribe money (that wasn’t even for him) and having to spend time with this weird and pathetic young FL is somewhat thrilling to see. I’m really looking forward to this relationship unfolding. Roll on episode 2!

Episode 2

Wow so the FL is making a pact with the devil, that little CAO twerp and lover of the ML’s wife… I mean, the FL is in a tough spot and she’s super clever… who could blame her? But ML is just so helpless and so nice… she will be conflicted, I’m sure, although so far this girl has been on survival mode, interested in making money and getting those a-hole gangster types out of her back.

I’m loving this!

eda harris
eda harris
11 months ago
Reply to  Glogló

loving it too. and so far thinking pretty much along those lines.
but a small question. you sayShe definitely has a strong motive to steal that office bribe”.
i am not sure she actually knows it is a bribe. she saw that it was money in a big envelope, she clearly intently looked at it and straight at him. but how would she know that it is a bribe? may be it’s money somebody owes him , may be it’s a payment he did something for somebody on the side, and if she sees it just as his legally obtained money, how does it affect our view of her now?

MariaF
MariaF
11 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

In episode 1, before taking the envelope with certificates, Ji An says to the janitor: “He can’t report it missing, because it’s a bribe. It doesn’t matter who takes it”. Then the janitor turns off electricity.
She knew.

eda harris
eda harris
11 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

didn’t this conversation with the cleaner happened after she already took the bribe money? that is what is in my recollection, but i might be wrong. i’ll need to go back and check on that, when i’ll find time. but if you are right, the question still remains how did she know that it was a bribe. she took the money the same night, after she purposely, when they were left alone in the office, shut with her foot the drawer where he put the envelope and made him “feed her” – to distract him and lure him away from the office. after they ate, she told him to go home, and she ran back to the office. that is when she spoke to her friend old man, the cleaner, and concocted the plan to shut of the electricity. right? so how would she know the same day by the evening (the delivery was late afternoon, if i remember correct), so within a few hours, she came up with the plan.

MariaF
MariaF
11 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

That conversation definitely happened before she took the money. The janitor was kind of against it, but went along anyway.
I think she guessed, because Dong Hoon looked nervous, scared. And he hid the money. Ji An is very perceptive and very quick.

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
11 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

She saw Dong Hoon receive the plain envelope from the courier that afternoon and how he looked shocked at the wad of cash vouchers in there. She saw his suspicious reaction, how he tried to make sure that nobody saw the wad, and how he hid it under a file and slid it into his drawer. That’s how she knew it was illegal money, under the table.

eda harris
eda harris
11 months ago

i totally and completely agree with all that trent said here below and feel very similar. but… here are a few more observations.
first of all – the opening scene- a beautiful ladybug somehow got into this concrete structure and the women screaming in horror (where the hell did they grow up?). dong hoon, with his zen voice (love his voice, so calming) is trying to save this little creature from being killed by these idiots (sorry, do not have another appropriate word for it). for me, this drama already wins, and the ML is from this moment on my INSTANT HERO, somebody who has a heart. a bit later this scene is brought again in a very smart way, where dong hoon is asking ji an: “didn’t it bother you to kill a ladybug?” … and with sort of sarcasm: “what is the worst you have killed?” she very quietly responds: “a human”. is this also sarcasm or truth? let’s have a white board, and put all the questions on it. this would be my first question. and that is the opening scene with the bumblebee, – important, at least in my mind.
the 3 brothers seem to have a very close relationship and it’s beautiful to watch, with all their bravado, loudness, excessive drinking – they know each other and deeply care about each other. the younger brother notes about dong hoon: “when he is caught, between desire and conscience, he leans toward the latter”. that is a testament to his character, and it is important to remember. let’s put it also on our white board.
don hoon and his wife. she speaks to him and it’s like she’s speaking to the wall. no answer. no communication. (i actually noticed that many times in these dramas the people simply avoid answering, that is so bizarre to me and i do not understand it. beez, if you read it, please help out, do you have a “korean explanation” to this phenomena?) and when he does talk to her or asks her a question, his voice is very flat, it lacks true interest or importance. anyway, this marriage seems very troubled, to say the least. we put this also on the board – where can it go?
ji an has been chewed up here already quite a lot. she’s not a regular 19 year old, her delicate features, big eyes, poor clothes, suffering shining through her entire being, but also amazing strength, smarts, desire to live by all means possible. she’s at the very bottom, there is nowhere else to go, nothing to loose, and that is why there are no STOPS in her behavior or her mind. and when there is nothing to loose any more, there is also no FEAR. just primal survival. it’s not that i approve of her, but there is something intriguing and mystifying about her, that attracts me, and so i am putting her on the board also. let’s wait and see. i feel she’s not JUST a villain.
the most heart warming scene though is her interaction with her granny, which starts with ji an’s abduction/rescuing of her granny. the drive on the road in the cold with the bed, under the enormously huge moon (let’s put the moon on the board – any significance? may be). and then her friend (the guy lives his life in the video games) comes to help, he’s startled to see granny in the shopping cart with only her nose picking out from the wrapped around her blankets and she reminds me at this moment of the character E.T. from the movie. she’s only a few seconds on the screen at this time, but her smile warms the whole screen. i find this actress phenomenal. let’s put her on the board, she’s that impressive, and seems very important to the story and to ji an. what role is she going to play to show ji an’s heart and in general?
the loan shark and ji an. how did she acquire such a huge loan? what did she do with the money? it seems that this guy is not simply after her money, i feel there is deep deep seated opposing raging emotions there and that is how he reacts, it is not the money but her soul, not even her life, he is after. WHY? this question definitely goes on the board.
these two episodes are quite loaded, but i’ll skip it for now and go to the very end. ji an discovers the CEO’s secret, and now she has her own secret weapon, she does not loose any time, we can almost see the “wheels” of her brain turning, she devises a plan right there and then, BRILLIANT!!! the little ‘vileness” has him nailed, ha ha. now, the battle of evils begin, and this definitely deserves to go to the top of our white board. our board is getting quite busy. please, do not give up, it is an amazing journey.

sadie
11 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

I love your idea of putting things on a “white board.” About the doomed marriage and how the two parties got there, I think we were given some hints at the beginning. Dong Hoon had to feel some resentment at his wife missing the wedding of his brother’s only child with yet another business trip. She had many of them, couldn’t she rearrange things for once? Also, he tried to give her a call and she did not answer and the next scene we saw was her and her lover walking on the beach. That might explain his coldness towards her in the kitchen scene. I actually thought it was very realistically portrayed.

sadie
11 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

I love your idea of putting things on a “white board.” About the doomed marriage and how the two parties got there, I think we were given some hints at the beginning. Dong Hoon had to feel some resentment at his wife missing the wedding of his brother’s only child with yet another business trip. She had many of them, couldn’t she rearrange things for once? Also, he tried to give her a call and she did not answer and the next scene we saw was her and her lover walking on the beach. That might explain his coldness towards her in the kitchen scene. I actually thought it was very realistically portrayed.

the_sweetroad
the_sweetroad
11 months ago
Reply to  sadie

Agreed, in context Dong Hoon’s coldness to Yoon Hee is understandable. And in classic Dong Hoon fashion, he doesn’t talk about his resentment or frustration, he just ignores it/ her. I feel like her face expresses some contempt for him, too, when he’s sitting there. Not a great moment in their marriage that we as the audience drop into.

@eda harris The ignoring of questions happens quite frequently in kdramas, and I think in Asian cultures as a whole. No one feels the obligation to answer a question if they don’t want to :). I’ve seen this happen many times in my real life.

eda harris
eda harris
11 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

so it is truly a part of their culture. thank you for the explanation.

BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

Li Ji An’s poor clothes? I dunno, given how poor her apartment life is, she seems, except for a lack of socks, to be reasonably clothed. I wonder if I could have afforded the sweaters she wears when I was her age.
Wonderful and helpful questions.

MariaF
MariaF
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

From what Ive learned from Korean shows about Asian culture (very little, I admit), my understanding is that people there are very conscious about their looks. Her sloppiness in clothing and total disregard for how it looks to others says that she is definitely not well off.

BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

I do not find her clothes sloppy or any sloppier than several other workers there, except as I say for her lack of socks. I am reading a lot of comments on this set of posts that make me wonder if I am watching the same show, and I have seen My Mister five or six times. One of the things that has struck me repeatedly is how a young woman that poor in the US would not be dressed nearly so nicely. And as I taught young women of that age for about twenty five years, it strikes me that I cannot be that far off.
Think about how Da Mi was dressed. For example. Did you ever see her even once in such nice sweaters?

How I know she is poverty stricken has to do with other things, pilfering instant coffee, her apartment, the loan she cannot pay back. But tweed jackets and fancy turtle neck sweaters, I dunno, does not strike me that way, any more than Dong Hoon seeming “depressed.” A depressed guy does not give life lessons to his subordinates on the relative sufferings of animals with such lucidity. A depressed person retreats from leadership. Depression is considerably more than keeping one’s counsel before nutcase supervisors.

Now Sang Hoon in his cups at the bar borders on depression early on, but it is not an organic thing–his life is not going well. Still that is much closer to depression.

Glogló
Glogló
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

Hear hear. I couldn’t agree more.

I think the girl wearing those converse with ankle shocks is telling us more about her youth than about her poverty… I’ve seen my children wearing converse like that in the height of winter… It’s a youth thing. But of course, to someone like Dong Hoon, who seems a caring nurturing person 20 years older than her at least, and who has also seen her stealing the coffee at work, these shoes and socks make her look more pathetic, not only in the material sense, but also in the sense that a girl her age would normally have a mother at home making sure she’s wrapped up properly for the cold and she gas a hot meal ready for her at the end of a working day… Those, to him, make her look like a person with no connections and little support.

MariaF
MariaF
11 months ago
Reply to  Glogló

Somehow I put a spoiler in the wrong place, and now I can’t fix it.

MariaF
MariaF
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

You are right. After looking carefully, I agree that she dresses ok. I guess her shapeless jacket, dark colors, unkept hair and her general vibe somehow gave me an impression that she dresses poorly.

Minor spoiler
But how she dresses and looks now is quite different from how she looks at the end of the show.

As far as DH being depressed, I didn’t mean it in a clinical sense, so I probably shouldn’t have used that word. He is just sad. And scared.

Last edited 11 months ago by kfangurl
eda harris
eda harris
11 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

maria and be, her clothes are may be not so poor, just not warm enough for this weather. it seems like the other people wear heavier, warmer coats or jackets and more layers. so the way she is dressed makes an impression that makes you feel sorry for her, of course it is combined with the rest of the events that are happening to her (like not having money to pay for the fruit so that she has to put it back, and then dh pays for it and runs after her to give it to her, but can’t find her, also shows how kindhearted he is), or how the loan shark beats her and pursues her, or how she has to abduct her granny from the nursing home for lack of funds… it is the combination of all of these things that molds her personality in our minds from the start.

MariaF
MariaF
11 months ago
Reply to  eda harris

Thank you Eda for expressing this so well.

Yes, technically JA doesn’t t wear clothes full of holes. And yes, clinically DH is not depressed. But the air of sadness, desperation and hopelessness that surrounds them, their survival mode’s existence kind of blinded me. I saw them emotionally, not with 20/20 vision.

j3ffc
j3ffc
11 months ago

I started watching k-dramas in 2018, which is when My Mister came out, and the accolades at the time were so effusive that I put it on my destination drama list, so am finally getting to it here.

One specific plot element suggests that this is going to be one tightly written show. Think of the amount of information portrayed in the following, very concise turn of events: (1) Ji An gets beaten up by loan shark, (2) wears dark glasses to work to hide the bruises, (3) because she has on dark glasses, she is able to watch in great detail as Dong Hoon deals with the mistakenly delivered package. We learn about her financial situation one completely organic sequence that allowed her to get her hands on that envelope. The sequence with DH and the ATM was similarly informative, as noted by kfangurl [PS thanks for clearin’ that cache!].

One moral from our opening salvo here: no matter how bad you have it, someone has it worse than you – maybe even someone you know.

reaper
reaper
11 months ago

Wow you guys really analize this one like crazy.
Just waiting for @BE literature professor speech :DD

Seems like I will watch this sometime again alone. These group watches seem intense.

BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  reaper

People want to talk about it.

reaper
reaper
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

true

reaper
reaper
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

@BE
are you reading a special book these days? I think your style of writing feels different. You have always been analitical. But expecially in this thread it feels more distant and rational.
You doing okay?

BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  reaper

I had no idea being rational & analytical were something oppositional.
Should I wax poetic vis a vis Sang Hoon’s wife?

reaper
reaper
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

Never mind.

Pixaiated
Pixaiated
11 months ago

Watched this show about a month ago, and fell in love with it. Will be following along this re-watch.

The first two episodes are probably the weakest ones in the entire show – there’s a lot of focus on corporate shenanigans which aren’t the most compelling. That said, these two episodes are good set-up that serve as a good introduction to our characters and the relationships between them.

My favorite sequence within these couple of episodes is when we are first introduced to JA’s plight. The brothers are drinking and having some silly conversation. SH asks ‘A woman. How should she enter the story?’

We immediately cut to the kitchen. ‘Adult’ plays. There’s no dialogue for the next few minutes, but so much is communicated. Working a second job. Sneakily stealing leftover food. A lonely train ride home. A long, lonely walk home. This sequence hits even harder now, after I read the translation of the lyrics to ‘Adult’ – times like these make me wish I understood Korean.

Besides that, a couple other points I found interesting:

JA asks for 20 million won total to fire the Parks. Clearly, she can ask for more – they did just use 50 million won to attempt (what a poor attempt as well – does anyone here think that it would have worked even if it went to the correct Park?) to fire one of them. JA is probably aware of this – but she asks for the exact amount needed for her to clear her debt. Nothing more.

Spoiler
JA replies to DH that the worst that she has killed is a man – which DH (and us) initially doesn’t believe. Interesting that JA was being honest here about her secret – though she most definitely knew that her answer wasn’t going to be taken seriously.

the_sweetroad
the_sweetroad
11 months ago
Reply to  Pixaiated

I agree with you, I think the first two episodes are the weakest (if only because the rest of the episodes are soo good! 🙂 ) But they do a great job at setting up the characters, and I love how the three brothers interact. Sang Hoon’s lines and monologues are so great! The 3 brothers were the hook for me the first time I watched the show..since it was harder to watch Ji An get beat up and be so desperate for food and money.

BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

My one problem was the initial workplace tiddly winks business, which I am glad they ditched quickly. A bit too infected, imo, with the success of Misaeng.

BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

The 3 brothers! Especially Dong Hoon’s older and younger who get their own theme music when on screen together.

the_sweetroad
the_sweetroad
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

Haha yes! Their theme music fits them perfectly. Love how the personalities of all three of them interact.

MC
MC
11 months ago
Reply to  Pixaiated

Yes! I first watched this a while back and when I understood the lyrics of the song, my heart broke. This soundtrack is special and haunting. Every track is great. Glad you went to google the lyrics!

Aiki4640D
Aiki4640
11 months ago

Hi everyone!
I’m watching this because of the group watch. I’ve seen the show pop up many times before on Netflix but I never got around to watching it because the trailer, looked — like Natalia here mentioned — gloom-y. But, I think after just finishing HometownCha3 and basking in the afterglow of watching such a sweet romantic story, I am buffered and ready for the gloom of My Mister.
First episode’s suspense ending was actually a pull-factor for me. Now I want to know what’s going to happen to poor Dong Hoon. I don’t care much about of his mooching brothers — they seem like losers who refuse to move on from the past, get up and do something with their lives. Dong Hoon comes across as a normal everyday guy who suddenly gets screwed over for no reason. He’s got to take care of his sponging brothers and mother, has a wife who loves another man, seems stuck in a department that’s not giving him career growth (and from reading this post — he doesn’t even have a lot of money too despite his high position…wow. So that’s what the scene at the ATM was about…Sad!!). Normally I’d ditch this kinda story — it’s too depressing. But I find myself rooting for our main guy.
I am totally confused with Lee Ji an. I don’t know whether to be impressed by her cunningness or hate her for her willingness to destroy someone else for money – someone who hasn’t done anything bad to her. I don’t know her motives and comes across as shady so it bugs me when she’s the female lead in this story. Ok, so she’s really poor, she’s desperate for a better life and she’s got this kinda cute but a total Jang Ki Yong loan shark after her (The physical bullying was painful to watch. Ji an’s so small and delicate). At his point I’ve watched up to Ep 4 so I’m holding myself back from saying too much.
I’m going to continue watching.

merij1
merij1
11 months ago
Reply to  Aiki4640

With Ji an, I don’t think you’re supposed to decide in either direction anytime soon. She has conflicting motivations.

Aiki4640D
Aiki4640
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

Agree. I will suspend my decision to like/hate Ji an for a few more episodes. I think she’ll be on ml’s side.

Glogló
Glogló
11 months ago
Reply to  Aiki4640

I mean, it’s true that the ML is gentle and sympathetic, but Jin an has been beaten to a pulp by the loan shark psycho guy… and been threatened with prison… I cannot blame her for taking advantage of the situation presented to her and trying to frame the ML. He’s nothing to her and she needs to survive for her and for her sickly grandma.

Natalia
Natalia
11 months ago

Hello everyone !
Finally, I got the motivation I needed to watch My Mister and, to be brief, I like it, despite THE GLOOM. It helped though that the second episode was just a tiny bit less GLOOM, because the first one… I already sympathize and care what will happen to Dong Hoon, who’s a pretty decent guy, apparently even though not the cheeriest person on earth, and I like his interactions with his sort of idiotic brothers, talk about “slice of life” drama! I’m less certain when it comes to Jian, because yes, she has an extremely tough life (THE GLOOM!) but I don’t appreciate how she’s out to get Dong Hoon, even though I do appreciate how she kind of saved his .. for the the time being. I am not sure about the way she’s written either (she’s a bit too “professional” in her misdeeds for a 19 year old even though I suppose she has had it tough from an early age) or IU’s acting, I think that for now she’s just sulking. Nevertheless, I have watched and really liked her in the Producers, so I’m sure there will be more to her acting here as well.

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
11 months ago
Reply to  Natalia

You put it so well, THE GLOOM is probably the reason why I’m not feeling the itch to binge further.

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
11 months ago
Reply to  Natalia

Actually I feel a bit more optimistic than you that despite making the deal, she is at heart probably not so ruthless as she tries to be to bring down Dong Hoon. After all, she could have simply turned a blind eye to his troubles but she turned the vouchers in in a way that got him off the hook. That’s really something that tells me she may not be so ruthless against a basically decent person like Dong Hoon compared to psycho loan shark.

MariaF
MariaF
11 months ago
Reply to  Elaine Phua

Ji An returning the vouchers has nothing to do with helping Dong Hoon. The old man told her to put them into the trash. He said that, if the director, who originally was supposed to be set up, continued looking into their disappearance, he could eventually discover who took them, and then she’d go to jail. Now the investigators are looking just for the company that tried to set Dong Hoon up, because they think that he through the vouchers away.

eda harris
eda harris
11 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

mariaf, that is exactly how i see it.

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
11 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Oh, I forgot that detail!

BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  MariaF

Or very, very observant.

beez
11 months ago
Reply to  Elaine Phua

@Elaine Phua – you’re comment reminds me of a saying that we sometimes see in Kdramas that goes something like this – “you made me sick and now I’m supposed to be grateful you’re giving me medicine?”

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
11 months ago
Reply to  beez

Well if she hadn’t stolen the vouchers he would have been caught with them, possibly even worse consequences?

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
11 months ago
Reply to  Elaine Phua

Not that she had good intentions, but maybe through her act there was an unintended positive outcome for him. Doubtless made more positive by the infighting between the senior management factions, when the anti-CEO faction saw that CEO wanted to shut the investigation done by getting Dong Hoon to resign, they made sure to keep him employed if only to stick it to CEO. Phew!

MariaF
MariaF
11 months ago
Reply to  Elaine Phua

You are right. It was Dong Hoon’s luck that Ji An decided to rob him. Talk about unintended consequences! Also, haven’t we all heard of good intentions and road to h*ll?

merij1
merij1
11 months ago
Reply to  Natalia

she’s a bit too “professional” in her misdeeds for a 19 year old

Although I’ve seen the whole show, it was a while ago and I honestly can’t remember whether she was a professional con artist or other petty criminal in the past. However I do recall wondering as much at this point in the show.

Last edited 11 months ago by merij1
BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  merij1

I get that. She does make you wonder a bit out the gate.

Glogló
Glogló
11 months ago
Reply to  Natalia

The way I understood it the janitor advices Ji an to put those vouchers in the bin because that creepy gangster after her would find out where she works and would send her to prison

The FL is supposed to come across as a bit of an enigma. She’s as tough as nails and thank goodness for that… I mean, you need to be tough to go about your day as normal after being beaten the crap out by some stalkerish lowlife. Getting the ML fired pales in comparison as misfortunes go… I do like the ML and feel sorry for him, but this girlo needs to eat, feed her sick grandma and get that gangster weirdo off her back.

Last edited 11 months ago by Glogló
MariaF
MariaF
11 months ago
Reply to  Glogló

All Ji An needed to do to prevent the creepy gangster from finding out where she works and sending her to prison was to take the vouchers back from him. Which she did.

She had to go further and to put the vouchers into the bin to ensure that the company stops looking for these vouchers and for a person who took them. That’s exactly what happened. Once the vouchers were found, everyone assumed that ML through them away. So the investigators began looking for the contacting company that had sent the vouchers.

Rachit
Rachit
11 months ago
Reply to  Natalia

Greetings! I’m jubilant that I’ve got a second chance at kfangirlverdict to discuss what has become my favourite cinematic work across languages, across genres, across everything! I have watched it a few times already and I don’t think I’m done. One little detail here – I have always remembered Ji An as being 21 years old or even older.. unless I remember wrongly.

BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  Natalia

The show is a drama. It has comedic elements, and a somewhat realistic ending, not unlike SLA, but you should bring your kleenex to this one. Part of why people really love it, however.

Trent
11 months ago
Reply to  Natalia

Natalia (and others referencing the GLOOM)– I’m going to mention something that I said to JJ over on Patreon when I was first trying to get her to watch this.

Not long after I finished the show for the first time, I was poking around looking at random reviews on the internet, and I ran across one that kept talking about how the show was so unrelievedly gloomy and depressing. And I was like “did we even watch the same show?”

Because here’s the thing. Yes, the characters are in difficult situations, and yes, they all are going through often dark times (not just the two leads, either), and so yes, there is much gloom to be found, can’t deny it. But there are also so many glimmers and flashes of humor and light and uplift sprinkled throughout, even aside from the general overall trajectory of the show (which I will not spoil, but you can probably guess). And because of the often heavy material, those glimmers of light spark with even more meaning and delight.

Look for them and cherish them, because they’re there!

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
11 months ago

Only watching this cos of the group watch! I don’t think I’d ever have started it otherwise despite the accolades. The promo shot of the two leads on the subway always gave me a Lost in Translation vibe like the show would be arty and moody and about Life and staring into the middle distance. Some comments on this blog said it’s not like that at all, I’m starting to see why! I did not expect to see a Misaeng-style office with senior management politics, or a ballsy heroine dicing with danger and living hand to mouth. Incidentally I do wonder if she indeed killed someone or was the cause of someone’s death, hence Kwang Il’s vendetta against her, I did wonder why he was being so vindictive for a loan shark. He is super good looking to be playing a baddie though! Intrigued to see where it all goes.

Aside from Kim Young Min, we have another North Korean from Crash Landing on You in our cast, Jeon Gook Hwan who played Captain Ri’s father, here he is the head of the rival faction trying to bring down CEO Joon Young.

Natalia
Natalia
11 months ago
Reply to  Elaine Phua

Elaine, Jeon Gook Hwan is my favourite elderly gentleman in Kdramas – I even liked him in Empress Ki (at least to the point I have watched), even though he was the bad guy there. Anyway, I only mention this to say that watching these two first episodes I instinctively sided with his faction!

merij1
merij1
11 months ago
Reply to  Natalia

[deleted – I posted in the wrong box!]

Last edited 11 months ago by merij1
BE
BE
11 months ago
Reply to  Natalia

Shin Goo, whom we will see later, my elder favorite, is wonderful in this.

Elaine Phua
Elaine Phua
11 months ago
Reply to  BE

Oh, Shin Goo did appear very briefly in episode 2 as the quirky Chairman who was supposed to be hospitalised but randomly showed up at the office convenience store to get coffee! That was when Jeon Gook Hwan appealed to him to let Dong Hoon stay in his position and not get fired for suspected bribery,

BE
BE
11 months ago