Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! I wanted to have this shot headline our post today, because this scene feels like the first time Dong Hoon and Ji An are connecting in a more personal sort of way, which I find such an important milestone.
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS, before we begin:
1. ZERO SPOILER POLICY ON THE OPEN THREAD
We will be adopting a ZERO SPOILER POLICY for this Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point.
The spoiler tags don’t work in email notifications, therefore, please take note that WE WILL NOT BE USING SPOILER TAGS FOR THIS OPEN THREAD. ANY AND ALL SPOILERS WILL BE REDACTED to protect first-time viewers in our midst (although, I’d appreciate it if you would save me the trouble of having to redact spoilers, heh 😅).
*This includes (but is not limited to) how characters or relationships evolve over the course of the story. Just pretend that this is Past You, on this Open Thread!*
2. SPOILER ZONE AVAILABLE
HOWEVER!! If you’d like to discuss spoilers from a rewatcher’s point of view, I’ve created a SPOILER ZONE for you, where you can discuss all the spoilers you’d like, without the need for spoiler warnings. You can find it here!
Without further ado, here are my reactions to this set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️
This episode, we see both Dong Hoon and Ji An in the “taking action” space a lot more, and this is eye-opening, I feel, because it allows us to get a better sense of what’s going on, on the inside, for each of them.
I’m not entirely surprised that Dong Hoon’s decision, is to do everything he can, to protect the life that he has with Yoon Hee.
While their marriage has its struggles and difficulties, I don’t doubt that he’s sincere in his commitment and regard towards Yoon Hee, and I can see him wanting to preserve the marriage, despite this devastating realization, that Yoon Hee’s been having an affair with Joon Young.
This also fits with the impression that I have of Dong Hoon, that he doesn’t ask for much, in life, for himself. And therefore, even though it sucks that his wife’s been cheating on him, I can believe that he would decide that it’s ok, as long as he manages to keep the boat from rocking, and maintain the status quo – even if it kills him on the inside.
I do like the fire that we more and more of from Dong Hoon, this episode. It feels like that fire increases measure by measure, each time he faces off with Joon Young.
I kind of love how shocked Joon Young is, when Dong Hoon seems to swoop in out of nowhere, and abruptly stops him from texting Yoon Hee, telling him that if he does, he’s dead meat. Ahhh. I kinda love it when Dong Hoon doesn’t mince his words, and says exactly what he means.
Still, even as I relish Dong Hoon’s display of assertiveness, which I find refreshing, my heart also aches for him, as he makes each new connection in his mind, about Yoon Hee’s involvement with Joon Young. That moment when he finds her glove in the tent, and remembers her saying that she smells of smoke because she’d eaten food cooked by the campfire, is so heartbreaking, honestly.
I feel really bad for Dong Hoon, because, naturally, his thoughts are going everywhere, and his imagination is running wild, with various possible scenarios, of what Joon Young’s been up to, with his wife.
I do take some consolation in the fact that Joon Young, when confronted, is noticeably jittery and jumpy. He’s not so cool after all, is he?
I have to wonder exactly what Ji An is thinking, though, as she reacts to hearing Dong Hoon tell Joon Young to break things off with Yoon Hee.
Is she taken aback by Dong Hoon’s loyalty to his wife? Is her mind reeling from the implications that this new development has, on the job that she’s supposed to do for Joon Young? Is she.. hit by a sense of guilt, perhaps, for what she’s supposed to do, to this very decent, loyal person?
I find it really quite poignant, to see Dong Hoon go home, and act so normally, talking to his kid on the phone, and promising to do a 1-minute showcasing his special talent as homework.
I imagine this must be taking a lot of self-control from Dong Hoon, since his mind and heart are probably in a mess, from trying to process everything about Yoon Hee’s affair. 💔
This episode, we also see how little regular folks in mid-life tend to have, as Dong Hoon and his brothers puzzle over what sort of special talent he could possibly showcase, in that video.
It’s something that rings true, in the sense that most people pour so much of themselves into work and family, that they have nothing leftover for themselves. They don’t have any special hobby or skill to speak of, and that’s.. kind of sad.
At the same time, Show also spins this point of view, via Yoo Ra’s explanation of why she likes the fact that everyone at the bar is a failure.
Yes, she sucks at articulating herself in a manner that isn’t offensive (it’s so easy to misconstrue, “I like you because you’re a failure,” after all), but there is an echo of truth in her words too; that it’s a comforting, assuring sort of thing, to see that people who have failed in life, still manage to be happy.
I guess it all comes down to what you make of it, yourself, and this episode, we see that Jung Hee’s starting to do a little something for herself, to draw the line between work and home, even if home really is still just a room above the bar.
The barriers are starting to come down, this episode, between Dong Hoon and Ji An, and this is truly one of the highlights of the show. That moment in the train, when Dong Hoon asks about Ji An’s parents, is the first time that Ji An answers without being suspicious or defensive.
When Dong Hoon explains that he’s wondering about Gran, Ji An answers his questions honestly, without pushing back.
This definitely feels like an important milestone. She’s letting him in, a little bit, and this single interaction actually leads to a large outcome, because, until Dong Hoon said it, Ji An had had no idea that there was a way she could get government assistance, in caring for Gran.
Aw, yay. I’m glad that Ji An learns so quickly, that there is value in trusting Dong Hoon, and being open with him.
I also really like that instead of simply saying goodbye after the train ride, Ji An asks Dong Hoon to buy her food, and this time, he agrees readily, no longer making excuses that he’s worried about what other people would think. And, this time, the conversation leans more honest as well, which I always appreciate.
I mean, it’s true that Dong Hoon fudges the truth a bit, but the fact that they can now openly talk about Joon Young trying to get rid of Dong Hoon, is a milestone in itself, I feel.
Plus, Dong Hoon’s asking Ji An not to tell anyone about it, which means that they have a secret between them, now. All these little signs that their bond is growing stronger, is stuff that warms my heart.
Also, how loyal is it, that Ji An asks Dong Hoon if he’s like her to kill Joon Young for him. I mean.. with Ji An, you never know whether she’s actually serious about something as extreme as that, but in this case, it doesn’t even matter.
The fact that she asks, means that she’s positioning herself on Dong Hoon’s side, and I love that idea.
I also love how Dong Hoon thinks to buy some takeaway for Ji An to take to Gran. He’s so kind and thoughtful, in all these little down-to-earth ways.
On the surface, it still looks like Ji An’s working for Joon Young, but those little digs that she takes at him, like, “Do I have to tell you that I know you were humiliated?,” are pretty great.
I do worry slightly for Ji An, though. Joon Young strikes me as a petty man; what if he tries to hurt her in the future, for embarrassing him..?
I can’t deny that the scene where Dong Hoon drags Joon Young to the roof, gives me a bit of a thrill. Joon Young’s shock alone, at the way Dong Hoon takes charge of the situation, is enough to put a grin on my face, heh.
And while Joon Young’s angry spiel is full of wild bluster, I love unintimidated Dong Hoon stays in the face of Joon Young’s accusations. He’s willing to put everything on the line, to go to head with Joon Young, and I’m pretty sure that’s not a reaction that Joon Young had expected.
All this time, Ji An’s been mostly listening in on Dong Hoon’s conversations, but hasn’t actually acted outside of the boundaries of the job that Joon Young’s given her. Meaning, even when she’d acted on her own, it had always been in service of the job that Joon Young’s given her.
I think this is the first time that Ji An’s actually doing something that’s directly against Joon Young’s wishes. Joon Young’s expressly said that he doesn’t want to break up with Yoon Hee, and yet, Ji An hunts down Yoon Hee, to let her listen to precisely the reason Joon Young keeps seeing her.
It’s like she’s nudging the situation in the direction of Dong Hoon’s wishes – for Joon Young and Yoon Hee to break up – in order to help him, even though she’s on Joon Young’s payroll. That definitely speaks of personal loyalty, doesn’t it?
Plus, there’s how Dong Hoon asks the bar owner about Ji An, and upon hearing that, Ji An breaks into a run, so that she and Dong Hoon can sit and drink together, for a while.
That moment when they keep on drinking, trying to be polite to the other person, before they break into smiles, is the most relaxed I’ve seen them, period, and it’s really heartening to see that they’re bringing this kind of warmth into each other’s lives.
Uh-oh, though, that Kwang Il witnesses this, and does not look happy about it, in the least. 😬
The more I see of Kwang Il and how he responds to Ji An, the more convinced I am, that he likes her.
I don’t know if he’s even cognizant of it himself, since he’s made it his mission to make her life miserable, but from the way he reacts, when he sees Ji An smiling with Dong Hoon over beers, I feel like he just might actually like her, and therefore is feeling jealous that she’s spending time with another man, and looking so happy about it.
Of course, there’s also the thing, where he’s very likely livid, that she could smile like that, when he’s gone to such lengths to make her life a living hell, after what she’s done, to his dad.
I don’t know. I don’t think Show is very specific about Kwang Il’s feelings towards Ji An, if memory serves, so I feel like Show is leaving it up to us, to come to our own conclusions. And my personal conclusion is, it does kinda feel like there’s jealousy mixed in there.
The important point here, is, I realize that Kwang Il’s not above dragging innocent people into the picture, if it means he can make Ji An’s life more miserable.
The way he trails Dong Hoon, and then picks Dong Hoon’s pocket, in order to learn more about Dong Hoon and his connection to Ji An, makes me feel like where Kwang Il is now, in relation to Dong Hoon, it’s just one step away from harassing Dong Hoon, to help pay back Ji An’s debt.
On that note, it must be miserable for Ji An, to know that all her relationships and connections are essentially vulnerable to Kwang Il’s exploitation. When Kwang Il wants to know more about Ji An’s relationship with Dong Hoon, he tracks down Ki Beom and then beats him up, to try to get some answers out of him.
That must suck for Ki Beom, who was just minding his own business, only to be hauled up for questioning and a beating, just because he’s friends with Ji An. It’s pretty awful, and I imagine that this must be one of the reasons that Ji An herself isn’t keen to form relationships with others.
The conversation that Dong Hoon has with Ji An, as they walk home together, feels thick with meaning, with Dong Hoon talking about how buildings need to have enough strength to withstand external forces – and by extension, people also need to have enough strength to withstand external forces that come against them.
“And life, in a way.. is a struggle between internal and external forces, too. No matter what happens.. you’ll be able to withstand anything if you have sufficient internal forces.”
“Everyone struggles for their whole life, trying to have things. So they live their entire lives trying to prove themselves to everyone but nobody truly knows what they are gaining by doing that. And, even if you do end up getting what you want if the things that made you feel safe.. and the things that made you “you” start getting fractured.. it’s impossible to withstand it. And you crumble.”
“And, when the things that you thought made you who you are.. and the people you thought were pillars in your life.. don’t actually seem to provide you with any inner strength.. and that nothing.. is what it seems..”
These are such deep things to talk about, particularly when we see that as he talks about these things, Dong Hoon’s thinking about the developments in his own life, where his family – the thing that he’d believed to be the foundation of his identity – is the thing that’s getting fractured, which causes him to crumble, and throw down the gauntlet, with Joon Young.
Such deep reflections, about where we ought to root ourselves, in life, and where we ought to draw our strength from.
I do find it interesting, that Dong Hoon’s aim in life, appears to be limited to withstanding the external forces; there’s nothing in there (so far, anyway?) about opposing those external forces. That’s so in line with what we know of his personality.
He’s not one to stir up trouble; as far as it’s up to him, he’d like to live at peace with the world around him.
On Ji An’s side, the way she tells Dong Hoon that she feels like she’s 30,000 years old, and wonders why she keeps getting reborn, feels startlingly personal, for someone who’s usually so private and reticent. That sense of jadedness definitely comes through, and is in line with what we’ve come to understand of Ji An.
How significant, though, that as they say goodbye, Ji An turns back to call out to Dong Hoon, “Fighting!.” It’s feels like it’s completely out of the blue, but it really is what Dong Hoon needs to hear, in the moment.
And we see, later in the episode, that in his private moments on his own, after talking and laughing with his family and acting as normal as possible, he almost collapses to his knees, gulping for air, and the only way he can think of, to get himself to keep his head up and keep going, is to repeat that single word to himself, “Fighting.”
Oof. That moment hit me hard.
It really made me see with more clarity, just how much Dong Hoon’s attempting to process, on his own, while pretending that everything’s fine, and life is as normal. Yoon Hee’s affair alone is enough to throw him seriously off course, but there’s also Joon Young at work, and the pressure on him to rise to the occasion and run for a promotion to Director, in order to participate in the political factions in the company.
On top of all that, there’s his family, who continues to depend on him, not only financially, but also, to be the steady shining star of their family.
Dong Hoon’s done such a good job of keeping himself going, that it’s only when he has a moment of weakness like that, that it all comes into focus for me. Poor guy. And yet, through it all, he continues to be as decent a person as possible. I can see why Ji An can’t help but soften towards him.
The way she quickly realizes, from hearing Kwang Il’s voice in the recording, that Kwang Il’s stolen Dong Hoon’s wallet, and the way she goes out of her way to get that wallet back from Kwang Il, says so much, about where her loyalties now lie.
Like Ki Beom says, now that Kwang Il knows where Ji An works, he’s only going to create trouble there. Instead of worrying about her own position, though, Ji An focuses her attention of getting Dong Hoon’s wallet back to him – anonymously, no less – and even warns Kwang Il not to mess with Dong Hoon, or she’ll really kill him.
Also! How coolly badass is Ji An, to answer so nonchalantly, when Kwang Il asks if she likes Dong Hoon. She doesn’t even hesitate, before saying, simply, “Yeah.” Ahh. There’s something really attractive about how matter-of-fact she is, about admitting her feelings for Dong Hoon.
How very complicated, though, that Joon Young is now asking Ji An to fake-date Dong Hoon, so that they can implicate Dong Hoon in a scandal. We don’t see whether Ji An agrees, but.. she does need the money, so maybe she’ll agree, but double-agent it?
Significantly, Ji An appears to be quite struck by Joon Young’s statement, that Dong Hoon’s not the type of person to eat or drink with someone, unless he likes them.
I’m personally not getting any romantic vibes from Dong Hoon, towards Ji An, but I do think that, given Ji An’s feelings for Dong Hoon, this is definitely a soundbite that’s of special interest to her. I mean, if you like someone, of course you’d be intrigued at the idea that there’s a chance – no matter how small – that he might like you back, right?
The way Ji An looks at Dong Hoon, at the train station, feels so.. complicated, like she can’t quite make up her mind what to do next. Will she waver in her loyalties towards Dong Hoon, in the face of Joon Young’s offer?
As tonight comments for the next two episodes (including for me my very favorite episode) will open, I would just like to emphasize two points in discussing episode 8.
The first is that in this episode Li Ji An is finally completely convinced by Dong Hoon, finally completely on his side, so much so she in a moment of bravado states her affection for him to Kwang Il, and from this point one has the understanding she if continuing to conspire with Do, will do so as a double agent.
The second is the concept of P’ai Ting, or as KFG more correctly states “Fighting.” To me there is something intrinsically part of what is presented in many K Dramas as the heroic, if at times tragic, spirit of the South Korean people. It is a kind of rooting on an against the odds spirit, a spirit in which the internal forces of human being can withstand the shocks of the external forces, however much more powerful they may be. But above all, what is important, is not whether they are in fact equal to those forces, but rather that they are encouraged to do so. I would say Yu Ra’s feeling for Gi Hoon and all the men at Jeong Hui’s is in part because she admires that “fighting’ in him and them. It is in part Gi Hoon’s desire to be wearing expensive underwear when he is found dead. It is why, despite, Sang Hoon’s shortcomings, we applaud him giving Ar Ryeon the money. It is part of Dong Hoon that we admire, and it is why Li Ji An shouting it out to encourage him is so welcome. The best K Dramas, imo, have characters, often quite ordinary people, who have that spirit, and as part of the audience, I too wish to raise my fist and shout out at them, “P’ai ting!”
Gratified to see so many comments this week given the business of the holidays.
Before starting out on the two episodes, recently in my everyday Zen Buddhist reading, I came across a story about Buddha when in the company of one of his followers from the area around Sri Lanka was often confronted by stories about demons and monsters. And of course in Tibetan Buddhism there are such often considered the demons of painful death, our fears and anxieties personified. The late Zen Master, Sokei An Shigetsu, the first Japanese Zen Master in the US, who lectured through the 30s and 40s commented on these stories that when we think of monsters and demons, we think of them as disfigured versions of humanity and animals, but in fact we run into people who are internally inhabited with a kind of disfigured humanity within themselves, people caught by their greed or lusts or paranoia. In My Mister, certainly Director Yoon is a disfigured human being. Show does not go into why, but rather presents him just as he appears–demonic, monstrous, willing to fob off a lie when he knows everyone knows it is a lie just to push people around. This kind of monster is bad enough on the job–and Dong Hoon is not the first nor the last to have run into someone the like on a job–but far worse in the world of politics as everyone is certain to understand. Kwang Il is monstrous, demonic, but at least we are beginning to understand the why of it, and how it is connected to Li Ji An. But of all the disfigured people in My Mister, by far the most dangerous is Do Joon Young because he can appear so reasonable while lying through his teeth. When he confronts Dong Hoon on the roof, if we think of the two of them in the world of competition among men, it is almost as if he has a point about Dong Hoon being somewhat weak as a man. When he meets with Yoon Hee in that break up scene, it is almost as if he was telling her some hard truths about her own self. But we know, as she knows, all that is merely a front for his own monstrosity. He is insightful, has points to make, not at all as simple as Director Yoon or Kwang Il, but far slimier. Dong Hoon senses it, but Yoon Hee, to her great shame knows. And she knows because Li Ji An has revealed it to her, albeit it takes Li Ji An till episode 7 to finally and completely realize what putting in with Do, and conspiring thus against Dong Hoon really means to her.
Episode 7–All burned in the fire:
I think for a lot of people show starts slowly, and it is not until episode four that the issue of Li Ji An and Dong Hoon gets its firm foothold in the viewer’s mind. I have found it worrisome turning folks onto show that they might not get into it because of its rather stately pace at the beginning. Everything seems to shift incrementally episode by episode. Even still in episode 6 it seems like Li Ji An has not completely yet given over her own issues to her regard for Dong Hoon. One of the things I have always admired about this show is how IU so subtly changes in her aspect toward Dong Hoon episode by episode by the barest of facial inflections. In Episode 7, the shift is complete. Whatever her play with Do from here on out, she is ready to kill him on Dong Hoon’s behalf, and she ruins him by bringing his calumny to Yoon Hee’s attention.
For me this episode had two main goals, the first was to move the plot forward with regard to our main characters–Dong Hoon, Do, and Yoon Hee, some elements done well, others not so much, and the second was to affirm what the previous episode implied about the larger themes presented by the ensemble, as was the case in Yu Ra telling the boys and Jeong Hui’s what she meant by admiring Gi Hoon and all of them.
Insofar as Dong Hoon is concerned, there is so much more substance to him than what Do projects upon him. Not only his profound understanding of self and being exemplified in the story of his childhood friend becoming a Buddhist monk, his compassion for others, but in his grit with Do, who is constantly going out of his way to unman him. Yes he breaks down; yes he does not always know how to communicate, but he is not a weak person. Indeed, his problem well may be that he is too strong. Whereas Sang Hoon can throw up his hands at life, Dong Hoon has the strength to keep going and support others. Indeed, one can argue that it is Yoon Hee’s unfaithfulness that finally brings him to the forge where he will be truly tempered. Do has really no understanding of whom he is taking on, and we can see this in the two confrontations in this episode. Dong Hoon is not a man to be trifled with, even if he does not think much of the trappings of ambition by which men in that world are often measured.
Some other things that stood out to me in this episode. First, Sang Hoon and Gi Hoon on drinking. Drinking as a motif in K Drama is quite unsettling to someone not from South Korea. And yet just like cheobols, the class divide, and political corruption, it seems to be a pervasive motif across every sort of show. Their discussion of it both humanizes and exposes the tragedy of the drinking problem people have there. Jeong Hui makes her living off those men’s drinking habits, and one can see how uncomfortable Sang Hoon’s commentary makes her feel. And yet as she comments there is something humorous, as well as sad, about it, especially delivered the way Park Ho San as Sang Hoon and Sang Sae Byuk as Gi Hoon deliver it. But Sang Hoon, rightly has the last word: “it’s sad.”
The other thing that really hit home for me was at the birthday party for mother. First of all, as stated in earlier posts, it strikes me that Go Doo Shim’s performance is the moral compass for the entire show. There is something so profoundly good about her character and the way she totally inhabits that character that no matter all the horrible shennanigans that go on throughout, she seems to radiate such a wholesome goodness that one cannot escape the sense that goodness goes to the heart of why My Mister is so magnetic. But secondly, watching that scene, I was struck at how that family when ensembled, including Ar Ryeon and Yoon Hee, are so completely blunt spoken and open with one another, utterly unvarnished. Contrasted with the great silences at home between Doon Hoon and Yoon Hee, nothing short of amazing. And it speaks to the great confidence they seem to have in each others presence in that setting under mother’s aegis. Finally, aren’t we gratified to see Sang Hoon pony up for Ar Ryeon and the two sons give their mother money as well.
This is another of my long posts, so I am going to take a break before moving on to 8.
Once again, thank you for this.
You know, it’s kind of funny, I have no doubt that for a lot of people it’s true that show starts kind of slowly, but that really wasn’t my experience. For whatever reason, I found it fairly gripping right from the first episode, more or less…even that first scene, just a cold open on a fairly nondescript, open-plan office and a wee tempest-in-a-teacup drama over some wayward flying bug.
Something about the tone and the skill of the technical presentation, the soundtrack, and of course the delivery of the characters, and it just slid right into my headspace and took up residence.
@BE – I come here to read your comments and I was not disappointed. This was especially appreciated – …when we think of monsters and demons, we think of them as disfigured versions of humanity and animals, but in fact we run into people who are internally inhabited with a kind of disfigured humanity within themselves, people caught by their greed or lusts or paranoia.
Yes, in many old myths and fairy tails monsters/evil beings are mostly presented as something external. Unfortunately, humans themselves are inherently flawed. Inability/refusal to accept this fact has lead to movements like communism/fascism, which are obsessed with creating “new” or “pure” humans.
Democracy too derives from the desire for “a more perfect union.” All religions as well. The idea that folks should share in a nation’s wealth, the workers with their bosses, or that with corporate power we can get the darned trains to run on time are not really such bad ideas, any more than the will of the people will lead to fair and just governance. Whether we wish to be washed of our sins or awaken to our Buddha natures from the world of samsara, the desire to be better is not necessarily a bad thing. Anyone who has ever worked under a Supervisor Yoon wishes a better fate.
Guillermo del Toro, the fine movie producer and screen writer, however, has pointed out the role of monsters in tales, as being necessary challenges for the hero’s journey in life. How we learn to deal with such is significant, and Dong Hoon is most certainly being brought to the forge by the behavior of Do.
phl1rxd, sorry, this will be out of context for this drama, but needed to talk to you. just finished “healer” – i am in euphoria! i did not watch it, i inhaled it, really! one of the best, just like your other recommendations. i copied all your choices for last year and will definitely follow up on them as by now i have the utmost confidence that i would love most of the things that you tell me to watch. but as you know i jumped into this chinese/korean craze pretty recently, so i missed all the good ones from previous years. what am i missing?
by the way, did you see “with you” – has a lot of screen-writers and directors (one of them is the director of “the rise of the phoenixes), and many of my favorite chinese actors and actresses, like jin dong and nini. it’s about covid in china. is it any good? what do you know?
@eda harris – let me butt in to say, you must watch Healer a minimum of 3 more times to pick up on all the little hidden gems.
beez, thank you for butting in, always welcome and glad.
the Superman/Clark Kent – Lois Lane reporter story – are you referring to superman movie? i watched it so long ago, do not remember really.
Healer unconsciously wants to buy his own private island – i think he wants to buy this island quite consciously, am i missing something?
because teenaged Uncle Moon ho had young him and and Young shin hide on an imaginary island? i have no clue what you are talking about. who’s uncle moon ho and young him and young shin? please explain.
and the fact that healer is slightly autistic i did get, and actually thought about it even before ahjumma and teacher mention it in the drama. they just confirmed it for me.
anyway, this healer is something else, and ji chang-wook (healer) is so smashing, to look at him burns my eyes, seriously. watching him fly over the roof-tops – it’s like wishing to continue watching it forever. i must tell you, that as soon as i finished the last drop of this drama, i started with the first episode again, the same day! (never- ever happened to me before). so far, i watched it 2 times.
now i started ‘chicago typewriter” – back to my favorite you ah in. and finally got the courage to start nirvana in fire 2. mmm… still discussing it with myself, what about it… did you watch it? one can not help but to compare it to nirvana original. tough competition for any other production, almost impossible.
anyway, since i already have your attention here, do you know by any chance where i can watch “six flying dragons”? could not find anywhere. actually, ondemandkorea has it, but no english subtitles.
@Eda – Beez is definitely the person to ask about 6 Flying Dragons and its counterpart.
@eda harris – I always suggest watching Tree with Deep Roots first. While it’s true that Six Flying Dragons is the prequel to Tree but there are things that make watching a prequel first that create disconnects in the story. I could tell you why but then it would involve spoilers that really wouldn’t benefit your enjoyment but actually take away from it.
beez, it is on my list and it is indeed available. but you ah in is not in this one… my main reason to want to see it. of course, my other favorite song joong ki is in it, so that’s promising.
@eda harris – I typed a long post explaining the Superman & Healer stuff but the page related mid-typing and something ate it! I have to be somewhere in the next 15 minutes though so I’ll have to re-type it all later today. I’m sorry!
@eda harris – First let me apologize because I forget we’re an international community here. Superman (and his romance with Lois Lane) has been around in the USA since the 1930’s in comic books, newspaper comic strips, tv shows and films. The part I was referring to that is similar to Healer is that Superman is a hero whose secret identity is Clark Kent (who pretends to be nerdy). Clark Kent gets a job as a rookie reporter working under adventurous girl-reporter Lois Lane. (“Girl reporter” is mentioned because when the story was first created, being a female reporter was outside of gender norms at the time.)
The reason I say Healer’s desire for a private island is subconscious is
After reading your post, I searched everywhere – legal – that I know to watch Six Flying Dragons (now also known as Roots of Throne). I don’t know if you’re open to using illegit sites. I know that
If you didn’t completely get what I was trying to say about Healer – that’s okay. Just keep it in mind when you’re rewatching and it’ll all make sense. 😉
I’m envious of you because I wish I could go back and experience it all fresh again. By the way, I only own two Kdrama series on cd and Healer is one and Chicago Typewriter is the other. (Oh. I own Chuno but that’s on a streaming site so I don’t actually have the cds.)
o, now i get it – you are talking about the imaginary mora mora island! that is so smart of you, i didn’t even connect it, but you are right, at least something must have been stuck in his brain from that time. thank you for that revelation, i can see it now clearly. and thank you for the trouble to explain it to me so clearly.
i am totally open to use whatever, but am not sure i would know how to obtain it. how do you do this? (remember, i am a true “mental retadr” when it comes to computers, electronics in general.)so where and how do i find this link? how do i go about it without hurting kfg?
and thanks again, this revelation about the mora mora island made me really kind of giddy – so good.
i am so glad that chicago typewriter is on the same level as healer in your heart so my anticipation grew that much higher. i just started it, but still only episode 3, since i am rushing to finish nirvana 2, and of course difficult to leave it at this point (i am already on episode 40 out of 50, so it is really heating up (finally). but will get to it right after that. did you watch it?
@eda – I do find Chicago Typewriter amazing but I wouldn’t put it at exactly the same rating as Healer. That honor goes to Chuno! But CT is in my Top 10. If Healer is a 10 then CT is a 9.75 on my rating scale.
I have not watched NIF2 and really have no plans to do so. I’ll wait until you tell me if it’s worth it before dipping my toe in. I think once I saw it wasn’t about the same characters, my interest wasn’t peaked.
Have you watched Mr. Sunshine? Sloooow burn of epic-ness.
beez, i did watch mr. sunshine, and even posted my take on it, right after BE’s surgery, when he was looking for some dramas to entertain him. so i suggested mr. sunshine and wrote about my feelings on it. i somehow saved it, so i am going to post it here for you to see, i guess you did not notice it then. not sure you will agree with me, but now after so many months, i somehow see it in my mind in a slightly different light, i mean i kind of got to a point where the sharp edges that annoyed me then softened up, and so i feel more appreciative of it, and consider it a good drama. meantime i did not have the urge to rewatch it though (like i just finished the second watch of healer, and i am already missing it and itching to start it again. insane, what it does to me).
but here are my notes on sunshine. (i’ll try to put it in spoilers, in case somebody wants to see it)
i can not relate to this drama but from a truly split personality perspective, since it has the “good, the bad, the ugly” and more. all that the other viewers write about it is mostly true – mind-bogglingly beautiful scenery (the scene where ae-shin is walking with eugine on the icy lake takes your breath away and will stay with you forever etched in your visual and emotional library, whether it’s in your brain or in your heart, and the entire story is kind of symbolic of walking on thin ice at all times), in general the choice of sites in the drama can be used for tourism in korea – guaranteed to work even today, the cinematography is up there with the most outstanding dramas and/or movies from all times, the characters especially the main 3 males and the female hotel owner hina are extremely multidimensional, like it is in real life and their continuous development is very satisfying, the acting of all actors is as good as it gets, especially lee byung-hun as eugene choi (i first saw this actor in “all in” while i was chasing after ji sung, and discovered lee byung-hun, and the rest was history… his charisma, his manly charm, his superb acting, his ability to go from extreme toughness to extreme softness – he was raised to my top best korean actors from that moment on) and he does not disappoint in “mr. sunshine”, he stays true to himself as an artist, as always gives it his all, and shines with unmistakable inner beauty. one more thing that i noticed, when he gazes at ae-shin or even other people, he slowly blinks just one time, and the blink is like a cat that blinks to his/hers owner expressing love, it’s really special, if you know cats. the other actress that i enjoyed very much is of course the adorable, mysterious, badass kim min-jung as kudo hina, she truly kept me on my toes, with her non-ending french designers dresses, hats, jewelry, her quirky intelligence and female intuition, her courage, her undeniable charm. these two characters or i should say actors kept me wanting to see more and more of them, even when i wanted to just leave this show many times throughout, the slow paste of it drove me crazy, the lengthy looking in each others eyes for minutes at a time without any movement or action – i wanted to scream enough already, we get the idea, we are not dumb… the heart breaking good byes between ae-shin and eugen, too many, not justified and always coming back together just to say good bye again – really? some other things that annoyed me to no end i will mention later here… the other two characters that is worth mentioning is yoo yeon-seok as goo dong-mae, perfectly cast in this role, so strong, gorgeous looking, evil, always with endless pain bubbling to the surface, always staying a step ahead of death, and byun yo-han as kim hee- sung, the tipical spoiled rich brat, always gambling, loosing and drinking on the account of others. both of these characters, one was born in the lowest class of that society, the other was a son of the richest aristocrats in this area. dong-mae like a ticking bomb always on the verge of exploding and taking down all around him no matter how, who or what. kim hee-sung, the aristocrat, who loves all things beautiful, easy going, trying to charm everybody no matter who, making a joke out of any situation. frankly, i did not like these two all the way till the last third of the drama, and then they kind of woke up, tapped into their own morals, grew on me and developed into characters that slowly charmed my heart and i got deeply invested in them all, only to be devastated at the brutal end. the question for me, was it worth spending so many annoying hours of this drama, to finally get to the last third part and especially the last 5 episodes, to finally get so emotionally attached to this characters only to be completely heart broken at the end? i truly did not answer that question yet. and now the most baffling part of this drama – the main female character, ae-shin. i think her character was completely screwed up by the writers, she was the only one one-dimensional as it can be. yes, they wanted to show her burning patriotism for her country and cause, but they deprived her of humanity. wasn’t she a physical body like all of us, in flesh and blood and all? didn’t she have emotions that a woman would express through some kind of affection to the love or her life? the one who gave up ALL that he had in this world for her, his adopted country that he was so proud of, his military career that he loved, his best friend, and finally his own life in exchange for hers. (by the way, eugene choi succeeded somehow to express his love without touching her ever, but it felt like he was stopped by her inner desire to avoid any physicalness) and at all times, there was not a single hug, kiss or any other form of expressing love. how on earth can that be? even when they got married, no hug, no kiss – nothing. and i understand the writers or directors idea of showing extreme patriotism above all, but show at least something… something that would move us and make us believe that she really loves. i did not expect them to passionatly make love in the apothecary or in the field, i understand the korean sensitivities in this regard, their extra conservative attitude especially at that time, but at least some kind of phisical interaction i would like to see. that was my greatest disappointment and the biggest flaw of this drama. and last but not least i wanted to mention the politics in this drama, although very intersting, educational, thought provoking, but it was supposed to be kind of the background to the love story and anything else, but took over and became the major part of it. although i appreciated the lessons about korea in general in that period (and it made me truly hate the japanese cruelty), it was too much of it and became simply boring many times. now that you know “the good, the bad and the ugly” you decide if this drama is for you, if you can tough it out until the third part of the drama.
@eda harris – awesomely described. Yes, to pretty much everything you said. While the time was very conservative, I believe the reason we don’t see the OTP embrace had more to do with Lee Byung hun’s public “scandals” that were ongoing at the time.
I personally felt that LBH was too old for the part. Some of his dialogue while talking to Aeshin just didn’t ring true for someone his age. Now if he had played the role a decade before, I think it would’ve gelled more for me. Gu Dong mae – be still my heart!
I usually like rom-com’s and light and fluffy Kdramas but Mr. Sunshine was something that you just knew was special and different right out the gate.
@beez 100% agree with you about the age differential. It was one of the biggest stumbling blocks I had with Mr. Sunshine, to be honest (LBH and KTR have a 20 year age gap in real life, and even though LBH is a handsome man, it still shows, to my eyes).
ya, i read about lbh problems, but even so, a simple hug, a light kiss on the forehead, taking her hands in his – i do not think that even koreans would freak out about this, so to me it seems like that is just an excuse. in terms of an artistic creation – it was a flaw of the screenwriter or director. lbh, from what i have seen, is such a natural, such a badass, i can not imagine that he would be intimidated by this and oppose any and i mean ANY physical contact with the lady that he’s supposed to be madly in love. that’s just not him (in my mind).
on another note, kfangirl (she’s great) sent me your email, and i just emailed you just now. to help you to identify my email, it starts with “pi….” let me know if you got it.
THANK GOODNESS I had copied my text up to a point because it wiped it out again. So now I only have to recreate about a third of it toward the end. 😕 Here it goes:
@eda – I answered your email just now.
And I have to correct you about S.K.’s attitude toward lack of skinship in Mr. Sunshine. Mr. Sunshine qualifies as saeguk (I think) and most historical saeguk do not feature any kissing at all and very little skinship. (This is different from “fusion saeguk”, the ones that are not striving for accuracy.) So we don’t expect to see much skinship.
And while Lee Byung Hun probably isn’t afraid for his career because, after all, he’s got a Hollywood career as well and I’m sure other countries would be overjoyed if he moved to their film markets. BUT the entire production had to worry about his scandals. Frankly, it speaks to just how big a “catch” and star he is that they didn’t replace him before filming began. Look at the reasons other stars have been replaced – accusations of bullying that date back to high school; and just plain ol’ caught dating! (And most of S.K. believes LBH was caught actually cheating on his wife, who they feel strong sympathy to because she’s also a well known actress whom they love. That puts the double whammy on it).Recently a youtuber [here’s where my comment cut off/was lost] whose thing is bodybuilding mentioned that Running Man’s Kim Jong-kook must be using steroids to be so buff. This guy is a nobody, just a random, not-all-that-popular youtuber yet Kim Jong kook immediately had blood tests drawn because he (and his fans) recognized just this speculation could’ve cost him his career even though he’s been an audience favorite for a couple of decades. I’ve even seen some stats lose their careers just because they got married and fans just didn’t like the way he went about it. And even if they’re okay with it, Oppa’s career tanked. (See Kwon Sang-Woo for example.
I don’t approve of these attitudes and at the word “scandal” in the S.K. media, I’m constantly rolling my eyes,🙄 but it’s a fact – that’s just the way it is. *shrug*
beez, thanks for the update, i knew NOTHING of this. but, how SAD! to have such talents, to have that many gifts in life, and to be so dependent on the public, to a degree that they almost not allowed to have their lives. i am watching chicago typewriter right now and that is exactly what it happening to the writer, you ah in. it seems like everybody in this SK society is preoccupied with “what will other people think of me and what kink of punishment will they throw at me. can i even survive it?!”. this is portrayed in many dramas. it’s mind boggling to me, when did it start, how did it start and why is it happening to people in SK? why are south koreans putting up with such bullshit? is it all “money”?
in regards to showing any touching in saeguks. isn’t sungkyunkwan scandal a saeguk? there is kissing there, and definitely touching. so they just have to have guts, isn’t it?
@eda sungkyunkwan scandal is fusion saeguk. This type of show will be lighthearted, most likely comedic, with no one really concerned if an actor forgets he has on his wrist watch. 😆 Fusion may not try to accurately reflect the attitudes of the people at the time. It’s going straight for entertainment value. Now if having the right attitude is necessary for the plot to work, then that’s what you’ll see, but otherwise, it’s not to be taken seriously the way Nokdu Flower, Tree With Deep Roots, and other saeguks that are based on history and trying to seriously tell that story. While watching Hwarang, I saw a modern day yellow pencil with the pink eraser on a desk. 😆
South Korean attitudes are what they are (for now). I do see them changing. Look at the laws that have changed just in the last 5-10 years. Just a few years ago it was illegal for Song Joong ki and Song Hye kyu to have married because they have the same last names. Same for Lee Byung hin and his wife. It was also illegal to commit adultery and the perpetrators could serve jail time! (I personally think they should reinstate that one 😆)
These “strange” attitudes all are part of what makes Kdtama so interesting to me. The fact that you could not marry anyone related to you by marriage even if you’re not blood related. Although that one is not a law but most Korean families abide by it. That’s why you’ll sometimes see a drama where coupes are trying to beat another couple to the altar because if the other couple marries first, now your family won’t let the second couple marry. These things are so interesting!
I do feel very sorry for actors not being able to live their lives freely. Oh! That reminds me! Yoo Ah in, Jang Hyuk, Lee Min ho and Hyin bin are a very few whom these rules don’t seem to apply to. Maybe that’s because they don’t seem to care and have always dated publiclly so there’s no scandal to be discovered so audiences leave them alone. Jang Hyuk was a father and then married a couple years later and no one have him flack about it. Lee Min ho and Hyin bin have always dated publicly and no one cried “scandal”. Meanwhile, my poor sweetie Song Seung heon had to sneak into China to spend the night with his girlfriend but was caught creepin’ in the dark. lol I’m not even sure he or the Chinese actress would’ve continued the relationship but since they were caught, they continued on order to not look like skanks (or human beings from our perspective). Gong Yoo keeps everything on the hush-hush. Yoo Ah in has a very strong social media presence under his real name where he stresses controversial topics and even gets in Twitter wars with fans. He is known to walk to his own beat and dates anyone to challenge him.
beez, you can’t even imagine how grateful i am for all this information, and shedding light on the sk way of thinking, which is so alien to my own perceptions. but i guess i’ll have to live with it, it is what it is. i am glad that the dramas’ world is helping to highlight many of these attitudes, and may be in time it will change. of course, there is one thing that i can not agree with you: It was also illegal to commit adultery and the perpetrators could serve jail time! (I personally think they should reinstate that one). this law is horrific and disgusting in my book of life, but we already established that on some of such issues we are on the totally opposite sides. but that’s ok, i still love you.
@eda – I find cheaters disgusting but I think I did put a laughing emogi (I think). Because I know, somewhere deep down, that people shouldn’t have to go to jail just because they’re disloyal, disgusting human beings. (I guess 🤣🤣🤣)
two things i hate the most – stupidity and lying. cheaters i think are in a different category, although of course liars in a way.
@eda – is just like to add that S.K. culture is a different mindset. To get a glimpse of it, watch YAI’s movie “Default”. It’s based on a true event in S. Korea where the country almost went bankrupt but the citizens pooled their money together and brought the government their gold jewelry to be melted down to help cover the national debt. That is a totally different “we’re in this together” mindset that’s different from ours (imo). I guess Americans had that mindset back in WWII when civilians worked and sacrificed to help fund the war. But I just don’t see it happening today, at least not when it comes to finances anyway.
But my point is, when I first started watching, I had to get past the whole “can’t get married because of our families” thing. My western attitude was “I’m marrying you, not your family!” But Koreans have a different way in which families function and I had to accept this is that culture. And I actually learned why many times those family objections make sense.
yes, i followed up on your advise and watched “default” yesterday. wow, to say the least, it was educational. but… i have zero understanding in finances anywhere any time and even below zero interest in this subject. in spite of it, i could not move away from this movie for even a moment, it completely kept my interest and even more – my INVOLVEMENT (seems like totally uncharacteristic for my mindset – anything financial would be boring to me to no end). and yet… i enjoyed the production, the acting, while at the same time it was scary and deeply depressing. so first of all, apart of being high quality, i discovered the actress kim hye soo- she stole the show; you ah in, my favorite, was absolutely good acting but i have seen better of him (of course, the character he played was limiting, in my opinion). there were a few other actors that were very convincing and impressive.
the movie ended… i am not a cry baby, i do get very emotional, but no tears usually. i cried at the end of this movie… i cried for humanity, that we can not find a way to remedy the problem that no matter where and when, the rich get richer, exploit the masses and corruption in the name of obtaining more and more financial advantages. the poor get poorer and the middle class pays a very high price. and no system, karl marx’s, communism, capitalism, even socialism could find a solution, and no amount of revolutions brought any changes that plagues humanity for generations. my tears and pain are for humanity that i am part of…
p.s. i found that kim hye soo (whom i would be interested to see in other productions) is in ‘signal”- same director kim won suk as my mister, misaeng, arthdal, and my favorite s.scandal . i have a lot of respect, admiration and love for his work, so sounds like something that should go on my list. did you see it?
she’s also in hyena, same director jang tae yoo who’s responsible for your favorite tree with deep roots, the painter in the wind, lovers of the red sky…
i did not see the tree yet, but trust your opinion. did you see hyena?
beez, as a conclusion to “default” a quote comes to mind: “armageddon was yesterday – today we have a serious problem” from “girl with the dragon tattoo”.
@eda – I watched the British version of Girl With the Dragon Tatoo long ago. I don’t think I finished it and was so horrified at what that young woman experienced (so graphically on screen) that I knew the American version would only be more graphic and I steered away.
i am actually talking about the book. and she reminds me of ja from my mister, in character and some other things. the book is pretty good.
@Beez – The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo is one of the few western shows I love and I will re-watch it over and over again. I watch both versions but I prefer the Swedish version. I have read all the books – even the three new ones by the author who took over the series after the original author died of cancer.
I had a hard time too with that one scene but the way she got him back was straight up Karma with a capitol K.
i feel the same. i saw only the swedish versions and loved it. but the books are also good.
@phl1rxd @eda – Oh? Did I somehow think the Swedish version was British?
@Beez – I think you may have. One version is Swedish and one version was made in US. The Swedish version is the better one and this article explains the differences – https://screenrant.com/girl-dragon-tattoo-differences-swedish-original-american-remake/
i just loved the way the swedish actress portrayed lisbeth, i do not think i have an appetite to watch the american version. in general, i pretty much divorced myself from any and all western productions. been there, done that, thank you, but no, thank you.
@eda – your comments about Default almost made me 😥 but I’m glad it engaged you. I agree that Yoo Ah in’s role had somewhat limited screen time but I like that he chooses roles based on their importance to him and not necessarily because it’s a starring role or not.
I really, really liked Signal but I haven’t watched Hyena yet. The promo for Hyena looks like it’ll be one heck of a ride. As for Signal, I wasn’t impressed with the first episode and had set it aside. But I’m so glad that I went back and watched the entire series.
I like that he chooses roles based on their importance to him and not necessarily because it’s a starring role or not.
that’s why it is even more mindboggling how on earth did he end up in hellbound. it was so NOT HIM, i do not even know how to describe it, i just felt it.
@eda – I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle it and after reading your comments about it, I’m so glad I followed my instincts.
@Beez – I have not watched Default yet but I am going to do so tomorrow!
@phl1rxd – I’m glad you’re feeling up to at least watch tv. That’s progress!
Did you watch it yet?
beez and phl1rxd, i forgot to tell you my conclusion (most important) after default – the world should be ruled by women !!!
@eda – I agree! But I agree on general. I don’t remember what happened in Default to make you say so?
the only one who saw and predicted the disaster on that level and tried to warn the rest of the government was the only woman -kim hye soo. they belittle her as a “woman who has no brains”, they degraded her and called her names, blaming her that she’s acting like a “emotional” (as opposed to rational) woman, and of course they disregarded all that she said and suggested, and viciously fought against her. she was POWERFUL and brilliant! but was pushed our of her job. if they would have listened to her, the outcome would have been less painful for the country and the people, which suffer the lingering effects of it till today.
she was the only woman within that government in this high position and she was the only woman involved in the negotiations, but she was the only one who saw the problem clearly, identified it and offered a less painful in the long run solution. that is why i say, women, see, predict, identify and analyze, and offer solutions, as they are more than men able to approach it from many different angles, (and yes, emotional). of course , i understand, it is not universal, but still think women are the solution. i apologize to men, do not get me wrong, i am not some kind of “feminist”, i respect, love and appreciate men in general, and they have their rightful place in our societies, but women should be involved more, it would be better for all.
@Eda – they ‘gave her the dog’. A raw deal. I wonder if her character was real. I am going to dig around to see if she really existed.
Loved the Han Ji Min cameo at the end and I also love seeing Park Jin Joo light up my screen.
@eda _ Ohhhh, yes. I vaguely remember now. Yoo Ah in also saw it coming but was only interested in selfish gains.
@Beez @Eda – yes, I surely did. I had to rent it on Amazon Prime but it was really worth the money.
I dug into this a little. I found this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiUdZYMpcCk which features the actual folks signing the agreement. I am not gifted in the art of finance so I would first need to read the pros and cons in depth to make a statement about the ramifications of the IMF deal.
From what I have read the financial focus helped the rich get richer and, you know the rest of that story. It also created a lot of temp jobs that still remain today.
Spoiler The movie makes one wonder what would have happened if they had taken Kim Hye Soo’s approach.
i was speaking strictly about the movie’s version. i do not even pretend to know or understand what was and is happening in reality in korea. and even reality would have a dual nature as everything else in nature and life, so it will have some positive along with a lot of negative. but what would have been the better outcome, i do not know, but according to the movie, it seems that HER way of thinking would have been way more beneficial.
@phl1rxd – Thanks for the link.
I would first need to read the pros and cons in depth to make a statement about the ramifications of the IMF deal.
please do so, i would wait to hear from you about it. thanks. really interesting.
beez, i just sent you an email. please check. thanks.
@beez, sent you another email. promise not to flood your email any more.
@eda – It’s not a problem at all. It actually gives me fond memories of my time discovering Kdramas and my loving obsession with them that I miss so much. I’m sad about it waning. I felt it kindle a bit with Mr. Queen but I’m floundering. Not interested in any of the new stuff at all.
beez, you are now officially designated my mentor in korean dramas!!!
@eda harris – I’m very honored! 😌
beez, you once asked me how did i get into the korean/chinese dramas and i gave you a short version of it. now, i actually wrote the more comprehensive account of my insane story on the site of stories from the community, MC. so if you still want to know, check it out.
beez, i finished NIF2. is is a good drama? totally, with all this pomp, splendor and dazzle that only the chinese can pull out and that has an enormous appeal to me. the visuals overwhelm your aesthetic tastes, the story is totally engaging, the acting is good, the production is solid as expected from this director. is it comparable to NIF 1? NOTHING IS, sorry. they did do a few improvements: the colors are more vibrant and alive, the costumes are more elaborate, the emotional side is more elevated. in terms of not seeing your favorite characters: it does have references to them, and some characters are direct descendants of our favorites from NIF 1, and it kind of warms the heart when you recognize these relations, really… ah, so this is the niece of this one, and this is the grandchild of that one… it does connect you to the past, including the chang lin army (very big role in NIF2) established by our favorite emperor in NIF1.
would i recommend it, o ya, it is worth it, as it is one of the top chinese historical dramas. there is one thing that actually kind of annoyed me, there is again the character of young master lin chen, now a very old master in the same place langya hall (looks the same), but the actor who played him in NIF1 is jin dong, a big, strong, with a great sense of humor, a fun man, very charismatic, well here, it is a completely different person, in looks and character, even boring, and that threw me of. if they decided to use again his character, they should have used again jin dong and make him look and be old. they actually gave this role to the worst possible choice – the actor who played the head of the xuan jing bureau – the most evil and hated character.
@Eda – there were a few switches of actors ‘type’ roles from NIF1 to NIF2 and I admit that I also had a hard time with it. Straight up – I teared up at the NIF 1 flashback. I agree that it would be very hard for any drama to beat NIF1 – that is, unless NIF3 which starts filming this year does. Same writer/screenwriter, same production crew and same director. And there is a rumour that we will see Hu Ge? Prequel? We will just have to wait and see..
hooray to hu ge being again there, may be after all he had an illegitimate son…? and the son had a son who is a splitting image of mei changsu? (they should hire me, i would find a solution).
i was also less than thrilled to find other characters in completely different roles, but young-now old master lin somehow got to the top of my displeasure. also, lin xi’s acting was less than optimal, she was also wrongly cast, in my opinion. but xiao pingjing, a “baby”, but such a delight. it is worth watching this drama if not just for him.
ya, would be waiting for nirvana 3. but nothing can beat nirvana 1 and the rise of the phoenixes (that is minus the last episode, darn the drunken scrip writer).
damn this computer – changes my words. it is not splitting, it should have been spitting. it does it on many occasions, i put it up and then discover that the computer decided to “help me out”. most of the times i do not even have the patience to make changes, just hope that people will understand.
@eda harris – I just stumbled upon another S. Korean law that was only changed as recently as 2008. I’m watching an older drama and the Grandfather asked grandson “what is the new baby’s gender going to be?” The grandson said “Grandpa, you know that’s illegal to find out!”
So I Googled if that is still illegal and here’s the answer and the reason why it was illegal
@Beez – I read the entire article – that is wild Beez.
@phl1rxd @eda – I wonder if S.K. had the one child rule similar to China and if that could have contributed to the no gender reveal law. I’ll have to look into that later.
innn-sane! i hope the koreans learned to love their girls too.
@Eda – That was a great synopsis for NIF3! 😄😉😄 I am hoping and praying that it is a prequel but that would be hard due to the availability of the actors although NIF1 made them so famous maybe they would come back?
@eda – I’ll keep NIF2 in mind for the next time I’m in the mood for Chinese historical, but only because you said so. I have always had trouble dealing with replacement characters. I guess my imagination isn’t big enough to go with the flow.
beez, it might be in the back of your mind at the beginning, but then you get over it, and move on, promise. the only one that bugged me to the end was the completely “new” (unacceptable) character of old master lyn, where the young master lyn was one of my favorites – so colorful and so full of wisdom and warmth. the “new” old master lyn was blah and insignificant – unpardonable sin. but the 19 year old actor in the role of second master of chang lyn, liu haoran, no words, excellence in performance and so unbelievably BEIEVABLE in every step, every glance, every movement. where did this kid obtain that much “old emotional intelligence and experience”? he dominates the whole show, like hu ge in nirvana 1, but of course in a completely deferent realm. i am almost positive that you will love him! he’s reckless but smart, and soft, but at the same time becomes very manly. he’s such a complete character.
as to the other substitutes, you notice, and say to yourself, that one has a much better representation in nif1, especially if the character is a complete opposite to the one we saw in nirvana1, but you go along and accept it, just like you see those actors performing in other dramas, and presenting very different characters from what we might have liked them before. i think it’s really worth it.
@KFG @Eda Harris – maybe Kfangurl can privately send you the link or, she has my permission to give you my email address and I’ll send it to you and warn you about how you use it and how to stay away from pop ups and potential viruses.
first, i do not know how to contact kfg. do you?
@eda – she’ll see our post requesting shared contact. If not, her email address is either somewhere on her Dear Fangurl page or there is a “contact me” page somewhere on the site.
To reach kfangurl: firstname.lastname@example.org
@Beez – Big thanks for butting in because I have been down for the count for almost a week with the ‘Cold from Hades’. 🤒😷🤧 💖
@phl1rxd – are you still under the weather??? 🤒🤧???
@Beez – thanks 💖💖 Much better today. I am grateful to be 3X vaxed. We have 6 family members (all vaxed) with Covid within the last two weeks, but no hospitalizations. Please be careful Beez. 🙏 I say a little prayer for you every time I hear the numbers down there.
@phl1rxd – Oh no! Is it a form of Covid19 that you’re fighting? My son and D-I-L just got over the flu so I’d been avoiding them this past week. I guess that’s what made me think that’s what you were dealing with. And today, the guy who came for my 6-month a/c check up was saying he’s been sick (I wish he’d had enough sense to stay home! 😕)
@Beez – hard to say Beez. I was alone last week and was too sick to drive to get a CV19 test (no rapid tests are available here). I had a terrible cold/sinus, body aches and had a real hard time breathing the first two days. I kept falling asleep on my dramas. Still, I am feeling better every day. By the time my family got home from vacation the other day, my biologist daughter told me it was too late to get an accurate test.
I had all 3 CV19 vaccines and even got the flu vaccine. 😖 I mask every time I go out. I am self isolating just in case. If it was CV19, the vaccines worked to reduce it for which I am eternally grateful.
Beez, my county alone has 1,300 new CV19 cases per day, and rising. It is nuts.
I really, really wish your A/C guy stayed home! You are high risk Beez. 🙏 Hope your son and D-I-L feel better!
phl1rxd, i am glad to hear that you are on the mend. there are a lot of cases all over the world, at least this new bug is less nasty, for most people. wish you a quick recovery. and hopefully no lingering effects.
how are you doing? is it letting go?
@Eda- thank you and @Beez as well! 🥰🥰🥰🥰 Yes, much better and finally got some energy yesterday to clean the house after sleeping for 2 weeks. I felt like Sleeping Beauty. 😆I can breathe again, hallelujah!
@phl1rxd – so GLAD!
@phl1rxd – “hard time breathing” – that does sound like covid 19!
I’ve been reading articles that say it’s inevitable, that we’ll all catch it at some point but it said that now is not a good time to be sick because of the overcrowding of hospitals and drain on resources to treat it. (A friend went to the hospital because of her something wrong with her foot and couldn’t be treated because of the over crowding of covid 19 patients at the hospital.) So because of that, I told my physical therapy that I’m going to pause going for a few months. (That was the recommendation as the article states the supplies should be up in a couple/few months).
I hope you feel better. Sending you well wishes ❤ and prayers!
beez, please check your email.
@eda – I did check my email but I don’t have anything new from your email address. (Checked my spam folder too)
i guess it’s all good, since i got your emails in response, but sent another one again.
@Eda – Healer is a true, true classic. Before you look at my 2021 picks I would recommend another true classic – Queen In Hyun’s Man which I have seen several times. Just so good! Another one of my personal oldies but goodies is Rooftop Prince which I re-watch when I need a good laugh.
Out of my 2021 picks The Imperial Coroner is so good.
P.S. – I have not seem With You. I did watch a review of it though.
i am so sorry that you are under the weather, it’s a bummer. so hurry up and get better. hope you already better.
thank you for your kindness, for your response and recommendations. i am watching now nirvana 2, so after i finish this one it’ll probably be replaced by another chinese drama – the imperial coroner. i like to balance it, meaning one chinese and one korean simultaneously. the korean for now – i just started chicago typewriter, and after that i guess it will be a good change to watch the comedy you recommend.
i am grateful to you for healer – it is the korean nirvana 1 for me – difficult to move on.
thanks again, and get better soon. let us know when you are over the hump.
@phl1rxd – Oooo! I’m so sorry you’ve been sick. I’m glad you’re feeling a bit better now. I’ll holla back at cha later today. 💕
@eda – btw, did you know that Kfangurl has a review page for Healer?
beez, i know, but didn’t check it yet. when i have to make a decision of what is more important for me to use my free time, it is usually to watch another drama. so difficult to spend more time on reading the blog, although i must admit, i do enjoy it greatly as well. and i do feel a sense of belonging to a sort of community with a lot of very interesting and introspective humans. but what a dilemma for me – i mean finding more time in a 24/7 span.
@eda – I know exactly what you mean.
love, love your writing (nothing new about that, right?).
anyway, i was in the “drama dog-house” or “drama-rehab”, imposed by family, so that i do not forget about the other world. so i am just catching up, reading all comments. well, i did not give up entirely, i just watched chinese/korean movies, (with movies there is no danger of being sucked in for hours and hours). and a few i would like to mention as worthy to watch. the two most recent movies by my favorite chinese art filmmaker zhang yimou – cliff hangers. everything wrapped up in this most magical snowy softness (stunning visuals, as usual in his movies) contrasted with hot red blood, politics, fights for pure idealism, amazing acting and cinematography out of this world. his second movie shadow – complete opposite of the first movie, all black and white, unlike any other black and white seen before, where only faces and hands are slightly colored in with flesh colors like in old black and white photographs hand painted, it’s like one complex ink wash painting, even all their clothes are hand painted on the background of décor which is pure art, all creating the most mystical cryptic feeling. add to this most beautiful and different martial art choreography.
and another movie which i would consider a must, is lust, caution by hong kong/american director ang lee (crouching tiger.. brokeback mountain)- dive deep into human psychology, see politics through the most extravagant captivating sex scenes. i also watched a few good korean movies, but these 3 impressed me the most.
ok, so i got carried away. back to our drama. BE, i was totally in it from the very first scenes with the lady bug and it never stopped for a second to completely draw me in further and further, with the way the drama slowly takes up the theme of killing an insect to killing a human and the effect it has on the killer and the people who encounter the killer (ja). i thought the first episodes were really important and consequential.
Hi Eda. I paused a bit at the tiddly winks business entering the show. I love some of these shows so much, but because they are novelistic, some tend to get off the ground more slowly than others. And trying to tell friends or even family about the greatness of K Drama often draws, in my experience, yawns, with “that oh gee BE is off on another one of his odd tangents.” So I worry that the pace of show is slow for first timers, and so I worry.
Guys, I have so much work at the end of the year that I will only share 3 brief thoughts on eps 7-8:
-That moment on the train in ep. 7, when Dong Hoon tells Jian that she can get State aid for Granny: that look in Jian’s eyes; that glimpse of hope. Count me as an official IU fan.
-Kwan Il is one sick bastard.
-I don’t get any romantic vibes from either Dong Hoon or JiAn. I think he sees a kid who has got it pretty tough in her life; she sees a father figure of sorts, and a pretty good one at that. The writer has done an excellent work of their relationship so far.
I’ve had to run, just like Ji An in the mean streets of Seoul, just to catch up to y’all, but finally made it. One thing I love about this show – and I’m loving a lot of it – is how every single character seems real. No white hats or black hats only, everyone a shade of gray. Except for Director Yoon. What a toad.
And the writing is still tight as all get-out. There’s a wonderful scene in E9 (sorry, when you run this fast, it’s hard to stop on a dime) that is a perfect example, but that’ll have to wait until next week.
Director Yoon is a toad, but unfortunately he’s a very real character too! (The number of Director Yoons that I have come across in my career…)
Does anyone else feel that Ji An telling Yoon Hui to be cruel? Specifically her playing the sound clip of DJY cynically saying it was safest to date a married woman cos she wouldn’t blab. I actually thought DJY had genuine feelings for Yoon Hui, carrying a torch for her since college, and he may have been playing up being cynical in front of Ji An so that she wouldn’t take advantage of his weakness. In doing so, Ji An went against what Dong Hoon said earlier about not telling adults what horrid things other people said behind their back. I guess Ji An made her own judgment that this would help Dong Hoon, by getting Yoon Hui to break off with DJY.
One can imagine that without Ji An in his life, Dong Hoon would have continued on the same trajectory he had been on, quietly plodding on with life, not making waves, trying to make his family happy but not really being happy himself. And because he’s not happy his family and wife aren’t really happy either. But now Ji An is setting off bombs to shake up his life. The lead on the pay phones, and now coming out of the dark to reveal a nasty truth to shock Yoon Hui. When she sets her mind to something she’s unstoppable!
“I guess Ji An made her own judgment that this would help Dong Hoon, by getting Yoon Hui to break off with DJY.” – I think you’re right about this. In context, her revealing things to Yoon Hee is after the company dinner when Dong Hoon is utterly humiliated. So Ji An’s sympathies are starting to more align with Dong Hoon rather than with Do Joon Young. She wants Yoon Hee to hear the truth so that she “comes to her senses” and goes back to her good husband. You’re right – DJY may have been trying to give a cynical answer to cover up real feelings – but in Episode 8 we see that he really wasn’t counting on a future with YH anyway (“You would never abandon your family for over 10 years and get a divorce.”). So looking back I believe he was pretty honest with Ji An. He just didn’t know she was recording him :). And I like the way you put it – Ji An is setting off bombs to shake up his life. Yes! And he helping her care for halmeoni and have a more stable life. So good, what they do for each other.
*he’s helping her care for halmeoni
When Joon Young had that conversation with Ji An, he came from a bar drinking some heavy alcohol (was that whiskey?) alone before he called Ji An to talk. Though very subtle, his face, demeanor, and the way words came out from him showed he was a bit teeny-weeny tipsy. So he was not his full self and was prone to blabber which he did. I’m just not sure though if Ji An was just lucky he was indeed tipsy when she asked that question about dating Yung Hee, or she did notice it and deliberately asked a question whose answer she knew could incriminate him.
This is not the first time the show has used slight tipsiness to show some drawn down inhibitions from a character. Early part of ep 1, Dong Hoon had a drink with his brothers and then took the train home. He was sleepy and slightly tipsy as he slouched on the train seat when he noticed the bare ankles of Ji An. He looked up and saw her nape, tried to look at her face and reflection in the glass, then continued looking at her nape. As they walked out the train station and continued off in opposite directions, he continued to look back and continued giving a somewhat impolite stare at her direction. Again, I believe it was the tipsiness and thus the lowered inhibitions that pushed an upright man like DH to somehow stare impolitely at someone. Whether he recognized she was the new temp worker at the office or not, what he saw at that point definitely drew his curiosity and interest.
This is not the first time the show has used slight tipsiness to show some drawn down inhibitions from a character.
In vino veritas.
I was surprised to hear the Korean version of the song “A Million Scarlet Roses,” played at the bar scene and when Dong Hoon is so overwhelmed with emotion, he almost sobs. The original is a classic of 1970s Soviet pop music.
I got curious about the song and did some research. It was written by Latvian composer Raimonds Paul’s and was first performed in 1981. Soviet pop star Alla Pugacheva recorded a cover with lyrics in Russian, and it became a big hit in 1982. Several Korean artists have covered the song. The version in My Mister is sung by Ko Woo Rim.
The lyrics are different though. The Korean song is not a translation of the Russian song. Only the music is the same.
About the lyrics for “A Million Roses” by Ko Woo Rim…since I’ve listened to the My Mister OST 1st, when Jeong Hui said the exact lines to Dong Hoon as in the chorus, that’s when I realised who this song is written for :O
Btw @Snow Flower, thanks for letting me know that “A Million Roses” in the My Mister OST is actually a Korean cover of an old Soviet song. I’ll listen & compare the difference, song and lyrics-wise.
I noticed its relationship to the song used in Sandglass. There is a tendency to forget about the Russian influences on South Korean culture, but certainly, and we can see this in Secret Love Affair, there is embedded in the Korean pov a Russian influence. That song has a weight to it, especially connected to Jeong Hui that works so well.
The Korean version of another Russian (Soviet) pop song was used extensively in Misaeng: “Unruly Horses” by Vladimir Visotsky
Snow Flower – my favorite K Version is sung by my favorite singer, Guckkasten’s own Ha Hyun Woo – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUASPTfW5Ds on KOMS – sorry no subs on this. There was a subbed version but I cannot find it. The Russian version has different lyrics and is about a painter. The Korean version is about someone who came from a star to learn about true love and I find it very sad.
This song was first created by a Latvian composer (Pauls) and a Latvian poet (???). It was about a woman, who gave birth to a girl, but forgot to give her happiness. A few years later a Russian poet wrote new lyrics, based on a legend about unrequited love of a Georgian painter. He sent carts, full of flowers, to a French actress he was in love with (it didn’t work though). That version became very popular.
The Korean version is the third version of this song.
o ya, i did not even connect it. thank you for bringing it up. it’s one of my old times favorite russian songs.
music in this drama all throughout is a PERFECT FIT. so many times in these dramas it is simply a background, hardly noticeable, but here it totally supports every moment, emotion, action… becoming and integral organic part of the whole. just beautiful.
Ep 7 and 8
I’m completely swept away by the melancholy of this show.
… How hard it is to become the person you are in a world that is dictated by appearances: the appearance of happiness, of success, of right and wrong… Dong Hoon is a regular man pushed into a corner, put constantly under pressure, like that silly posh school his son attends asking him to showcase his “talents”… because these international schools love gratifying the ego of rich parents with stuff like that. Pass the bucket… 🤢
Dong Hoon taking care of his heart-broken wife is just beautiful… She’s been pretty foolish for giving her heart to that twerp. She’s not only hurt but also embarrassed to realise she’s been played. It is tender to see how much Dong Hoon cares about her, even though he’s been hurt very much too.
And I cannot help wondering about their son… maybe this is a cultural thing or it is simply something about the story I’m still not aware of, but why would you send your still young child to a foreign country to be raised by strangers? Is it because Dong Hoon and his wife want their child to have a shot at a better life they themselves could not have? I mean, I understand that… I have sent my children to the best school I could afford for exactly the same reasons and yet… I never considered sending them to a boarding secondary school in another continent… much less in their early teenage years, when I know parenting is everything… what is Dong Hoon’s and his wife’s reasoning? Do they have in mind a specific future for their child? Because to me they don’t seem particularly lacking, financially at least… Do they want their son to live where the rancid hierarchies Dong Hoon has to endure don’t exist? Do they want their child to have a better life, not to end up being a “has been” like all the pals in Dong Hoon’s regular drinking spot? Interesting how as I write about this, their decision becomes more understandable… I don’t know.
And what about that Kwang dude? What drives this guy to be such violent creep is becoming confusing to me… At first I thought he was Ji Ah’s violent and sadistic stalker, then I learned that he’s a sadistic loan-shark and now it appears that he’s all of the above. Also I can’t help but suspecting that he might have been Ji Ah’s boyfriend or suitor at some point in the past… or is this guy just conflicted at the fact that he is attracted to the young woman who killed his father? It is an interesting twist, I’m not gonna lie…. When he saw Ji An with Dong Hoon through the window being all smiles in the bar, was he jealous or was he pissed off because Ji Ah looked happy and he doesn’t think she deserves to be so? Or was it both? Does he perhaps want her to beg him for help or for support so that she becomes totally his possession? Let’s see where this is going.
Good thoughts Gloglo! I think your reading of Kwang Il is spot-on, with all the layers and nuances of their complicated loan-shark/ past relationship. And as far as sending Ji Seok away to school, I know many people in Asia highly value education as well as learning English. Many families will send their kids abroad yet stay in their home countries to continue to work.
Yes it’s not unheard of in Asia. Not super common in Singapore but not unheard of. One of my colleagues went to boarding school in England starting from her tween years and she is sending her daughter too. One Korean acquaintance I know also went overseas for boarding school at a young age too. In our drama world Dong Hoon and Yoon Hui are not judged for it, nobody seems to think it unusual that they have sent their kid overseas.
Case in point – I have known quite a few Koreans from school via this reason. The goal is definitely overseas exposure and standard of teaching, especially English in other countries where it is a lingua franca
I do understand why teenagers are sent to study away from home, but I always found it slightly misguided (except for those times in which is absolutely necessary). In a situation like Dong Hoon’s I would have sent my child attend a local secondary school to keep an eye on him during his formative years, while also sending him to summer school in some English speaking country nearby during holidays. Then I would have paid for his college education abroad, if that’s what my son wanted to do… For me, that’s money better spent since you still get the benefit of an overseas education without having to uproot your child and making him grow up in an environment without parental guidance and authority during those difficult teenage years.
Totally agree with you, but I think it’s a question of what values are highest for particular parents. I think I would have a higher value of keeping my child close, and deal with whatever education system I have around me. But for other parents I’ve met and heard of, especially those in China and Korea, their higher value is to have their child receive the best possible education, no matter the sacrifice of family closeness and proximity. And for them, the “best possible education” is found abroad in America or the UK. But I’m more with you :).
Sure, if you wish your children to escape a system and lifestyle you abhor (and also think it would be damaging to them), the sacrifice to keep them away from that system is totally warranted. But parents in the position of Dong Hoon do need to think very carefully whether it is fair to force a child to lose ties with his family, friends and culture for the unicorn of a “better education” at the age of 12/13… There are better alternatives. Someone like Dong Hoon can still send his child abroad as a high school graduate or even as a college graduate. The “best eduction” is given in third level institutions not at secondary level. Someone like Dong Hoon would be better off sending his son to a school in Korea that encourages travelling abroad for third level.
From what I’ve heard, the Korean education system is extremely stressful, on par with Japan’s. Cramming for exams, suicide rates, bullying. Perhaps his son is better off overseas. Also, if he only goes overseas at college level, his English proficiency would probably not be at native level and he may struggle.
Actually i totally agree that family bonding and love would trump educational value in sending the kid overseas. I’m just saying that there is definitely educational value to leave the stressful Korean system.
Yes, it seems that some aspects of the Korean education system are flawed and explain the reasons why these kids are sent abroad, and why this second level education abroad is something that’s completely accepted as the norm. However, I would have preferred that a show like this, which seems perfectly self aware addressing the social and cultural evils at play, had shed some light on this… I’m surprised that Dong Hoon’s being “deprived” of raising his son (and of the company of his son), is not an issue at all in the show’s narrative, considering that he is becoming the, somewhat, reluctant father figure of a very damaged girl like Ji Ah… His wife would have also had a very different experience of her affair had her son been waiting at home after school day after day… My point is that, if the son’s absence was presented as a flaw in Korean society, rather than as set dressing, this show would be that little bit more enlightened in my eyes.
On the language topic, it is proficiency rather than native ability what is needed to study a third level degree, and you can attain it with targeted study and consistent exposure over many years. Complete immersion for so many years is not necessary.
But I sometimes think it’s just the status & appearance of going to America to study. I doubt the education system is really better (unless you’re talking about ivy league).
i think this Kwang dude is desperately infatuated with ja from very long ago, since they were in school, it will become more clear later (which i can not talk about now.) but he really has no idea or emotional tools of dealing with it, especially that it is now mixed in with pain and grief over losing his dad (no matter what a crip the dad was, he is still his dad), and the very strong need for revenge for his dad, (an asian thing, as i understand it) since he was killed by ja, dumping him into this complete state of loneliness in this entire world – all of this creating a terrible volcanic eruption in his heart and the only way he knows how to deal with it is eruption of animal cruelty. human nature is truly complex.
I would like to highlight the light-heartedness and humourous aspects of My Mister between these 2 eps:
Again, with the trajectory of the show as it progresses, it is unsurprising that it continues to mix in a good amount of light-hearted humour despite the darker elements. Some commenters in the previous thread have highlighted their favourite light-hearted scene, in particular the 1st appearance of Hugye Morning Football Club. I would like to mention a few more of my personal picks as well, from drunken conversations among Dong Hoon’s brothers to actress lady in her floundering but somehow earnest antics. Of course, not all scenes in my personal picks always lean funny so your mileage may vary – comedy is subjective anyway. Especially black comedy.
While KFG had pointed out how lamentable it is that Dong Hoon struggled with conceptualising a special talent showcase for his son’s homework, I was extremely tickled when the “special talent” of Dong Hoon was exactly what I had predicted – the alcohol prowess of Koreans. Not to mention his neighbourhood friends helping him add some classic bar tricks as icing on a cake 😆
On an another note, I can’t help but think of Ji An’s ignorance of available, government-provided welfare assistance is yet another proof of the biggest failure seen in too many well-intended welfare programmes – people who really needed the assistance and are the target demographic for the assistance are often the ones not receiving it. I don’t have any useful insights into this problem other than some possible explanations shared by frustrated policy-makers, experts in the social work field and on-the-ground interviews from the target demographic, but it certainly opened my eyes into how problems can be systemic.
For some reason I’m unable to edit my comment
oops I realised there’s no mistake at all – ignore this edit
Yes, I love that there are humorous, lighter moments in the drama. After all that is a developing theme of the show – people can be happy, at least sometimes, even when their lives feel heavy and disappointing.
Re: Dong Hoon’s special talent – thanks for reminding me. Though Dong Hoon and friends leaned into a party trick example, it could have been interesting if someone had shot the scene where Dong Hoon inspects the restaurant building in the pouring rain. I think his son and classmates would have found it fun and dramatic, to see how he measures different indicators of building stress, and reassuringly concludes the building is safe, for now. It’s a special and unique talent, for sure, even if Dong Hoon has become inured to it. Don’t many of us underestimate the talents we have developed and use regularly, just because they’re so familiar to us?
That’s a great insight, that Dong Hoon does have a special talent that is not just drinking! He was known as a very skilled member of the Saman Design Team, after all.
Yes I thought he could have reprised his demonstration of engineering prowess as he did with the condo developer, but in a safer less violent way haha.
Yes, the Hugye Morning Soccer Club!! I love them so much :)! And all of Sang Hoon’s monologues. He cracks me up, how he can just go on and on, in that slightly monotone way of his. And you’re absolutely right about the failure of someone to tell Ji An about the free help her grandmother was entitled to. I even wonder why the nursing home in Episode 1 didn’t tell Ji An that halmeoni could stay for free (if not there, at least somewhere else)? They of all people should have known that a disabled patient like halmeoni, with only a granddaughter to take care of her, would be eligible for free government assistance. But perhaps the roadblock was due to Ji An and halmeoni’s addresses being registered as the same place, so no one thought to tell her to separate their addresses before Dong Hoon mentioned it.
When the brothers were first introduced they were kinda gross. Stealing money packets at the wedding and trying to pee in the streets. But by now we have seen their pathos and sadness and hilarious antics. They are really growing on me!
They are so endearing! I love how different they all are, yet they love and support each other.
The fact that JA didn’t know about availability of free care didn’t make sense to me. She and her friend seemed too shrewd to be that ignorant. All they had to do was to google “benefits for low income disabled seniors”.
Another thing that seemed strange to me was the JA coworkers’ nonchalant attitude towards JA being covered with bruises. DH tells her to “break up with him”. Break up?! Shouldn’t she go to the police?!
Why would you even bother googling something if the mere possibility of its existence had never even crossed your mind in the first place, though?
Yes, she and her friend are shrewd, often remarkably so, but in a “street smart”, survive a day-to-day existence with no adult supervision sort of way, not in an “acquire and display deep knowledge of the bureaucratic social welfare safety net” sort of way.
That’s why people google: to see, if anything is there. She’s been poor all her life, and she didn’t know there might be some kind of assistance available for people like her grandmother? I don’t buy it. It’s not like she lives in the middle of nowhere. She is a city girl. And what about the nursing home itself? The nursing home knew that she couldn’t pay. So, rather than telling JA to find a different nursing home with free care, they just kept yelling at her grandmother? As I said, I don’t buy it.
This situation adds a lot of drama though.
If you don’t buy it, that’s fair, and I’m not saying you have to see it that way.
But I disagree with the default assumption that everyone just reflexively googles stuff, because if, say, you don’t have the necessary prerequisite knowledge to ask the question, it might never occur to you to pose the question to google in the first place. And for my part, I have no problem believing that Ji-an could be in such a situation.
As for the nursing home, I can think of a number of plausible reasons why information about funding sources might fail to be transmitted from them to Ji-an.
I love how Dong Hoon telling her about government assistance for elder care is a turning point for Ji An. Her whole life seems to have been lived on the fringes, she doesn’t make friends or act politely cos she expects to be rejected and treated like dirt by mainstream society. She has had no scruples about pulling illegal cons on people until she got to know Dong Hoon.
I agree that we can’t automatically assume that everyone should be able to find this info. But I’m not talking about everyone.
Also, wasn’t JA still in school and underaged, when she killed that loan shark? JA must have been getting some kind of financial aid and advice from children services, since she was living with her disabled grandmother, who had no means of supporting her. And once you are in a system, it’s easier to learn about stuff. I have to admit though, that I don’t know enough about government support in South Korean.
I actually found Ji Ah not knowing about government support very believable… Nobody doubts that Ji Ah is smart and savvy, but literacy on social services is something one generally learns from older relatives, career guidance councillors, teachers or mentors… and this show has already made crystal clear that Ji Ah has had none of those up until Dong Hoon… She’s constantly working, she’s lonely and not the chattiest of girls… also her communication with her grandma is basic and sporadic and her hacker friend doesn’t seem to be the type who knows practical things about life… As somebody mentioned before, googling a question presupposes a awareness of a possible answer, and I feel that Ji Ah is not connected enough with her environment to wonder about social aids and formulate that kind of question.
Agree, I think we can’t assume that child or social services would have been involved in Ji An’s life. Her mother disappeared to get away from creditors, it is quite possible that no one in “government” knew that the mother was missing and thus Ji An still had a legal guardian on paper – her mother. As I write this comment I do realise Ji An’s mother did die and legally pass on her debts to Ji An. But since Ji An has a grandmother living with her it also may be possible social services did not get involved. At that time grandma although deaf may have been healthy enough to work and look after Ji An. Considering how Ji An was hounded by a loan shark even as a minor, I think Show is portraying that she really has not had help from the system. Fallen through the cracks.
Yes. That’s exactly how the show is portraying her situation. The question is how realistic that picture is. Only people familiar with the South Korean welfare system can answer this question. JA was a minor and her grandmother was already partially paralyzed, when she killed that loan shark. Logically, JA should’ve appeared on the children services’s radar then, especially since she lived in a big city, not in some godforsaken place.
I also thought that Ji An not knowing about welfare was a bit odd. But, I can totally get why noone at the nursing home told her. If things in Korea are like in my country, nursing homes get paid less for welfare patients than private ones.So they tend to prefer private patients than welfare, to the extent allowed by the relevant legislation (=X number of mandatory welfare patients per home).
They prefer private clients who pay. JA’s grandmother didn’t have the money.
Since the writer utilized this situation well, I don’t have a problem with it.
that sounds true, i was thinking about it as well, the issue being money paid, and beds needed to accommodate more well paying clients.
Doesn’t surprise me at all. Here in the states people are woefully ignorant of things. As an elder person, for example, wending one’s way through the labyrinth of medicare and what is available and not is not so easy as “googling.” What’s more given the number of swindlers on line, especially preying on the poor and elderly, it is far more simple to be skeptical.
When my younger daughter was very ill 15 years ago and was a cum laude graduate of a major college older then tha Ji an is in this, she absolutely needed me to serve as her advocate, and recently when I was going through the medical system here vis a vis my back, I absolutely relied on my other daughter, a hospital foundation administrator, to guide me through the system. I know how to google.
Finally, the world of institutional care with its outrageous expenditures seems so prohibitive as for people like Li Ji An who probably not once in her life been exposed to such benefits (and remember the key to assistance was to register her grandmother under a separate address) all may well seem like more than they can figure out or want to deal with. She is only 21, and appears to have been on her own all her teenage years.
“wending one’s way through the labyrinth of medicare and what is available and not is not so easy as “googling.”
Of course, the process is complicated. But “googling” will at least make you aware that Medicare exists. So you go from there. In the show JA didn’t seem to have a problem figuring out how to proceed (collecting and submitting the necessary documentation, registering the grandmother under a different address, etc.), once DH told her about the free care. I admit that, as I mentioned in my previous post, I don’t know anything about social support system in South Korea. But given the fact that JA was in her early teens and was living with a poor disabled grandmother when she killed the loan shark, childrens’ /social services must have been involved in some way. And once you are in the system, it’s easier to figure out how to game it. And we are talking about JA here. Also, the nursing home itself. Of course, they’d prefer to have a private client, but only if that client is able to pay.
But again, it’s a tv show. Certain exaggerations or inconsistencies are ok by me, as long as they are conducive to the development of a good story. It’s not like we discover in the middle of the show, that JA flew in from another planet or something.