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This is for those of you who want to discuss spoilers, from a “I’ve seen the show and WOW now I’m noticing all these other details in retrospect” sort of angle.
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For the main discussion of episodes 9 & 10, which only deals with spoilers up to the point of the group watch, go here.
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Just had a thought today, that the ending of the show which shows Dong Hoon and Yoon Hui separated, and Ki Hoon and Yu Ra have broken up, seems to confirm Mom’s hypothesis that a lady who is more successful than her partner, makes the male partner feel uncomfortable (i.e. the relationship is doomed). Not a good takeaway! Whereas Ae-Ryeon, who seems to be much more a traditional housewife – no career was mentioned for her right? I think I recall she helped Sang Hoon set up his business after he left the company – Ae Ryeon is shown to be much more comfortable with Omma and the neighbourhood guys and Jeong Hui at the bar. I wonder if show is purposely or inadvertently conveying the message that a girl in need (Ji An, messed up Yu Ra), attracts protection and earnest affection from men, whereas a woman who has made it on her own and making a better income than the men (Yoon Hui, successful Yu Ra), can’t keep a man’s affection.
I guess I would have preferred, if Dong Hoon and Yoon Hui were to separate, that Ki Hoon and Yu Ra stayed together. It kinda felt like a downer after they went through so much during the show to be together, and build each other up. It was really only in the last episode or so that they showed friction that Yu Ra wanted Ki Hoon to get back into directing, and get out of his comfort zone. But with the phone calls we see Yu Ra didn’t want to break up right? Hence she kept calling Ki Hoon to cry. Hence it kinda felt to me like it was Ki Hoon’s own sense of inferiority or pride that made him think he should stay apart from Yu Ra. Sigh.
In other words, the end was uplifting in affirming the community rallying around Ji An at her grandmother’s death, and then suddenly Yoon Hui and Yu Ra, two key female love interests, were booted out and Dong Hoon and Ki Hoon sad. And then suddenly at the end Dong Hoon is all comfortable in his skin and happy! Found it a bit abrupt after such a beautifully played out story.
To reference Gary Chapman’s “The Five Love Languages”, he said we each have a primary way we give love and a primary way we like to receive love (the two love languages usually match but not always). One example I heard of recently is twin sisters who had different feelings about Christmas growing up. One loved Christmas because her love language is Gifts, while the other, whose love language is Quality Time, was grumpy around Christmas cos she didn’t really care about gifts and yet with the bustle of activity around the holidays she didn’t get to spend quality time with her family.
Applying this to Dong Hoon, I think the primary way he expresses love to others is in Acts of Service. His extraordinary help to Ji An, from piggybacking Halmeoni to arranging her funeral. He rolled up his sleeves to help his monk friend with the pickup truck. And tellingly, Ji An says to Yoon Hui that one of the touching things Dong Hoon always did was ask Yoon Hui “Do you need anything?”. But crucially, Yoon Hui never needed anything. Hence Dong Hoon couldn’t engage her. Whereas Yoon Hui wanted to be let in to Dong Hoon’s thoughts, to talk with him, be his confidant – perhaps her love language is Quality Time, like me. Another tell is that in their argument, DH points out how he has been doing the housework quietly to help YH as she’s tired. Classic Acts of Service. Unfortunately, housework doesn’t fulfill YH’s emotional needs. When she asks for his attention or to talk to him, he doesn’t respond, gets distracted by soccer. In other words, they are each not meeting each other’s needs yet not able to articulate why, and what they need from the other person, and whether they can compromise and meet each other halfway.
As for how Dong Hoon preferred to receive love, my hypothesis is that he wanted someone to understand and accept him as who he is. Ji An offered this, she really understood what made him sad, what made him tick, and she didn’t ask him to change. Whereas Yoon Hui didn’t truly understand him, yet tried to “fix” his problems by suggesting he quit and start his own company (which turned out to be the right solution, but he had to decide on his own, not be externally imposed upon to do it). And Yoon Hui couldn’t accept how close he was to his own family, because to her it threatened her own need for a loving bond with Dong Hoon and their own family unit. I suspect also that the son leaving for overseas accelerated the incompatibilities between YH and DH surfacing. Without the son, Yoon Hui had no real “need” of Dong Hoon’s help as she is a self-sufficient adult. And DH has all along not been meeting YH’s need of emotional connection. So without the son to pull them together into the same space, talk to each other and help each other with kid duties, they had more time to do their own thing and drift apart.
Brilliant analysis, Elaine. The Love Languages is awesome and something we did with our youngest child and other families at his school three years ago. We have the Love Nudge App as well, which is a handy little reminder.
Great insights! Yes the love languages of DH and YH are inherently different and have contributed to them drifting apart. This shot of their beverage of choice highlights their differences and incompatibility.
Look at the colors of the cups: Hers is dark and his is white. I would expect it to be the other way around, because dark is the manlier color.
Haha, is it cos DH is the white hat of the show?
Lol. Quite possibly.
Or maybe an indication that their roles are not strictly defined. If we consider man/woman stereotypes, she lives like a man (kind of): her child is away, she works long hours and makes very good money, there is not much cooking/cleaning. And she is the one who is having an affair.
Oh yeah, good points! Also she is more rational and logical while Dong Hoon is more nurturing.
Yes, every time I see this screengrab I think of this article: https://givemeslippers.wordpress.com/2018/06/19/dong-hoon-yoon-hee-did-they-divorce-or-not/
Oh, some of the photos/ screengrabs don’t show up as the article is 3.5 years old.
different choice in beverages? aren’t you making too much of it? sorry to disagree on the example of the beverage choice as a sample of incompatibility. although elaine’s analysis is spot on, this does not fit the idea. i mean, in my own life, i am a coffee connoisseur, it is my guilty pleasure, but my husband never developed a taste for coffee, ever, he hates the taste of it. also, he loves sweet, i love salty. (i still cook and love it and he loves my food), he loves watching sports and playing sports, i love watching my dramas (now), he loves comedies, i love heavy intellectual stuff, i love flea markets and farm markets, he hates shopping, any shopping. in spite of these different tastes, we have a good marriage, i can say. we do have a lot of other things that we share and love, example, we have an almost identical taste in music. so it is not black and white, one must allow a lot of nuances in relationships, and many different things make a person tick.
I agree with what you said, beverage choice alone doesn’t mean much. And in many instances, opposites do attract! My post was about the picture I captured from the show. And since the show included that frame just before the conversation between Dong Hoon And Yoon Hui, I’m assuming that the purpose of that shot was to highlight their differences.
Brilliant analysis of the Five Love Languages and how they relate to Dong Hoon and Yoon Hee. I grew up learning about them, too! They’re so ingrained in my mind, haha. The way the show portrayed DH and YH’s differences in how they give and receive love felt so relatable and sad, for both of them. And Dong Hoon knew that Yoon Hee knew about the bribe and didn’t care if he was fired….thus his mistrust of her when she started suggesting he break away from Saman and start up his own firm. Whereas with Ji An, he received complete support and encouragement (and loyalty, the value his omma valued the highest between spouses).
“As for how Dong Hoon preferred to receive love, my hypothesis is that he wanted someone to understand and accept him as who he is.”
Well, don’t we all?😊
I think the important difference between DH/JA’s and DH/Yoon Hui’s relationships is that to JA, DH offered everything she could’ve dreamed of: kindness, decency, respect, being part of a community. She had been deprived of all of those things, so to her it was more than enough.
But it wasn’t enough for DH’s wife: she also wanted to be his number one, she wanted him to be successful and ambitious professionally, and she wanted to get out of this crabby neighborhood, so they could be surrounded by the same kind of people: interesting, successful and ambitious. He, on the other hand, seemed to think that doing home chores and not cheating had to be enough. Well, not for her.
Great points, that DH offered JA everything she could have dreamed of, in fact never even came into her concept as possible. And in appreciating and admiring him just as he is, even with his lack of ambition, and appreciating his community, and showing her loyalty, she connects with DH. JA and DH connect because they see in each other wretchedness and desperate unhappiness, and they really understand each other.
Whereas to DH, YH is successful, doesn’t truly understand his unhappiness and what he needs to climb out of it, YH also doesn’t seem to need him (gets annoyed when he asks her whether she needs him to get anything), is not loyal (doesn’t fight his corner over the bribe, advises him to leave the company), and also threatens his sense of belonging to his tribe by demanding to be number one and moving out of the neighbourhood.
Maybe because JA really knows him (and also unfairly is wiretapping him so she is privy to everything that is going on in his life, whereas YH only sees 10% of what’s going on), JA is better than YH at diagnosing what DH needs? Both in terms of comfort (“Fighting!”) but also in terms of shaking him out of his pattern? E.g. dropping the hint about phone booths, intervening to tell YH the truth about Joon Yeong, even slapping his subordinate. Also her schemes behind the scenes to protect DH from Joon Yeong. Also when they just sit down with each other. The things they say about life resonate with each other, and also make each other think.
elaine and maria, you said it all!
Ae Ryeon is shown to be much more comfortable with Omma and the neighbourhood guys and Jeong Hui at the bar.
just wanted to say, that ae ryeon was dh’s classmate (younger brother of her husband), so all of these people including jeon hui grew up together, went to school together. naturally that ae ryeon probably knew omma since childhood and feels more comfortable with all of these guys. while dh and wife met as grown ups, students, may be even not in the same city where all the others grew up. so she’s not a part of them all, not bonded with them, so she most likely feels like an outsider.
I agree, I think Yoon Hee has always felt like an outsider. At omma’s birthday party (episode 7) I felt like this was pretty clearly shown when she kept wanting to help out with cooking, and Ae Ryun and omma kept shooing her away. And any hope she had early on the marriage that they would move away and find their own space (as a threesome) was dashed when Dong Hoon became more uncommunicative. One definitely has sympathy for her.
At the same time, if she really hated Hugye and “all the people around him” as she says later when they have their big confrontation, I can imagine her dislike/ discomfort with his family might show through! That feeling is hard to hide!
Hmm, before getting married yes you should see if you can stand your spouse’s family and friends. If you despise them that’s probably a red flag that you’re actually incompatible with your spouse.
BUT DH spending 6 out of 7 days a week with his Hugye pals and three brothers is way out of line right? What kind of drabs are left over the spouse? Ae Ryeon also was commenting with disgust that the three brothers hang out together all the time.
Yup, exactly. He’s not prioritizing his marriage either. Although, later on, he does say, “If I come home early no one’s ever here.” And Yoon Hee says, “Yeah, I can see that. I don’t even know which one came first.” So they’ve been trapped in a bad cycle for a long time. 🙁
Ae Ryun has totally grown on me upon subsequent rewatches of MM. Many of the characters speak truth, but she does it in such a colorful and expressive way.
i must disagree with “you must get along with family”… after all, if you are in love (a powerful current in the river of one’s life), you are not getting married with the family, but the person you love. of course, it is a bonus if you love and are being loved by family and friends… unfortunately, that is not always the case. in this drama, it goes beyond that, the three brothers are sharing their lives with each other on a constant basis, what wife would be happy with that? they are excluded from the lives of their husbands. not acceptable to any spouse.
Good point Eda! I do feel kinda sad for how YH and DH’s whole marriage went down. They must have loved each other a lot in the beginning. In fact, I got the impression that Yoon Hui loved DH more than he loved her… Maybe that’s the impression she got herself, that he didn’t love her enough and that’s why he couldn’t prioritise her above his family and friends. And what a sad moment, when she said “you don’t love me anymore, right?” And he didn’t deny it.
Further musing on the Love Languages, Dong Hoon rarely asks others for help. But if I recall correctly, the first time we see him going to Yoon Hui for help or advice is about the bribe, and she was not very helpful. To be fair, DH doesn’t keep her updated on how the bribe situation unfolds. But then, because she has got the inside story from Jun Yeong, her behaviour to DH ends up being all wrong and fishy. Like getting annoyed he didn’t tell her the bribe situation was resolved, and getting peeved about the cuttlefish in a plastic bag.
Hmmm, interesting point, Elaine! Compare him asking YH for help about the bribe, with him asking for help again in Episode 15 regarding Ji An. Well – I guess he doesn’t ask for help as much as say, “Do you know Lee Ji An?” But then she does offer to help, and she helps all the way to the end. She keeps saying it’s her way of making the situation right, since the situation started with her affair. That’s an interesting parallel.
Ah yes I was going to mention that the second time he asks YH for help is to help Ji An! Yes he did say “Do you know Lee Ji An”? But that was a prelude to asking YH for legal help for Ji An.
I’d never thought about the contrast between the early episode (Ep 2?) and Ep 15 with DH asking for YH’s help. Love these new insights!
Great insights, Elaine! I think you’re right, Yu Ra didn’t want to break up, AND she visited Jung Hee’s bar to see him (like Notting Hill 🙂 ). I feel like since they put that bar visit in there at the end of the time skip, and they had Ki Hoon start writing screenplays again, that it’s only a matter of time before Yu Ra and Ki Hoon get back together :). He’s obviously still in love with her when he’s watching her in the movie theater.
Ah good point, I didn’t know the bar visit was a ref to Notting Hill, I haven’t watched it in a super long time. And yes, him sitting in the theatre alone, watching her glow on screen, is definitely a ref to Notting Hill too!
So some hope of them getting back together again! Yay! I thought him putting pen to paper was really him putting the past to rest.
In Episode 10 itself, I don’t know if you remember, but Yu Ra visits Ki Hoon in the cleaning office and he says, “What if I held onto you? I should let you go and fly away….Sometimes I think of Notting Hill, what it would be like if you became a top star and came back and I heard you had visited Jung Hee’s bar,” (or something like that – I can’t remember exactly). So Jung Hee telling him that YR had visited was a callback to Ep 10.
If she’s still hanging around Jung Hee’s bar hoping to see him, and if he’s still in love with her as evident on his face while he’s watching the movie…then I think they could get back together :).
Oops, can’t edit my comment. Ki Hoon DID let her go and fly away, but Yu Ra “comes back” to him by visiting the bar.
In the last moments of ep 10, DH called JA a “crazy bitch.” I think it ties up to the penultimate scene in ep 16.. Prior to the last scene in the coffee shop, Ki Hoon was shown to start writing a new script for a movie. He wrote “A crazy bitch entered my life.” And immediately we cue to Ji An entering the coffee shop where DH is.
That cue in ep 16 ties to two parallel scenes:
1. In the first episode, the three brothers are drinking in a bar and Sang Hoon started talking about his imagined movie about ahjussis when DH interrupted him to say it lacked a woman. Then Sang Hoon agreed and said, how should the woman enter the story? Then we cue to the next scene where JA is formally introduced as the “woman” in our story where she is shown washing dishes.
So this time in ep 16, it’s Ki Hoon who’s writing for his movie, and it was used as a cue to again introduce Ji An in the next scene, this time as the “bitch” who will re-enter DH’s life.
2. The second parallel scene is this closing sequence of ep 10, where DH called JA a “crazy bitch.” I believe that was a link to what Ki Hoon wrote for his script in the penultimate scene of ep 16.
wouldn’t ki hoon talk about his own crazy bitch (truly crazy) yoo- ra? doesn’t it make more sense? such a colorful personality – ready made for a story-teller.
I’ll have to agree with Eda on this.
After Jeong-hui told Ki Hoon that Yoo-ra had stopped by the bar, he finally started writing about his life and Yoo-ra(who seems plenty crazy to me) in it. I hope he will direct Yoo-ra in his new movie. But lives of the three brothers are so interconnected that they might also become characters in his movie.
We see JA in the following scene, because the show moves on to the next unresolved relationship: JA’s and DH’s.
Yes I agree, that scene definitely intended to close out Ki Hoon’s story arc. I also didn’t think it symbolized anything further, until I read about it. Then I started finding similarities and parallel elements between the two scenes. This show used the parallel-scene technique and symbolisms quite a lot, and that’s one of the reasons it is quite a marvel. Even Yu Ra’s movie that Ki Hoon was watching at the tail end of ep 16 was fraught with meta symbolisms. Will add some thoughts further in future posts.
Yes, I think it’s both Yu Ra/ Ki Hoon and Dong Hoon/ Ji An when Ki Hoon writes about a crazy b*** entering his life. There are so many times in the show when Ki Hoon acts as a representative for Dong Hoon and I think this is also one of those times. After all, Ji An was a bit crazy when she first entered Dong Hoon’s life. 🙂 After the time skip, she has grown into a mature, professional, more shy woman….but she did enter Dong Hoon’s story (ep 1) and his life again (ep 16).
Unfortunately, I’ve missed a significant part of the 7-8 episodes’ discussion, so here are a few of my random thoughts and responses:
“My take on Kwang Il is that he is in love with Ji An.”
I don’t think he is in love. He probably did like her a bit a while ago. But his feelings are more complicated now.
There is no mention of Kwang Il’s mother, which makes me believe that she had either died or left. Kwang Il grew up with an abusive father. Obviously, there was no possibility of any emotional connection, kindness, etc. in their relationship. So he had always been very lonely.
Being kind to JA and protecting her was his only way to emotionally connect to someone and to express his inherent kindness and humanity.
Once JA killed his father, that “human, emotional door” was closed, so to speak. Memories of liking and protecting JA, mixed with newly found hatred for her, his worsening loneliness, other people’s hatred towards him, and many other things created his “feelings’ cocktail”.
I would argue that he is longing for JA’s friendship more than for a romantic love.
“It is not uncommon that after horrible betrayals, a couple can find a way to reconcile. sometimes it fails and sometimes the relationship endures and becomes even stronger. (bill and hillary clinton).”
Although I feel that Clinton’s example is not relevant here (their problem was not his “betrayal”, but the public exposure, which threatened their political ambitions and, therefore, opportunities to make tons of money through donations, paid speeches and, eventually, presidency), I do agree that reconciliations happen. Sometimes people even divorce and then get back together again.
I don’t believe DH’s marriage could survive, because his wife’s one-time “indiscretion” was not their main problem. Things that make DH happy (community, extended family, spending time at that bar, etc.) make his wife lonely and miserable.
I believe their incompatibility eventually would’ve lead to their divorce, even without the cheating. Also, loyalty means a lot more to DH than to many other people, therefore it would be more difficult for him to forgive a betrayal.
Besides, abundance of clues in the show brings to mind Chekhov’s gun principle: “One must never place a loaded rifle on the stage, if it isn’t going to go off.”
These clues cannot be ignored: that conversation with the bartender, who eventually divorced his wife because of the infidelity. Or, when DH’s wife suggested during the confession scene that he didn’t have feelings for her any more, DH didn’t deny it. Also, during the roof scene the wife told the CEO that DH hates her and that they are living in hell.
“he cannot control his tears. That’s when I thought maybe it’s not just her accompanying the son to study, this may be effectively a separation of spouses.”
I agree that DH was crying, because he came to terms with the fact that his marriage was over. He was mourning the loss of his wife and his picture perfect family.
But he was also mourning the loss of JA and that unbelievable connection that they had.
“Nape gazing” discussion
I’ve read somewhere that in Japanese culture the nape holds a special attraction to Japanese men, because it was one of the rare parts of a woman’s body that was not covered by a kimono.
I’m not sure if the same fetish exists in Korean culture, but I noticed that, for example, in “Secret love affair” they also show Oh Hye-won’s nape plenty of times.
as many times before, i tend to agree with your way of thinking.
I don’t believe DH’s marriage could survive, because his wife’s one-time “indiscretion” was not their main problem. Things that make DH happy (community, extended family, spending time at that bar, etc.) make his wife lonely and miserable.
i also wrote in my previous comments that she was basically emotionally drained of any closeness, friendship or intimacy, that is very difficult to rebuild. but giving up on a marriage of many years is equally difficult. dh is a very kind, considerate and compassionate human, if she begs him to give her another chance (i could see that possibility and i even detect her reasonable or unreasonable desire or willingness to preserve the so called marriage contract.), dh might give in and agree to try and move on together as a couple. but, a big “but”… Also, loyalty means a lot more to DH than to many other people, therefore it would be more difficult for him to forgive a betrayal. but what i also said, that i do not see that this marriage has a chance of survival in the future, as no amount of repenting will erase the cruelty of betrayal and the toll it took on dh’s entire being.
in regards to clintons, all that you mentioned is correct, except hillary did experience a great amount of pain from the betrayal, i once heard her talking about it very openly. and she put him in the dog house for a long time. so she had to overcome not just all the aftermath of bill’s affair that you mentioned here but also the pain from her husband’s intimacy with another woman. so it is a bit different from our situation here, but also similar as she had to forgive and move on with him by her side. but what is different, that the clintons were strong political allies, very close friends their entire adult life and did care about each other. so there was a degree of closeness, and hillary even said that she believed they were soul mates, i happen to know it from a first hand source. it is of course very different in dh’s case with his wife.
i just wanted to add that politics and idealism is a very strong bonding glue, when people have identical goals there, as in the case of clintons.
so in conclusion, my final thoughts on it is that their marriage has 0.1% chance of survival, but i am not clear whether they will get a divorce right away. in regards to ja, i do not think that she will become his woman, not now and not later. i just can not see it happening, and i do not feel that dh truly wants it. i simply do not see them together “in bed” . sorry for the bluntness, but i am not korean, so may be i can afford it.
They just don’t “look good together”, right? The way Hye Won and Sun Jae did? I agree. Still, I wouldn’t mind, if this relationship went even further. Meeting a ‘soul mate’ is not as common as we think it is, sometimes. In an emergency room JA asked DH, if he hated her for what she had done. He said: “Once you really know someone, it doesn’t matter what they do. And I know you.” One of the viewers suggested somewhere to substitute the word “know” with “love”.
They look ok to me in this promotional pictorial they did for the show in Japan. 😊 They didn’t have such promotional pictorials in Korea as they wanted to tone down the love line for the Korean audience.
They may not have looked good together throughout the show, but post time-skip, dang, I think they look great together. The way he’s looking at her when he sees her! 🙂
Yes. The promotional picture is way more racier than the show. Interestingly enough, the same could be said about ‘Secret Love affair’. OHW looks like a femme fatale on the promo pictures.
To be fair, at first I couldn’t see Sun Jae and OHW together, either. I wasn’t into the noona romance there, and thought he was just too young. By the end of the show, I was rooting for them hard. Hehe. But her husband and everyone around her were scumbags, and Sun Jae was the one pure thing she had in her life. And she was so relaxed and happy when she was with him; she was like a different person with him. And he truly wanted to take care of her and protect her, which was so gratifying to see (he really did have something to offer her). She was so content at the very end, too, knowing that SJ was waiting for her on the other side. Beautiful.
I actually dropped ‘Secret love affair’ during the second episode, because may/december romances have never been my thing. I decided to give the show a second chance because of glorious reviews and, of course, the music. And I’m so glad I did. It’s one of my favorite shows ever.
I may sound cynical, but I have such a low opinion of politicians’ integrity, that words “politics” and “idealism”, appearing in the same sentence, is an oxymoron to me. Also, I in general pay more attention to how people behave/do rather than to what they say (which could be a self-serving bs). From what I see, post-presidency activities of some ex-presidents mostly come down to making money and partying with celebrities, even in the middle of the pandemic.
Although I couldn’t help responding to your comment, I suggest that we don’t talk about politics. Even if we agree, politics is such an unpleasant subject, that I worry it could poison our wonderful discussion of “My mister”.
agree not to discuss politics (and that was not my intention here). so , allow me just a few words. i do agree with you in general, except throughout history, the russian revolution, the chinese communist’s party lengthy battles, these were all idealism, people truly sacrificing lives for ideology. watch the movie “cliff walkers” or drama “the disguiser”… but in general, i do agree with your low opinion on politicians.
and NO more politics here, sorry.
“dh is a very kind, considerate and compassionate human, if she begs him to give her another chance (i could see that possibility and i even detect her reasonable or unreasonable desire or willingness to preserve the so called marriage contract.)”
It wouldn’t make sense to me for the wife to beg DH to give their marriage a second chance. Yes, she feels guilty, so she wants to make amends. But she would have to change a lot for the marriage to succeed, and I just don’t see her happily hanging out in that bar with DH and others. I think they should admit, that their marriage is not a success and move on.
of course, i agree, they should move on. if it would have been me, that’s exactly what i would have done. but they are koreans and i am not. so god knows. they seem to have different calculations in a lot of different ways, judging by the contents in other dramas about their relationships, and society in general. a lot of it is truly difficult for me as an outsider to understand.
Agree, they do seem to have different calculations, especially as far as one action (divorce) affecting the whole family, not just the couple involved. I can understand it to a point since I’m Asian, but I still don’t get it fully since I don’t live in an Asian culture and I don’t have to deal with shame/ honor/ saving face/ honoring my family all the time.
Interesting trivia about napes with regards to Japanese culture. Just to clarify (to everyone), the “nape-stares” I brought up in the previous discussion started as a half-joke in another forum, and was just carried on here. But the bottom line in those gazes DH gave to JA was he sees her as a woman, as a ”pretty” woman. Regardless which exact body part DH was gazing at (the hair, face, neck/nape, or most probably everything), those scenes were put in there by the show for a reason.
I was actually surprised that morally upright Dong Hoon would, as early as Episode 7, describe Ji An as “pretty” to the bar owner. By the time he says she helps him “breathe” and he won’t allow himself to even send her a Thank You text, I think he realizes he’s fully “in it” and needs to distance himself (as Ki Hoon asks him in the taxi: “Why are you keeping a distance?”). Then she runs away and Dong Hoon’s true colors come out – he can’t rest until he finds her.
Ohhhh was that why he didn’t reply to her text? Haha I thought somehow by then he had figured out that she was wiretapping him and could hear him say Thank you! And then near the end oops he didn’t know at that point that she was tapping him.
Ah yes, and his second “Thank you” was “Thank you for being by my side”. Ooh.
Hi Elaine! We’re active right now haha! 🙂
Some people have thought that in the taxi he already knew she was wiretapping him, but I don’t think so. I think he’s truly shocked when Managing Director Park Dong Un tells him later that Ji An had planted a wiretapping program on his phone.
From what I understand: in the taxi it seems like he couldn’t bring himself to reply with a “Thank You” to her “good luck” and “it’s not a big deal” texts because he was keeping a distance. We find out why just a few minutes later, when he tells his brothers, “Having someone say Fighting, tell me not to die when I want to die, tell me I’m a good person….helps me breathe. How could I say this to her? I know how it would sound.” So in some strange way, saying “Thank You” to her would be like telling her how important she’s become to him. Ki Hoon tells him to at least say Thank You, that that wouldn’t be inappropriate, and Dong Hoon says out loud, “Thank you for being by my side.”
But it’s not something he can tell her in person, since he knows “how it would sound.” He doesn’t want to lead her on, since at this point she’s told him multiple times that she likes him. But she’s the one who helps him breathe.
Good points! Restrained affection from a distance.
Yes he couldn’t say “Thank you” in ep 13 because that would look like he was leading her on. Contrast that in the final scene, when they shook hands, the first thing he said was “Thank you.” With DH holding her hand and saying thank you, JA got the cue and asked him out for dinner.
I thought it was the other way round, that the geisha’s kimono deliberately droops low in the back to show the nape of the neck as it is considered to be an attractive (i.e. erotic) body part. There is even a special pattern to the white body paint used at the nape to highlight it further.
I can’t be sure what comes first: my knowledge is limited, obviously.
Here is some additional information I found on the internet:
“In the past, there was no electricity in Japan, so artists entertained by dim candlelight.
Eventually, they started painting the faces white to look more beautiful in such conditions.
Geisha, kabuki actors, court ladies, dancers, etc. adapted the white makeup (oshiroi or shironuri in Japanese) as an essential part of their profession.
Not only the face but also the neck was painted in the front and back. Such makeup was applied almost every day, as the long kimono for dance requires the face to be painted. For stage performances, even hands and calves were painted white.”
Hi Maria F,
“Besides, abundance of clues in the show brings to mind Chekhov’s gun principle: “One must never place a loaded rifle on the stage, if it isn’t going to go off.”
I’ve never heard that principle but it makes sense!!
“These clues cannot be ignored: that conversation with the bartender, who eventually divorced his wife because of the infidelity. Or, when DH’s wife suggested during the confession scene that he didn’t have feelings for her any more, DH didn’t deny it. Also, during the roof scene the wife told the CEO that DH hates her and that they are living in hell.”
Yes, so many clues. Also, the further we go in the show, the more we see Dong Hoon and Ji An spending time together, and once Ji An runs away, she seems to dominate Dong Hoon’s thoughts. The show has ample opportunity to show Yoon Hee and Dong Hoon trying to reconcile…but it doesn’t do it. Instead it spends a lot of time showing how much Dong Hoon is looking for Ji An, thinking about Ji An, visiting Ki Bum in prison to ask about Ji An, going into Yoon Hee’s office to ask about Ji An (which wasn’t fun for her, I’m sure), etc.
The only time we see Dong Hoon trying to re-prioritize his time around his marriage is in Ep 11 when he says he’ll only go to Jung Hee’s bar 2x a week. But the very next scene is him overhearing Yoon Hee talking to Do Joon Young and saying she knows that Dong Hoon knows about the affair. After that, it’s too difficult for him to stay in this marriage, as he tells her when they have their confrontation.
“I agree that DH was crying, because he came to terms with the fact that his marriage was over. He was mourning the loss of his wife and his picture perfect family.
But he was also mourning the loss of JA and that unbelievable connection that they had.”
The first time I watched this, these were the exact thoughts I had! He was looking at his family picture and started crying, so I thought their marriage had broken up. If Yoon Hee really were in America only temporarily, looking at the family photo wouldn’t have made him break down, right? And, because Ki Hoon had just been asking after Ji An – which made Dong Hoon annoyed – I also thought he was crying because he wasn’t in touch with Ji An anymore and missed that connection.
“I’m not sure if the same fetish exists in Korean culture, but I noticed that, for example, in “Secret love affair” they also show Oh Hye-won’s nape plenty of times.”
Interesting! I just finished SLA as well (not with the group watch here) and I never noticed they showed her nape. Although – she did wear scoop neck blouses quite a bit, didn’t she.
The show has ample opportunity to show Yoon Hee and Dong Hoon trying to reconcile…but it doesn’t do it.
This is an excellent point!
The show devotes majority of the time to DH’s/JA’s relationship. And it’s fascinating to watch how this relationship goes from indifference and even resentment to true love (romantic or not).
For example, they showed Oh Hye-won’s nape in a scene, when she secretly went alone to SJ’s place for the first time and he hugged her there.
By the way, have they ever showed the wife’s nape in “My Mister” (or any other woman’s nape, for that matter)?
On showing another woman’s nape, none that I can recall. One reason is that only Ji An ties her hair that exposes the nape. Yung Hee, Jung Hee, and Yu Ra all wear their long hairs down. There are only two instances I can recall that any of them had worn their hair tied.
First is when Jung Hee visited the monk in ep 13. There’s a back shot of the head, but no napes shown. Also it is not the subject of anyone’s gaze, unlike the nape shots of Ji An which were the subject DH’s stolen glances.
Second is when Yu Ra appeared in her movie that Ki Hoon was watching in the post time skip sequence. Her hair is tied, she is working in front of the copier, and the color tone of her coat is similar to the one Ji An would wear in the final coffee shop scene moments after. Yu Ra’s movie character is an apparent meta representation for Ji An.
The show has ample opportunity to show Yoon Hee and Dong Hoon…
because we are shown only snippets of lives of these characters (in all dramas, even if they show progressions in years), the rest of their lives, whether before or after – it is all left to our imaginations, whether the ending is satisfactory (like in healer or nirvana in fire 2) or a complete bummer (like in the rise of the phoenixes). therefore i am not surprised that a lot of things that we would like to know, the drama omits.
i for example would like the story to include dh’s love story with his wife (assuming there was a love story) and i would like it to include the jerk (the current CEO). i like to dive into backgrounds, that gives me a more complete development of a story and understanding.
That’s exactly the point: DH’s love story with his wife is not in the show, because it’s not important. Even if there was love at some point, it wasn’t strong enough to sustain their marriage. They are like dead weight to each other. The show is about the present and the future. That’s why the wife is not even in the picture at the end of the show, but JA is.
i always like to see the “whole picture”, meaning how did it start, where, and the point at which it started to collapse. was one thing or event that triggered it, or a slow deterioration? after all, we are given an opportunity to see the past of ja, the young abuser of ja, gi-hoon’s past of his career, his relationship with yoo-ra, the monks path to monkhood and his past with jung-hee, and snipets of past lives of his friends… so why is his past with his wife not important at all?
I need to go back and watch again, but when Yoon Hee is having her affair with Do Joon Young, her hair is always (I think!) in a ponytail. Once she gives up the affair, her hair is consistently down.
Ohh I checked them now and you’re right! Yoon Hee’s hair had always been tied when she was still having an affair with Joon Young. Interesting! The only difference is that they were not shown to being gazed at by anyone.. Again, just from what I recall. I’m getting rusty since it’s been I think two months since my last end-to-end re-watch!😁
The only difference is that they were not shown to being gazed at by anyone..
I think it’s a very important difference.
Accidentally posted the reply before finishing and now I can’t edit it.
As if she were feeling sexy, but nobody was interested.