Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! Thank you for joining me on this watch of Heard It Through The Grapevine, which is already proving to be quite a unique drama! 🤩
SOME IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS, before we begin:
ZERO SPOILER POLICY
1. 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 develop, later in the show.
We need to protect the innocent! 😉
2. 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! ❤️
Well. That was quite the ride indeed.
Even though I’d had an inkling of the bare-bones premise of our story, I still felt rather surprised by the twists and turns we get, this first hour, as Show deals with the initial set-up of our characters and their situations.
In a drama landscape where most teen love stories tend to focus on the initial falling in love and courtship, this story, which plunges us right into the situation where Bom is already heavily pregnant and only two weeks away from giving birth, immediately feels different.
We soon get the flashback to the night they had conceived the baby, and it’s so down-to-earth, really, the way they try to control themselves.
It’s crazy ambitious, yes, but the fact that they actually had such plans in place, to stop all contact, and change their phone numbers, to prevent themselves from getting too involved, when they should be focusing on their studies, is endearing, to me.
They are so earnest and they’re trying so hard, to do things right, and only see each other, when they’ve gotten to college.
It’s just.. teenage hormones, tsunami-sized feelings, and a pocket of opportunity, is just too much for them to overcome.
..Which is how we find ourselves in such an opening situation, in the first place.
I’ll talk more about our main couple later; first, I’d like to talk about how quickly Show clues us in, on the important big pieces, in our drama world.
For example, the way Show so effectively and efficiently establishes the difference between Bom’s family and In Sang’s family.
Where Bom’s family is noisy and down-to-earth, and maybe even a bit rough – like the way Dad deals with that customer’s messed-up order – In Sang’s family is all gentility and manners, even at home.
We can already tell, right away, that this is going to be a point of contention, particularly from In Sang’s family’s point of view.
What strikes me about Bom’s family, is how accepting Mom and Dad are, towards her and her situation, even though she refuses to say anything about the identity of the baby’s father.
I mean, it’s true that Dad’s blustery about it, but I feel like I’ve seen much worse, in terms of angry fathers who are disappointed in their children’s choices. I feel that Dad’s heart for Bom isn’t hard to see, despite his grumpy and unhappy words.
He’d wanted her to use her smarts to at least be a minister, and he is visibly upset when he talks about it, but it doesn’t seem like it’s caused his world to end or anything.
Mom is just quite the saint, I feel. She stays (mostly) calm in the face of Dad’s peevish bluster, and speaks in soothing tones, both to him and to Bom.
Plus, she goes to be with Bom, so that Bom won’t be alone during those pregnancy classes, where everyone else is accompanied by their husbands.
Beyond that, even though Mom is deeply curious about who the baby’s father is, and asks Bom about it regularly, she doesn’t lose her temper when Bom doesn’t give her the answers she’s looking for.
I really like her already.
Over on In Sang’s side, it feels like a completely different world.
Not only is Dad a trained lawyer, he’s involved in politics, and is even making a job offer to the soon-to-be displaced prime minister. It somehow feels more influential than actually being the prime minister, because he comes across as some sort of kingmaker, doing what he does.
The way Mom has to be all hush-hush about inviting the shaman lady to her house, reminds me of sageuks where royalty was forbidden to delve into these superstitious practices, and the ladies of the court invited the shamans to do the rites for them in secret.
This.. vibes a lot like that, to me.
And when Mom’s friends ask her about it point-blank, having received intel about the shaman lady’s visit, Mom is swift to cover it up with a smokescreen.
This already tells me that reputation is a huge deal to In Sang’s family.
And, we haven’t even taken into account his parents’ hopes and expectations for him to pass the legal civil service exam, not to mention their marriage scouting strategies, for which his future bride needs to meet strict criteria, in order to be considered worthy.
Yikes. I can only imagine how unhappy, shocked, and likely ballistic they’ll be, when they find out that they won’t get to choose their daughter-in-law, and not only that, they’re about to become grandparents, in like, 2 weeks. 😝😅
Talk about a bombshell. 🙈
As for our young couple in the center of this brewing storm, I have to say that I really like Bom, right away.
She comes across as so matter-of-fact, strong, and still pleasant, even though she’s going through a lot. It only becomes clear in the cab, when she cries with In Sang, that she’s actually really scared, underneath it all.
I have to admire her for being strong enough to make it this far, since it can’t have been easy to drop out of school, and deal with her parents’ questions and reactions, on top of fighting for her right to have government support, as a pregnant teen.
As for In Sang, he does come across as a sheltered boy who’s been trained all his life, to please his parents. There is admittedly a lot of pressure that he’s dealing with, in terms of his parents’ expectations of him.
At the same time, I really appreciate that he does everything he can, to find Bom, even though he doesn’t have much to go on, in terms of actual information.
In Sang may be young and pretty much powerless, but his earnestness is really quite endearing.
Case in point, when he finally finds Bom and realizes that she’s pregnant with his baby, he doesn’t attempt to run screaming from her house. Instead, he tells Mom and Dad that he loves her, and will take responsibility for her and the baby, by marrying her.
In this moment, I have zero confidence in him being able to actually take care of anyone, including himself, but I also absolutely believe him, when he says that that’s what he wants to do.
It’s kind of funny that Dad takes him up on his words right away, and sends Bom off with In Sang, to greet In Sang’s parents.
But what’s even funnier, and more bizarre, is how In Sang talks and cries with Bom and everything – and then tries to commit suicide by drowning in the lake (if he can just test the water temperature first).
Pfft. It’s ridiculous and kinda nuts, but I suppose that’s just how overwhelmed In Sang is, right now.
I actually think that Bom going out there and basically showing In Sang how it’s done, is just the thing to shake In Sang to his senses. Suddenly, he’s all focused on saving Bom and the baby, instead of trying to kill himself, ha.
It is quite sweet, though, the way In Sang declares that he’s now got the courage to tell his parents, and it’s also sweet, the way Bom tells him that he’s cool, like he’s always been. Aw.
It’s so cute that In Sang asks permission from the cab driver, to kiss Bom, just once. Cab Driver even looks low-key amused, as he tells In Sang to go ahead and kiss Bom, because he won’t look.
On a tangent, I really like Cab Driver. He’s so patient with them, and has the compassion to get them a blanket, after their watery escapade, and even muses kindly that they should look for ways to live, not die, since they’re having a baby.
I’m pretty certain that things are going to get.. hectic, for In Sang in particular, once they get to his home and face his parents, so I hope this kiss gives him the strength and courage that he needs. 😅
This show is turning out to be a pretty fun and entertaining watch, but I do think it’s really important to have the right lens on.
For example, if you were to take everything in this show dead seriously, I feel that that could be a problem. Like, why would a character do this? Or, is this done, at this level of society?
I think we need to keep a satirical lens on, and accept that there are things in this drama world that are amplified or exaggerated for effect, and the effect that Show is going for, is a darkly comic one, where, when In Sang’s dad declines emergency help for Bom, it’s supposed to be more funny than disturbing.
And, when Secretary Kim stands at the stairs, and bellows out the order from Dad, to control communications, such that the whole house can hear the announcement, I don’t think we’re supposed to believe that people literally do that.
Rather, I feel like that’s a nod (and a wink) to how eunuchs in sageuks yell out the intentions of the king, in that sing-song announcement way.
I honestly feel like this lens adjustment thing could end up making or breaking your watch of this show, coz without the right way to frame everything, you could end up being very perplexed indeed, by many of our characters’ actions.
Happily, Show’s pretty good with the musical cues, which definitely help to clue us in on the bits that Show intends for funny, instead of serious. That said, I do think that sometimes the humor leans rather dry, and is not underscored by music, so the musical cues aren’t a 100% crutch.
Some of the funny comes from the facial reactions of the characters, which are sometimes so great, that they make me laugh, all on their own, like the shocked expressions on everyone’s faces, when In Sang arrives back home with a heavily pregnant Bom.
The way the all these people’s heads come poking around corners, like meerkats, is also very amusing to me – while also demonstrating to us, just how many staff work in In Sang’s household.
Very nicely done, I thought.
It’s so fantastically dramatic, that Bom goes into labor right there in the living room, while trying to greet In Sang’s parents.
These kinds of developments are so bizarre that they land funny, and even though it’s a serious situation, I couldn’t help but giggle through the whole thing – partly because of everyone’s aforementioned shocked faces.
The way Dad puts on the opera music reaaally loud, and then greets those paramedics with that overly bright expression, is also very funny; it’s all in the execution, which is what makes me giggle.
I get that Dad and Mom have all these grand plans for In Sang, and therefore, this development with Bom and the baby is basically their worst nightmare, and so, I understand why they aren’t so quick to embrace the fact that they’ve basically just become grandparents.
If they’ve spent years building this hypothetical future for In Sang, I can see why they would want to exhaust every possibility, to keep that dream alive, despite what’s happening right now, before their very eyes.
At the same time, the way Bom carries herself is nothing short of amazing. She’s so level-headed and in control, even though she’s in labor. She’s the one who’s telling people what to look up on the internet, and why.
I can’t help thinking that if Mom and Dad could actually see Bom for how smart, bright and talented she is, they’d realize that she’d be an asset, and not a burden, to In Sang, as well as to the family.
Bom’s family is really growing on me as well; I loved that little scene of her mom, dad and sister crowding around the phone, crying happy tears that she’s given birth to the baby. The way Mom is proud of In Sang too, is so sweet.
I also really like the housekeeper, listed as Jung Soon; she’s so kindly and compassionate, as she helps Bom during and after the birth. I love her assuring, non-judgmental manner, that feels so refreshing, in the midst of the calculated moves by In Sang’s parents.
Like I said, I understand why In Sang’s parents are being so calculating with every move that they make, but it really feels cold, to send In Sang away, and then separate Bom from the baby.
This tells me that if the baby is proven to be In Sang’s, they might decide to keep the baby – but get rid of Bom..? That sucks, and would be so unfair to Bom.
In fact, it’s already hugely unfair to Bom, who’d been prepared to give birth this baby all on her own, until In Sang came knocking on her door and ended up whisking her away in just a matter of minutes.
Bom never signed up for this, and now, she’s being forcefully separated from her baby, whom she just wants to care for, with all her heart.
And, poor In Sang too, who’s being tricked into moving out of the house, without his phone, against his will.
I’m actually kind of glad that it looks like the facade won’t be maintained for long.
With Mrs. Hong in the house, and Mom screaming at Bom for basically standing up politely for her rights (you go, Bom Bom!), and Mom’s nosy friend (listed as Young Ra) ready to descend on her for a nosy visit, it feels like the lid’s about to be blown right off this cover-up.
For Bom’s sake, I’m kind of hoping that this blows up quickly, so that In Sang’s Dad and Mom can’t keep her hidden, and can’t separate her from her baby, any longer.
Or at least, that’s how it goes in my head.
Who knows, really, how the desperate rich and powerful would react, in such a situation? 😅