Incoherent Ramblings on “Heard it through the Grapevine” Episode 1 and 2

Uh Oh.

I’m not 100% over Secret Love Affair yet. Maybe 90%. Writing FF does that to a person.

Now I have HITTG to spazz over. And I am spazzing, believe me.

I was so excited to hear that the writer and PD-nim were working together again. The promo posters looked like the second coming of SLA. Did they use the same sets? Who cares, they’re gorgeous, both the people and the setting.

32 episodes…double what SLA was. (Why wasn’t SLA 32 episodes? It should’ve been…)

Then I watch the trailers…hmm, black comedy. Not sure about that, but I trust these folks with my sanity, so I will give it a go. Teenage pregnancy….well, that’s guaranteed angst, but will it go makjang overload status, like “Rosy Lovers”? (another recently dropped drama. I got through almost 2 episodes, and I was done.)

I can barely stand it.  I’m holding out for Viki subs–I swear if I watch one more Dramafever episode where I hear the character say “Noona” or “Oppa” and Dramafever translates that as their name….

I try not to read ahead on the Soompi boards, and wreck it for myself.

I give in, I am so weak. Viki has 90+% subbed. Good enough. It’s Tuesday already.

I watch the first 5 minutes.  OMG–that neighborhood…I know it!  It’s Seon Jae’s neighborhood.  He lives 2 streets over, if you make a left turn at the end of the street, where the guy with the red backpack is walking.


I remember….there is no wasted scene, no wasted dialogue. Everything counts. I grab my pad of sticky notes, must get more next time I go to the store. I have a feeling this drama is going to need several dozen packs. The golf trophy…hole in one or eagle?  What is the significance?  Is this something I will need to remember?

I continue to spazz. Look at these camera angles…the colors…it’s making my heart pound, and this is 12 hours after coffee.  I keep saying, “Ohmigosh, look at this…” until my son asks what the heck is going on. These characters, I know them too.   Bom’s family looks so real. Their cramped house, it’s so warm and familiar feeling…


And then we get to In Sang’s house. It looks like a cross between a noble’s house in “Maids” and the Han mansion in SLA. It’s a totally crazy mix of Joseon palace and modern mansion home. A museum…don’t touch anything.


The lighting–yep, looks like it’s from a funeral home. So murky, all these muted brown tones, in contrast to the brightness of SB’s family home. I’d be willing to bet that Young Won went to school with IS’s parents. They irritate me already with their smug, privileged attitudes. You pulled strings to get your son into school? Just another day…

Omigod, is that a fortune teller I see?


Seriously, did IS’s mom bring in a fortune teller? Writer-nim, you have my deepest respect. An epic touch, in the first episode, no less. Check out that lighting…and the posts as bars. IS’s prison. How can I take 32 episodes of this? My heart….

The flashback to how “the fruit of our love” was planted….


Look at that! These young’uns have their socks on! PD and writer show us a lingering shot of their feet, in socks! (Are socks a metaphor for covering something else up? I’m gonna guess that would be yes…)

I’m in a puddle over here….all the “cute feet” stuff from SLA comes back to me, plus some long buried memories…my HS boyfriend and I used to leave our socks on too, in situations like this, when we were that age. At this point, I can’t take it.  I need a break already, as I stop the video feed. I gotta get some fresh air. I’m never going to sleep tonight without chemical assistance.

Check this out…I’m surprised someone hasn’t put this up as a screen shot yet.  If this is not the clearest picture of IS going to the “other side”…


“Close the gate.” Oh yeah, it’s closed, but a better one just opened up.

I just love In Sang. His perfect life, turned inside out in one day.


He loves this girl so much.


He knows the right thing to do. He’s immediately humble and apologetic toward her father. Without hesitation, he wants her to meet his parents and to take responsibility for the baby. He offers to marry her. Try as they may have, his idiot parents have not beaten out his moral compass yet. He stutters, and stammers. I can’t tell if he looks like he is going to barf or wet his pants. He cries, and never, not even once does he blame SB for not contacting him earlier and telling him about the baby. He even (gasp) admits he maybe didn’t know how to use the condom correctly. He is quite cognizant over the difficulties she’s faced over the last 8 months. He has one moment where he wavers, and wades into the cold river, but he quickly comes to his senses when SB goes in after him. It’s a quirky moment, and I think about it for a long time that night. Did he really want to commit suicide?  No, I think he just lost his mind for a minute. It’s the extreme stress he’s under…thankfully SB has a cool head.

The Taxi Driver–how awesome is this guy? He’s prepared. He has a blanket in the trunk. He gives SB and IS room to talk and have a moment of privacy. Teens need that. It’s so adorkable that IS asks for privacy to kiss SB, and equally awesome that Taxi Driver promises not to look while they kiss, even though I think he sneaks a look. IS is unfailingly polite to him too, treating the taxi driver with respect–not contempt.

Episode 2–

I’ve already broken two of my promises to my SLA soompi board friends. I watched this with only ~75% subs on Viki (big gaping holes in important conversations, I rewatched it later with full subs) and…I committed a VUI.  (Viewing Under the Influence). I had multiple patient cancellations that day at work…plenty of time at lunch to watch a full episode, and my Vietnamese coffee was right there, just a half-cup from the morning. I swear I only had a half-cup.  But it’s too late, and the scenes from Ep. 2 play over and over in my head all afternoon…

Here’s IS’s neighborhood. It’s Hannom-dong!  The fortress like houses, behind the giant walls….like medieval castles. What is that, a 30 foot wall!  Geez!  The Chairman and Madam Han must live on the next street over.


IS wants to “practice” before they drop the bomb on his parents–so funny.  The look SB has on her face while looking at the Sageuk palace museum home of IS.  You can tell she’s never even dreamed about a place like this.


And that big spray of red flowers….what is up with that?  I am sure I am missing something symbolic here.


Ok, IS’s father needs to die a slow and painful death. Did you just send the paramedics away because you were worried about your precious reputation over the health of your grandchild?  I am in shock. Dude, if your son doesn’t already hate you, he has ample reason now. After having 3 kids (and 2 miscarriages) I know anything/everything can go wrong while pregnant or giving birth, and it can happen in the blink of an eye. My youngest son was resuscitated at birth, and just barely made it.

The useless Evil Mother succumbs to “fainting” while her staff delivers the baby. Is she for real?  Maybe she’s on those anti-depressant drugs that just numb your brain. Is there another possible explanation for her behavior? She’s so detached…in a haze. What happened to her? Is she devoid of maternal instincts?

IS has no hesitation helping SB, holding her knees and encouraging her. So very awesome.  Equally awesome is IS’s sister who has no fear over helping out, looking up what they need to do. I hope, hope, hope she will be on their side in the future.

Meanwhile, Evil Daddy is plotting out a strategy. The first thing he does is look for a law that’s been broken.  Constitutional article 304 FTW!


LOL, too bad it was invalidated by the Korean courts in 2009. This writer knows her laws.  In SLA it was section 241, now it’s 304. Legislating morality…let’s see if that’s gonna work.  Evil Daddy goes for divide and conquer instead. He keeps reaching for this sword…


Hey, how about you hand it to me and I lop off your….wait, never mind.  You don’t have one.  A head that contains a functioning moral compass, that is. Then he has a Kang-style tantrum–oh yeah, breaking stuff always helps a situation! LOL at the birds flying away and the neighbor’s dogs barking as the stuff is crashing!  Sounds like my old ‘hood…

IS kissing the baby and SB before he heads off to school. How in the world can he go to school after a night like that?  I notice how he looks around, almost like he knows he’s leaving for good. It reminds me again of the scene in SLA, where Hye Won looks around at the office she always wanted, and realizes it’s not worth it.

Then Evil Daddy gets a “nanny” and they plan to take the baby from SB! Noooo!

Is that a hypnotist that Evil Daddy brought in, who is trying to mess with IS’s head?  I do not like this at all…

hittg2hypnotist I am scared And he’s a prisoner there? These parents bring a new level of evil and controlling to the table. IS line of “I’m not alone, I have a girl and a baby.” makes me cheer, even though this scene is painful to watch.


Then the nanny gives the baby a bottle. Ackk! The worst possible thing, to get that poor baby confused..he needs milk from his mom. SB, go get your baby! Hell yes, you are exactly what he needs. Please, ignore that ridiculous advice “It’s normal for babies to cry!” and go find your son.

Evil Mommy threatens SB? Ugh.

How would I like this drama to proceed?  Well, I don’t think it will go this way, but if it was a RL situation–

In Sang–let Shamrockmom give you some advice here.  Escape from that weird hypnotist, and run home as fast as you can. Find your girl and your son.  Get them out of your parents Joseon mansion/museum.  Then go to her house and beg even more forgiveness from her father, and see if you can stay there, even if you have to sleep on the porch or in a broom closet. Leave school and get a job, then enroll in night/online classes to get your diploma. It won’t be the end of the world. Financially support your girl, and help with the household chores and expenses. Be humble and work like a dog. Take care of your son: change him, bathe him, rock him to sleep. I think SB’s dad and mom will respect you, and things will slowly get better. Do not have any contact with your parents after what they’ve done.  As we say at Shamrockmom’s house, “Put them in the rear view mirror and keep driving. Don’t look back.”

After SLA, I was pretty sure the writer had implanted some sort of device in my head and identified all the things that trigger emotional reactions in me. Add in some music, and voila….I’m a wreck.  But there’s more, it seems. Unlike most people, I actually like teenagers. I’ve spent the last 10-11 years of my life dealing with teenagers– my own three kids, and all their various friends. I even had three of their friends living with us at various times while they were in HS, because their parents were too drunk/mentally ill/straight up irresponsible to take care of their own kid. (Hence the name for this blog, although in RL, my kids friends call my home Mrs.______ House.)  I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. Those were some fun times, although my grocery bill was astronomical. My heart breaks for teens who have not even one parent with their head screwed on straight, yet still manage to do the right thing–like stay out of jail, and away from alcohol/drugs.

I love SB because she’s got a backbone, she’s mentally tough, she certainly isn’t some typical K-drama heroine who is also a doormat. She’s got a loving, supportive family of mom, dad, sister, and uncle. She will be fine.  IS right now only has the servants, kind of–and possibly his sister and his dad’s secretary. Shamrockmom’s heart hurts for teenagers who have no trustworthy family member, no one that “has their back” so to speak.

I feel for IS right down to my soul. He is torn–he wants to please his parents, and to be loved and appreciated, not because he gets good grades, but because he’s special to them. I’ve seen kids like this, whose parents are detached and cold. It doesn’t turn out well. I am prime evidence to this fact, and I swore I would never raise my kids like my parents did with me and my sister.  To add fuel to the fire, IS’s parents micromanage their children’s lives to the point that when the kid can finally get out from under the oppression, even for a moment, they rebel with disastrous, and possibly permanent consequences. I love that the writer calls it, “Excessive Management System”!  LOL!



That was a creepy bit of foreshadowing…

It’s no surprise to me that IS was attracted to a down-to-earth girl like SB. I can’t wait to see him and SB forge a life for themselves. No doubt, it will be incredibly difficult. It won’t be what his parents wanted for him, but it will be better than their fake plastic life.


3 thoughts on “Incoherent Ramblings on “Heard it through the Grapevine” Episode 1 and 2


  2. Just one thing to say right now, as I am rushing right now. My own feelings about my “getting over SLA”……..I have been confused, especially as activity in the Forum naturally wound down to a slower pace. I felt an emptiness in my life that was difficult to understand for a long time.

    Sharing the drama with people in the Soompi Forum, with the people of the drama itself, and with fans around the world, and doing very nearly at the very time the drama was live on TV, was the first such experience in my life. Sure, many events are known to the entire world at the same tome these days (good and bad news). But the personal sharing around the world over so much time was unique for me, at least, and a “first” for me. I suspect people with more techno-savvy skills, smart phones, et al, have felt this experience to some degree and it will become common place in the future, I expect.

    The SLA Forum will always feel like “home” to me, a starting point, a beginning. I have NEVER attended school reunions myself and was a bit jealous of the way Kdrama characters look upon those occasions so warmly. While I like to return to the SLA Forum, I think I am wishing the complete experience was a reality and that I could be at the reunion. Fantasy, fairy tales science fiction , myths and fables, epic legends, etc, etc. have been my loves since childhood (ex. the entire Oz series, all of the Brothers Grimm collection of fairy tales (I biked to 3 different libraries back then to find them all).

    So,…. I think the SLA experience never ends for me. It is a standard by which I measure dramas, actors, and most things related to drama and film. these days. Mostly Korean drama, film, and actors, but also some Japanese dramas have been very appealing, which surprised me for some reason. I like that they are so short, making them great time-fillers when I had long dry spells after SLA ended.

    I keep an eye out for information about the drama, YAI and KHA, and I check out their dramas/films. I had expected “Cantabile” to duplicate the SLA event but it was different, though very good! Now we have HITTG , 32 episodes and amazing! So many blogs and review sites appreciating this show! The SLA effect lives on for me, a bit.

    Sorry for running on like this. I should have studied how to use the “DBrief” app described on (“How to hide long comments in Dramabeans using DBrief “). Bye for now!


  3. OOPS…. the link I tried to make did not work, but I think you can get there if you type it in yourself….”.DBrief ” seems to work like the “Spoiler” thing did.


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