Thoughts/Recap of HITTG-Episode 10, first 7 minutes–“Domestic Violence, played for a laugh”

Some technical notes to start–My computer and Viki are not getting along too well, so the majority of the captions you will be reading will be SoompiTV or Dramafever, until I can figure out how to get Viki to play smoothly again on my desktop. My thinking is that it may require a trip to the local electronics store and some additional RAM memory. (update–added memory, still not working too good. Video card update is next)  Older son is going to help me diagnose this issue when he gets a rare day off.

It also appears that somebody at SoompiTV read my post about their worthless app for Android–or I got lucky and they fixed it. About a week after my online rant, the app began to work perfectly with no log in problems and smooth video play on phone and tablet, as well as computer. Yay! Their subs for HITTG have been quite good. I reinstated my premium membership, which I had pulled in protest of their poor technical support.

Episode 10–starts with fallout from the Evil Parents Awkwardly Formal 100th day Celebration for baby JY.  His auntie YJ is no dummy, having figured out right away that SB’s name was not engraved on the concert hall plaque. She worries to AH if the parents will add the name if SB passes the Bar exam, or worse:

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AH tries to reassure her by saying she’s read too many comic books, but I’m thinking YJ is perfectly capable of predicting over-the-top parental behavior at this point in her life.

I guess I shouldn’t have been so concerned over HS, since her mother YR obviously isn’t, drinking away at SJW Vulture Friend’s home bar. To his credit, SJW tries to give YR some reasonable advice: let HS date some other dudes and then she’ll forget about IS.  But no, that’s not good enough for YR–she wants HS to date a dude that will make her frenemy Evil Mommy jealous and enraged!  Using your daughter as a pawn to PO your frenemy? How deplorable. Then YR asks SJW a question, with intel that the SK NIS agency probably couldn’t even find out. (based on the series “Spy”! Sorry, I can’t help myself!)

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Ah! So that nice young man, YJH, the valedictorian of the law school who returned the “overly generous gift” to Evil Daddy is the son of (gasp!) a commoner? Guess the intel wasn’t that good after all. I dunno how HS will cope with a straightforward kind of guy like that–she didn’t attract IS, that’s for sure. YR wants SJW to set up a “casual” meeting with him. I know this is how things are done in Korea, but frankly, my kids would freak if I set them up on blind dates, or on a rigged deal like this.  I can imagine it (actually I would love it for my oldest daughter, lol!) but it would never happen.

Evil Daddy whines to his wife that SB has nothing going for her–family, school, background–all are worthless.  In an amazing display of dissonance, EM tells her hubby she wants to take off for a one day mini vacation in Yangpyeon, and he asks if he should join her? Do they seriously go on separate vacations? Evil Mommy answers in a defeated voice, as she quotes from the 80’s movie “The Princess Bride”,

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Evil Daddy pats her on the shoulder awkwardly, and it looks like he has the emotional sensitivity of a brick. YR is right, I bet he is clumsy in bed. Any molecule of affection he shows his wife is chock-full of awkwardness.

(That Yangpyeon looks like a nice place, BTW–kinda like going to Palm Springs or Santa Barbara for the weekend if you live here in SoCal.)

SB talks on the phone with her mom in a room where everything is mint colored except the phone!  I can barely see the difference even in HD, between her dress, the couch, the drapes…what a weird palette of colors.

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She gives her mom a minimalist description of the ceremony, then adds that she, IS and baby JY are going to visit, because IS insisted on it. IS will be there after school, but SB, JY and the nanny will be there in the morning.

Cut to the Evil Parents going into full disparagement mode on SB.  Evil Daddy–she’s not the right type to take the Bar. Evil Mommy agrees. Evil Daddy asks his wife if they should just tell SB why her name is not engraved on the concert hall seats. Evil Daddy’s rant is overheard by IS, who hears this gem:

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followed by “she can’t be accepted until she has “qualifications”. Uh oh. IS shows amazing self control by not throwing a fit. He puts the brakes on this wicked rant by interrupting the parents:

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and says that SB should never see/hear this kind of stuff. Daddy chokes on his tea, and it looks like IS goes to do some kind of Heimlich maneuver on his Daddy.

Note: The beginning of this next scene is so upsetting and disturbing to me. I absolutely refuse to screencap it.

Daddy quickly puts IS in a choke hold, and starts hitting him. He throws IS down on the floor of the dining room, whaling away on him.  Evil Mommy stands there and watches her husband beat their son. YJ runs in, sees the fight, and goes running to find help. Smart girl–getting in the middle of those two is a losing deal for sure. Note–IS never once hits his Dad. He tries to curl up and just take the beating. AH and AB come running, YJ calls SB, and shockingly, AH and AB stand there and watch helplessly too. WTH–are they afraid of getting hit or losing their jobs? Evil Daddy is sitting on IS’s chest, landing punch after punch with no (repeat, NO) return blows from IS. SB comes running downstairs in her bathrobe, YJ at her side to witness this ultra absurdity from Evil Daddy, the instigator of the fight:

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At Shamrockmom’s House, that’s called Blame the Victim. Bom then speaks the truth in this captioned scene:

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Evil Daddy says no–it’s punishment. For what?!? Did I miss something? IS–I let him beat me!  (I want to start screaming but it’s late…) Evil Mommy barks at SB for wearing her bathrobe in front of them, and SB says–very politely–Sorry I was in a hurry. (She’s totally covered up, collarbone to kneecap, I don’t see the issue here.) She then proceeds to school Evil Mommy on the laws regarding marriage. IS and SB are married based on the legal registration, conditional terms aren’t valid! IS chimes in that without the input of the married couple:

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Evil Mommy screeches that IS has no business talking about the law with his Dad, while Evil Daddy drops this:

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which can be revoked any time the parents don’t think the minors are neglecting their duties.  IS comes right back at him, saying that he and SB have never neglected their duties as a married couple, physically or psychologically!

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Evil Mommy screams–Are you sleeping together? Good gracious, she is delusional. Why on earth would anyone think otherwise? She yells at YJ to leave, and by the guilty looks on SB and IS’s faces, they’ve been enjoying their married life.  AB and AH say what I am thinking:

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They come to their senses, and interrupt the lecture just as Evil Daddy wants to throw the kids out of the house. It’s too little, too late though–the Evil Parents declare they will adopt JY and raise him, and the kids need to leave ASAP in the morning.  In a shockingly calm voice, SB quotes this law:

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And Evil Daddy fires back with this:

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SB and IS are no dummies either. They’ve been studying in case something like this happens, and these clauses have been invalidated.

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Here is a link to all the Korean Civil code laws mentioned above, in case you’re interested.

Ok, let’s stop and think about this scene for a minute. IS goes to help his choking Dad–who turns on him and starts throwing punches and wrestles him to the ground, unprovoked–meaning IS didn’t hit him first. Am I seeing this correctly? No one helps IS: not his Mom, or the butler or the housekeeper. (YJ gets a pass for fetching help) They all let him take the beating, thus condoning the Evil Daddy’s abuse by permitting it to continue. Then IS’s own statement–“I let him beat me”–tells me that IS exhibits one major symptom of an abuse victim by taking responsibility for the beating, when there was none to take. As I emphasized before, IS never retaliated against his Dad–he just takes the hits and tries to defend against them. SB is 100% correct–this is Domestic Violence. If IS was age 18-19 in the US, it would be assault, under 18–it’s child abuse. None of this is funny, and I was enraged beyond words to see how many comments there were on Soompi–and elsewhere–by viewers thinking this was a funny scene. I didn’t even trust myself to comment in rebuttal on the Soompi forum boards. I was not fooled by the lighthearted music played in the background either. I know what I saw. Maybe I feel this way because I have been on the receiving end of a DV beat-down far worse than this one (broken nose, broken cheekbones and eye socket) and it’s not a pleasant experience. I can only begin to imagine how frightened YJ has to be at seeing her brother take a beating from their Dad. And what about SB? SB must reasonably fear for her safety and that of her child after witnessing the aftermath of the beating, and seeing her husband with a bloody nose. If Evil Daddy does this to his own son, why wouldn’t it be feasible to think he could potentially hurt his grandson too if he got angry enough? The viewer also learns that SB and IS have been researching the laws regarding their marriage and custody of JY because they feared that they could have the baby taken from them, or their marriage invalidated.

What would have happened in my neighborhood? Well, the neighbors would likely call the police. The police would come out, and if they saw IS (a minor) with a bloody nose, and he said it was from his Dad hitting him, Dad gets hauled off to jail for child abuse, and Children’s Protective Services are called out to investigate.  If IS is over 18, and there are no bruises on Dad, then Dad is hauled off on Assault charges, probably misdemeanor level.

I had to shut this down for a couple of days before I could finish watching the episode. Rewatching it for this recap was difficult and painful, and what you are reading is my third draft because the previous ones were so emotionally laden as to be unreadable. I need to think long and hard about continuing to watch a drama that uses DV as a “funny” or “lighthearted” moment. It’s not only about the anguish it causes me, but more that somebody needs to stand up and declare that this is wrong on multiple levels. The writer-nim and PD are doing all victims of DV a huge disservice by trivializing their pain, minimizing their experiences and playing it for a cheap laugh.

I welcome comments and debate, so please feel free to let me know what your thoughts are after watching this scene.

More recap/thoughts on Episode 10 to follow in a day or two….

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One thought on “Thoughts/Recap of HITTG-Episode 10, first 7 minutes–“Domestic Violence, played for a laugh”

  1. Pingback: HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE. SBS | IKurate

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