Once again, I hope you can stay with me while I start with a RL story. About 6 months after I left my abusive ex husband, and was living in my Sillimdong-OC apartment with my 3 kids and my daughter’s friend (all 7 or under at that time), I took a 4 month temporary job working at a dental office in a nearby community I will affectionately call Hannomdong-By-The-Sea. (I believe every place I’ve seen in a Kdrama has a local parallel!) Just like the RL Hannomdong, it contains plenty of mansions all gated behind huge walls, and tons of chaebol-level wealthy people. The only discernible difference is that HBTS has the added wealth marker known as yachts. I worked in a fantastically beautiful office in a high rise overlooking the Sea, with a Ivy League educated dentist (super-stuffy dude) and his plastic-perfect wife/receptionist. However, the patients from this community were the saddest group of folks I’ve ever met. They would whine to me about how their kids were waiting for them to die, then fight over their money. Another story I repeatedly heard was that they trusted no one, constantly worried that someone was going to rip them off. They had few friends, if any. I soon realized why I had been placed in this office. I was supposed to learn that accumulation of money was not the end game. At that point I didn’t have two nickels to rub together as the saying goes, and I was getting mighty tired of poverty. The message of “money isn’t everything” was just the one I needed to hear right then. Even though this was nearly 18 years ago, I remember this experience and the lessons I learned well.
“The Spicy Food Scene”
Even after watching this twice, I am still not sure why writer-nim put this scene in here. After all, it’s not like we don’t learn anything new or different…maybe it’s supposed to be “comic relief”. Perhaps the noodles are just “filler”, Ha! The end of the scene turns quickly from fun and games.
Late at night, the kids and household help come running–AH is making spicy noodles! Tutor has this to say:
while everyone chows down. There’s even MSG in it! Talk about bad-for-you goodness! IS raves about the rice cakes and dumplings. This establishment gets a mention:
as the place Papa Seo took IS to for a snack. I’d bet IS had the time of his life hanging out with his FiL. I could not find any Google Info on this place–bummer.
Evil Daddy’s feelings are hurt–no one asked him to come down and have the spicy noodles. Umm, maybe it’s because you’d ruin the mood? I wonder if there is a word in Korean for “killjoy“? SoompiTV Subber mini-goof–Evil Mommy says “ahjumoni” the more formal version of “ahjumma”. AH brings the parents up some of the spicy noodles, and the kids and staff wonder how they will stand it. The tutor is becoming one of my favorite side characters, as he dead-pans it–the spicy noodles are hot:
The Evil Parents begin to slurp the noodles. Evil Daddy takes a way-too-big mouthful–and the fire starts!
Evil Mommy spits out the mouthful of noodles into a Kleenex, but Evil Daddy sucks it down, drinks the first liquid he can find, then screams to call 119/911! OMG–what an overreaction! He runs in to brush his teeth and tongue:
Screams that his throat is on fire and declares the noodles “not food”! Too late–Evil Mommy tells him that brushing will only make it worse!
Tutor kills me again as IS extols the Seo’s ‘hood–After all, IS doesn’t have to live there!
Evil Mommy comes in to hear YJ want to visit the Seo’s ‘hood, then proceeds to completely wreck the mood. This is the turning point in the whole “spicy noodle” scene for me. She wails to AH that the noodles were inedible (!), then she turns on IS, berating him for drinking something she didn’t approve of.
Turns out Mama Seo gave it to him, which makes Evil Mommy even more PO’d. It might not be good for him! Really? Like his MiL would poison him? Sheesh! What a control freak she is. Meanwhile, Evil Daddy has a runny nose:
Don’t feel bad, Evil Daddy! It happens to Shamrockmom too when she eats spicy stuff–although I will be the first one to say I am a huge wimp when it comes to spicy food. I do like to make spicy ramen noodles when I have a cold. I try to always have this on hand in case I get sick, because it clears my nose and I can breathe again. This one works well too. If I am particularly desperate to breathe, I add Kimchi from a jar to it. My older son and I swear by this stuff for getting back to health quickly when it’s cold season. Thankfully, it’s readily available at any local Asian grocery store in my area, along with about 100 other types of ramen that are all better than what I call the “white-folks” bland ramen crud aka Maruchan/Top Ramen sold in Walmart and other US stores.
The cappers to this scene: First, SB sympathizes with Evil Mommy! Here we go! This is twice I’ve counted now that SB has defended the Evil Parents.
IS, I copied your exact reaction captured above when I heard this too!
Then when the Evil Parents are chatting, Evil Mommy complains that IS has been strange (?) since visiting the Seo’s. Evil Daddy compares it to Boy Scout camping, (I can’t even imagine him camping unless a Lotte Hotel room is considered camping) and seeing how the “commoners” live (lol) but Evil Mommy says this, making me face-palm:
Yeah, good to know that something simple that makes your son happy makes you unhappy! Heaven Forbid that IS be happy, even for a minute! That will not do! What a jerk she is. In contrast, Papa Seo wants IS to come over and go to Yongsan Park and hang out for a while. I think Papa Seo just got the son he always wanted.
Evil Mommy ends it here–Wish she’d take her own advice!
The “Shaken Rice Bowl Syndrome” scene:
The next morning at the Overly Formal Han Household Breakfast:
IS commits some kind of Mortal Sin by shaking the rice bowl at the table. YJ points out that other people often do that, and IS defends himself.
Immediately, Evil Mommy calls him out on it–Did he forget his manners? IS replies as SB, AH and Evil Mommy’s secretary try to keep a lid on their own giggles:
Evil Daddy barks at him, and everyone gets a look of disgust on their faces. Please, pretty please show…can we have what happened to the wicked mom and daughter unit in “Maids” happen to the Evil Parents in this drama? Namely, become
slaves servants themselves, and then get abused relentlessly? Pleeease? #JokingNotJoking!
Again, SB takes the Evil Parent’s side:
That’s #3, and yes, I am counting! I had to include this next screencap–check out IS’s shirt! WTH–Parental Advisory: Explicit Content. I have been trolled by PD-nim–that’s just the height of irony right there.
The Evil Parents are inordinately upset by this incident, so much so that Evil Daddy says this:
Evil Mommy chimes in:
Afraid you might lose control over your
son cult member? SB seems to look around uncomfortably for a minute, then she goes over to Evil Mommy and (gasp!) apologizes!
Even Evil Mommy is stunned. What for? SB explains that her Dad always shakes the rice bowl. Evil Mommy sorta blows it off–he’s young and carefree. SB runs her mouth here, further apologizing for IS’s actions
and saying that she’ll talk to him so it won’t happen again. I wonder now if they have spiked SB’s food and water over at the Joseon Prison Mansion. Evil Mommy dismisses SB to get back to the Prison-study room, and then drops this gem:
Me thinks that SB may just be able to beat Evil Mommy at her own game–but that’s not a happy thought. SB meets with the Tutor, who asks if she apologized to Evil Mommy. SB says yes, to which the Tutor replies:
He’s amazing–Tutor is fully aware of the game, and seems to be able to work on behalf of the kids under the radar of the Evil Parents. SB begins to cry…is your conscience getting the better of you here SB? Feel like you are losing your soul?
Tutor scolds her for crying–“It’s a waste.” Dangit–he’s harsh.
This was so emotionally devastating to me–SB is trying so hard to get on the good side of the Evil Parents. It’s gonna cost her though. How much of her soul is she willing to kill off to have money, power and control? I am not liking what I am seeing here.
The “Catfight” scene–HITTG Version (with follow up):
Seriously show…if you are gonna have a catfight scene, do it right. Go over to the writers and PD of “Maids”, and get some advice. Now those were some real catfights!
*credit to DramaFever for the gif.
The Vulture Friend group is at it again. I think that I have been insulting Junior High Schoolers too much lately in comparing their behavior to the Vulture Friends. Evil Mommy and VF-Eom unload their venom on Young Ra, who isn’t there (at first) to hear their crap. SJW trys, but fails as a peacemaker. He’s “weak-sauce” as we say around here. VF-Eom dredges up the deep past, reminiscing about their school days when YR showed up in a tacky dress at SJW’s B-day party. Geez, let it go already! VF-Eom says this as SJW looks on in disgust. He’s probably thinking he should be hanging out with the dudes at the Action Figure Club!
The two women kvetch some more, until their subject matter walks in, having overheard the majority of the conversation. SJW goes for one more weak-sauce attempt to pacify the women:
I sense YR winding up for something. It’s like watching a tornado from a distance get closer and closer….and here it comes!
Oh, so she lent VF-Eom some coin for MJ’s private tutor? Because her hubby didn’t want to/couldn’t afford to shell out, or because she didn’t want him to know? This is new news to Evil Mommy!
VF-Eom sputters that YR gave her the money because she’d lost it investing in their business/stock fund/whatever. YR refutes that–
Evil Mommy gets up to leave–“I need to wash out my ears.” LOL! Not so fast there EM–we need more drama-rama around here. YR sticks her foot out, tripping Evil Mommy! VF-Eom cries that YR is “violent” (!) and YR fights back with this:
She thinks she deserves a top grad for a son-in-law! Good dig there! While Evil Mommy’s secretary sends text messages, the catfight starts in mock-earnest, and help is summoned! Evil Mommy begs her Secretary to separate the combatants.
Note SJW doesn’t even bother–he just stands behind the bar and lets them go at it while he holds his head. Note that no hair is torn out, no clothing ripped, no bruises, no cuts, no rolling around on the ground–it’s a poor excuse for a fight between these two. OK, in reality, I am disgusted that grown middle age women would act like this, but seriously–make this scene more rough-and-tumble, PD-nim! You did it with IS and his Daddy….insert low growl from Shamrockmom here.
Evil Mommy tries her hand at being the Peacemaker, with equally bad results. YR tells her she should take her own advice! SJW ends this misery..
YJH the valedictorian has chosen HanSong group after all! Evil Mommy and VF-Eom leave and YR whines to SJR
No way says SJW.
SJW is right! Looks like YJH’s daddy got a promotion! Wonder how that happened?!? YJH is told that his father’s honor is more important that being the SiL of a millionaire. Everyone is so corrupt, it blows me away. But then we find out this interesting bit:
No, it was his father’s choice! Innnteresting! Evil Daddy bought off YJH’s father. Wonder how this will play out? Evil Daddy shows YJH into his office–complete with action figures! For reals…?
Ok, let me clear something up. YR is despicable. She’s a brat, self centered, a crappy parent (if you believe HS) and immature. However, I like her under the auspices of, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” She is so very, very good at stirring up the Evil Parents, I gotta root for her just a little bit. It’s a guilty pleasure for me. She says snarky things to people that take me days to think up, and then would never say anyways because I am a chicken!
“Time to consolidate the cult”:
After Evil Daddy finds out from Secretary Yoon that SB’s uncle and Secretary Min/Attorney Yoo are trying to dig the dirt on HanSong, he goes for the age-old tactic–“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” That now includes SB’s family. He wants to treat them better
not for any altruistic purpose, but to keep them in servitude to him. SB needs to be different than her family–she will be part of the Han Family Cult now. Evil Mommy asks if SB’s family is causing trouble and Evil Daddy nods slowly. They need to permanently sever SB from her family. After all:
Evil Daddy calls in SB and IS, sits on his throne behind his desk, and proclaims them adults. “Prince and Princess”. Dear reader, if you didn’t get a cult vibe with this scene, you will never get it. IS and SB exchange looks of WTF did we just hear:
As do the servants.
OMG. What kind of torture is Evil Daddy going to put the Seo family through? The Seo parents are immediately suspicious–Papa Seo scores a bulls-eye with this question to Uncle:
The Secretaries visit the Seo Parents, and bring the genealogy books with them, starting the idea that their Grandfather was some kind of artist and gosh, it was just so convenient that the family’s history was still being compiled so this could be added. I thought Evil Daddy was good at shoveling the BS, but his Secretary is even better. Uncle looks really uncomfortable in this scene.
Gaaah! I sure hope the Seo Clan doesn’t fall for the flattery.
SB is “Part of the Royal Family” scene:
I swear the Han’s have a Royalty Complex. After a nausea-inducing scene of teaching SB to bow, the Han Clan with SB in tow enter the Club of Exclusiveness.
SB is introduced only as IS’s wife–what, she has no name now?! After some more small talk, and SB looking awkward and intimidated, the Evil Parents lead the way up the steps. SB is then introduced to the Board of Dinos from HanSong. They must have read my previous recap, lol!
No dudes, it’s Dinos. Close enough. Probably K—>E translation issues! Now the reflection through the beveled glass shots start up. I am just about 100% sure these camera shots are a synonym for “Lying Through your Teeth” or deceiving someone else.
I hope that I never see SB or IS in those beveled glass camera shots!