Ahhh, this show has me hooked! I hope it continues to have a plenitude of humorous moments. I have never had so much fun watching a daily drama!
**screencaps from dramacool.to. Sorry about the news ticker…**
Many questions to start:
So now that Dong Joon has been declared brain dead, his family agonizes over the decision to donate his organs.**cue super OTT melodramatic music in background** Wasn’t that the purpose of the donor card, so his wishes were perfectly clear? Why are they so hesitant to donate his organs? Perhaps it’s just the fog of grief. Finally Dad comes around:
I also note that the hospital staff never once ask Bang Wool for her input on the decision. Here in the US, the spouse’s wishes would be followed over the parents wishes almost without question. Hey, Organ Donor Program Coordinator!? What about Bang Wool’s opinion?! Not only do the hospital staff ignore Bang Wool, so does DJ’s family. They are so self absorbed in their own grief, they seem to completely forget about their Daughter in Law and their grandchild.
So after DJ is buried under a tree:
his father decides it’s time to evict BW and the baby from their house. I knew he was a big-time jerk when he beat his now-deceased son, but to heartlessly kick his DiL out when he knows she has no living relatives is plain disgusting:
He uses the excuse of his wife’s fragile mental state as why this needs to happen, and he at least gives his son’s widow an envelope of cash. I thought maybe the dad would stay on her side especially since she can cook (unlike his wife) but he’s so wimpy, there’s no way. The cash envelope contents are described as partially his money and partially Dong Joon’s ‘compensation money’. I’m not sure what that means. Maybe it’s like life insurance. It shouldn’t be money from donating his heart and other organs, right? Message me if you know how this works. We also find out that the marriage was never officially registered. Ah geez…that can’t be a good thing either.
Anyways, BW leaves the Yoon household–but not before making breakfast for everyone that morning:
Sheesh! I gotta give her credit though….if you want to ‘heap coals on your enemies head’, that would be the way to go! I know a lot of viewers would think, “Golly, she’s such a doormat! Who would make breakfast for the a-holes who are kicking you out?”. But I saw it as a way to practically ensure that a big load of steaming fresh karma lands right on their doorstep one day. She’s a better person that I could ever be. I’d just bail out.
I found it intriguing BW chose not to go back to Daechon (the fishing village), although Dong Min mentioned briefly that she didn’t have a place there anymore. (BTW that’s a 2 hour bus ride from Seoul. How did Papa think he was ever gonna hike it with his bad leg?!) I thought BW might go back and have the friend of her father and the restaurant ahjumma help her out. Instead, we see that she somehow gets a truck and she appears to have at least a decent (if not thriving) business selling fruit and vegetables.
Her customers give her little son hand-me-downs which are always appreciated:
Dong Joon’s dad has some regrets though…as he is soon shown to be
stalking spying keeping his DiL under surveillance:
Like the big dummy he is, he goes back to his wife and reports that Bang Wool and the new grandson are doing well. Uh, oh. I bet the mom is gonna try to take that child from her, especially because it’s a boy, and the previews seem to prove this theory correct. OMG. If Dong Joon’s mom takes that baby from her, I’m out–for my own mental health! The Soompi forum also blows up over this, far more than the beating of Dong Joon by his father or the abortion pressure issue. It’s interesting to me to see what provokes the viewers emotions.
After some initial resistance, DJ’s mom goes over to Bang Wool’s home and visits…..with an ulterior motive:
BTW, I think this is quite an acceptable apartment. It’s small, but clean and tidy. WTH does the MiL expect anyways?
After the Witch takes Byeol from Bang Wool, she gives her former MiL a ‘lil reminder about why she has no say in her current life:
However, Bang Wool still has a spine, and in a scene that involves a lot of me yelling “Yessss!” at the screen during my lunch hour, she tells her former MiL to hit the road permanently! Ohhhh, this is awesome!
However, it’s short lived, as her MiL drags BW and the baby back to the Yoon house. DJ’s father and new Uncle Dong Min fall in love immediately with baby Byeol.
No mention of what happened to the truck, or the studio apartment and it’s contents. Ehh….sloppy storytelling, but I’ll let it pass for now.
Also currently staying at the Yoon house–Sang Chul, the BFF of Dong Joon. It’s been a rough few months for him too.
Seems like his rich family went bankrupt. His father subsequently had a heart attack and his mom is laid up in a convalescent hospital after a stroke (?) so he’s got no money and nowhere to go. Gosh, their house is starting to look like my house a few years ago! His PT gig at the Tae Kwon Do studio evaporates, but he ends up being The Prick’s personal assistant/butler. SC seems to love and dote on Byeol, which wins him points with me. It also appears that he has some romantic feelings for Bang Wool, although she treats him as a kind friend and brother.
Meanwhile, The Prick has had Dong Joon’s heart implanted. Lucky for him that he and DJ had a rare blood type (AB) or the accusations that he got moved up on the list because of his family wealth would be a PR nightmare. More importantly, I gotta wonder how the surgeon shoehorned that big heart of DJ into The Prick’s chest? Musta been something like what happened with “The Grinch”:
only this time it was The Prick’s chest that grew 3 sizes to accommodate DJ’s heart!
Amazingly, The Prick emerges from the hospital post-surgery looking completely fit and normal.
Yeah…right! In RL, it would be much more difficult. Replacing a heart is not like removing a Lego block or a Tinkertoy piece and replacing it with another! Immediately, the change in his attitude is evident, as he doesn’t over react to seeing a piece of paper on the floor when he walks into his building:
Hmmm, looks like he had a heart and a personality transplant! He unexpectedly begins to get teary eyed over hearing “Tian Mi Mi”, and his heart gives him some notice when he walks by DJ’s father in the hospital. The Prick does maintain some less-than-ideal behaviors however…as evidenced by his over reaction when he runs into BW carrying a case of shrimp/prawns, and when they spar over a recipe plagiarism by one of the Prick’s employees who stole a recipe from BW. Interesting to note that his heart doesn’t flutter when he meets and interacts with BW. For now, he will remain “The Prick”. I demand better behavior from Woo Hyuk! I actually kinda like Sang Chul. He’d also be a fine catch for Bang Wool–but I know I am doomed to “Second Lead Syndrome”.
More transplant issues:
Looks like Dong Joon’s mom also had some personality transplant surgery too. After her initial overreaction and hatred of Bang Wool, five years later she’s now on her widowed DiL’s side! I’m in shock…that’s quite a turnaround from the first episodes. And she seems to love and dote on her grandson Byeol….you know, the one she wanted to wipe out in the beginning…
Grrrr! Shamrockmom needs to work on her forgiveness and grudge-holding issues!
Time for a bit of comic relief and some Very Non-PC opinions:
Chae Rin is in the US, studying at the university. Things seem to be rolling along between her and her stepmom. Then Chae Rin is hassled at a bus stop by her college campus:
My first thought is that the guy hassling Chae Rin looks a little bit like Jan of “Jan and Dean” fame:
Blonde Surfer Thug can’t take “No” for an answer, and after Chae Rin puts an ineffective purse swat and Tae Kwon Do move on him, the scene becomes an attempted kidnapping! Good thing her stepmom pulls up in the nick of time:
Ohhhkay, a blonde dude who looks like a surfer as a kidnapper? Writer-nim….you’re killing me here! You must not know that many local surfer dudes are too mellowed out these days from blazing up on the newly legalized cannabis here in SoCal to do something like this! Plus no surfer I’ve ever seen (and I live in “Surf City, USA” BTW) drives a full size 4-door black Cadillac sedan from the early ’80’s, unless he inherited it from his Gramps–but then there would be a surf rack on the roof for the boards, and a whole bunch of local surf shop stickers on the back of the car! It should be noted that neither car has legit US license plates from any state. I’d give the prop guy a failing grade for that.
Besides, everyone knows that surfers don’t drive black Cadillac sedans….they drive a Woody!
Side note: Before you get worked up over the politically incorrect “Two girls for every boy” line in that song linked above, I should remind you that Jan and Dean were into ridesharing and recycling many decades before it was the PC thing to do. Otherwise, they would have opted for a new car back in 1963, and not an old ’34 Woody that you can pack full of all your buddies and their surfboards!
Besides, would Lee Min Ho come here and surf if it was a dangerous place?!
OMG…I completely understand if writer-nim was fearful of accusations of racism if he picked an English speaking person-of-color for the thug. However, the whole scene is so fake and contrived it makes me howl with laughter.
Then writer-nim ramps it up another notch….After Chae Rin’s stepmom takes off her high heels and smacks Surfer Thug with her (minimum $600) Jimmy Choo’s, the thug pulls out a handgun and shoots at the ladies!
Although the Surfer Thug uses two hands, his aim is off and the bullet ends up only grazing Young Sook’s arm! Yep, now I know…he’s been taking shooting lessons from Mrs. Cop! Scenes like this motivate me to go to the range and practice my aim.
But it’s the reaction of Chae Rin that slays me:
ROTFLMAO! How over-the-top is that? I am sure Writer-nim thinks that all Americans are just like Yosemite Sam:
but that’s not entirely accurate. True–there are some places in the US that have a lot of violent crimes committed by bad people with guns. And there are some states (Arizona, for example) where concealed carry by almost all adults 21+ is permissible. However, Chae Rin is at a university. University campuses are notoriously safe places. No university wants a parent to fret over their precious
snowflake young adults’ personal safety! It’s horrible (and horrible publicity) when there is any kind of on-campus or perimeter-of-campus violent incident. Every local community college and university in my area offers female students an escort by a uniformed (and well-muscled male) campus police officer if they feel unsafe walking to the dorm, or to their car at night. Chae Rin should have known this; the international student’s liaison would have told her.
Oh, and they should have also told her that unlike Korea where all the bad guys wear black jackets and caps, here in the US criminals can be somewhat more diverse in their apparel choices!
I feel the need to assure international readers and viewers that US colleges and universities are indeed safe. My daughter is a university English professor now and can personally attest to the safety measures taken on behalf of the students and faculty. Even though she teaches in a notoriously dangerous part of SoCal, I do not fret over her safety at work. Side note: No, my English professor daughter does not correct my writing. All grammatical, punctuation, and word errors are my sole responsibility. And I know there are plenty of them!
Even more non-PC fun stuff:
I gotta wonder what kind of chip-on-the-shoulder PD and/or Writer-nim has for Americans and Korean-Americans. Chae Rin meets Ji Yeon, a Korean-American girl at the university who is practicing her cheerleading moves for upcoming tryouts. She’s got a long way to go:
Sheesh, how much more hapless could this character be? Lazy research, or deliberately lame? If I were a Korean-American young lady, I might be offended by this.
I should also mention that the cheer uniform Ji Yeon has on says “Howard” on it. That make me wonder because Howard University is a super elite private university in the Washington, DC area–on par with any Ivy League school. And it has been a school with a historically black enrollment, although it is technically open to all students today. The colors appear to be a match. How did the prop guy get that uniform? **mind blown** Did he know it’s from an HBC? (Historically Black College)
Ji Yeon thinks that having blonde hair will increase her chances of making the cheerleading squad:
Ji Yeon is also sure TPTB at the university discriminates against Asians. Chae Rin tries to use logic and reason with Ji Yeon; tryouts are very competitive, and the moves are difficult. This seems to perk her up a bit. Like many kids (both US and Korean) she resorts to blaming others if things don’t go her way. It’s not a good sign.
Then after a time jump, we find out Dong Min has married Ji Yeon, who can’t be bothered with any household chore, laundry, or cooking.
This earns her the wrath of Dong Min’s mom and makes Bang Wool look like a saint in comparison. Although I completely understand why Ji Yeon is way too exhausted after working all day to cook or to get up at 3 am and make breakfast, this character is extremely whiny and irritating. She and hubby Dong Min need to share in the household chores if they’re living in the home. Ji Yeon shows zero respect to his parents, and acts like they are there to serve her! DM plays both sides between his wife and his mother; another guaranteed future meltdown is in the works. They both need to move out, get their own place–and grow up! The sole redeeming feature of Ji Yeon? She is teaching Byeol how to speak English. I hope that pays off for him later. I sure wish I had learned a second language as a child, and I am sorry that my children did not have the chance either. I was too overwhelmed trying to make it day by day to consider it.
The Main Event: Ahjussi Dentist and Woo Kyung:
After seventeen episodes, I could almost forget about the rest of the story and just watch the Ahjussi Dentist Woo Wan and Woo Kyung. They are the highlight of this show for me. After the five-year time jump, WK and WW meet up again at a musical. (Not sure which one this is. If you know, send me a message)
I think Aerosmith said it best: “Dude looks like a Lady“!
Hilariously, she tucks some bills in his (faux) cleavage since they can’t get together for dinner because of the show, and he has to reach in and dig them out! Excellent scene, writer-nim!
Later, Chae Rin’s dad gets hauled to a performance of WW’s theater troupe by his daughter and his wife. Oh, look who’s performing tonight!
As Woo Wan is singing, he raises his arm:
but covers his armpit and the fur contained therein. Whaaat?! How funny is that?! Hey, PD- nim! Contrary to popular belief, us ahjummas who watch these shows won’t need the smelling salts if we see some male armpit hair! It’s natural for a man, right?! I’m dying….
The cardiologist doesn’t even recognize his own brother is in drag until after the show. That in itself is pretty funny. Is he down with his brother dressing like this? Oh, heck no! He rips off WW’s wig, and they get into a heated verbal altercation backstage. Woo Wan has no problem with holding his own against his brother:
Is the cardiologist embarrassed? Feeling threatened because his brother makes a fairly decent looking lady? Perhaps he is jealous that his bro has the cojones to do what he loves to do and everyone else who has a problem with that can go take a long walk off a short pier. It’s so cool to see that Woo Wan could not give a flying Eff about tradition or money. I kinda think this show is trying to show that some traditional families, behaviors, and thoughts are not ideal anymore; selectively keeping a few of the old ways while embracing new ideas and paradigms is really the way to move forward.
Another fantastic scene:
Woo Wan is in writer’s mode working on some kind of script/screenplay. I love that he is wearing a throw blanket as he toils at the computer in his cluttery, ramshackle rooftop apartment!
This writer-nim certainly knows the reality of a writer’s life! And yunno, it’s not like Shamrockmom ever sits at her computer in her nightie, with an added throw blanket in winter.**snort-laugh**
I note that he has a diverse collection of books and music. There’s a copy of televangelist Joel Osteen’s book “Your Best Life Ever”, “The Witch of Portobello” by Paulo Coelhlo, “The Lay-Driven Church” (!), and some sheet music of Mendelssohn hanging out on his desk. I swear the PD-nim and the Prop guy are conspiring to kill me with laughter!
Then WW pulls a move that I also know all too well…he finishes the script, jumps up, and runs in a circle outside in a moment of pure exhilaration, thanking any and all Higher Powers.
OMG–I did almost the exact same thing when I finished each part of the SLA Fan-Fic! I feel the euphoria he is going through right now down to my soul! Dang you, writer-nim for hooking me in like this! However, I got dressed before I ran outside…and here Woo Wan makes a critical mistake:
as he gives his sister-in-law a shirtless flash she (and he) won’t easily forget!
Oh, yeah! Not many ahjussis with a body like that are gonna be up for a shirtless scene! I am super impressed that this actor is not one bit afraid to go all out. Sure, seeing hot young guys with square shoulders and defined washboard ‘6-pack’ abs is awesome…
…but when your own body is ‘soft and fluffy’ like mine, a guy like Woo Wan is gonna be more than acceptable–especially if there’s a sexy brain and a sense of humor attached!
Now Woo Kyung decides that she needs some purpose to her life:
so she decides to take acting/singing/dancing lessons to be in a musical theater production. Some professor she knows gave her a referral to an acting school….namely, Wan Academy! As in Woo Wan, our favorite Ahjussi dentist. They ‘ve already had one encounter in Episode 12 where WW did some dental work on Woo Kyung. (without wearing gloves **Grrrr**, and he holds the mirror wrong too, so no screencap! I am always available for consultation, PD-nim!)
Initially, they fight over her enrolling in the school. He accuses her of not taking acting in a musical seriously:
and she chastises him right back:
Ha! No lack of dramarama between these two!
I will try to keep highlights of this show going as long as I can. There is nothing this funny on right now, and this show deserves to get some notice for the excellent side characters if nothing else.