Show’s pace has simmered down but there are still a lot of fun moments. It’s a needed break from the intensity that is “Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim”; arguably the best drama of late 2016/early 2017.
**screencaps from newasiantv.me–and without the news ticker!**
The Prick and his facial expressions:
Woo Hyuk is killing it with the faces he makes at both Chae Rin and Bang Wool. After Chae Rin rooks him into a 2 month trial dating period with a forced kiss some Soompi forum members described as “mouth rape”:
he’s more than a little shocked! Yeah, I know its a exaggerated response that’s meant to be silly, but why do I get this weird thought that The Prick is (gasp) a 30+ year old virgin…and Chae Rin is not? He’s never had a girlfriend for any length of time before she came along….and I don’t think he’s a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am kind of dude either. Prick=Yes. Player=No.
Meanwhile, he looks at his new employee Bang Wool like she is an alien from the fourth dimension.
Are either of these “The Look of Love“? No way! (I’d forgotten how kitschy that 80’s video was! Still a great song though.) I’ll buy that The Prick is in transformative mode from Prick to Good guy, but he’s still got a long way to go. Good thing this show is 120 episodes. He’s gonna need every single one! The Prick should take note of actors who can nail “The Look of Love” consistently…like Joo Jin Mo in “My Love Eun Dong”
Fashion choices: Say “Yes” to the Dress:
I’m liking Dong Joon’s dad more now that he’s a Sang Chul-Bang Wool shipper like me! He gently calls out Sang Chul:
after watching SC, BW and Byeol play soccer. In fact, Dad’s heart is so moved by watching them he calls out his deceased son’s name:
I think Dad starts to realize that it might be a good thing for Byeol to have a father here on earth and not just a picture to talk to every night–and a RL husband for BW as well. SC, BW and Byeol already look like a perfect family unit.
Anyways, after finding out SC is romantically interested in BW, Dad sets up Sang Chul to take Bang Wool out shopping for some new clothes after she gets the job at The Prick’s restaurant corporation. Dad even forks over his credit/debit card to SC so he can take her to a upscale department store and have her pick out a lovely outfit, then turn the shopping trip into a date. I like this!
I admit…I got trolled by writer-nim here. BW picks out a gray dress that looks so boring and plain. I was really disappointed.
But then she puts that dress on–and Wowza! Check out the hottie single mom with that classy gray dress:
Sang Chul sure is:
And his boss The Prick finds his eyes are glued to his new employee as well! Too bad he looks at her like she’s from another planet.
We even get a whiff of bromance between SC and his Boss:
No actual words are exchanged–we viewers just get to hear the dialogue in their heads. This is an outstanding scene. The actors who play SC and The Prick are awesome here. Can I give Writer and PD-nim a High-five too?!
…And Say “No” to the shoes:
A few episodes later, Woo Hyuk is in full Prick mode as he childishly wheedles Bang Wool into buying him an expensive cup of coffee at the Cafe on the first floor of their office building. Coffee in a can from the vending machine doesn’t cut it for the spoiled Prick! BW must have forgotten her wallet at home, or she didn’t go the the ATM lately, because she brings down a baggie of coins to pay for his coffee. She’s not that broke, right? Maybe they don’t have Coinstar machines in Korea.
As you might’ve guessed, the baggie of coins gets dropped on the floor of the building’s foyer. She asks The Prick to help her pick up the coins, as he stands there uselessly….
The Prick adds in his “2 cents”:
and BW and WH do “The Bump” as they back into each other and land on the floor!
Gosh, they’re both so lame! Here’s what a proper “Bump” move looks like, courtesy of the Soul Train dancers:
The heart of Dong Joon begins to bump in the Prick’s chest as he holds BW close:
And Woo Hyuk freaks out! The Prick gives BW a huge shove which sends her sprawling on the floor away from him:
Aish! WTH–Why did he overreact like that? Dong Joo must be going nuts watching this from up in Heaven.
Yunno, it’s not like The Prick has the (Very Non-PC) problem that Joe Tex had way back in the day:
[Side Note: Check out how much fun everyone is having dancing in the video. There’s a level of joy present that is not seen nearly forty years later.]
There is absolutely no excuse for the way WH treats BW here–other than he is still a Prick! Ugh! My heart breaks for BW as she cries in this scene. I am running out of patience with Woo Hyuk.
The Prick runs to the doctor whining about how his heart is racing, and he has no idea why. Chae Rin’s dad reassures him that there is no malfunction, but the Prick seems unconvinced.
Bang Wool’s heel breaks in the melee, and now she has to go home wearing her co-worker’s slippers.
She cries that her feet are freezing, but I’m not entirely sure how the slippers give less warmth than a pair of pumps. If it’s about 9 degrees F at night (per the Weatherbug app on the evening I checked) her feet would be freezing no matter what! If I had to walk around Seoul on a January evening, I’d probably want a pair of these:
The Prick decides that BW’s cheap black pumps are not even worth fixing, so he decides to buy her a new pair of shoes. He goes to the department store, and gets some help from the saleslady who recommends these:
Ok, now those are some fairly cute shoes. This is JMHO; I am hopelessly out of touch with shoe trends. If I was 20, I’d definitely wear them–but I’d never even attempt it today. I’d surely trip and break an ankle or worse on that 6″ heel! These pink pumps are not what BW would buy for herself, but I give 2 thumbs up to having The Prick buy a pair of stylish shoes like that for BW. She could get a new dress to go with those….heck, even that gray dress would work. The Prick fantasizes about BW wearing them with jeans:
However, WH’s initial good instincts (given to him from Dong Joon’s heart) are overridden by the Prick gene he possesses. He asks the saleslady:
And she brings out these hideous loafers!
Dang! Is there an uglier pair of shoes in all of SK? (Wait. I might not wanna know the answer to that.) Hoo-boy, those are awful–both the dowdy Ahjumma style and the color, which I would call Swamp Water. He buys these wretched shoes, and absentmindedly leaves them in the car. Helpful Sang Chul brings the bag in:
And snoopy Woo Kyung just has to see what’s in the bag…’cause these must be for her brother’s girlfriend, right?!
Yeah, WK, her mom, and the Gold-digger all know these things are ugly. I can see the wheels turning in Chae Rin’s brain as she thinks: This Woo Hyuk is gonna be a project and a half to properly train. He’s already resistant to my ample charms…even when I put on the fakey panting orgasm move when I pretend to trip and fall into his arms!
Meanwhile, Good Guy Sang Chul hustles down to the shoe repair place in their neighborhood and gets BW’s shoe heel fixed so she at least has that pair to wear to work. How thoughtful is that? Ah geez–Can BW just marry SC, open a restaurant and live happily ever after while we viewers watch the full-time hijinks of Ahjussi Dentist and Woo Kyung? And The Prick and the Gold-digger can go on more boring dates until The Prick decides that clipping his toenails or removing his earwax beats hanging out with the Gold-digger? Pretty please, writer-nim?
More on fashion–The Prick’s new threads:
I’m guessing that after seeing BW in her lovely gray dress, the Prick decides he’s gotta get his fashion game in better shape. He gets a new suit–not sure if it’s for the Calendar New Year (January 1) or the upcoming Lunar New Year (January 28). Either way, the Prick goes from his ultra conservative gray/black/navy blue and/or pinstripe suits with vests we’ve seen in previous episodes:
To this purple, red and black combo:
Gotta give the stylist some props…. it’s a color combo that makes a bold statement! I’m good with this. Perhaps it’s a sign that the Prick is one notch less uptight than he used to be. Let’s see how long The Prick can roll with the new colors in his wardrobe–my guess is probably not too long.
Sang Chul and Second Lead Syndrome:
I have never seen a melodrama where the lead guy was more unsympathetic than this one. Last year when I wrote about the preferred elements of a Melo while reviewing “Remember: A Son’s War” with Yoo Seung Ho as the example of a Grade A Melodrama male lead, I had no idea you could have a character that is almost 180 degrees from that standard…and even think about trying to pull that off as the lead guy. Woo Hyuk barely cries (only when he heard “Tian Mi Mi”), his behavior toward the leading lady runs from jerky to dubious, his attitude still needs a major overhaul, and he continually acts like an overly pampered wuss. He freaks out over everything, but especially getting shrimp dumped on him…or falling on veggies and eggs:
Maybe soap and water can’t scrub off such organic grime from someone who is as perfect as he is! /sarc
Now Sang Chul is a prize in my book. Okay, I will grant that he is a slow mover….it’s been 5 long years since his BFF Dong Joon passed away, and he’s just now noticing the pretty and cheerful widow he currently shares a house with. I love that he has no hesitation being the most awesome uncle ever to Byeol. I know he’s gotta play it cool or he will find himself on the outs with Bang Wool, Byeol, his former BFF’s folks, and homeless to boot. He’s got Dong Joon’s dad on his side, and that is a big plus–although the mom thinks BW can marry better than Sang Chul! **headdesk**
I want to address some comments I read that Woo Hyuk is more of an “Alpha” male, a “lion” so to speak…a guy that is gonna fight for his lady, take the initiative, and is highly competitive. Those are all good traits. But Sang Chul has those traits too–he’s just more understated about how he goes about his business. SC is not into the grand gestures; simple everyday kindness is his forte. He quietly goes on a fact finding mission to get a restaurant so that Bang Wool can operate it; a Win-Win for everyone, including those who get to eat her delicious food. He is polite and respectful to everyone. He doesn’t bemoan his new status as poor orphan–he just works his buns off as The Prick’s personal assistant/butler (a thankless job no doubt) to get back to a comfortable but not necessarily rich status. I’ve never heard one utterance of self pity from SC.
I will admit that when a lady is widowed, there is something super cool when one of her former hubby’s friends or even (gasp) one of hubby’s brothers steps up and decides to protect her, or be an awesome uncle if there’s a young child involved. Maybe that guy can even go for the gusto, and start a relationship if he likes her and she’s good with it too. My patients have told me stories like this, and it’s worked out very well in the long run. Just for the record, I’d marry a dude like Sang Chul in a heartbeat. Give me calm, stable and loyal–I’ll leave an alpha dude who’s a “lion” to some other woman who is braver than I am!
So even though I know that I am doomed, I hope that either Woo Hyuk drops the behavior and attitudes of a Prick asap, or Bang Wool tells Sang Chul once and for all that she doesn’t see him in a romantic way. That kind of a statement from the leading lady went a long way toward alleviating the SLS I had in “Start Again”. When Young Ja told Ji Wook that she did not–and would never–see him “as a man”, I was heartbroken–but respected her decision. Good thing too, because he’s now the lead guy in “I’m Sorry Kang Nam Goo”. Just like with “Start Again”, Park Sun Ho steals every scene he’s in, and makes a few of his sunbaes look like they need to go back to Wan Academy for a refresher course!
Ahjussi Dentist & Woo Kyung…and a case of Soju:
Here’s a combination that practically rolls out the red carpet to invite Disaster over for an extended visit! Woo Wan is bummed out over the fact that a producer told him to add some sexiness to the female character in his musical. WK commiserates with him–and then chugs down his bottle of soju. Well, drinking away your sorrows together is always better than drinking alone, right? Since WW is broke and only bought one bottle:
WK calls up the local snack establishment and gets a styrofoam case of soju delivered:
Whoa! I’m blown away yet again with the level of delivery service that’s available in Seoul. From restaurant food, to home shopping, to the local mom and pop store that delivers snacks and alcohol, one call/text/email/order gets you whatever you need ASAP. Better than Amazon Prime if you ask me!
They both drink wayyyy too much; then WW decides that his sweatpants are uncomfortable! Oh no! He takes them off, revealing the same yellow boxers he wore in the “flash” scene with his sister in law!
Whaaat? Dude, have you been wearing the same undies for a week? Or more? Aish! Dear PD-nim: Please find those clean boxers WW hung out on the clothesline back in Episode 10 and let him wear them! Singing Dentists want and need clean undies.
WK then announces she’s too hot, as she unbuttons her dress. Good thing WW is already passed out cold so he doesn’t see her….
until he wakes up first in the morning and gets an eyeful of half dressed and passed out WK:
He’s so rattled because he can’t remember undressing her (LOL) that he ends up smashing his shin on the trunk coffee table. This wakes up WK…and then it all breaks loose. WK runs out the door screaming as WW wonders–How did this happen? I can answer that question in one word for you Doctor–and that word is “Soju”!
There was some commentary on the Soompi boards that perhaps WW and WK spending a drunken night together might lead to a pregnancy/pregnancy scare. I sure hope not. They’re too mature to be acting like a couple of irresponsible kids who can’t figure out how to use a “beef burrito wrapper”. I think there will be more nights (likely involving alcohol) spent together with these two, leading to loads of misunderstandings and/or discovery by other characters of their relationship. I hope the writer keeps their relationship fun and light–and that writer-nim didn’t take inspiration from the incredibly botched “The Man Living in my House”; a drama that started out fun and light and then got bogged down in a depressing melodramatic mess.
Woo Wan apologizes profusely to Woo Kyung later on, and they decide to forget the whole evening. Since they both can’t remember exactly what did or did not happen, that works pretty well!
Magical Undies: Is this a Thing?
Some writers/PD’s have fixations with bathrooms, like Writer Jung/Director Ahn and their many bathroom issues and scenes from “Secret Love Affair” and “Heard it Through the Grapevine”. I think this writer/PD combo have an underwear issue. We’ve already seen Ahjussi Dentist hanging out his undies on the line while singing, the “Flash” scene, and the “Box of Soju” scene. But now writer-nim takes it a little too far.
DJ’s mom wants a grandchild from the grossly immature duo of Dong Min and Ji Yeon. Why? Good question. Those two are in no possible way ready to be parents! When a baby is not on the way after a few months, Mom gets a used bra and panty set from a friend who had a daughter who got pregnant quickly–like they have some kind of pregnancy luck or mojo attached! Ewwww! This proves to me just how ignorant and uneducated the Mom really is. When Mom gives them to Ji Yeon, the poor girl is understandably grossed out–and this time I am on Ji Yeon’s side! Ick! Used undies….how gross. Not satisfied with the situation, Mom goes out and gets some used boxers with a big tiger face on the front from a man who has 4 children for her son Dong Min. The man swears by the mojo of the tiger boxers that it will give DM strength and endurance!
OMG–Byeol gets ahold of these, and wears them around 24/7, just like what any other 5 year old boy would do.
I love that he wants to wear them over his jeans, but there is immense story time wasted over Dong Min trying to wheedle them out of Byeol’s grasp, and plenty of whining too from both Byeol and Dong Min. Sheesh!
Long time readers know how much I hate superstition/fortune tellers/palm readers/talismans and the rest of that folderol. Let the kid wear the tiger boxers around the house–while I laugh at Dong Min saying the word “Panty”. It cracks me up just like when Choi Si Wan and Park Seo Joon said it in “She Was Pretty”.
For your edification– The Kim Young Ran Law:
When I started watching Kdramas a few years ago, I never dreamed that I would subscribe to a blog that highlights all kinds of South Korean laws, especially ones that seem relevant to drama viewers. In the last couple of weeks, Writer-nim wants to make sure that we viewers all know the Kim Young Ran Law, which went on the books this past fall. (Plenty of info at all the links, with differing perspectives)
The Kim Young Ran Law was enacted to prevent citizens from bribing public officials and to keep public officials from accepting bribes. It also makes it illegal for students/parents to give gifts to teachers, and to keep teachers from accepting monetary favors. Interestingly, the punishments for violating the law go both ways. From the KLawGuru website:
“(The Kim Young Ran Law)….is an unprecedented anti-corruption law in South Korea that will come into force on September 28, 2016.
According to this new law and its enforcement decree, it’s illegal for a “public official/employee, etc.” to receive from anyone (with any relation to his/her work) any of the following:
1) A meal worth over KRW 30,000 (per person), or
2) A gift/present worth over KRW 50,000, or
3) Congratulatory/consolatory money (at weddings or funerals) over KRW 100,000.
If a “public official/employee, etc.” (or his/her spouse) accepts any of the above (from any one person), he/she will be punished by an administrative fine 2-5 times the amount/benefit received. He/she will simultaneously face disciplinary action.
The briber will likewise be punished by an administrative fine 2-5 times the amount/benefit given. (Promising is punishable too!)
The fact that the punishment is (merely) an administrative fine implies these acts are not actually crimes (which end up on one’s criminal record). When is bribery a crime? A: When the amount is much larger: over 1 mil won at any one time (from any one person), or over 3 mil won during one fiscal year (from any one person). In such case, “relation to work” is not even necessary!”
This new decree has been distilled by SK citizens into the “3/5/10” rule , and has already affected restaurants who now have to issue separate checks for meals. Everyone is being careful, since the briber and the recipient are both under the microscope. It should be interesting to see how this works too with the upcoming New Year Holiday.
However, WW takes the law seriously–and WK couldn’t care less.
I don’t think she’s trying to bribe him in a bad way. In her world she’s used to seeing that money gets you what you want and she goes with that MO, morals notwithstanding. I know at first she thought that offering WW money would get her the role in his musical production:
but he’s principled and stubborn. He’ll never go for that.
WK knows WW is broke and needs some financial backing to get his musical production to the stage. I also believe that having a goal, aka practicing for the musical is potent anti-depressant therapy for bored and aimless WK; it’s better than any pill on the market.
I like that WW got a “grant” for the production from the university, fully funded by WK of course.
Granted, it’s sneaky and underhanded, but she’s happy and he gets the money he needs without knowing the real source. (Heaven help her if he ever finds out!) WK also goes for smaller gestures–she tidies up his apartment:
makes him a home cooked packed meal with the help of the housekeeper, and brings over a decorative flower wreath–with cash cutely tied on for “as needed” use. Of course our Ahjussi Dentist rails about all this, but at the end of the day he eats the packed meal and goes into a food coma:
Yes, it’s true…the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!
Then Writer-nim decides it’s time for a reward for Shamrockmom’s patience with this show. My heart soars as they do a couple of lines from Grease: “Summer Nights”
Whoa! Woo Kyung can really sing! This moment is so cute and uplifting I can forget about a lot of other ridiculousness. Okay, writer-nim, let’s have The Prick lose some of his worst qualities and get on with the show!