Similar to another one of my all time favorite dramas “The Last Scandal of My Life“, the writer of LIDD has a knack for dishing out just about as much ridiculousness and unhappiness as I can stand–then things are turned around and it becomes funny or the situation backfires on the person who was being a jerk. If it happens too quickly in a show, it seems contrived. If it’s too slow, I will lose heart and quit watching. It’s a tightrope walk, but when it’s executed properly with some emotional scenes, Shamrockmom is totally hooked on the show.
So far, the writer of LIDD is maintaining the perfect balance to keep me eagerly waiting every day for the next episode. Episodes 38 and 39 are epic and have so much important information to digest. These are my favorite scenes–and there’s a whole bunch!
**screencaps from myasiantv.me and hdfree.se**
Woo Hyuk and Byeol meet for the first time:
Shamrockmom’s off camera thoughts before the start of Episode 38: Woo Hyuk is still mentally reeling over finding out that the woman he loves has a young son. Faced with the terrifying prospect of an entire Saturday with no possibility of seeing BW at work, and potential activity choices that include hanging around the house making flower wreaths with his sister Woo Kyung, or his mom finding some event for him to attend where Chae Rin is involved, he acts with decisive logic and reason. It’s time to fib about his destination, get the heck out of the house, and into his car–then drive around for a while! Excellent move, WH! I’m starting to like this guy!
His subconscious mind and DJ’s heart take over the car navigation:
and WH finds himself back in BW’s ‘hood…where he sees BW and Byeol together for the first time:
Ha! “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”…now that’s delicious! Thank you PD-nim for that ironic and perfect shot! Cinematography grade for today–A+! WH’s new heart has to be pounding in his chest. I get the feeling it was one thing for WH to see ‘on paper’ that BW had a son….but seeing Byeol in person gives it a whole ‘nother sense of reality.
WH decides to spend his Saturday
stalking spying on hanging out watching BW and Byeol at the One Mount Snow Park as they play on the sleds:
and eat pizza that looks just like the horrible cardboard crap served here in the US at Chuck E. Cheese!
I urge you to click on the One Mount Snow Park link above and this one as well for more pictures and information on this incredible indoor snow park in the middle of Seoul–it looks like a very fun place to visit.
We get a hint that Byeol understands his mom is overworked and burdened–like any other single mom. He knows him mom has limited time to spend with him, but that’s okay because she is working hard…
I am sure that those little ears have picked up on the grownups commenting on his mom’s strong work ethic, and how difficult it is as a widowed single mom. Byeol is lucky that at least he has an extended family around, even if everyone is busy with their own lives. My kids had me…and my mom. That was it. My dad barely interacted with my children and my sister lived in Oregon. My children’s other set of grandparents moved to Arizona in early 2002 and then shunned them until last year, never sending so much as a card to their grandchildren. **Grrrrr**
BW tries to reassure her son:
I think this is an important thing for her to say to Byeol. If he grows up feeling like a burden to his mom, that’s gonna mess up him up in the future.
As they go to leave, Byeol looks longingly at the fathers giving their children rides on their shoulders. BW offers to give him a shoulder ride, but Byeol isn’t so sure:
Byeol is all too aware that shoulder rides are a Dad Job. Nevertheless, BW gives it a try.
…but Byeol is too heavy and she can’t stand up. Byeol says he can walk and WH watches from afar, but does nothing.
This scene puts a lump in my throat. As a single mom, I knew I could do anything for my kids, but I could not do one thing: Be a Father. I lack that Y chromosome thingy, as well as some other parts too. (One of my son’s HS friends commented that I had more cojones than most men he knew, which gave me a good laugh.)
The moments you know you can’t be a father to your kids is one of the worst parts of being a single mom. When my daughter was drinking, partying and sleeping with the wrong sort of boys in High School, I knew she was subconsciously looking for a father who would affirm and compliment her–and she would never have that. When I watched my youngest son nearly attach himself physically to a coach he felt safe with on a baseball team where the manager was a toxic and misogynistic A-hole, it broke my heart that he had no father that would stand up for him. My dad chose not to step into the role of father for my children. When I asked my mom why he didn’t feel comfortable acting as a fatherly influence, it came out that my father was so angry at me and hated my children’s father so much he couldn’t stomach it. I couldn’t do a darn thing about these and many similar situations except pray that it would get better–and that my daughter wouldn’t end up a pregnant teen. (Yeah she was on birth control, but as any Kdrama viewer knows–nothing is ever 100% foolproof, and the word “no” was not in her list of options.)
BW carries Byeol to the bus stop–Gosh, he’s got to weigh at least 18 kg (the average weight of a 5 year old in the US is 40 lbs or 18-19kg) That’s no joke to carry him:
The bus leaves as she turns to get her purse, and the snow is falling faster now. She tries to hail a taxi…but here comes her Boss with his car!
For those readers who live in climates where it does not snow, I hate to inform you that snow is not like it is on TV. I lived in Pennsylvania for a few years growing up, and I can tell you snow is not fluffy or cute. It’s wet, icy cold and makes getting around insanely difficult as well as dangerous. I love to look at snow, or go play in the snow for a day…but not live in it.
BW fights her Boss at first:
Yunno, WH can be a Prick, but at least he’s got common sense!
They all get in WH’s toasty warm car, but then SC calls BW…doggone it! He’s a day late and a dollar short again:
BW discourages SC from meeting them, but SC has already made up his mind and leaves the house. BW and WH drive by him waiting as the bus stop…
but she doesn’t call SC and say that WH drove them home. Meanwhile, SC waits for bus after bus in the snow, but no BW and Byeol. Why doesn’t she call him? Is she afraid to mention him in front of the boss? Hmmm.
When they arrive home, BW asks to borrow WH’s umbrella…but WH takes Byeol from her and carries him in as she protests again. I’m SMH here. Can’t she be grateful for a moment of help? Even WH agrees with Shamrockmom:
When my 7 year son fell asleep late one evening at an Angels game, I struggled to carry him a considerable distance out of the stadium and into the parking lot–and a very kind young man asked me if he could carry him to the car. Believe me, I was scared to trust this stranger but he and his group of friends looked nice enough, and my son was just too heavy.
WH is a smidge curmudgeonly as he grumps that he’s only helping someone in need, and he fusses at BW to hold the umbrella properly…but then Byeol hugs him tightly:
and WH’s new heart beats hard in his chest…
Does Byeol feel the loving presence of his father in WH? Can he hear his father’s heartbeat as he rests his head on WH’s chest? Sometimes I wonder if kids are more spiritually in tune with things, and adults are too preoccupied to figure it out.
Side story: When my older son was about 5, he was in need of another operation on his ears. Sadly, he was a veteran at visiting doctors and having surgery; this surgery would be the fifth in his young life. The ear doctor was one of the best in our area, and affiliated with a prestigious children’s hospital. When this very kind doctor (who was probably a father himself several times over) explained the procedure to my son and then asked if he was scared, my son replied, “Not at all. Jesus is always in the operating room standing next to doctors to help them heal kids like me and he also sends angels to help moms who worry.” I was floored. I couldn’t even speak. The doc was blown away too, but then he kind of laughed it off and said that my son must be paying attention when he goes to church! I was worried the doctor might be offended because he was an Orthodox Jew, but he was merely curious because our name suggested that our family was also Jewish. After the successful surgery, the doctor commented that my son was something quite special–he had told the anesthesiologist and all the nurses about Jesus being with him before he went into the operating room, and left several of them in tears.
Back at home, BW wonders how her cranky boss knew they were at the snow park–and then SC calls again:
He asks if they’ve left the snow park yet, and BW has to fib and say that they took the subway and they’re already home. SC is exceptionally good-hearted about the whole incident:
Yet I have a feeling he knows something’s up–her explanation doesn’t make sense. Once again, I’m sad for SC. He’s always coming up on the short end of things.
WH and his mom have a heart-to-heart talk:
I absolutely love this scene. We already know WH is kind and affectionate to his mom, and he feels close to her. WH comes to her room in the evening for a chat. WH’s mom (who I will refer to as Oh Hye Won so I don’t get confused with DJ’s mom) starts it out with asking if he saw Chae Rin at work today (he fibbed and told everyone he was working when he was hanging out at the snow park) and how much she likes her wannabe future DiL:
It seems to me that CR is the daughter OHW always wanted–except she got Woo Kyung instead. I know OHW has always looked down on her daughter, and not considered her feelings in the least. Otherwise she would have never sought an arranged marriage for Woo Kyung and/or she would’ve have put an end to that ridiculousness in short order after finding out WK’s husband was cheating right, left and center–and not encouraged her daughter to stick it out.
WH looks increasingly uncomfortable…then he asks his Mom a million-dollar question:
IIRC from the first few episodes, WH’s dad died from heart problems at about age 43 …so his mom’s been a widow for quite some time. OHW surprises me:
She ran into her first love….Well now we know that WH’s dad wasn’t her first love, lol. Was theirs an arranged marriage also? Did OHW and WH’s dad even love each other?
WH wonders about his mom’s first love:
OHW says there were other considerations too:
Why would she have to give up the BH group if she married this first love of hers? WH is stunned. Did his mom not love the guy that much?
So she picked the cushy path of riches and the power of running a corporation over love? Is that a cop-out? Or the harsh reality of life? What was the deal here? Was OHW’s first love a poor guy without connections? Or was he a rich dude with his own disapproving and judgmental family to contend with? Maybe they didn’t want him to marry a widow with two kids. Maybe he didn’t want some other man’s kids to raise. Here’s one tantalizing clue:
Inquiring minds want to know more details! Was it the fact that she had kids that was the deal breaker? Or was he not into the chaebol lifestyle? I’m not impressed that he was a guy lacking in courage to go after love. WH better not be lacking in courage or this show will go down in flames!
WH asks another awesome question: Does his mom regret her decision? OHW says she’d be lying if she had no regrets–but she lets her son know:
She reminds WH that they can’t live like ‘ordinary people’ and that he should know that very well. Oh my…is this a hint at the trajectory of the show? Will WH be slammed with the disapproval of his mom over wanting to be BW’s boyfriend and eventual husband–and father to Byeol? I think that’s a given. I think it might even get down to WH giving up the corporation; however consciously embracing poverty is a exceptionally difficult life choice. Just ask In Sang from “Heard it Through the Grapevine”! It’s difficult enough when bad luck in life hands it to you–just ask Sang Chul who became a poor orphan in short order.
I want to know a whole lot more about WH’s background now. He must have spent at least part of his childhood without a dad. Did OHW worry that a new husband might mistreat her kids, or was it about control of the corporation and who was in charge of the dough pile? If she’s been running it for years, that’s a heavy load OHW has been and is currently carrying. She’s been a most capable CEO or her family wouldn’t be living the high end lifestyle that they currently have. Thank you writer and PD-nim for this exceptional scene.
Adjusting a curmudgeon’s attitude:
Woo Wan has been increasingly cranky toward his pupil Woo Kyung. Granted, she can be a ditzy sort and she’s got less talent than some of his other pupils, but she’s been practicing diligently and takes his endless criticisms in a positive way. Today she wants a make-up lesson because she was sick–and perhaps we have another man in this show with ‘hormonal challenges’! Today, WW is in the throes of PMS (Pissy Man Syndrome) and is not in the mood for a make-up lesson:
WW obviously has no idea that WK borrowed money against her store and without her mom and brother’s knowledge to finance the musical:
WK counters that statement and you can hear the hurt in her voice:
She clarifies that only her mom is rich…and leaves his apartment in a huff. I’m on her side here. WK has never had a chance to really prove herself and to make her own money. Mom OHW set her up with that clothing store (which I have a strong hunch the employee probably runs on a daily basis) and brother WH gives her money here and there too. I know her mom doesn’t want her to fail….but it would be a potent boost to her self esteem if she had more financial control of her life. WK comes home, says she’s quitting the musical practices with WW, and correctly places the blame on WW, even if she takes out some anger on her mom and the abrasive housekeeper:
Then writer-nim turns it around in the very next episode…and gives Chae Rin a moment to do something that does not involve deceit, trickery, whining, forced kissing/hugging and general meanness to others. WW drops by his niece’s work with the same old “just passing by” excuse:
Chae Rin did not fall off the turnip truck today. She knows that her unni Woo Kyung quit the musical, and it’s time to get the real info:
WW denies it–sorta:
WW says that WK wanted a role in the musical, but she wasn’t good enough. CR tells her uncle to chill out–WK has had a tough life; first there was the arranged marriage, and then:
WW is taken aback by the idea that WK has been divorced–I don’t get that he’s disapproving; it’s more like he hadn’t considered that option. Then WW gets the 411 on WK’s background:
Her family disapproved of it, but now she’s trying to reclaim her dream. I love this show and it’s ongoing theme of resiliency. WW seems regretful that he didn’t know all this about WK. CR admonishes her uncle to not bully her unni and then says the thing I’ve felt from the start of this show:
Please Writer-nim, give WW and WK a happy ending! I’d bet that WW has been divorced or been dumped over his life choices too, so seeing them both bounce back would be especially gratifying.
Low Blood Sugar Emergency:
SC reminds his boss to go home and have some dinner.
I think SC might be hungry too. The work will still be there after dinner even if his workaholic boss has a meal.
Or perhaps SC could pick a fight with his boss when he and the boss are both hungry! Hey Boss, whatever happened to that friend of yours ? Yunno:
WH stalls and says that the friend is just thinking about it. Now I’m certain SC has low blood sugar and is irritable:
His voice rises noticeably:
Too bad WH doesn’t have an extra chocolate bar in his desk right now for SC. Having extra chocolate bars stashed for both hormonal and hunger emergencies is critical. WH tells SC that he doesn’t know the ‘friend’ that well, because WH knows:
WH further explains that the ‘friend’ is overwhelmed with new feelings–and asks why SC is so upset over this incident. Immediately, SC backs off:
His concern was only that the woman in question would be hurt. Is it wrong of me to think that if WH really did hurt BW, it might work in SC’s favor? He’d be there to comfort her and defend her. Of course, SC would have to actually open his mouth and confess to BW, and I’m not sure he’s got the cojones for that. Nevertheless, it would be a risky move, and would likely cost him a job, but nothing ventured–nothing gained, right? SC gets the last word in, as he gives WH a backhanded warning that the ‘friend’ better not be the sort of guy who hurts others. Darnit. I was hoping for some bromance in this show; if SC can help WH fight for BW that would be awesome–and it better earn SC some major Karma points toward finding the lady of his dreams. Are you listening to me writer-nim?!
Another reason I love this show:
No matter how crazy everyone acts around Bang Wool, she maintains a positive attitude without being a Polly Anna or a doormat. She acts with logic and reason, even if no one else around her is able to do so.
BW decides that having WH confess to her and then continue to work together after she rejected him is too uncomfortable–so she’s gonna go work in one of the restaurants to develop the menu. I think that this would be a very likely RL scenario. If you knew your Boss liked you but you didn’t like him, you might want to transfer somewhere else away from him. On the surface, this seems like a fine idea…but not to WH!
He tells her to stay at the corporate office and work. He will stop having ‘feelings’ for her. (Yeah, riiight!)
WH echoes his mom’s words:
Heh, wonder what kind of cuss words DJ’s heart is sending up to WH’s brain?! I’m thinking of a few choice Anglo-Saxon words myself right now! WH blathers on that he decided he really loved himself more (sheese!) and that even though he made a quick decision for her sake (WTH?) his feelings were legit. BW says the exact thing I am thinking here:
But WH won’t shut up today, as he says he couldn’t control his feelings toward her. BW reiterates what she wants–regardless of his ‘feelings’
After BW lets Sang Chul know that she’s transferring to the restaurant (he doesn’t look particularly thrilled about it either since his Boss will be extra grouchy for the foreseeable future) SC and WH hit the local upscale pub late in the afternoon. I’m still waiting for the Bromance from these two. WH starts it off:
I think WH has never had a close male friend before, and SC is one of the few people he feels he can trust. After SC asks his Boss if everything is cool, WH goes back to the ‘friend’ story and says that the imaginary friend stopped having feelings for the woman involved. And it was because of this:
Whaaaat? Because BW and Byeol were a package deal? Are you kidding me? I can say with 100% confidence that Byeol would not hinder SC from being with BW for a millisecond. It wouldn’t even cross his mind. Did WH listen to the warped choices his mom made and then decide that was a good plan?
Side note: I worked for a dentist many years ago who married a woman with a teen son from a failed high school romance. His family nearly blew a gasket KDrama-style, but the dentist persisted and was absolutely thrilled he got an instant son he could take camping or go with to baseball games. The dentist and his wife had twins of their own a few years later, and he could barely tell us staff members without choking up because he was so happy. He was a good dentist, but an even better husband and father.
SC squashes down his relief long enough to ask the Boss if the friend is doing okay. WH’s answer–No Way!
He says that the woman was the first one to make his heart race. The ‘friend’ looks like he’s got it all and is arrogant to boot (!) but he’s hopeless when it comes to love.
I think that WH did not spend a lot of time in the past reflecting on his behavior, but things are different now that DJ’s heart is exerting a strong influence. I’d really like to see these guys on the same side instead of fighting each other. WH is gonna have enough on his plate fighting his mom, DJ’s mom, and that delusional lunatic Chae Rin.
Meet the new boss….same as the old boss:
After an emotional farewell from her co-workers, BW starts her new menu development work over at the restaurant. If BW thought she would get a break from the PMS-like behavior of her boss, she’s sorely mistaken. The misogynistic Head Chef is less than thrilled to meet his new understudy:
Oh great….just what BW needs–another grouchy man in her life. The chef gives BW some details so she’s clear about what sets him off:
BW keeps it real:
Then this scene turns on a dime. Like many other scenes in this show, just at the moment I start to get grouchy or upset with something, the writer reels things in or takes it in a different direction. Here’s the scene turner:
Oh, so the crabby head chef has an adorable
puppy helper?! Joo Sung calls BW “noona” and my heart melts. Will Joo Sung protect his noona from the cranky chef? Will he tip off the big boss WH if Chef Ma verbally abuses BW? Will he be able to protect his noona from the evil CR and her bag o’tricks? Will he run interference so WH and BW can have a moment together? My writer’s mind spins with the possibilities. I wish I knew this actor’s name–he’s darn cute. Joo Sung takes BW to the staff room and tries to boost her spirits right away:
He enlightens BW that Chef Ma is not thrilled with people from the head office:
and he cheers her on with a clearly understandable “Fighting”, so he has strong English skills too. I’m hoping the writer can make good use of this side character–he looks like a keeper and a perfect foil for cranky bosses at both the corporate and the ground level. BW takes responsibility for her actions like the mature adult she is:
Death throes of the Prick:
OHW totally oversteps the boundary lines and gives a family heirloom brooch to Chae Rin. Now I know OHW really likes CR and wishes she was her daughter instead of goofy Woo Kyung, but this is way too much–even if the brooch in question looks like a cheap piece of junk jewelry from the 99 cent store:
C’mon Prop-guy! That green thing looks like a tiddley-wink chip that was glued on. You couldn’t find anything better over at the usual prop places in Seoul like Prop-Mart, Prop Depot, or Props-R-Us?! Whatever. CR thinks it’s the shizz, but when WH sees her wearing it, he’s got some questions…like how did you get your
claws hands on my Grammy’s jewelry? CR’s answer:
WH wastes no time and immediately confronts his mom:
WH’s mom is the Queen of Presumption:
WH gets heated real quick as he asks his mom why she didn’t ask him about it first, and OHW says what’s the big whoop? You and CR are doing well, right? Uh….there’s this little deal first:
Gotta give WH credit–if he said it, he means it. He is a man who keeps his word. OHW presses her son, reminding him he took CR to the Heirs Club (where CR was readily dismissed as another one of WH’s 1-month-and-done date victims) and that she really likes CR as a future DiL. In fact, the CEO of anther company even asked when they were getting hitched. WH is extra frustrated with his mom, and could use a couple of Advil for that headache:
WH has certainly changed…after a young boy runs into him and gets ketchup all over his expensive down jacket, WH doesn’t flip his lid like he did at the airport back in Episode 1 when the kid smashed the ice cream into his jacket:
But 39 episodes later….that arrogant and jerky dude is gone. Here is what has taken his place:
The mom offers to pay for cleaning, but WH doesn’t need that:
His sister can’t believe what she just saw:
and WH blows the whole incident off to “boys will be boys”! WK may not know a lot, but she knows this:
Yeah, it’s the New and Improved version of your little bro…the Gentleman version! WK, I gotta hand it to you. You had to wait about 32 years for your brother to become a decent human being. We viewers have been only waiting 7 weeks for this, and it’s been difficult enough for us! You are one tough cookie!
WH takes more decisive action:
After the run with his sis, he calls up Chae Rin and asks to meet her at the ritzy coffee house nearby. Oh ho, does she think this is where he’s gonna ask her to
marry him get engaged shackle himself to her for life? She joyfully picks out a pretty dress and makes sure her makeup is on point:
But when WH enters, he’s all business:
WH again wastes no time. CR starts to stall, as she yaks about the weather, but WH isn’t going for it. He thanks her for liking him and then says he’s sorry to say this:
I am not ashamed that I stood up in my office and let out a big whoop of delight right here. Good thing the patients after lunch weren’t there yet! How awesome is this…a male lead who doesn’t dilly-dally around with letting go. He cuts off this toxic dating relationship with no possibility of misunderstanding. All I can think of is the surgical precision of Kim Sabu and the way he said “Cut!” (Can you tell that RDTK was one of my favorites this year? If you haven’t seen it yet, please don’t let the medical gore keep you from watching a drama that was utterly daebak from start to finish.)
Oh, and feel free to reproduce this screencap at will and use it to line birdcages or kitty litter boxes:
Now I am sure there is gonna be about 80 more episodes where CR tries to get revenge on WH, BW, and anyone else in her path. If those are as much fun as the first 40 episodes, I say serve it up!
A/N: Real Life is about to demand I take a break here–but not from fun! I plan to see “Fabricated City” with Ji Chang Wook next weekend at the brand new CGV theater in Buena Park. If it’s a blog-worthy event, and the movie is good, there will be a write-up. I might need to skip a few episodes of LIDD going forward and catch up later on.