I’m hanging on by a thread. I feared the dreaded derailment, even at the beginning of this show. For more than half of the projected 120 episodes, that looked like an irrational fear. But as LIDD approaches the 100 episode mark, the baddies are getting away with way too much, the OTP is broken up with no sign of being able to reconcile, and once cute and promising side character plot lines with musical loving dentists have sunk into a swamp. Since I can’t and won’t drink like WH, I need to vent my frustration here at the keyboard! However, there might be a few hidden clues left by the Writer/PD-nim to give me a boost of perseverance.
***all screencaps from newasiantv.me**
The Hotel Bar’s Awesome Jukebox:
Now that WH has been dumped by BW to preserve what’s left of her sanity and rid herself of his stepchild hating momma aka the Evil Joseon Dragon Queen, he seems to have permanently lost his mind, his cojones and his mojo. Perhaps he should look for these missing items down on Second Avenue over by St. Mark’s place! (Link is very NSFW.)
WH’s new MO when life treats him badly is to go to the local five-star hotel bar and start drinking. In the past, WH always drank himself into oblivion at home which was bad enough, but at least it was safe. The Dragon’s Queen’s lair is no longer the peaceful place it once was now that WW and WK are living there, plus GJ keeps her eyes out and would surely tattle on his binge drinking to BW.
If the writer-nim wanted me to feel sorry for WH by showing him getting wasted nearly every night, it’s backfiring badly. It’s a horrible example for kids to see on TV. Heck, it’s bad for adults to see too! Drinking is not gonna change OHW’s mind, it won’t bring BW back to him (unless it’s for his funeral), it’s a disgusting waste of DJ’s donated heart, it gives SC a clear picture that his boss is pathetic and not a good match for BW, and opens up all kinds of opportunities for shenanigans from CR–or even a good citizen with a cell phone camera to take pictures of the drunken BH Group Chaebol WH to sell to a tabloid. Those cell phone cameras are everywhere–just ask the folks that run United Airlines!
However distressing the scenes of WH trying to slowly pickle himself and wreck DJ’s heart are to watch, the Hotel Bar’s BG music choices are delightful and I can only hope that they offer us viewers some minimal amount of reassurance that this show will turn around quickly and give us at least some emotional payoff at the end–even if it’s not quite as much as we had hoped.
From Episode 92, about 24 minutes in–WH sits at the bar at a hotel and drinks his scotch on the rocks as he replays scenes of BW telling him to take a hike and leave her alone–they are a done deal. It’s hard to tell with the bottle turned sideways to see what brand he is downing today. **Sigh** Knowing the tight budgets of these daily shows, I wonder why there is no PPL here?
The music in the background is “Europa”, composed by Carlos Santana and Gato Barbieri. Here’s a vintage video of a young Santana (on guitar) and Barbieri (on sax) from 1977 performing this well-known jazz standard:
This writer/PD-nim sure do know and love their late 70’s music!
Gato Barbieri is known best for his film score from the classic movie “Last Tango in Paris”. Here’s an interesting quote from him about the music he wrote for the film: “Always in the tango is tragedy — she leaves him, she kills him. It’s like an opera but it’s called tango,” Barbieri said in 1997 of his score. “The lyrics and the melodies are very beautiful. It’s very sensual.” Wonder if that is a foreshadowing of future events in this melodrama that seems to be on a tragic path?
Meanwhile, CR sips her Blue Martini (?) and plots future mayhem to unleash on WH very soon.
Can I guess he is gonna get trapped into believing he drunkenly slept with CR and be forcibly marched to the altar?! Yep–checked that box! Has CR seen the first episode of “Whisper”?! You betcha! She’s carefully watched her sunbae Lee Bo Young entrap a very drunken and dimple-less Lee Sang Yoon into a situation where it looks like he rapes her–but I’d call that her raping him! (Sexual touching without consent is rape, especially when it’s recorded to be used as blackmail! And when you are unconscious or nearly unconscious from drinking you cannot give consent.) OMG–I was lucky and got fully warned off this show by reading this great review from the Drama Files ladies. The clips I’ve watched of this scene are jarring. I’m blown away that so few viewers were not incensed at what they saw; on the contrary, the ratings for “Whisper” are pretty good. If the situation were reversed, the outcry would be deafening. I am sure the upcoming entrapment scenes in LIDD are going to bring on lots of increased blood pressure from this viewer too!
After WH gets a one-two punch in the form of being fully snubbed by BW when he shows up uninvited at Byeol’s play:
…then seeing SC in the place next to Byeol and BW that he wants to be in:
…it’s time for another session of alcohol anesthesia!
The background music choice here in Episode 93 at the 7:25 mark makes me sit up immediately and reach for my phone and the Shazam app! I know that voice–it’s Al Stewart! The guy who sang “The Year of the Cat”–one of my most favorite songs from my early teen years.
Only a man with a sexy brain could compose the music and write the lyrics for a song like “Year of the Cat”. Who needs a music video when you have a song that evokes such wonderful imagery?! Here’s a great quote from him from the above link: “I think of songs as cinema, really. It’s aural cinema. I want to show you a movie when I’m playing a song. That’s essentially what I’m doing.” Yessss! I love it!
Al Stewart has aged well too, even if his voice is not quite as smooth as it was back in the day. Now over 70, he sticks to his folk-rock roots and plays gigs around the UK, with a precious few US dates thrown in. I sure hope he comes to LA in the next few months! I gushed over this song when it came out on the 1979 “Time Passages” album, and my friends in high school gave me deeply puzzled looks. Even then, I was not in the mainstream when it came to music!
The song playing as WH polishes off yet another bottle of scotch is called ” The Palace of Versailles” which is also on the “Time Passages” album. Here’s a relatively recent clip of Al Stewart playing this in a small venue in the UK.
I highly recommend reading the lyrics. They give me hope for this drama. I can’t wait for the arrogant, rich and powerful trio of OHW, YS and CR to be brought down and face the justice they deserve for their evil deeds just like the nobility in the French Revolution. Dear Writer and PD-nim: If you included this song, you need to take responsibility for your choice and hand out some well-deserved Karma for the baddies! Or you might face a rioting
proletariate group of Soompi forum members yourself. We may not be able to bring pitchforks and torches, but we will let you know our displeasure if you screw up the ending to this show!
It gets better–there’s a Korean Version:
The band’s name 들국화; Deulgukhwa translates to A Wild Chrysanthemum. (Some translations (like the one on this video) give the above word the translation of ‘A Wild Camomile’.) That’s an intriguing clue. In the US, chrysanthemums are considered a cheerful and positive flower. However, in Korea, white chrysanthemums are symbols of grief and death and are placed on grave sites. In fact, I think I’ve seen those placed on DJ’s grave in this show.
Interestingly, WH brought pink Chrysanthemums to DJ’s tree in Episode 76 when he proposed to BW. Perhaps the pink color of the flowers was a bridge between the white (grief) and red (passionate love). I’d go for that.
The music changes again at the 8:28 mark as we see a thoroughly wasted WH lay his head down on the bar:
Note he has not taken off the engagement ring–it’s still on his left ring finger.
The background music here is another fantastic choice: “Manha De Carnaval” (Morning of Carnival) by Luiz Bonfa and featured in the 1959 film “Black Orpheus“. Now a jazz standard, this is often played as an instrumental version, although there have been many different lyrics set to this piece. Here’s an arrangement played by Korean acoustic guitar sensation Jung Sungha that sounds close to what was playing in the bar:
Wow! This young man is only 21!
I’m going to let you read all about the Greek legends of Orpheus and Eurydice. It’s over my head and past my intellectual abilities! I can only wonder if that tragic outcome of that Greek legend is being hinted at again. It’s interesting to me that the music gives both clues of hope and of a tragically sad ending.
Okay, back to the show…..WH’s phone rings and the bartender picks up:
Yep, that’s CR on the phone asking the bartender to take WH to the company’s hotel room. Then she adds this ominous line:
Uh, oh. SC gets the call and arrives at the hotel room. He rings the bell and is greeted by a bathrobe-clad CR. Heh, I gotta wonder if he’s seen her in a bathrobe before! He does seem somewhat surprised that she’s there, and he asks where WH is. CR says he’s asleep. No worries….
SC swallows hard and starts to do the right thing; the right thing is defined here as physically removing his drunk and unconscious broseph from the poisonous spider’s web that CR has woven in the hotel room:
Yes! Yes, it is! Take him home–now! Do it! You know BW loves him, and he loves her too even if he’s acting like a complete and utter fool right now. I know you love BW too, and if you really love her, you will get WH out from that evil CR’s clutches!
CR steps in front of him, blocking the door:
…adding that WH’s not in a good state right now! I hear her say “Oppa” again, but I don’t know if she’s addressing WH as Oppa or SC as Oppa. The subs don’t help and once again I curse my lack of knowledge of the Korean language! Oh no….SC starts to hesitate as his eyes seem to register that she’s got a bathrobe on. True to PD-nim’s nature, we get a pic of CR’s feet in slippers!
I should be laughing, but I am holding my breath. He knows. He knows what she’s trying to do here. I mentally beg him again to do the right thing! Nope–not gonna happen today. SC stands there; paralyzed physically…
but mentally the wheels in his brain are a-turning. I think he’s had it with his boss, and he’s gonna throw him to the clutches of the evil and delusional CR. SC has had a front-row seat to witness WH make zero effective moves to get BW back or change his momma’s mind after OHW rejected Byeol. Now CR called him here as a witness to the fact that they were in the hotel room together. Honestly, he’s been rooked too; just in a different way than WH–and he knows that.
I am sure SC is also recalling this scene from earlier today as OHW slaps BW again when she saw WH deliver the police investigation paperwork of Jang Ho’s fatal accident to BW:
and BW couldn’t even get a word in edgewise to explain what happened to the Joseon Dragon Queen–not that she’d listen anyway. **snort** OHW threatened BW too:
as SC watched–but didn’t intervene:
even though he was furious:
This is exactly why BW, SC and WH need to change places of employment. SC feels like he can’t do anything here for fear of losing his job. He doesn’t want to slide back down into poverty.
Paychecks notwithstanding, I am still at the end of my rope with SC! WTH! Dude, can you take some action once and see how well it works, instead of hesitating and overthinking the situation! You don’t have to run over and punch OHW out. (although that would be a fantastic option) Just get BW outta there, mention that this is an unprofessional place to have a dispute, and then report to WH about what his momma did today!
Meanwhile, back in the Spider’s Web, CR checks out her victim:
Then in another moment where I am holding my breath, she takes off her robe (great shots here by PD-nim to keep us guessing that she might be nekkid underneath!) and then reveals a hideously ugly and rumpled dress!
Okay! Okay! I give up! I have to stop the video and laugh at how dumpy she looks! Holy cow! Good think WH is asleep–the combo of the alcohol and seeing that dress might cause him to barf all over the hotel room!
I was a little surprised that CR didn’t partially undress WH and take a selfie of them both in bed. (Wonder what CR will think when she sees his scar! /sarc) No telling how much damage a picture like that one floating around the ‘net would do, but having SC over as a witness is some real diabolical planning.
To add to this pathetic scene, CR strokes his cheek:
and tearily whines:
Then I catch a Lapse of Logic mistake. PD-nim must be stressed out. Notice the placement of the items on the bedside table as CR leaves the room to the right:
WH wakes up in the morning, and how he can even get his eyes open and focused is beyond my understanding. He should be puking his guts out–but I’m guessing his alcohol tolerance has built up after all the drinking he’s done lately:
Suddenly, a note has appeared! The watch seems to have sprouted legs and moved too! Heol!
WH reads the note from CR, which says he called her over to the hotel bar, but she took him to the room because he was so drunk. She’ll cover for him by saying they had a late meeting at work. I think he knows he’s been played like a fine musical instrument, as he crumples the note and pitches it on the floor in disgust.
At this point in the show, I am ready to throw in the towel on WH and SC. They are both pathetic and frankly, neither one deserves BW.
Part of the problem with both WH and SC (and BW too) is that OHW controls their paychecks! Ultimately, she’s the ‘Queen’ because she has the money, the power, and the financial control–and she is not afraid to take advantage of that privilege. All three of them need to find employment where OHW is not the signer of the paychecks. Financial independence is a great way to not be controlled by others.
If I could, I would sit WH down and make him watch the last 4 episodes of “Heard it Through the Grapevine” so he could see how a 20-year-old boy who was just as rich, if not richer that he is proceeded to leave his classist and elitist parents, and all their money and privilege behind to be with the woman he loved and his little son. If In Sang could do it, so can WH! I would also drag WH to the local AA meetings because as far as I am concerned, he’s got a problem. I absolutely hate how he turns to alcohol when the going gets tough. That is enough for me to not ‘cheer’ for him. What happened to the smart and sober WH who eschewed drinking back in Episode 70 even after sleeping all night in his desk chair? Now this is a scene I can ‘cheer’ about:
Dude, you also had the deed/lease agreement to a house that you were gonna move BW and Byeol and yourself into and cut the umbilical cord from your Evil Dragon Queen Momma once and for all. From Episode 86:
What happened to that house? Why have you not moved out of the Dragon Queen’s Lair and set up your new home on your own? Show BW that you mean business, don’t just tell her! I also think you should cash out your company shares, start your own business (even if it is very small) and leave your momma to run the BH Group. You can’t have your ‘cake’ and eat it too! (French Revolution pun intended!) Give up your privileged lifestyle. Pick people over things, and start with BW–the woman who loves you. Put her and Byeol first, and let your momma live her own pathetic, wretched, and loveless life that she chose for herself.
And for Pete’s sake, quit the drinking already! It’s gonna wreck both your liver and your heart–and you are already not the hale and hearty type! The drinking is not going to change your mom’s mind–it’s just gonna lead to big trouble like the deep doo-doo you are in now. CR will let everyone know real soon how you ‘took advantage’ of her while you were drunk in a hotel room, and you are gonna be forcibly marched to the altar and have your life sacrificed to CR and her delusions. Just so you know–not one person in all of known history has found the answer to life’s difficulties hidden at the bottom of a bottle of liquor.
SC is a big-time sinner here as well. He knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that BW loves WH. If I could sit down with a Vietnamese Coffee and talk to SC, I would tell him this: No matter how much you love BW, her heart is set on WH–or bust. She’ll remain a single mom for the rest of her days if they can’t get together and you know it. I think you are gonna get rejected big time by BW when you finally do confess to her. She thinks of you as her friend, and your heart will be shattered. I get that you love BW and want her to be happy. You and I both are sick and tired of seeing her being put through the ringer by that evil momma of your boss. Under different circumstances, you would have been a great choice for BW. If you had only figured out that you loved her about 4 years ago, there would have been no problems–and she *might* have accepted you. Shoot, I wanted you to be with her from the beginning, especially when your boss was being a ginormous Prick!
SC, there is nothing wrong with wanting BW and Byeol to be happy, but you are now creating an obstacle for WH–the same boss who gave you a job as a bodyguard, and then a restaurant manager. You hesitate when you should take action, like in the hotel scene above. You also withhold critical information from WH about your dating experiences with CR that could prove exceptionally valuable to your boss. You wait for some mythical perfect moment to tell BW you love her, and I can tell you from personal experience–it’ll never happen. There is never ever gonna be a perfect moment. You just have to go for it. You also let WH think he’s your friend–when you think of him only as a boss. Are you jealous of WH? Or maybe you are just an angry and self-centered guy since life has dealt you some bad cards with CR dumping you, your father’s company going bankrupt and your parents passing away.
Vindication for Shamrockmom:
I’m sure that most of my readers are thinking, “That Shamrockmom is a real nutter. She’s always looking for meanings in flowers, in music….what’s up with all that?!” Well, this time I’m not alone!
In an incredibly awkward scene, SC brings a bouquet of yellow flowers to BW one morning:
BW asks if they are for her (duh!) as he hands over the flower bouquet. He answers her question in an obtuse way:
Notice how SC doesn’t even make eye contact with BW! He does start to come around as he explains he knows she’s been down because of looking for her mom, and because of WH acting like a fool.
BW takes the flowers and breathes in their fragrance! Nice touch PD-nim!
and BW smiles pretty convincingly:
When she gets to work, the
adorable puppy sous chef Joo Sung notices the flowers in his noona’s hands right away:
He asks if it is her birthday–
Joo Sung is impressed:
Then he asks the question that makes Shamrockmom love this guy even more:
BW does not, so Joo Sung fills her in on the details as he saves Shamrockmom some research time:
He adds this tidbit in for a quick squeeze of Shamrockmom’s soft heart:
the adorable puppy Joo Sung leaves after giving his noona a million-watt smile!
Ahhh! So cute! Too bad there are 30 years and a language barrier between us or I’d gladly volunteer to be the one to care about him! I’m thinking he needs to protect his noona from SC and WH since they are both behaving badly! Maybe I’ll cheer for Joo Sung and BW! Just kidding! 😉
More to come soon, but I am taking a break for Easter Sunday! Happy Easter and Happy Passover to everyone!