I’ve seen some dramas tank badly, but LIDD has set a new standard. Unlike a right-at-the-very-end disaster (The Good Wife) or a more common 2 episode implosion, (My Love Eun Dong) this once wonderful show is doing a much longer and more torturous flameout. It’s driving the once loyal viewers to new heights of anger and indignation especially since there were so many fun and lighthearted episodes in the middle of the show. The Soompi comments are bad, but the real venom is on the Hdfree.se and Dramacool.su sites. Even the writer’s AsianWiki page has exceptionally negative comments.
Thankfully this blog gives me the venting source I need or I’d be losing my last marble too. I keep hoping the writer will pull off some kind of miracle, or there will be an extension (okay, I know—I’m a glutton for punishment!) to resolve the storylines in a manner which will not result in myself or any of the viewers destroying electronic devices or sending threats to the writer. I am finding that I can view this drama as a learning experience for future writing endeavors; it’s a “What Not To Do” model. We have a saying at Shamrockmom’s House: If you can’t be a good ‘good example’, then at least be a good ‘bad example’!
I think that the writer-nim may have written herself/himself into a corner with the severe rejection of BW and Byeol from OHW, and the endlessly obsessive behavior of CR which is aided and abetted by YS. When you do that with a written story, you go back and revise it heavily or start from scratch. Trust me, I have a computer folder with several partially written stories that suffer from this problem! However, if a screenplay for a drama is being written on-the-go and it’s not finished but a large number of episodes have already aired–there’s no going back. The writer has just toasted himself/herself and the viewers of the show.
**all screencaps from newasiantv.me**
The Painful Wounds of a Friend:
SC and BW are taking out the trash from the restaurant one evening. WH is hanging around after the tasting, probably waiting to talk to BW. He can’t seem to shake CR, and then he stupidly falls for her favorite “oh you have something on your jacket–now lemme pull you in for a forced kiss” trick. Gah! WH had the Tae Kwon Do block of the forced CR kiss mastered a few episodes ago, but he’s obviously forgotten that move. I do love his bulging eyes with the forced kiss. It’s a great trope reversal, even if I am sick of CR force-kissing WH:
BW sees the kiss, drops the bag of trash and runs back inside. WH goes running after her. This time though, SC does not waver, back down, hesitate, or do nothing. He’s had enough of watching WH botch things up–and so have I. He wrist-grabs WH:
WH tries to pull away, saying he needs to explain what just happened. SC grabs his arm tighter…while giving him the 411:
WH asks WTH he thinks he’s doing, but SC knows the deal–WH and BW are broken up. There’s no need for explanations. SC is completely over watching WH screw things up:
Then SC really lays it on WH and says that he will protect BW now. Uh, oh. I’ve watched enough Kdramas to know the loaded meaning those words carry! WH is slower on the uptake than he should be, but he manages to growl out these words:
WH never used extra syllables if he didn’t need to. SC isn’t a syllable-waster either:
WH loses his temper and punches SC in the jaw. To his credit, SC doesn’t punch him back. In fact, the punch barely fazes him! WH wants to know how he could do this to him, and then asks the million dollar question:
SC gives a very reasonable defense of his actions. I don’t have any issues with this:
….and he hid his feelings while helping WH. I should add here that I’ve always felt that SC wanted BW to be happy. If she was happy with WH, then so be it. He was willing to set aside his feelings of wanting her over BW being happy with WH. Now things have changed:
I think a lot of us can’t bear to watch BW cry anymore for any reason!
WH is pissed because he trusted SC, and the unsaid part is that WH thought of SC as a friend and not an employee. That explains this line:
As the menfolk verbally and physically duke it out, CR looks increasingly distraught, fumbles around with her car keys, and finally drives off. SC and WH don’t even notice–and that’s awesome. Neither of them cares enough about her to even acknowledge her leaving!
SC gives WH a fine scolding that’s long overdue:
I’d like to ask writer-nim this exact question too!
He reminds WH that he told him not to pursue BW unless he was completely confident that he could do it, and that translates in my book to: “you needed to be sure you could get your Dragon Queen Momma 100% on board with BW as a wife and adopting BW’s son Byeol too”. Then he drops this devastating news tidbit on WH:
…and you brought her the paperwork the detective and the lawyer had gathered together:
WH looks taken aback by this info, but SC is on a roll right now. He’s over all of this, and so am I:
Then SC puts the nail in the coffin of whatever friendship they might have had:
I originally suspected that SC knew nothing happened in the hotel room between WH and CR. Now I am doubting that hypothesis. Regardless, it’s a convenient excuse for SC to use against WH. WH can’t argue that he was not there, and the fact that CR was in a bathrobe and slippers looks like they did spend the night together. BTW, I am unsure if SC and CR had a sexual relationship in the past because in one of the first episodes CR is in bed fully clothed and asks SC to stay with her until she falls asleep. SC is also clothed and then he leaves her after she falls asleep. Hmmm. Nevertheless, the entire drunken hotel scene gives SC the moral high ground. WH tries to explain it was a misunderstanding; he got drunk and CR helped him to the room, but SC is not buying it:
He tells WH to not see BW anymore, and follows up with this great line: Today is….
WH still has problems with being self-centered. He really has not fully grasped how evil his mom is, and the lengths she will go to harass BW/Byeol. I can only hope this is a huge wake-up call for WH. He now knows his mom harassed BW even though they have broken up. I hope he confronts her over this, preferably in a public way. Has he also figured out now that getting drunk leads to big trouble?
It’s kind of upsetting that the writer seems to make SC grow a pair so late in the show while taking away WH’s ferocious temper and the roots of his infamous Prick personality. I had hoped that after OHW rejected Byeol and BW broke up with him, I’d see WH the Prick (version 1.0) return with a vengeance and take out his anger on anyone and everyone who didn’t support him 100%; his mom, sis, new BiL, and of course CR and her family. What happened here, writer-nim?
As SC tries to comfort BW at the restaurant, WH pulls another impossibly dumb move and goes to CR’s house to talk to her outside. I’m thinking the alcohol has probably turned his brain to mush! She starts off with apologizing that she “couldn’t control her feelings” back at the restaurant, but WH doesn’t even acknowledge her statement! Yay! He peppers her with questions about the night at the hotel, and she gives so much BS, half-truths and outright lies I refuse to screencap it! CR plants the idea in WH’s mind that because SC has feelings for BW, he must have wanted to think the worst over finding WH drunk with CR in a hotel room. Here is one of the only truthful statements she makes:
Looks like WH has indeed learned from his mistakes! Tonight he heads to the batting cages to work off some steam instead of the hotel bar and I heartily approve! It’s a darn sight better than drinking! Too bad there are no cool BG tunes playing at the cages tonight.
I couldn’t tell you how many times I took my youngest son to the batting cages to practice his hitting, and take out some aggression in a healthy way! WH has a nice swing too. Kang Eun Tak must be an all-around athlete in RL, because in this show he could swim, rock climb, and swing a golf club! Even in a vest and dress shirt, he looks good swinging the bat, and baseball-loving Shamrockmom wonders how much hawtter he’d look in some well-tailored pinstripe pants and a compression shirt! He replays the scenes at the restaurant and at CR’s house as he smacks the ball around and then has a brooding session:
C’mon WH! Dry out your brain, then find your mojo, and your cojones–and go after the woman you love! And tell your momma you are gonna uproot yourself and your new family to move far, far away to a neighborhood in SoCal that has a pro baseball team close by, plenty of great surfing spots and lots of sunshine, but desperately needs a genuine Korean homestyle restaurant!
Sadly, WH goes home and does not confront his momma over the slap of BW. Instead, his curiosity prods him to do some investigation into the Hotel Room Fiasco with CR. He nicely persuades the security guard lady at the hotel into letting him look at the CCTV camera outside his room on the night he was there:
I liked how he got the security guard lady to do what he wanted without resorting to bribery, threats or blackmail.
Alrighty then….now WH knows CR was in a bathrobe. Definitely non-business attire! SC was there talking to her, then she turns and goes back in the room, leaving him outside. Heh…that’s not exactly the picture she painted for WH when he asked her, is it?! Can he see how bad this must look to SC? Or does he wonder why his broham didn’t drag his drunken arse outta there, regardless of the circumstances?
WH calls up CR and asks to meet her down at the Han River. I have to howl in laughter at how close they park their cars to the water! Did they film this on a boat ramp? (I believe they did.) I don’t know about other places, but here in SoCal to get your car even sorta close to a river like that without a boat ramp, you’d have to illegally drive down a narrow one-lane service road where some fool who works for the county left the gate open that morning. Then (ahem) after you threw your tablet in the river during a moment of insanity over the ending to a Kdrama, you’d have to back your car all the way out because there’s no place to turn around! (I plead the 5th!)
WH leads off his fact-finding mission with a question for which he doesn’t already know the answer. Now I know why he’s in the restaurant business and not a lawyer!
**Sigh** Yunno WH, if you hadn’t been so wasted at the hotel bar, you wouldn’t be standing here with CR having this conversation! Arrgh! Writer-nim, why did you have to dumb down WH? He’s the lead guy, the hero, the protagonist….please do not make him stupid and difficult to root for!
WH says he checked the surveillance cameras at the hotel because something seemed fishy. Then he asks a question I know the answer to–
Okay, we’ve got some translation issues or cultural issues here, because where I come from, CR was wearing a bathrobe. A slip looks like this:
Kim Hee Ae looks better at 50 than I did at 25! From “Second to Last Love”
I might classify this outfit of hers as a slip too:
When she stammers out that nothing happened, WH probes a bit more:
Try as I might, I can’t make out the word for either slip or bathrobe coming from WH, even with my talking translator app helping me. Doggone it! Then he hits paydirt:
Jackpot! Ohhhh, seeing CR squirm under WH’s blunt words makes my bad day at work today so much more bearable! He lowers the boom:
Oh WH, trust me. You’re just starting to scratch the surface of the dirt! It goes way, way deep down….CR grabs his arm and tries to give a justification for her actions:
I love the foggy background. How appropriate as WH is trying to cut through the fog and figure out what is going on. Nice cinematography here.
CR gives more bizarre reasoning for her actions. I cannot understand how breaking BW and WH apart means that a man who said he would not date you before is gonna suddenly change his mind:
Not correct from any aspect, whether the grammatical or the reality! BTW, the grammar from the subbers is usually pretty good.
WH tries but fails to blows this delusion right out of the water as he forcefully removes her
tentacles hands from his arm:
Sorry WH–you are probably the last one left in this drama who ‘never thought it was over”. Your evil Dragon Queen momma made sure that it was over by rejecting Byeol and being hateful to an innocent child for no good reason other than his father had the misfortune of dying young….oh, yunno–kinda like your own father! Hypocrisy at it’s finest from your momma if you ask me!
WH does manage to communicate one thing clearly:
Unheard continuation of this sentence: Never ever. In a million billion years. Even if you were the last woman on earth.
But even this strong statement does not penetrate the thick cement between CR’s ears:
She begs him again, but WH does not give in! Is this what I’ve been waiting for–aka “The Return of the Prick”?
Ohhhhh yessss! Then he follows up with this gem:
…and from now on, she will report to someone else at work. How about firing her from BH Group? Oh, I forgot–you are all about separating work and personal life. Crumbs!
He turns to go and she runs after him with her last and most desperate ploy:
Side note: If someone threatens to kill themselves if you leave them, that person has enormous mental problems and needs a psychiatric evaluation ASAP! And you need to be out of that relationship too! My ex-husband used to threaten me with this, and at first, I bought into the whole thing and tried harder to be a supportive wife, blah, blah, blah. It was a huge source of stress for me until I learned that one of the hallmarks of an abusive relationship is threatening suicide if the other person attempts to leave. Many years later he pulled the same move again with his parents. It didn’t work then either–his parents hustled him straight to the local psychiatric hospital for a week-long stay, a few chat sessions with the doctors, and some new meds. SMH. CR would certainly benefit from some interventive mental health services at this point. Perhaps the stalker ex-boyfriend and CR could date again in the hospital!
Good thing WH has a proper attitude toward threats like this from CR:
And he gets in his car! Oh, I’m loving this! Start that baby up and put CR in your rear view mirror–literally! CR sinks to the ground, sobbing.
I’m fresh outta effs to give!
Arrgh! WH decides to use his favorite English cuss word (!) and brood in the car….dude, just leave already!
Commentary moment: WH must feel like his life is in freefall right now. His overbearing momma has destroyed any chance at a relationship with BW by rejecting Byeol, he tries to get rid of a clingy CR that everyone else pushes on him, his sister and her husband have been ridiculously non-supportive, the dude he thought was his BFF has stabbed him in the back by going after BW, and now he knows CR is mentally ill and delusional. Is this rock bottom for WH? Will he finally start to fight back, or is he so defeated that he’s going to give up and acquiesce to the evil threesome?
Part of the problem is that WH has lived an easy life until now. He’s never had a tough day in his life (except maybe when his father passed away) until the last few months. In contrast, BW has had it tough from day 1. She’s learned how to be a survivor, and her dad modeled a nearly perfect mix of love and stubbornness. This was especially evident when WH started drinking so much. Yeah, there was a scene or two in this drama where BW had too much to drink as well, but she never used alcohol the same way WH did. He really needs to step up his game and outwit his mom and CR.
CR gets up shakily and totters on her 6″ Louboutin heels down the boat ramp where she wades into the water! Oh No! PD-nim! I said the scene from “Heard it Through the Grapevine” I wanted you to duplicate was the one where In Sang left his parents for good in Episode 28, not the one where he waded into the Han River in Episode 1!
There are several scenes of CR flailing about in the water, and of course, DJ’s heart in WH’s chest won’t let him watch her drown. I remember WH being a good swimmer in one of the early episodes, so he wades quickly into the river. After some additional thrashing around, he finally grabs her and pulls her back up on the ramp.
Sorry for the blurry pic. Note WH has his shoes on….
But CR’s shoes are at the bottom of the Han river! Ha! So much for those $700 heels! Her feet look grubby too. No time for a pedicure? Probably no money left in the show’s budget!
CR is unconscious in the hospital when YS and the Doc come busting in. To his credit, he tries to give them the accurate story without being insensitive or overly harsh:
CR’s Doctor daddy is still under the delusion his child is perfect!
And when WH says “I’m Sorry”–translated by me as, “Yes sir, that’s exactly what happened.”–the doctor that saved WH tries to take him out! Is this irony or what?!
Mojo-less and Cojone-less WH lets the doc abuse him some more:
I thought Kim Sabu was WH’s surgeon! /sarc
Ugh. I can’t stand watching passive WH let everyone run all over him, from the Doc to his mom, his sis, his BiL, YS and of course CR. However, now WH knows the truth—CR is totally deranged and obsessive. After verbally abusing WH some more, YS asks him for the truth–and gets a dose of reality: CR is completely out of control…
But then he gives YS a PG-rated, cleaned up version of the evening’s events:
Even so, YS acts like she doesn’t believe it!
Sorry for the bad news YS:
True to form, YS asks WH to keep it a secret since her hubby has quite the temper. She reassures WH that she’ll talk to CR and make sure she CR never ever does that again! Ever! **snort** Yeah….right!
I’m not sure how many more recaps of scenes from LIDD I can do–it will depend on the amount of Karma the writer decides to hand out to the baddies. Look for an upcoming post with some thoughts on SC and another fantastic music choice from PD-nim.