The Shortage of Comic Relief: Thoughts on Love is Drop by Drop Episodes 111-113

One of the ways LIDD seemed to lose steam as the episode count got into the upper 70’s was that the show’s comic relief seemed to nearly vanish. When I reviewed “Remember–A Son’s War” with Yoo Seong Ho last year, I also mentioned that it too suffered from lack of humorous interludes. When the comedy is appropriate and sprinkled throughout the show, it allows a mental break for the viewer and the show succeeds. When the comedy fails (like the ‘Domestic Violence as comedy’ concept from Heard it through the Grapevine) it’s bad, and when it’s minimal to non-existent (like in the dropped “I’m Sorry Kang Nam Goo”) it makes the show unwatchable for me. Walking that line between humor and melodrama is not easy, but it is doable. The first 13 1/2 episodes of “My Love Eun Dong” did a better job than most melodramas in having comic relief; even Joo Jin Mo got into the comedy and it worked very well.

Another similarity that LIDD had to “Remember” was that the writer chose to heap so much bad stuff on the decent people in the drama that it became tiresome and depressing. In “Remember”, the writer turned things around in a big way just past the halfway point, and then the show was much more enjoyable. Unfortunately, that did not happen in LIDD–and finally after 110 episodes, we are seeing the baddies get some serious setbacks. Unfortunately, most viewers are left feeling as if it’s too little, too late. If a writer is able to pull off letting the good guys having a small win or two here and there, and setting the baddies back a notch it keeps the viewers like me from giving up on the show and suffering through Kdrama burnout, high blood pressure and the worst ailment of all–feeling the desire need compulsion to write fan fiction to correct the perceived shortcomings of the drama.  

A moment of comic relief:

Now, this is what I’m talking about! In episode 111-112, there’s a huge melodramatic scene where Doc gives YS the DNA evidence that BW is her biological daughter, and she runs sobbing out of the restaurant where BW works. (utterly diabolical of Doc to show her the paperwork there; he must have watched a few daily dramas himself, lol) While the drama-rama continues in the parking lot, BW cleans up the table and the adorable puppy sous chef Joo Sung has a few questions for his noona. He’s definitely a Kdrama rookie:

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Ah, Joo Sung my young friend–there are so many wasted meals in DramaLand! That’s not counting a ton of coffee and juice drinks that are never finished, and don’t forget the water that’s wasted when being thrown at someone or poured over someone’s head! BW doesn’t think she’s the one to have to explain the drama facts-of-life to Joo Sung–or that the woman that just ran out of the restaurant is actually her egg donor biological mother:

 

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Shamrockmom’s added dialogue: “Go ask the Head Chef.”

 

Joo Sung is still operating from a standpoint of logic and reason. Now I know he’s a newbie! It hasn’t been beaten out of him yet with the difficult working conditions the cast and crew endure to get the drama on the air–or the scripts they have to act out that defy common sense:

 

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True….the actors get paid to act even if the script is nonsensical. I wonder if they sit around and talk about how a scene could have been improved. Perhaps they even want to rewrite scenes like this viewer does. 

 

One of Shamrockmom’s favorite sayings is that people have a right to be stupid, as long as no one else is harmed. If Doc wants to pay for a meal and then walk away, that’s his prerogative as long as he’s footing the bill. It’s wasteful and disgusting–but whatever. It’s his money. Joo Sung can’t relate to what he just saw–he hasn’t had sufficient life experience dealing with psycho RL persons or Kdrama characters yet:

 

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It’s merely a ‘taste’ of what’s to come in your career!

 

It was too bad that writer-nim didn’t use this young man (and the cranky Chef Ma as well) for more comic relief. His innocent manner and logical mind could have made his commentary on some of the more over-the-top scenes a source of fun for the jaded viewer who’s seen this makjang stuff before. With his vast life experiences, Chef Ma could have schooled his young helper with a humorous take on how this crazy stuff happens and I think it would have kept some of the ‘heavy’ scenes from being so difficult to watch.

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Ethics 101–Why the source of the money matters:

I love this scene from writer-nim because it brings up one of Shamrockmom’s notable ethical dilemmas in DramaLand–Where does the money come from? Tainted money (aka money that has been obtained through theft, greed or graft) cannot knowingly be given to good people even if it will be used for an altruistic purpose. If the good people know its source and use it anyway, it’s wrong. If they don’t know, it’s a gray area.

Shamrockmom went round and round on this subject while watching HITTG. In that show, In Sang wanted to access some of the money his father had for him. Then he found out the account was funded with wages stolen from the employees. Even though he wanted to use the money to support himself, and his wife and child while they finished school/established themselves as attorneys, it was wrong in his wife’s eyes. The money was tainted. He finally figured that out and walked away from it all. He had to leave all his money behind to be able to live with a clean conscience.

This concept divides people. Some think that regardless of the source, if the money is going to a fair and just cause, then it’s fine. Others like me think that it’s important to consider the source of the money. If the money was obtained by cheating others, that’s a problem for me. In a strange twist, my ultra-conservative son (who usually makes the Amish people seem like a bunch of pot-smoking hippies) doesn’t have a problem with the source of the money. He thinks that it’s ultimately what the money is used for is the most important part. I respectfully disagree.

YS now knows that she’s really the lowest of the low after abandoning her daughter, and then treating her like dirt in favor of CR, her stepdaughter. She’s beginning to do what she can to atone for her sins, although I can’t imagine that there is any way to do that completely.

To get money to pay off the illegal car dealer’s blackmail and bribe him to frame SC, YS sold a property that belonged to Doc. It’s my understanding that she was able to do this by forging a power of attorney to make it look like he consented to the deal. Evidently this property was worth millions of dollars/billions of won. She already gave GJ a $200,000 check (figure given by the subbers) and now she’s transferred a tidy sum to CR’s account for her use when she moves to NY to escape justice–or so she thinks: lidd113-7

Good gracious, I would hope $300K would be enough to survive in NYC for a couple of years! Yes, I know how expensive an apartment is in an upscale neighborhood of NYC–about $4500+/mo is what my best guess is. So for 2 years, approximately 1/3 of that fund will be going for rent alone at a minimum.  **mind-blown** My guess is that CR is not a bargain hunter or coupon clipper, so that sum of money might go very quickly.

YS calls WH and meets up with him at her salon:

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She takes out an envelope and pushes it across the table towards him. What’s in it?

 

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Almost 5.6 billion Won, if you’re counting! 

A half-mil? Whoa! YS says this is for BW–she wants him to open a restaurant for her. I am sure that knowing that these two are broken apart because of herself, CR and OHW, YS suggests this ruse:

 

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WH is understandably confused:

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Cue another bomb drop, as YS says that she is:

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WH is flabbergasted. YS explains that this is the only thing she can do for BW right now, and asks for WH to help her ‘secretly’. Heh, we all know how well those kind of secrets work in DramaLand!

The scene cuts to WH getting into his car with the envelope:

 

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BW would have never taken the money. WH doesn’t have the same issues. He knows that it can be used for good purposes, he isn’t being ‘bought off’ and I trust he’s gonna do the right thing if he finds out the source of the money.

 

…and he’s got some questions.

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Who can help him figure this out? Gang Ja! He hightails it home and gets right to the point:

 

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Love the ‘Tree of Life’ in the background. So perfect no matter what perspective you have, either from an Eastern or a Western POV. (link) The writer may need some help, but the PD-nim of LIDD has blown me away in so many episodes with the background items and props.

 

GJ confirms it, and divulges that BW and Doc know this fact too. Only CR is in the dark (so far). WH asks how BW is doing, and GJ explains it like this:

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So now the question is this: Should WH take the money and buy a restaurant franchise for BW?

Regardless of the fact that YS thinks that Doc ‘owes her’ for 20 years of putting up with his jealous and irrational behavior and his psycho daughter, it pains me to say this….she broke the law. If she misused the power of attorney to sell the property, then the money needs to go back to Doc. Doc is definitely an A-hole, but he earned the money honestly to the best of my knowledge. WH doesn’t know the source of the money, so he can’t really be held responsible. If WH finds out, he’s got to give the money back to Doc. Same with GJ. She doesn’t know the source of the money either, and I am sure she thinks that YS is rolling in cash–when we know that she sold/pawned all her jewelry and handbags to come up with the money for the blackmailing car dealer. That’s some poetic justice right there…all that ‘stuff’ that she wanted to feel good about herself is gone.

If WH does get a franchise for BW, his Dragon Queen Momma is gonna find out…and then all you-know-what will break loose. **shudder** I wonder if OHW might have a stroke with her high blood pressure being what it is when she finds out that WH bought a franchise for BW. She will never believe the cash came from YS. OHW might go on a rampage again and try to destroy anyone in BW’s family as retribution just like she did before. Or maybe she would try and tip off the police that the money was stolen and frame BW for the crime….heh, we’d need a minimum of 40 more episodes for that one!

What WH could do for the time being is put that check in his safe and hang onto it. If he is not tipped off as to the source of the money, then perhaps it could be invested and put in a trust for Byeol’s support and future education. I’d go for that. It would be fitting for Byeol to benefit from the money since YS was such a witch to him, and then OHW couldn’t say that her son was supporting Byeol (presuming a future marriage between BW and WH) since he has his own money. Theoretically, even if WH and BW never get together, it would be a blessing for Byeol to have no financial worries over attending college or getting started in life. WH is likely a savvy investor, and I am sure that he and that handsome bespectacled Attorney Lee could rig some paperwork up to legally give Byeol a ‘nest-egg’ for his future. I will be watching closely to see how the writer handles this thorny issue–or will it simply disappear into the ether like the house WH bought in Ep. 86?  ***Grrrrr***

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The Sang Chul Haters Club: Not a place where Shamrockmom is welcome!

I’ll be the first one to say that I want evil people to get the justice they deserve, whether in RL or a Kdrama! In an equal manner, I hate when someone is framed or imprisoned for a crime they did not commit. Sure, SC has committed more than a few sins. He’s taken action when he should not have and hushed up when he should’ve said something. He’s been accurately labeled a “decision-cripple” and acted incredibly self-centered. He hesitates in both word and deed far too often. I think he’s given way too many chances to CR because his heart still sees her as the young lady he fell in love with even if his brain knows she’s a cold and manipulative witch. However, the punishment he is slated to get as the murderer of JH is far out of proportion to the mistakes he has made.

Now that SC has been framed by YS for the hit-and-run accident that killed JH, he decides to go on the run and find the caretaker of the villa who can provide an alibi. There has not been much to laugh at for a long time, but this scene cracked me up:

 

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No bus station in the US looks as clean and well-lit as this one. If this was the US, those padded seats would be shredded and filthy. 😦

 

Why is it that the PD-nims of Kdramas (and this cuts across all levels of the Kdrama spectrum) have criminals, fugitives, and non-chaebol level crooks wear black jackets/hoodies and a black baseball cap? It just screams, “Here I am! Arrest me!” to viewers, but I guess the SK police can’t figure this out.

It’s fascinating that the SK police are portrayed as incompetent nincompoops in many dramas with a minimal outcry from TPTB at the Police Union or professional association; then again, there might be a reason behind the bashing. Detective Ko has been a wonderful exception to that stereotype. He seems professional, competent, slightly overworked, and not the sort who would be easily bought off–in other words, a real police detective.

Either PD-nim didn’t get my message before about the condition of SC’s hands, or they really are broke at this point in the show, because his hands still look dry and flaky, with overgrown cuticles:

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Since they’ve already wrapped up this show (judging by the Instagram pics of some cast members vacationing on Jeju Island) I guess I will have to go there and spend a week or two applying lotion multiple times a day to SC’s hands! I want his hands to look good for his next show–which I pray will be better than this one!

It’s cool how the bus ticket is in English and Korean. I don’t think this would be for the benefit of the international audience, so this must be how they really look. Shamrockmom is impressed that the date on the ticket corresponds to the date the show was aired. At first, I wondered why he would take the bus because he has a car. Around here, taking a bus adds hours to your travel time. Then I thought it might be easier for the police to stop him on the road since they would have an accurate description of the car and a license plate number. Wonder if he paid cash for the bus ticket so it wasn’t traceable? Hmmm.

SC finally meets with the caretaker of the villa, who has not seen him in a number of years. Think the death of SC’s parents doesn’t still bother him? Take a look at this pic of SC after they meet up, and the ahjussi reminds him of his father’s death, the loss of the family wealth and his mom’s stroke:

 

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The way the camera cuts to SC’s expression in this scene really shows how deeply affected SC is over what has happened to him these past 7 years. Nice job, PD-nim! 

Unfortunately, this ahjussi can’t give SC the alibi he needs to prove he’s innocent, and Shamrockmom wants to go over there herself and find that cell phone picture of SC and CR with the necklace, and locate the driver who took him back the next morning (Ep. 4), because both the pic and the driver should prove his innocence.

 

SC is about to turn himself in when Shamrockmom gets another chuckle. The subbers give us the location of the police station as Gangnam, and although I watched very carefully, I did not see Lee Min Ho anywhere around. Darnit! I was kinda wondering if they made him cut his hair, and exactly how hawt he looked in a police uniform! (His ‘public service’ should consist of a 2 year long picture taking opportunity for fans; the police department could charge a small fee per picture and they’d rake in a fortune.)

But it’s the banner over the door that slays me. Similar to the banner we saw over the police station door in Episode 36:

My app translates this one as: “The police are better now”

 

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Sorry for the blurry pic. I had literally 1 second to catch this shot where SC’s head wasn’t blocking the banner! 

 

Ha! Better now compared to….what? Eighteen months ago when they used a water cannon to wipe out an elderly man who was attending a peaceful protest rally?  The damage control from the positive PR spin-meisters for the Seoul PD is never ending.

Meanwhile, SC sees a couple taking a selfie and remembers the pic he took with CR back in Episode 3 when he gave her their 1-year dating anniversary gift that ended up in JH’s dying grasp:

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It’s a miracle!

Actually, it’s several miracles…He goes back to his room at the Yoon’s house, finds the old phone (2nd Miracle) and note how the charger cord is conveeeeniently attached to it: (3rd Miracle)

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Wanna bet that he can charge up the phone (4th Miracle) and retrieve the picture because 7-year-old cell phones always work perfectly after being thrown in a box for 5+ years?! (5th Miracle)  **eye-roll**

SC goes over to Doc’s house and confronts CR with the evidence:

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What great PR and PPL for LG phones! 6 years and the phone is still fully functional! BW’s phone with the doll on it from DJ worked for many years too; she never replaced it until WH bought her a smart phone and Byeol a watch-phone. I believe the phone that SC has here is an Optimus 2x, which was released in January of 2011 in SK, and was the top of the line smartphone. A rich guy like SC was back then would’ve had the latest and greatest phone. Kudos to the prop guys! 

 

Are you kidding me?! Who in their right mind would do this? Wouldn’t any sane person who was being falsely accused of a major crime like a hit-and-run DUI take exonerating evidence straight to their attorney? It’s mind-boggling.

Side note: The 5-day stubble look for SC is kinda hawt. I like it! Of course, nothing is hawtter for Shamrockmom right now than seeing YAI in his 1930’s scenes with his hair falling over his forehead and dishing out kisses in Episode 9 of “Chicago Typewriter” that send bolts of lightning to my heart and my ovaries! **blush** Is it my imagination that when he pulled her in closer for the kiss, his hips moved a fraction of an inch like he wanted her to know exactly how much the kiss was affecting him? Did anyone else see that? Was it just me? **wipes sweat from forehead** It’s hot in here, right?!

Ok, I’m going to cut this off here and pick up in Episode 114, where I will discuss SC’s two types of luck (bad and worse) and revisit the organ donor consent issue I brought up at the beginning of this show.

 

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