Down to the Last Drop: Final thoughts on Love is Drop by Drop Episodes 117-120 and a Prop Giveaway!

A/N: My apologies for getting this out later than I had planned. My normal go-to site for screencaps has no larger, hi-def video feeds for Episodes 117-119, and so some screencaps are from Dramacool/Openload (the smaller ones) and some are from newasiantv.me

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At least I can’t say I didn’t know this would happen!

Back when I first started writing about LIDD in “Fishing for a Holiday Melodrama”, I wrote that I knew this show would cause me remorse, but I wanted to watch it anyway. I feared it would derail eventually, and make me unhappy. What I didn’t know is that the derailment would be in the last third of the show. It was as if the last 40 episodes had a different writer altogether. 

I have no one else to blame; I have been duly and thoroughly warned by veteran Kdrama viewers about these daily shows, and how they often have the most ridiculous plots, over-the-top antics and characters who act so stupid and naive that it makes viewers scream in frustration. I almost didn’t make it through the first ten episodes of LIDD as the melodramatic content was definitely in the stratospheric range.

There were reasons for optimism though, that kept me from dropping this show, including awesome side characters, acting that seemed to be a notch better than the typical daily drama, and a large dose of humor and playfulness that seemed to indicate the melodramatic content would play a secondary role. After the second week, I laughed my way through almost every episode, and by the sixtieth episode, I was sure this show was gonna go down as one of the best daily dramas in recent memory. Then in the late 70’s/early 80’s the show seemed to ‘jump the tracks’ and run into a familiar swamp of problems that plague melodramas, whether they are the daily variety or not:

  • heaping too much doom on the good characters
  • letting the baddies win over and over with no setbacks
  • forgetting about the humor element
  • good characters that are too naive/act illogically/can’t make obvious connections
  • overuse of worn-out Kdrama staple tropes like amnesia, threats of suicide, and parental disapproval
  • too much secret keeping and withholding information
  • severe lack of communication

LIDD also suffered from these additional issues:

  • CR’s stalker ex-boyfriend from the US could have been brought back for great use as someone to take her down. Or after Doc committed him, he could have gotten out and sued for misdiagnosis and brought Doc down too.
  • massive time wasting on the baby issue with DM and JY. It wasn’t even funny.
  • forgetting about putting WW and WK in awkwardly humorous situations; their issues were resolved way too early. In addition, I could never figure out why they did not come out more strongly to support WH and BW. These were two outside-the-box, independent, and older characters who were not concerned with the status quo. They could have been invaluable in encouraging and supporting the OTP.
  • WTH was up with the storyline where WK’s ex-husband came back to hassle WW/WK and then mysteriously disappeared? Another huge waste of both time and a potential humorous side character!
  • not enough scenes with Chef Ma and Song Joo Sung, two side characters that could have been pure comedy gold. If the writer could have played off the newbie and innocent sous chef with the older and seen-it-all-before head chef, it would have been a ton of fun.
  • The family heirloom brooch that OHW gave to CR aka “The Green Tiddley Wink Brooch” from the 99 cent store was forgotten. You’d think OHW would want that back!
  • No mention was made of CR repaying WH for the $30,000 she ‘borrowed’ from him to pay off the illegal car dealer.
  • The truck BW sold vegetables from right after Byeol was born disappeared, as well as the contents of the apartment that BW and Byeol had before Mom dragged them back to the Yoon camp.

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SC is finally released from jail, and his employees are celebrating:

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I wanna know what florist the show has been using! The flowers over the last 10-15 episodes have been really pretty.

I have to chuckle at Joo Sung, who says this:

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but I hear ‘ahjemoni’ thrown in there which isn’t subbed, so I think he’s really saying that the (older) female customers at the restaurant have missed him! Knowing it’s the women who have missed SC changes the way this statement feels, and I wish it would have been more accurately subbed.

OHW is still suffering from Buttinski Syndrome, as she once again meets with BW to convince her to hook up permanently with WH. The irony that OHW is practically begging BW to take WH back is not lost on me. The music director’s young apprentice is doing remarkably well in his role of finding great modern BG music when there’s a scene at a cafe. This scene has two different songs, and both are great.

BW gets a call from OHW, and they meet up at a new coffee house called “Caffe in Bus” which is a Real Life place:

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Note the “beer-ritas” in the foreground! Shamrockmom is ‘old school’ and prefers regular margaritas, minus the alcohol of course 🙂

Nice! I love it when I can see places in a drama and know that if I ever went to Seoul, I could go there. The song playing in the background as BW walks in is a cover of Michael Buble’s song “Home” sung by Susan Wong. (Lyrics here)

The song that plays as BW and OHW get down to business is an acoustic version of “Ben” a song written by Michael Jackson and covered by Guy Sebastian. I hope you click the link for his impressive life story. Before he became an international star, he was the worship leader at his megachurch in Adelaide, and I wanted to include a couple more links–one to a traditional Christmas carol “O Holy Night” and one to “Amazing Grace” so my three readers can appreciate his vocal talent.

It’s interesting that both “Home” and “Ben” speak of home and friendship–two things that BW seems to lack. I’ve often wondered if she ever has felt fully comfortable living with the Yoons. Living at OHW’s mansion–well, that’s stressful just thinking about it! OHW may have a home, but it’s not a warm or welcoming place–and I don’t think she’s got a passel of BFF’s either, now that she knows YS lied to her! BW’s only friend seems to be SC. BW does not seem to have a BFF gal-pal, nor did she have a sister or a mom. It’s not really surprising that BW would gravitate toward a man as a best friend given that she was raised by a single father.

OHW is still out in left field somewhere, as she asks BW if the reason she won’t take WH back is that she found out YS is her mom! OMG–BW couldn’t give a rat’s backside about the egg donor who abandoned her and her father. Why would the fact that YS is her bio mom have anything to do with getting back together with WH? OHW’s hatred of Byeol is the reason they aren’t together, duh! I had to rewind and watch that little exchange 3 times–I swear OHW is living in some kind of La-La land. However, BW seems to be meandering over to that same La-La land as she agrees with OHW!

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Ummm….it’s not complicated! The fact that YS is your egg donor has zero to do with not wanting to spend years and years of your life dealing with the Dragon Queen–let alone the influence she will have on Byeol and his potential future siblings. OHW then tells BW to fuhgeddaboud everyone else and only think of WH–she even claims:

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I’d definitely be good with that arrangement! I’ve been lobbying for many months to have BW, WH and Byeol come to SoCal and open up a Korean homestyle restaurant here in Surf City, USA! OHW says that she came to a decision while WH was laid up in the hospital–if he woke up, she wouldn’t be so greedy anymore, and she would go along with what he wants. At least she has this right:

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As she gets into her carriage car, OHW divulges that YS blabbed to her about where WH got his heart. OHW’s interpretation is that YS wants WH and BW to get together. This leaves both me and BW open-mouthed with surprise.

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SC–loved only by the writer, the ladies at the restaurant, and Shamrockmom:

SC picks WH up to take him to the airport. WH decides to sit in front with SC, so I guess WH must really think that their employer/employee relationship has changed. Will I finally get a bit of bromance that I’ve waited so long for?!

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Ehhh, maybe not!

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WH even wants his new bestie SC to fly to the US next summer for a visit:

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Those two in a car…going cross-country thru the US…I smell a spinoff reality show series!

SC is still giving him the cold shoulder:

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**snort** Hey, SC–lighten up a shade, willya! Once again, WH has the olive branch out, and SC is not terribly interested.

But SC has something up his sleeve, as he decides to stop and get coffee at Namsan Tower. WH is in flashback mode as BW shows up out of nowhere

 

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If they love the overcast skyline of Seoul, they will love Surf City USA in late May/Early June!

and has a proposition for WH–

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Wait a minute…so is she gonna forget all about OHW’s hatred of Byeol and get married to WH anyways? Why? Why is this issue being swept under the carpet? **Grrrr** Are they gonna go to the US? Have a separate home? They better do at least one of those options!

While the OTP reunite, check out these shots of SC and his conflicted feelings…he’s happy for his friend BW….

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But then that changes to a sad and forlorn look–like he’s doomed to be the “Lonesome Loser”:

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No wonder he has mixed feelings about being buddy-buddy with WH!

Arrrgh! Writer-nim is really effing around with my emotions here! I want SC to have a happy ending too! Is that too much to ask? (Obviously, yes!) I’d even take a time-jump that showed him with a loving wife and possibly a child on the way or already here. The only thing that I absolutely DO NOT want to see is SC somehow forgiving CR and getting back together with her. That relationship should be done, gone, set on fire, buried forever, and never mentioned again.

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Another WTF moment, courtesy of OHW:

OHW invites the Yoon’s over to her Joseon Mansion for a meetup to discuss the impending marriage between BW and WH. Check out Byeol’s mini version of WH’s pink suit!

lidd118ajpgLove it! I’m only sorry that the show won’t have a time-jump where WH teaches teenage Byeol his smooth dance moves and how to impress the girls with cheesy lines! Byeol needs a proper fatherly influence, yunno!

I think the Yoon’s were worried about how they were gonna pay for a wedding that would be lavish enough for OHW’s ultra expensive tastes, but BW and WH aren’t interested in a blowout wedding. They are looking for something simple:

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Joseon Dragon Queen OHW is clearly rattled. This is not what she envisioned for her Perfect Prince! Knowing the Yoons are not at the same financial level she is, OHW has an idea:

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…and BW shoots that down!

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#bam #zap #pow

Yesssss! I love it! At first, I thought: Geez, what a cop-out. This show’s budget is probably already blown. Didn’t they earmark some funds for an end-of-show wedding?! But then I remembered reading that the trend for K-celebrity weddings is low-key and modest right now. Didn’t Rain and Kim Tae Hee have a small and simple wedding? And what about the recent wedding of Gu Hye Sun and Ahn Jae Hyun, where they donated the money they would’ve spent on a wedding to a children’s hospital? Shoot, if it’s good enough for those celebrity couples, a small family-only wedding in the garden makes sense for chaebol WH and BW too!

Honestly, this whole scene with the Yoons and OHW makes me nervous. I still don’t fully trust OHW. Then OHW shows just how out of touch she really is:

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If you aren’t sure–the answer is no!

as she brings out an elaborately inlaid wooden jewelry box and gives it to BW as a present:

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The Crown Jewels–Modern Day Joseon Version

WTF is this?! BW does not care in the least about jewelry! Those pieces will likely sit in that box forever, or she will wear them for whatever formal occasions the family has–maybe twice a year, tops. Check out BW’s reaction:

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The Dragon Queen issues the Royal Decree:

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I gotta love the lingering camera shot of the earrings and necklaces. Mom encourages her to accept them, but if you needed more evidence that OHW lives in her own private Joseon Kingdom, here it is!

Perhaps OHW and Evil Mommy from HITTG can get together over tea in the next week or two and kvetch over how their Precious Prince sons picked out wives that did not meet with their approval, and how the world is going you-know-where in a handbasket because their Joseon world is crumbling around them, and you can’t even get decent servants these days, and WTH is with this idea of treating everyone with respect regardless of their social status–blah, blah blah!

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Right Scene, Wrong Reaction:

Here’s a scene that I thought was pure comic relief, but might not have been intended as such–and I’m left feeling guilty and confused.

CR is finally in jail–and not a moment too soon! She gets to read the local newspaper, where WH’s mug is splashed all over the front page with news of his impending marriage to BW:

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Her cellmates come over to see what she’s reading when she starts mumbling WH’s name:

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CR says–Nah, try Fiance:

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Somehow, I don’t think the ladies believe her:

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Bwaaahaaahaaa! Yeah, I think half the ladies in SK want to marry Song Joong Ki, and the other half want Park Bo Gum. That’s cool with Shamrockmom! I’ve got my own list of fantasy husbands–and those two aren’t on my list! (It’s not that they aren’t nice guys…just not my type! I’m sure my three loyal readers can guess who is at the top of my list!)

CR tries to set the record straight:

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Uh, oh! Them’s fightin’ words:

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Looks like classism and elitism are not welcome attitudes in prison (or anywhere else):

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Hey, we viewers knew this about 6 months and 115 episodes ago!

Time for some “attitude adjustment”:

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How funny is the pink shower poof in the background?! Everyone has their own TP roll too–wonder if it’s rationed out? I’m sure it’s not the soft and fluffy type of TP either!

The ladies drag her over to the middle of the floor:

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…and in what I thought was a pretty funny move, they threw blankets on top of her and proceeded to beat her up! It didn’t look to me like they were really hurting her that much. It looked more like a mock fight at a girls sleepover party! Throwing the blankets over her was a nice touch–I think it was in “Maids” that some princess did something bad and they rolled her up in a rug and beat her so she wouldn’t get bruised or cut. That’s what I thought they were doing here–treating her like a misbehaving princess.

Then I start to have the unsettling sensation that I messed up…maybe this was supposed to be the moment that CR finally found out the universe does not revolve around her.

CR is awake that night while everyone else in her jail cell sleeps:

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…and she writes letters of apology to the people she wronged–BW, WH and SC–while the tears run down her face and the OTT melodramatic music swells. Am I supposed to think that this will excuse her trying to poison BW, covering up for a DUI hit and run fatality, destroying SC’s heart, and all the other lying and scheming she’s done?!! Ehh…I don’t think so!

We get some more OTT melodramatic music as the letters are read by SC, WH, and BW. When SC gives BW her letter, he says that he and WH got one too:

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After BW reads hers where CR asks BW to “take care of her mom”, she has a weird comment:

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SC agrees with her, even if his hair looks like he didn’t have time to comb it this morning:

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Poor SC. I wish he had a girlfriend so I could think that his hair is messy from rolling around in the sack all night! **sigh** I’m probably too old to volunteer for that! 😦

Oh, no! Doc comes busting in while YS is sleeping to give her the breaking news:

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This is another instance where I curse my lack of knowledge of the Korean language and wish there was an alternate set of subs. I’d like to know if he uses the word for suicide attempt, or self-harm because to me they can imply different things. My definition of self-harm is more like cutting, or hair pulling–not necessarily an attempt to end a life. Either way, it’s all bad, and a sure sign that CR is in need of psychiatric intervention since we know she’s already attempted suicide twice before. As we hear the judge in her case hand down a deeply mitigated sentence, CR is escorted to the psych ward of the prison where she will likely be drugged into complacent oblivion for the next 36 months. Looks fairly cushy to me–

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Perhaps BW didn’t write a petition to the court asking for a maximum sentence after all and asked for leniency instead. It’s not clear exactly what happened, and that is a shame. I really wanted to see the courtroom scene where BW asked for a just and fair sentence for CR.

Side note and minor rant: So how in the heck does CR only get 3 freakin’ years for a DUI fatality, felony-level assault (poisoning BW could be considered assault with intent to do great bodily harm) food tampering, and perjury/obstruction of justice? In “Secret Love Affair”, my BFF Hye Won didn’t kill anybody or attempt to poison anyone, and she nearly got 10 years in the slammer (thankfully she cut a plea deal with that flash drive so it was only 18 months) and she was sorry for her actions too! And yunno, that scene where Hye Won was held down and the ladies in prison hacked off her hair was way, way more traumatic for me to watch that the scene of CR getting beaten. I remember watching that for the first time and being completely freaked out:

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Another reason my little blue tablet ended up at the bottom of the riverbed! **sigh** Even 3 years later, it’s difficult for me to look at this screencap without a flood of emotions.

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SC and YS also meet up at the Caffe in Bus, which must be the hot new place in town! YS has a whole lotta apologizing to do for what she did to SC. I cannot for the life of me understand why she is not in jail for obstruction of justice, perjury, and fraud. I am reasonably certain SC could pursue a civil case against her for defamation as well.

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Note the converted VW bus in the background, serving as a gigantic prop! Heh, think they have enough syrup choices?!

Now I know that the music director’s young apprentice is ready to fly on his own because the choice of BG music here is perfect. It’s “Fields of Gold” originally written by another one of my Ahjussi Crushes–Sting. Before all of his fame with The Police and his solo career, he was a University graduate and had a short career as an English teacher at a prep school. IMHO, I don’t think any other modern musician has a better grasp of the English language than Sting.

What sets this apart is the cover of “Fields of Gold” is sung by Eva Cassidy, who died of melanoma at only 33. Her voice is phenomenal. She was a classic jazz/blues singer and just beginning to be discovered when she became ill. Millions of albums of her songs were sold after her death. Considering that YS is also ill with cirrhosis which has the potential to be fatal, and it appears she is trying to make whatever amends and apologies she can before her demise makes this song choice a very poignant one. Even though I feel emotionally drained by this point in LIDD, this song brings a wave of emotion I didn’t think I had left in my tank. Great job, young apprentice!

YS spends a lot of time in this scene apologizing for framing SC and encouraging CR to break up with him and lie about everything, but he seems to sit there and merely listen without any real reaction. He doesn’t accept or reject her apology. It’s similar to how the Yoon family listened to OHW apologize, but they didn’t really say anything either. The scene ends abruptly, as almost all the scenes have in the last 10 episodes, and I am left wondering if his lack of reaction is a good thing or a bad thing.

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Gang Ja makes some tea for her BFF YS:

GJ knows about YS’s cirrhosis, but Doc does not. Well, he’s about to find out!

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Raisin Tree Tea, also known as Hovenia Dulcis, is a tree native to China and Korea where the fruit can be dried (it looks like raisins) and made into a tea that improves liver function. It also works to shorten hangovers too! You can buy the tea on Amazon, or just the extract in capsule form. This website has more science related info for the curious reader. (Even though it’s an infomercial website, the graphics and explanations are pretty good.) I love when Kdramas have traditional medicines, food, and remedies–and they are almost always accurate with their usage, typically much more so than Western medicine. This would be the perfect thing to give someone whose liver function was impaired due to cirrhosis or simply having a hangover. I did think it was strange that the writer chose cirrhosis when YS did not seem to drink alcohol in excess, nor did she have other risk factors for the disease like obesity, or Hepatitis B and/or C.

Side Note and Major Rant: As I am finishing this post, the big K-celeb news today is that T.O.P., a member of the highly popular K-pop group Big Bang has been hospitalized for an overdose of benzodiazepine (Valium) sleeping medication. It appears that this young man was under huge amounts of stress due to being recently busted for smoking marijuana. He’s almost 30 years old, so he obviously knew it was illegal in SK to blaze up, (even if his actions wouldn’t merit an eyeblink here in SoCal) and that if he was caught, the repercussions would be immense and potentially career-ending. I have to wonder what the heck he was thinking. I think it is a reasonable assumption that this was a serious cry for help. As someone whose mother committed suicide from an overdose of pills, I’m highly inclined to believe this was a suicide attempt. He got lucky–he’s still alive. I pray that he has no permanent damage from this incident.

My question is: Were herbal medications (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and/or acupuncture for his depression, insomnia and anxiety/panic attack issues considered as a way to treat his issues? Were they even offered as an alternative to addictive western meds with their severe side effects? Chinese herbs are typically non-addictive and have fewer side effects. Was he in psychotherapy as well? I know there is a stigma against mental illness in SK that is even worse than here in the US but was he only getting pills and no other help?

An even bigger question is: Why was he prescribed a benzodiazepine for sleeping when even a lowly dental hygienist like me knows that benzodiazepines are highly addictive, and you need more and more of them over time to achieve the same effect? Don’t get me wrong–benzodiazepines are great short-term meds to alleviate anxiety over having dental work done, and they can help relax patients to keep their mouth open for long procedures. Our doctors don’t prescribe more than 4 tablets (5mg each) at a time to a patient–so it’s tough to get hooked, overdose, or be tempted to sell them on the street. Another question I have: How about the interaction of the benzodiazepine sleeping medication plus whatever antidepressant he was supposedly concurrently taking or any other meds? If I was T.O.P.’s momma, I’d be asking his doctors a ton of serious questions right about now! I always sympathize with the moms when kids are sick. Whether he is 1, 10 or 30, he’s still someone’s son.

I have my own anxiety and panic attack issues (probably equally related to menopause and my mom’s suicide) and I can tell you that they are not easily managed. Even if the severity is not in the life-threatening category, it can still make life difficult. I did well with herbal medication for a while, but I finally had to take some Western meds to get things under better control and have a life I can enjoy. I am so sensitive to the western medication, I take a quarter of the recommended dose–a half-dose nearly put me in the hospital! It helped a great deal, but did not fully eradicate the problem of the panic attacks, and has side effects I don’t like. My DAOM decided to try me on a different herbal medication a few weeks ago, and this new one seems to be working very well. **crossing fingers** It’s a shame that more people don’t try TCM first before jumping to the western meds, or that they don’t give it a shot when the Western meds aren’t working or have bad side effects.

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Theater of the Absurd:

I can’t say much more about the ending episode because it’s simply some of the most nonsensical and ludicrous Kdrama viewing I’ve ever seen. The level of forgiveness is beyond comprehension for this Western-Culture locked viewer. There are so many WTF moments that it’s hard to pick a few to highlight. If I had to pick a winner for the absolute most unbelievable ending level of forgiveness, it would be this set of scenes:

SC runs into CR at the hair salon that used to be YS’s but is now operated by JY. I like that he’s appropriately cold to her:

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When she asks him when the grand opening of his third and newest restaurant will be, SC replies coolly that it will be next weekend. CR says she will be there to congratulate him, and he doesn’t seem interested in the least what her plans are! Yay for SC! This is good. Then the scene turns—and it’s not good.

As SC gets the front of his new restaurant ready for opening:

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WH and BW roll up with the obligatory plant–looks like it could be a bonsai tree, not sure–

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WH teases SC that he’s expanding the restaurants too quickly, and SC seems to be fairly good natured about the minor hassle. Then BW spots CR hanging out in the background. Omo–is she here to crash this party like her Stepmom crashed BW’s wedding?! (Hint: if you are gonna crash an event, try not to pass out!) BW–who is now addressed as “Unni” by CR–drags CR over and then WH says one of the craziest things I’ve heard yet in a drama:

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I hope that means “I’ve been too busy since BW and I are perfecting our baby-making skills!”

WTH! Is he under some kind of bizarre obligation to have social get-togethers with the woman who constantly lied to him, committed “mouth rape” more than once,  nearly poisoned his girlfriend/wife, treated her like crap on a good day and worse on a bad day, and killed her dad to boot?! SMH.

CR hands SC the bunch of flowers she had in her hands, addresses him as “Oppa”, and he asks if she’s had any interviews yet. She replies–

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Okay, who in their right mind would hire CR? I guess it would depend on what kind of job she is applying for. What could possibly disqualify her from a restaurant job? Maybe poisoning your co-worker? Tampering with the food? Perhaps if she was gonna wash dishes or scrape BBQ grills, I could go for that–but it would be rough on her manicured hands, yunno! Then SC says this line that makes me scream in complete frustration with the show I once loved:

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The thing I didn’t ever want to see. **sobs**

Nooooo! SC–have you lost your mind?! Why in the world would you hire CR to manage one of your restaurants? You do want them to succeed, right? And he says this in front of BW and WH–who do not object in the least! He says he’s more comfortable hiring someone he knows, and three restaurants is a lot to manage. WH says she’s overqualified to be a manager, and that SC should pay her a lot. **headdesk** OMG. I’m done–my brain is as crispy fried as a Korean chicken wing!

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The Giveaway:

I decided it would be a fun thing to have a giveaway–and what better LIDD related item to give away than a prop!

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It’s just like the one OHW was reading! (I think WW read it too, ’cause it was on his desk first.) I wish I could say this book was actually used in the drama, but a replica will have to do! It’s a hardback in reasonable used condition, just like the real LIDD prop. Yes, you too can read Joel Osteen and become inspired by his words! If you have the nagging feeling that the world doesn’t revolve around you every minute of the day, this book should help you regain your mojo–it certainly seemed to sustain OHW throughout the show!

How to enter: Send an email to me at shamrockmom@gmail.com with the words “LIDD Giveaway” as the subject/title. Include your name, mailing address, and your personal favorite scene in LIDD (just because I am curious!) and I will pick one entry at random and send you the book! I will keep the contest open until midnight PST June 26, 2017. If you are outside the US, that’s okay too–it will take a bit longer to get it to you, so be patient. Two runners-up will get a Woo Hyuk “I am cheering for you” keychain trinket, just like the one I made and still carry around:

Because encouragement matters!

I will publish the winners in a future blog if the winners give me permission to use their screen name or nickname. Hopefully, I can do privacy better than the characters in LIDD!

I’ve had an incredible experience with this show. I did not know how it would take over my life and my Kdrama viewing for nearly 6 months, or that I would spend hundreds of hours researching things related to this show. I never dreamed I’d write 24 posts and almost 100,000 words about LIDD. It’s created some interesting changes in my regular life too! Look for a follow-up post as I try to reorganize my drama viewing life to prevent “drama-slump” and find another show that might be underrated or not on the usual radar.

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