Wednesday, October 30, 2013

7 Days, 6 Nights in Dramaland: Where do I sign up?

I saw the movie Austenland this week (hilarious, by the way). A Mr. Darcy obsessed American woman blows her life savings on a dream vacation at a Regency-themed English resort, complete with corsets, carriages, and actors in tight breeches pretending to fall in love with her. This got me thinking. What if there actually was a Dramaland where K-addicts could indulge their every Hallyu-tinted fantasy? And what would it look like? I imagine their brochure might read something like this:

Door-to-Door Service

The moment you arrive, your feet should never touch the ground. Choose from an assortment of comfy, cartoon-shaped slippers. A bellboy doppelganger of your favorite Hallyu Hero will then princess carry or piggyback you up to your room. Some of our most popular choices include:

The Song Seung Heon Peek-a-boo Carry

The Kim Hyun Joong Yee-haw Hold

The Hyun Binnie You-can-vomit-if-you-feel-like-it Variation

Complimentary Yellow Binoculars

Each room comes equipped with a pair of binoculars and a large, picture window. A seaside room includes unobstructed views of Lee Min Ho surfing and showering from 9 to 5. And even the cheaper, obstructed views promise a handsome, flower boy neighbor that you can innocently peep at to your heart’s content.

All-you-can-eat Ramyun

The resort’s mouth watering menu offers everything from Doughnuts to Ddeokbokki. Cider to Soju. But the specialty of the house is, of course, Ramyun. You can enjoy the delicious, noodly treat in the grandeur of our five star restaurant, a cozy pojangmacha on the front lawn, or have room service delivered personally by the chef (who just happens to resemble the charming curmudgeon from Pasta).

Sageuk Soiree

Step back in time each evening at our Sageuk Soiree. If you’re the studious type, you can explore the library with Kim Boong Do and Sungkyunkwan’s own, Lee Seon-Joon. Wander the iridescent blue gardens with Kang Chi. Or, if you prefer to be treated like a princess, sit in comfort on your royal throne while Kim Soo-hyun fakes a performance on the gayageum. (Gats and Hanbok rentals included in the price of the room, but there is an extra charge for ornamental headdresses.)

A Memorable Anyung

Must you say goodbye? We’ll grab on to your wrist and beg you not to leave us, but release you in the end because that’s what true love does. Just don’t expect us to be happy about it. As your limo winds down the drive, a line-up of Prince Lee Shin, Master Joongwon, and A.N.JELL Hwang Tae-kyung will fall to their knees shouting “Kajimaaaaaaaa!”

Please call 1-1-1-1 for more information on our Dramaland packages. We want to make your stay Daebak, so please leave any suggestions for improvement in the comment section below.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Reply 1994: Why It's Gotta Be Oppa

Can Oppa be the husband and Chilbongie be the new, adopted son? I want both of them to be a part of this family. Our two Mr. Rights are each adorable in their own way, but only one of them gets the package the 2013 security guard delivered for Mr. Kim. My money's on Oppa, and not just because he's the best thing since sliced, Korean beef.

Here's a few points in his favor, underneath the headings of some well-known classics that might have been used as pager greetings back in the day.

Love is a Battlefield

Whoever ends up with Na-jung is gonna need a boatload of courage and a strong head of hair. This girl is tough. Oppa’s not afraid to twist her face off, or wrap her in a head lock, if necessary. Chilbongie’s such a sweetie, I’m afraid he might get hurt living with our female WWF impersonator. And his swoopy Justin Bieber hairdo wouldn’t last long in her hands. Maybe that’s why Oppa chops his mane so short.

Time is on my Side

It’s hard to beat that much history. Just like Na-jung, I didn’t realize the significance of the seal pillow at first. But when we both remembered . . . ugh. Those are the kind of things it takes a lifetime for a couple to know about each other. But these two have already spent a lifetime together. They know the important things. The tragic stories, and the funny ones. And they know the unimportant things. What your class schedule is and what your new pager password is going to be before you even change it. (1-1-1-1. Haha. So good!) 

Yakkety-yak (Don’t talk back)

Try to ignore the fact that he’s drying off with a bathmat. (I love Oppa, but his personal hygiene could use a serious upgrade.) What follows this moment is an entire round of “Yes, Dear”. 

Na-jung: Straighten the bath slippers. 
Oppa: Yes, dear. 
Na-jung: Turn off the light. 
Oppa: Yes, dear. 
Na-jung: And don’t forget to put lotion on your scaly face. 
Oppa: Yes, dear . . . which one is the lotion? 

She’s bossy as all-get-out, but this dunderhead needs someone to remind him of these things or he’ll be walking out the door without pants one day. 

U Can’t Touch This

Oppa must not be an MC Hammer fan, ‘cause he’s about the touchy-feeliest K-drama character I’ve ever seen. (I think he even surpasses Tae Gong-shil of Master’s Sun.) He wrestles her on the bed, he wraps his arms around her at the sink, he kisses her hair, and on and on it goes. Imagine you've never seen the show, and ran across one of those sappy Youtube videos. (You know someone is already splicing the clips. And I'm just the sort of sappy viewer that will be watching it.) But if you knew nothing about the characters' relationship, you might assume they were already married. 

Love Me Tender

Oppa can’t remember if he’s wearing socks, but he never forgets to watch out for Na-jung. He orders the seal doll way before the memorial day. He gets up at the crack of dawn to cook breakfast so she can go back to bed (even though he's a sleep deprived med student). He calls more than once to check up on her throughout the day. *Sigh* I wish I had a husband OR a brother like him. I’d be happy either way. 

Sorry, Chilbongie. You chip away at my heart with your wistful glances at the close family life the country folk share. I wish you could have Na-jung’s parents, but Na-jung belongs to Oppa. If the writers give us any other ending, I don’t know what I’m gonna do.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Reply 1994: I Luv A Good Twist

I think my overall reaction to Reply 1994 can be summed up thusly . . . He’s not her brother! He’s not her brother!

*Sheepishly clears throat*

Sorry, if I spoiled it for anyone. But that plot twist really crept up on me in the best way possible. The lack of a love interest in the better part of two episodes was confusing. Then one sepia-colored flashback sequence meanders across the screen, and the pieces snap together. I didn’t watch much of the preview, so I really have no idea who this Chilbongie character is. But if he beats out Oppa I’m gonna have to write another blog starting with “He’s not the husband! He’s not the husband! Waaaaaeeeee!”

It’s almost impossible not to compare this and the original Reply 1997, so I won’t even try. It’s too soon to tell, but I may even like the spin-off better. These are a few reasons why:


This scene . . . *snickers*. The romantic piano music swelled and everything. Has there ever been a more painful lip-lock in K-drama history? I wish I could have heard the actors’ thoughts when they got their scripts. Maybe something along the lines of “Are you kidding me!” Someone better release a Behind-the-Scenes video of this, because I don’t know how they kept a straight face. Way to subvert the traditional drunken kiss trope, dear writers. If this is a harbinger of things to come, I’m in.


Na PD of 1 Night, 2 Days fame played a sadistic caricature of himself complete with puffy yellow jacket, as a boarding house student who serves the parents coffee with fish sauce, just for the fun of it. The evil glint in his eye as he watches them drink really sold it. I think he has a future in melodramas if he ever wants to step in front of the camera. Who cares about the basketball stars? Give me more entertainment industry inside jokes and I’d even drink a cup of Na’s coffee.

Ultimate Fighter: Family Edition

I’m an only child, so I can’t relate to the hair-pulling, gut-checking physical nature of the siblings. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it. Again, I worry for the actors when Go Ara bounces on top of her co-star like there’s no tomorrow. He may be the one with the bad back before all this is over.

The 'Rents!

Just like Reply 1997, this Mom still cooks for an army, but this time she actually has one, with a houseful of boarders to feed. Her quiet moment of happiness when her snippy neighbor took the time to save her laundry from the rain felt so true-to-life. It’s the little things like that gesture that keep us believing the human race is still worth saving in this crazy world.

The relationship between father and daughter seems way less volatile in this new series. But I like it. This Daddy pets his baby’s hair until his arm is ready to fall off, just to help her sleep. And he puts on a sideways hat and karoakes with his adopted son, complete with gangster poses. Watching quirky, but close family relationships is almost as good as a sizzling OTP couple. Almost.


He’s not her brother! Did I mention that before? But, aside from that, I love this character. He comes across as a likable, but lazy, unmotivated loafer who can’t be bothered to change his underwear, and then we find out he’s a genius medical student. Haha. This actor shone through the often dismal times of You’re the Best, Lee Soon Shin. His gentle charm and clownish humor as the faithful Bread Man helped to lighten the mood. He’s one of those guys that gets better-looking the more you see him. This time I hope he gets the girl, and all the credit a first lead deserves.

Since everyone ended up with who I wanted in Reply 1997, I’m a little scared of this new story. What if the writers decide to throw a second-lead curve ball like in Baker King? Because, let’s face it, no matter how wonderful Chilbongie turns out, showing up in the third episode makes you a second lead. But that’s not enough to stop me from watching. You know where I’ll be after work tonight. Replying to the 90s one more time.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Marry Him, Etcetera: I Dare You Not To Like It

You may think this is a pick-up, but . . . do you believe in fate?

Some find the idea of destiny a frightening thing. An inescapable outcome that a person has no say in. Others find it comforting. No matter how you mess up, or what blind alley you wander down, Heaven steers you toward your hand-tailored, one-of-a-kind, designed-just-for-you destination in the end. I happen to be in the second camp. But whichever outlook you choose, Marry Him If You Dare keeps the question of destiny ever present in the viewer’s mind as our heroine contends with life, co-worker bullies, and a bossy, future ahjumma version of herself as she strives for her own happy ending. Here’s just a few of the appealing things this show offers:

 Yong! Yong! Yong!

I’ve loved Jung Yong-wha ever since I saw his good-natured and often playful, real-life personality on We Got Married with SNSD’s Seo-hyun. But that doesn’t mean I’ve loved his dramas. You’re Beautiful, Heartstrings . . . he wasn’t terrible. But he wasn’t great. I think this role is a major step forward. His second lead is a sweetheart (as most second leads are), but he’s also smart, layered, and a little ruthless when it comes to business. I look forward to what new sides he’ll show in future episodes. Right now I’m kinda hatin’ on his destined partner, the ultra-self centered bratty, Yoo-kyung, but episode four proved that there is a brain in there . . . somewhere. She’s got time to do some growing, but right now, she doesn’t deserve him.

 Chemistry oozing from the cast!

What is it about Yoon Eun Hye? The girl could stand next to a coat rack and make me think she’s in love with it. Her chemistry works with both male leads, but I’m rooting for Shin and Mirae. There’s something so endearing about the foul-mouthed pair together, and how they push each other to be better than they are. (The smoldering gazes don’t hurt either.)

You can’t fight fate!

Future Mirae messing up the destinies of both couples just seems so wrong, somehow. She's not only changing her own life but See-joo, Yoo-kyung, and who knows how many others. But she’s fighting something bigger than herself. If she circumvents the original rear-ending fate had planned, it just slams the guy and girl head-on the next time. Is it possible the whole "water" ploy will get restyled, as well? Maybe See-joo will fall for Yoo-kyung in a new, but wet way that doesn't involve Jejudo.

Who doesn’t love a good Whodunit? 

Mystery swirls around Future Mirae’s real motivations. She claims Shin killed the person she loves in the future, but who is that? Her brother, their child, himself? There’s way more to the story than she lets on, and trying to put the pieces together is part of the fun. There’s also some murky, undefined side effects from her time travel that seem to be wrecking her health. And now we have a Timecop Wannabe traveling back to get her, so who knows who else is gonna walk through that tunnel before we’re done. I’d love to meet Future Shin!

 Girl Power Galore

I know I’m still a drama rookie, but I’ve packed quite a few shows into my first year of Hallyu. And never in all those many hours have I seen not one but TWO heroes berate a girl for acting like a toddler. When See-joo tells the Aegyo Airhead, Yoo-kyung, that she doesn’t have to pander to men to prove her worth . . . gah. No words. Can I order one of him for myself? Pleeeeeaaaaasssseeee!

I don’t know who the writers for this show are, but I want to give them a standing ovation for the characters they're creating. Future Mirae planned to upgrade her husband, but Present Mirae decides to upgrade herself. Now that’s a heroine I can root for! If you’re still on the fence, give this drama a try.

With its swoony eye-contact, girl power guts, and plenty of funny-bone tickling moments, I dare you not to like it.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Aegyo or "Act Your Age, Not Your Shoe Size"


K-dramas rock my world, but if there’s one thing I find hard to accept, it’s Aegyo. The heroine bounces across the room like a two-year-old, bunches her fists under her cheeks, raises her voice three octaves and pouts like there’s no tomorrow. To a western woman, raised in a post-feminist world, this is more than a little shocking.

I remember watching two separate interviews where men were asked what they liked in their significant other. One was an Asian man from the crowd on 1 Night, 2 Days. His immediate reply was her Aegyo. Okay, it’s a culture thing. They’re raised to think that’s cute. BUT! The other occurrence was with Sam Hammington, an Australian expatriate who can be seen on shows like Gag Concert and Real Man. His background is way different from the traditional upbringing. He married a Korean woman, and when he was asked what he liked about her, he ALSO replied her Aegyo.

I get that it makes them feel like the Alpha Male protecting their woman, and it’s their privilege to choose what they find attractive. What really bothers me is that I think it was the first and ONLY thing both men mentioned. What about her Smarts, Kind Heart, Respect for Elders, Business Acumen, or even that most shallow but understandable reason, “She’s hot!” Did they really choose their life partners based on how well she could imitate a toddler?

Not all instances of Aegyo get to me. In fact, they’ve led to some pretty funny moments in dramas. And I have to admit, Korea is an equal-opportunity offender, with male actors and pop singers joining the bbuing-bbuing ranks. Here’s a few examples of the saccharine. WARNING: Some are easier to stomach than others.

1. Classic Aegyo

The Master's Sun
Just subtract 100 IQ points and you're there. Do you think the talent agencies have special Aegyo tests for their prospective pop stars? I see your name is Sunny-shi. You have perfect pitch. That's nice. You can hit a C above high C. That's nice. Wait, you can act like a baby for three minutes without stopping. You're hired!

2. Cheer Up Aegyo
I guess one thing I like about Aegyo is its good intentions. It tries to bring someone a laugh or a smile. If you love them, you should be willing to sacrifice a little self-respect, but just make sure that someone is worth it!

3. Self-Aware Aegyo
The King 2 Hearts

The King 2 Hearts is my absolute, hands-down favorite drama. I'm captivated by the irrepressible, cheeky playboy Prince Jae-ha, who transforms into a courageous, honorable monarch through the love of a good woman. That woman is Kim Hang-ah, a North Korean fighting machine, who can take out a terrorist squad single-handedly, and isn't afraid to pull out the Aegyo to cheer up her depressed boyfriend. (But how much do I love the little hurling motion she makes while she's practicing.) Even Jae-ha can't help but laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.

4. When the Aegyo's on the other foot

Flower Boy Next Door

There seems to be two main types of Male Aegyo: the darling man-child type like Enrique Geum in Flower Boy Next Door. And the man who acts like a child, but might not be very skilled at it, like Gong Yoo's character in Big. (I don't actually like this drama, and never watched it all, but it's Gong Yoo!) Not gonna lie. When Aegyo comes wrapped in a deep, sexy voice, I can see the appeal.

5. If the Aegyo fits, wear it

We Got Married: Global Edition
Let's face it, for some people Aegyo comes naturally. It seems like an extension of their actual personality. Thai pop-star Gui Gui is one such case. Her bright, bubbly personality lit up the screen on We Got Married: Global Edition and I got a big kick out of watching her energetic fervor spin 2 PM's Taecyeon around like a top.

I hate manipulative Aegyo that is only out for what it can get from the other person. But would I be willing to pull out the bbuing-bbuing to make someone I loved smile? Maybe. I'll cross that bridge if I come to it.  In the meantime, I'll look for a guy who's taste runs more like that Prince song. You know, the one that says: Women not girls rule my world, I said they rule my world. Preach it, Prince.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Heirs: A Definite Maybe

Is Heirs the hot mess some were expecting? Nope. A copy of Boys Over Flowers? Not in the slightest. Is it a winner? Ehhhhh . . . it’s too early to tell. The story holds your interest (although I did find myself checking the time). The actors play their parts creditably. And some of the side couples may steal the show. But I wouldn’t call it a crack drama. At least, not right out of the gate. But I’m willing to give it a few episodes to hit its stride. In the meantime, here are a few points in its favor:

I like the heroine. 

This girl is no goody-two-shoes. She works hard, but resents it. Feels embarrassment over her mother’s speaking impairment. And finally decides to chuck it all and go sponge off her sister in America. But despite all of this, I like her. You understand her inner turmoil, and can see that she will do the right thing, even though she feels the injustice. And she’s no pushover. I love how we first meet her when she calmly fends off a couple of pervy ahjussis with one quick call to the police. She may have her crybaby moments in the premier (although I think they’re well-deserved), but she always sucks it up in the end and moves on.

Can we take Airhead American back to Korea with us? 

This guy. Hahahahahaha. Jay just makes me laugh. At first I was cringing from the bad acting, a situation that happens all too often with the English speaking day players. Then I found myself looking forward to his scenes. He was so over-the-top, and that whole bit with him snorting the bean powder and having an allergic reaction. Just . . . I mean . . . what do I say? I’ve never seen anything like that before, and that’s a rare quality in a K-drama.

Fauxcest for the win 

I kinda get the whole Korean situation of a step-brother and sister being legal siblings because of family registers, thanks to the drama Love Rain. And even in the States, a relationship wouldn’t be against the law, but it’s still a little icky. That being said, this is one of my favorite storylines in the whole show. “My sister is just my type.” Oh my word! Who says things like that?

Another set of scene stealers 

Bo Na and Chan Young are too cute. (And two of the only cast members that actually look like high schoolers.) She’s jealous, overbearing, and shallow. He’s laid back, thoughtful, and friendly. These two could really make it. Even though I can see her getting annoying after five or six episodes, maybe we’ll get more depth in the future. And I really like that his poverty seems to be a non-issue with her. She loves him, and no pretty, best friend from childhood better get in their way. The whole deal with him mussing her hair when they walked out the door was a great blink-and-you-miss-it moment.

Hero meets Heroine 

What an interesting way for the guy to get his first glimpse of the girl. The whole scene with Eun Sang’s sister rifling through her suitcase and running off with the cash. Gah. So wrong! And you could see the empathy on Tan’s face. If there’s one thing he understands, it’s family issues. Their relationship begins not with romantic attraction, but mutual suffering. There was something so poignant about the whole setup.

I don’t get much of a toe-curling, sexy vibe with our OTP. But I do care about their characters. I’ll stick around for now, and see where the show goes once we get back to high school.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Master's Sun Episode 17 or "That deserves a big tip!"

My Korean stinks, but I believe what you say after eating something yummy is Mashissoyo!

The finale of Master’s Sun was like a big, old ice cream sundae with extra nuts, sprinkles, cookie bits, gummi bears, and just about anything else you can imagine.

Sweet as sugar and chock full of cutie calories, it kept the tone light throughout and even revisited a few of our favorite bits from the past. But instead of playing a loop of endless montages, like so many finales do, this episode reinvented the scenes with extra fanservice twists that kept me grinning like an idiot. I don’t care if it’s pandering. How can I hate someone for giving me just what I was craving. Thank you, Hong Sisters!

Here are some of my favorite dishes from last night’s funny feast:

Best 4 minutes of the whole episode, maybe the whole show! 

Our Gong Shil wakes up with a pleased-as-punch Joong Won by her side, and thus commences one of the most hilarious sequences in the entire run of Master’s Sun. I love how each ghost possessing her is a callback to the first time she spent the night, but his reactions show just how far he’s come to embrace the insanity. Not only doesn’t he banish the Baby Ghost right away, he feeds her ice cream then scolds her like a doting uncle when she wants more.

And, as if So Ji Sub doesn’t kill me with his adorable antics already, he not only waves a blanket at the Kitty Ghost like a bullfighter, but barks at her for good measure. *Thunk*

Finally, he ends up with an armful of Parisian Ghost after telling her to get lost – IN FRENCH! (They almost had to scrape me off the floor after all of this.)

Our Sunny is back! 

Ms. Sun actually starts to shine again. I’d had enough of the long faces, and quietly suffering heroics. Tae Gong Shil returns from her 375 day quest stronger, brighter, and ready to seduce the man she loves (which seems a little ridiculous, since he’s already wrapped around her little finger). She still sees ghosts, his touch still banishes them, basically nothing has changed, except she made a lot of money flipping ghost houses. I guess it just took her a year to realize her own self-worth, but what a relief it was to see her smile again.

A small, side dish of Closure, if you please. 

Who would have thought even our resident, ghost regulars get their stories tied up in a nice, neat bow? Trash Can Ajusshi’s was actually poignant, as he forever pays penance for throwing away a lottery ticket and depriving his loved ones of the security it could bring. I love that Joong Won declares HE will take care of it because it’s HIS friend, and gifts the daughter with a Kingdom-sized wedding of her dreams. You big softie. I wonder how many times he sat on that bench in the 375 days Tae Gong Shil was away, commiserating with a ghost about problems that neither one could fix.

And, Surprise! Coffee Ghost isn’t dead at all, just another coma victim who refused to return to his body because he didn’t want to take any more tests. Pfffft. I guess there are slackers in the spirit world, too.

A round of Happy Endings for everyone!

I wonder if the Hong Sisters are super-fond of this drama and its characters, because they gave everyone and their mother a happy ending. The adorable, matchmaking munchkins get to move to a new house with their mom. Secretary Ajusshi basks in the credit for orchestrating the whole romance between his beloved boss and Taeyang, with the simple act of stopping the car on that fated rainy night. Loose Lips and Gong Shil’s sister (whose name I never did learn) continue with their PDAs. Uncle Fighting and his Snippy Wife have a bundle of joy on the way. (That kid is gonna have one strange Aunt in Tae Gong Shil). And our never-say-die Little Sun gets the man of her dreams and the walk down the red carpet, too.

When I think about it, there were never any real villains in this show, just villainous circumstances. (Unless you count that creepy You’re-the-most-beautiful Hairdresser Ghost, who still gives me the shivers.) But I’m not complaining. I like my happy endings piled high with extra sprinkles.

Give Me Shelter 

I would have liked a more clever reason for why Joong Won is the only shelter in the world for Taeyang. Preferably something that had to do with her accident. But I can live with the fact it’s because he’s her Soulmate. It makes sense. It’s just not very creative.

Taeyang found the strength to cope with her strange ability, but that doesn’t negate the fact that Joong Won is still her shelter. The difference is that she can live without it, but why should she? Although the ghost-poofing takes the metaphor to the extreme, isn’t a shelter what we all desire in our relationships? Whether it’s a mate, a friend, or a family member? We all want that someone that is always on our side, that we can run to when life gets too hectic, and trust that with them we will feel that condition that is much too fleeting in our crazy world. We will feel safe.

This episode left me licking my lips like an ice-cream crazed kiddie ghost and jumping in for seconds right away. It may have lacked a little protein, but I prefer doughnuts over health shakes any day of the week. Again, thank you Hong Sisters! I look forward to your next wacky creation.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Master's Sun Episode 16 or "Don't try to figure her out, you'll hurt your brain"

Extensions. Blech. I can’t think of one example where they improved a show, and Master’s Sun is no exception. This was the episode where our Taeyang is even less sunny, our Master is even more adorable, and the inevitable dragging out of the plot was even more noticeable than ever. Thank goodness the finale is tonight. I’d better get my happy ending or metaphorical heads will roll!

In the meantime, here are a few memories from last night:

1. Can Joongwon get any cuter?

Seriously, the guy just makes me grin like a loony. I don’t remember seeing So Ji Sub before this drama, but I’m certainly aware of him now. His lightning turns from stoic, stick-in-the-mud CEO to affectionate five-year-old leave my head spinning. I could watch his surprise hug with Secretary Ajusshi on a loop. It seems like all the joy has been sucked out of Tae Gongshil lately, but at least we have our mischievous Master for consolation.

2. Sleeping Beauty Attacks the Prince

This is a fairytale I can get behind. Little Sun uses her hospital stay to swoop in for a stolen kiss, then finds out that Kang Woo gave her the opportunity as a reward for getting Gongshil off the plane with her hilarious, fake appendicitis. I really dig that this girl keeps facilitating the OTP’s romance for her own selfish gain. It’s so true to character, rather than an eleventh hour redemption where she realizes she cares for Gongshil and wants her to be happy.

3. Meet the Exposition Twins 

Has anyone ever seen that old 80s movie “The Great Muppet Caper”? (I promise this tangent is going somewhere.) In it there’s a scene between Diana Rigg and Miss Piggy, whom she’s just met, where Rigg goes on and on about her wastrel brother who can’t be trusted and is such a disappointment, blah, blah, blah. After her long spiel, Miss Piggy asks in confusion, “Why are you telling me this?” and she replies “It’s plot exposition. It has to go somewhere.”

The exposition scene between Kang Woo and Secretary Ajusshi cracks me up. It’s like the Hong Sisters realized how frustrated the viewers would be at this point, and said, “Let’s make two of our most likeable characters explain Taeyang and Master’s motivations, just in case anyone missed it. If Ajusshi explains why Joongwon has to let her go to prove that he loves her, then the audience will accept it and think it’s a good idea.” (Note to Hong Sisters: It didn’t work.)

4. Tae Gong Shil is a Meanie

“Til the end, she won’t say she loves me.”

Ugh. That line really hit home. The shot of Joongwon’s defeated back in the darkened hallway as he wiped away his tears was just so wrong. I’m afraid I even started to dislike Gongshil a little.

I don’t get why she’s doing this. She “says” it’s to find herself, which I can respect, but her actions say otherwise, as she keeps reliving his near-death, even going so far as to reject the cute, little ghost boy who desperately needs her help. Remember the Tae Gong Shil of ten episodes ago who was all sweetness, and affection, and wanting to help people. Granted, her clingy need of Joongwon could be a little pathetic at times, but at least she was honest about it. These days, I can’t tell what the girl is thinking. It just seems like another recycled case of Noble Idiot, no matter how much she denies it.

5. Sweetest Case of Swearing Ever

Only in a Hong Sisters’ drama could a guy swearing at a girl be romantic. That one word is loaded with so much history, recalling his fifteen year struggle to forget his first love all the way to the conversation where he said he would never swear at Taeyang because she was just someone he ate with and held hands with once. I’m glad the episode didn’t end with the time jump and separation we could all see coming a mile away. Who else thinks Secretary Ajusshi set that whole “accidental” meeting up? If we all had someone like him in our lives, there would be no need for eHarmony.

They have one more episode to answer my questions, which all seem to revolve around her accident, so I’ll make another list:

Why was Tae Gongshil hiking around a mountain alone?
Why did she stay in a coma for 3 years and what woke her up?
Just what exactly was her relationship with Ghost-seeing Photographer in those 3 years?
Why is Joongwon the only person in the world that could be her shelter?

I hope the writers’ create a viable, creative explanation to explain the “accident” and subsequent fallout which has been couched in so much mystery up until now. And I’m really hoping there’s some clever threads woven throughout the story since episode one that will make me sit back and go, “Whoah. That makes total sense!” But maybe that’s asking too much. I guess if we return to the fun, extra-touchy format of the early days for our last episode that will be enough.