The Virtual Bride – E12 (Finale)

The competition continues and Inyoung runs back to help Choonja.  Things fall apart just as they do before you can put everything back into place.  In the end, the family comes together stronger than ever.

THE RECAP

Dongsuk considers telling the judges but Choonja hushes him. As the competition starts, Inyoung runs back out into Sanshik’s car and they head toward the competition.

Inyoung gets stuck in traffic so she gets out and runs. Meanwhile, Choonja and Dongsuk decide to focus on their bean paste since they don’t have their family soy sauce.

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With fifteen minutes left, Choonja tastes their food and sighs that the meal doesn’t taste right because they don’t have soy sauce. Just then, Inyoung runs in carrying the jar of pickles which was pickled in sauce that she made to mimic Choonja’s cooking. Choonja approves of the sauce and they use it.

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The judges come around and note that Haji’s team’s soy sauce taste is amazing. They also note that Choonja’s cooking and sauce is good as well. But since the main sauce was soy sauce, they note that the barbecue meat seems lacking due to the lack of soy sauce marinating.

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Surprisingly, Haji’s team wins. Inyoung tells the family that she pushed off the trip but the CEO calls because Inyoung just bailed on the US gig.

Back at home, Myungsuk tells his mother that he doesn’t think he should go to the United Kingdom when the family is having such a hard time. However, Choonja tells him to go.

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In the morning, Junsu runs into Young-Ah in the hallway. He asks her to talk but Young-Ah answers that she doesn’t have the confidence to continue to live with him when he always supports his parents. Junsu sighs that he will always choose his mother and agrees to divorce.

Junsu walks out and sees his father. His father tells him not to divorce because Junsu will then end up living like his father.

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Things don’t go well for Inyoung. The famous US celebrity that Inyoung was supposed to meet posted a nasty message about Inyoung. As a result, the Internet turns against Inyoung and all of the projects lined up Inyoung begin to get cancelled.

The only good thing is Choonja hears about Inyoung from Dongsuk…who also tells Myungsuk.

Inyoung also ends up offering to leave the agency so that her group members do not get dragged down with her.

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Meanwhile, Mi-Hee snaps at Young-Ah for making her son a divorcee. Young-Ah doesn’t take the abuse silently. She answers that she also feels bad for Junsu since he will grow old as a mommy’s boy.

Young-Ah gets her stuff and says goodbye to Junsu who gives her divorce papers. She tells him to choose a woman who will be good to Mi-Hee next time instead of a woman whom he falls for. She walks out with dry eyes but falls to the ground right outside the door.

Junsu goes into his room to find something and sees that Young-Ah has cleaned everything up. She’s even labeled everything for him.

At the same time, Junsu and Sanshik freak out about Inyoung disappearing. Just as the Chancellor tells Myungsuk that he will support Myungsuk if Myungsuk goes abroad to the teaching position, Sanshik calls Myungsuk.

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Myungsuk apologizes and runs to Inyoung at her elementary school since she had told him it was the only time she played with her friends. He apologizes for coming late and promises to never let her go.

Inyoung sighs and whines to him that she just wants to return to being a normal and anonymous person. Myungsuk tells her to not to worry as this too will blow off. He takes Inyoung home with him and tells his family that he wants to stay with Inyoung.

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Choonja doesn’t seem pleased but the father and grandfather take Myungsuk’s side, so Choonja backs down. Afterwards, Dongsuk offers to be Inyoung’s manager and she agrees. ^^

The next day, Junsu walks in on Young-Ah’s friend yelling at Mi-Hee for being the reason that Young-Ah had to go to the countryside. He asks his mother if she really did this and Mi-Hee replies that she never asked Young-Ah to resign.

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Junsu blows it and yells at his mother for never caring about anyone but herself. He adds that she thinks it’s expected that everyone suffers for her benefit and leaves.

Meanwhile, Inyoung sees Myungsuk’s cell phone when he gets a text from his friend about how the Chancellor is angry about Myungsuk not going abroad. She doesn’t say anything to Myungsuk but it’s clear she’s affected.

Dongsuk finds her and drags her out for lunch. As they walk, they see Haji working in a nearby restaurant. Inyoung calls Choonja and drags a reluctant Haji home. To Haji’s surprise, the family welcomes her home only berating her for coming home so late.

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Haji falls apart and apologizes for betraying the family. Choonja smiles and pulls her into a hug and tells her that they can always remake soy sauce but Haji is one of a kind…

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At the same time, Junsu goes to apologize to Young-Ah and asks her to come home. Young-Ah looks at Junsu without backing down and tells him that nothing will change even if he knows the truth… He will be pulled apart between Young-Ah and his mother. She tells him that she doesn’t have the confidence to do that and leaves him.

Junsu goes home drunk and Mi-Hee steps out to get him medicine. Outside her apartment, she bumps into her ex husband who tells her to help Junsu. Mi-Hee shows us her soft side when she starts to cry and confesses that she obsessed over Junsu because she was afraid he would leave her, too… Her ex pulls her into a hug and apologizes.

Back at home, Choonja gives Se-Mi an account book and tells her to open a small academy as she’s more suited to outside life than housework. Then Inyoung comes in and asks Choonja if she plans to approve of Inyoung.

Choonja sighs but tells Inyoung that she still doesn’t approve. Inyoung smiles in return and answers that she understands. She tells Choonja that she plans to break up with Myungsuk for his benefit as well but she needs Choonja’s help.

Things start to get resolved. Dongsuk leaves a comment on the U.S. celebrity’s site about Inyoung’s real reason for missing the meeting and the star officially apologizes. As a result, the Internet turns back to supporting Inyoung.

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Mi-Hee also goes to apologize to Young-Ah, asking her to return. Young-Ah agrees and goes home with Mi-Hee. But on their way, they stop by the office where Mi-Hee tells everyone the truth about the bribery scandal and resigns.

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Young-Ah happily goes to Junsu’s office where she finds him eating instant noodles. She tells him that she’s returned on one condition, that he forgives his father. Junsu agrees.

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As for Inyoung, she tells Junsu that she wants to go to London with him. They get Choonja’s approval and Myungsuk prepares happily to move. But on the day of, Inyoung tells Myungsuk to leave alone as she’s not joining. She promises to meet him again after she gets to a point where she feels like she’s a good match for him…

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A time jump occurs and Young-Ah and Junsu has a baby! Junsu is starting to forgive his father and Inyoung is a famous celebrity represented by Dongsuk and her old manager Sanshik. The managers drop Inyoung off at school since she’s attending college.

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Then a visiting professor shows up! It’s Myungsuk. He puts the equation on the board and explains how it describes finding your perfect person. When a student asks if Myungsuk has found his perfect person, he answers that he did… And she’s standing right in front of him – Inyoung.

MY TWO CENTS

Now, it’s already time to say goodbye to another series! I don’t know what I’ll do since I don’t have a new drama lined up to take the place of Make a Woman Cry or this drama…  Off to the final review.

This was one episode where the use of a time jump in the last episode was well warranted.  It was clear that the main characters were in a place where they needed time.  The family basically approved of Inyoung but she needed to show Choonja that she would be a suitable wife for Myungsuk who does not hold him back.  My first guess was that Inyoung was going to accompany Myungsuk to London and then leave him.  However, the writer wrote it off beautifully where Inyoung tells Myungsuk the truth and they decide to take time away from each other with the clear understanding that there is no one else for either person…By being honest and upfront about the situation, we avoid another round of useless angst and miscommunication.  It shows improvement from the prior episodes where the break-up was forced due to said misunderstandings.

Both just need time to get situated before they can move on to the next step.  I don’t see anything wrong with this kind of set-up.  In an increasingly globalized world, many couples are finding a need to address the fact that prior to being able to settle down together, their individual dreams are taking them to different physical locales.  I thought it was an interesting touch that this drama weaved that kind of scenario in to resolve the latest issue – Choonja’s acceptance of Inyoung.  Since Choonja already likes Inyoung as a person, I can see how she would warm up to Inyoung once she’s obtained her education and made it as a celebrity.

The resolution of the Mi-Hee/Junsu/Young-Ah arc was well executed as well.  Even until the end, I don’t like Mi-Hee.  However, I think that she kept true to her character.  She was scarred by her husband’s betrayal and, as a result, she obsessed over her son to protect herself…Now that Junsu saw just how far his mother would go to protect herself, even at his expense, it was time for him to choose his own wife.  His decision to go after Young-Ah and leave Mi-Hee was symbolic of his finally growing up and leaving his mother’s skirts…Though, he did come back drunk and crying.  ^^;;;;  This in turn forces Mi-Hee’s motherly instincts to kick in and she ends up going to beg Young-Ah to come back.  The drama was clear that this was not a miraculous solution to the tense relationship, but we are all walking toward a final permanent solution where everyone will try to work things out.  To reemphasize Mi-Hee’s change, she goes off and clears Young-Ah’s name so that Young-Ah may return to the office if she wishes.  The time jump also helps because we can see that Young-Ah is now a happy mother since she was able to actually spend some time with her husband.

Before I end my random thoughts, Haji!  That was a beautiful conclusion to the Haji plot.  She stayed a pretty 2D character which I understand considering how strong the other sub-characters.  However, I totally teared up when Inyoung and Dongsuk bring Haji home and everyone literally addresses her as if she’s late from going to the store.  It really showcased the strength and characteristic of this family…Though it’s not the main point of this drama, the importance of family has been a major theme in the background.  Choonja accepted Se-Mi back after she left to pursue her own goals and even gave Se-Mi money to start her own academy.  Inyoung was accepted into the family when everyone saw how she treated all of the members with respect…With this backdrop, it does not seem weird at all that the family would welcome Haji back.  She’s a member of the family who messed up, but who hasn’t? ^^

In the end, I kind of wish that they had included one more episode.  I feel like the stuff after the time jump could have been a full episode in itself.  I would love to see how Dongsuk’s management company has expanded or grown…whether Se-Mi’s small academy was successful…What ended up happening to Inyoung’s career, etc.  None of these are major issues left un-answered.  However, in the continued tone of feel good happy-drama-esq that this drama flirted with, I would have been happy just to see another fully sit-comy episode end.  Final grade – A!

 

The Virtual Bride – E11

The drama tees up to close its doors as loose ends tie up pretty naturally like they do in real life.  There is a conspicuous lack of fireworks and big bangs, which is replaced by a subtle play of mature people addressing issues in a reasonable way.

THE RECAP

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Inyoung asks Myungsuk not to leave her. Myungsuk pulls away and tells her that the decision is already made.

Inyoung cries that Myungsuk loves her and stayed around her vicinity… She needs him. Myungsuk answers her harshly that they both know that they live in two different worlds. He isn’t confident that he can live in her world and Inyoung already said that she’s not confident about living in his world.

Myungsuk adds that he is confident that Inyoung can live well. He tells her to go back and leaves.

That night, Junsu meets up with Myungsuk and thanks him for staying firm with Inyoung. Myungsuk sighs that he wasn’t sure before but now he knows… Inyoung shines best when she’s in the public eye.

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The next day, Inyoung goes into Junsu’s office and asks for more work. When Junsu offers sending her to America, she agrees.

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Back at home, Se-Mi happily volunteers to help with making kimchi. Even Choonja looks surprised at Se-Mi’s enthusiasm. Myungsuk’s father catches Choonja in the courtyard and asks her if she doesn’t pity Se-Mi who was so excited to be working at the academy but is now stuck at home. Choonja pretends not to care but it’s clear she does.

At the same time, news spreads about Young-Ah’s “bribery” scandal and her resignation. Even as Young-Ah walks along for work, people throw water on her.

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Young-Ah gets called home by her worried parents. When she arrives, they ask about the truth and Young-Ah neither confirms that she is guilty of the bribery or denies it. Instead, she just keeps apologizing. The family members tell her to stay strong and ask her about whether Mi-Hee will continue with her plan to redevelop the land that their house is on.

So, Young-Ah goes to ask Mi-Hee. However, surprising everyone, Mi-Hee answers that Young-Ah resigned out of her own volition. This situation has nothing to do with the current election or her proposals. Mi-Hee even adds that if she changes her plans after getting elected, the electorate would be disappointed in her. She finishes by telling Young-Ah to tell everyone the truth and break Junsu’s heart if she doesn’t like it.

Young-Ah walks out of Mi-Hee’s house in a daze and runs into Junsu. He breathlessly asks her if the scandal is true because he cannot believe it. Young-Ah just smiles and apologizes.

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Later, we see that Inyoung’s English lessons are going well and she’s still pretty popular. As they exit the academy, Inyoung stops to take pictures with some fans and she runs into Myungsuk. They share an awkward moment in the elevator with the manager where Inyoung and Myungsuk engage in small talk… And then walk off into the garage together… Finally, the manager has to stop both of them and point Myungsuk towards his own car and Inyoung towards their car.

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The scene changes toward the community center. Young-Ah pulls her friend aside in the hallway and asks her to look into positions in the countryside. Mi-Hee overhears this but doesn’t say anything.

We turn to the house where an invitation has arrived for this year’s cooking event. It’s going to be a traditional food competition and the winning team will become the official cultural spokesman for traditional food.

Within minutes, Soonhee calls Choonja over and gives her back the account books. She tells Choonja that Choonja van take the accounting duties back… It’s too much for her. Soonhee also confesses that she never really wanted to be treated like Choonja’s mother-in-law… She just didn’t like Choonja looking down on her for being a neighborhood restaurant owner. She asks if they can be friends again.

Choonja laughs that Soonhee is pretty greedy if she wants to be both her mother-in-law and her friend. But it looks like they are back to being friends.

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Young-Ah’s friend then stops by. She tells the family about the truth in the scandal. The family angrily buzzes about what they can do to save the house which was the reason Young-Ah jumped into the race in the first place. Se-Mi suggests that they focus on the competition because if they win, even the city cannot take away the house since they will be nationally certified and the cultural representative.

Soonhee and Dongsuk both volunteer to help. Since only two people can compete, the two agree to have an internal cooking competition to see who cooks better.

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Meanwhile, U.S. representatives come to interview Inyoung.

The interviewer asks Inyoung why she decided to be a celebrity. Inyoung answers that she used to sing and dance to make a leaving. But now she sings and dances because someone gave her strength and told her she has a right to be loved.

The interviewer asks if Inyoung has a boyfriend and she denies it. She tells him that he left so she could pursue her career. The interviewer looks satisfied with the answer but comments that the man is cowardly if he is using the excuse of love to leave… Inyoung agrees.

Meanwhile Myungsuk watches all of Inyoung’s interviews and looks surprised to find out that Inyoung is leaving.

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Later that night, Mi-Hee’s husband asks her to be with her again. When they arrive at home, Junsu sees them together and yells at her. Mi-Hee yells back that she wants her husband back and wants to be loved by her husband.

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Junsu turns to drinking with Inyoung. Inyoung tells him that she doesn’t know if Junsu is a bad son but he is a bad husband; she would have left Junsu long before now. She also adds that he should be nice to Young-Ah while she is still around.

Junsu goes home to find his mother happily chatting with her husband. He closes the door and sighs.

In the morning, Choonja angrily finds Dongsuk washing the urns. She looks pissed but Dongsuk smiles that even Choonja started by washing the urns; he wants to learn correctly.

At the same time, Junsu tells his father that he’s allowed to marry his mother again. However, he adds that his father shouldn’t expect to receive respect as his father. Before his father can thank him, Junsu disappears.

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Now! On to the competition! Soonhee blatantly gives her husband a hint so he picks his wife’s dish. But hilariously San picks his grandmother’s dish making it a tie. Choonja is the last person and she chooses Dongsuk’s dish because Soonhee didn’t cook the beef properly. ^^

The family suggests and Choonja agrees to invite Inyoung over for dinner before she leaves for the United States. Inyoung agrees and wanders into the kitchen craving Choonja’s cooking. She ends up preparing a salad with the pickle sauce that she finds in the fridge.

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Young-Ah tries it when she comes home and comments that it would have been nice for Inyoung to inherit Choonja’s recipes. She also asks Inyoung if she’s stopping by for dinner.

Inyoung answers that she doesn’t want to see Myungsuk as seeing him makes it difficult. Young-Ah reassures Inyoung that Choonja doesn’t want Inyoung to see Myungsuk as well; so, Choonja invited her on a day when Myungsuk won’t be home.

Meanwhile, Myungsuk arrives home drunk. He checks his computer and sees Inyoung’s interview. Feeling like she misunderstood him, Myungsuk calls Inyoung and tells her that she’s perfectly amazing as she is… He left her to help her but he thinks he made a mistake…

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Myungsuk asks why Inyoung is silent and we see that Sanshik had answered the phone. Sanshik hangs up and erases the log of the call before Inyoung comes back.
When Inyoung asks if anyone called, Sanshik lies.

Later, Haji visits Myungsuk to ask him again if he has no interest in her. Myungsuk tells her again that he only sees her as a little sister and tells her to return the soy sauce to his mother.

At the same time, Inyoung stops by to see Myungsuk one more time before leaving. She quietly opens the door and sees Haji hugging Myungsuk from the back and retreats in shock. She goes back to her car and asks to speed up the journey to the United States.

After she leaves, Myungsuk pulls away and tells Haji to stop acting this way. Haji leaves vowing that Myungsuk will regret this.

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Junsu’s father drops by his office and tells him to go stop Young-Ah as she’s requested a transfer to the countryside. Junsu runs off and asks her how she could leave him like this. Young-Ah answers by asking for a divorce as she can no longer stand being in between Junsu and his mother.

Back at home, Inyoung has a final meal at Choonja’s with the family and tells them that she’s leaving the next day. She runs into Myungsuk outside and congratulates him. Then she leaves.

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The next day, the competition begins and Inyoung gets ready to leave. But then Haji shows up with the rival team. The moderator also announces that the first dish is traditional soy sauce and everyone realizes that this is why Haji took the family’s sauce.

Meanwhile, Inyoung arrives at the airport mulling over Dongsuk’s remark that Haji left with the soy sauce and wondering about how Haji could then be together with Myungsuk.

MY TWO CENTS

So, even though there seemed to be a slight vibe of in-authenticity in the ease with which how everything got tied up, over-all the episode was a great penultimate episode.  For example, it was nice to see how Choonja and Soonhee patched things up.  As a quick refresher, Soonhee became a bitter mother-in-law because there was some major miscommunication and misunderstanding over expectations.  Soonhee was the owner of a small neighborhood restaurant, with whom Choonja was friends.  However, Choonja also had a sense of superiority towards Soonhee since Choonja was the respected and happily married daughter-in-law of the traditional house…When Soonhee married Choonja’s father-in-law, all of a sudden Soonhee was higher up in the family hierarchy.  (Not to mention that her friend was marrying someone who is old enough to be her father…)  This created an understandable rift between the friends with Choonja angrily giving Soonhee free reign over Choonja’s main duties of taking care of the house financials and the family meals.

Soonhee’s quick capitulation of the financial accounting responsibilities seems pretty understandable.  She realized how hard it was to cook while Choonja was away and who seriously wants added work like dealing with the finances of a large household?  It’s not clear but for all we know, Soonhee is still managing her restaurant.  It was mature of Soonhee to apologize when she handed the accounting duties back to Choonja and for Choonja not to gloat when Soonhee did. I feel like Choonja’s insistence to continue to call Soonhee by the title of “어머님” or in English “Mother” reassured Soonhee that Choonja was not looking down on her and helped Soonhee add the confession that she wants to be friends again. 🙂  Over all, a cute segway in a side plot-line.

Young-Ah’s decision is still amazing and I don’t think I can rave about it enough.  She’s clear that she’s not a martyr or a modern Mother Theresa.  She’s pretty much set on leaving Junsu and finding a life away from the city which includes memories of her current life and marriage.  In her last act, she decides to cover for the mother of the man whom she loves because even though she has decided that she cannot live with him, she still loves him.  The fact that Young-Ah does not lie about the main reason that she cannot live with Junsu anymore was pretty amazing as well.  She makes it clear that she just does not have what it takes to continue to live as the second-most-important person in Junsu’s life when he has become her most important person.  Therefore, what appears to be a dramaland noble-idiocy step is mitigated because Young-Ah is really not hiding anything.  I feel like if Junsu had asked her if she was covering for his mother, she would have answered honestly…it’s almost as if Young-Ah is waiting for Junsu to come to realize that the only thing that keeps hurting their relationship is his mother.

Finally, the Inyoung and Myungsuk post-second-breakup relationship was depicted pretty well.  They both have mainly moved on in the sense that neither is unfunctional.  Both are still healing in his or her own way, missing each other or drinking…but, it’s no longer the overly dramatic, I can’t live my life.  It’s more like both are maintaining their lives while trying to erase the memories when they aren’t busy.  That seems like pretty normal behavior and something that a lot of people can relate to.

The Virtual Bride – E10

Sigh, I was avoiding this episode because of the inevitable angst in a comedy drama but here we go! Inyoung and Myungsuk wander around dejectedly like the lovesick teenagers that they are. Meanwhile, Se-Mi and Dongsuk bring the academy head to the police and Mi-Hee gets back together with her ex-husband.

THE RECAP

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Inyoung tells Myungsuk that they live in different worlds, she has to focus on her career and they are just too different. She turns to get into her manager’s car without another word. As they drive off, she sees Myungsuk go into the house without looking back.

Myungsuk finds Choonja waiting for him in the courtyard. She asks him worried if he had been with Inyoung this whole time. Myungsuk answers that they broke up so she does not have to worry.

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The next morning is a calm affair. Choonja seems calmer and more peaceful than normal as well. She gives over the responsibility of cooking for the family and taking care of the finances to Soonhee. She even asks Soonhee to take care of preparations for the upcoming memorial dinner. Soonhee happily agrees.

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At the same time, Inyoung asks Junsu to fill her schedule up. She lies that she’s completely fine but then uses her hairspray as a face mist…and walks off to show that she’s wearing two different shoes.

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Back at home, Soonhee and Choonja seem to bond a bit. Soonhee asks Choonja about whether or not she would consider Haji a good mate for Myungsuk and Choonja angrily snaps her head off. Choonja even adds that they can’t house Haji forever and will need to send her out. Haji sees this exchange and runs off. She runs off before the conversation is over so she doesn’t hear Choonja explain to Soonhee that Haji is particularly talented and will benefit by going to a renowned Korean food preparation place in the countryside.

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Dongsuk gets worried about Se-Mi and goes to the academy to check on her because she’s not answering her phone. As he walks in, he hears the other teachers gossip about how Se-Mi got defrauded. His expression freezes and he barges into Se-Mi’s office demanding to know what happened. He tells Se-Mi that he can help her out since he’s been defrauded so many times that he knows how to deal with this kind of situation…

Se-Mi tells Dongsuk to leave her alone since she doesn’t need his help. In response, Dongsuk angrily tells her that she’s San’s mother and his wife. He asks her how does she think he can leave her alone when she’s in a situation like this? Oh! Points scored!

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Meanwhile, Inyoung goes off on a emotional episode while hearing about a new commercial because each scene reminds her about her own dating history with Myungsuk. Junsu eventually kicks her out and she goes off to a photoshoot.

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Young-Ah is working diligently when her coworker slips her a piece of paper. It’s a citizen complaint accusing Mi-Hee off breaking the law…playing favorites and the like. Young-Ah asks Mi-Hee about it and Mi-Hee vehemently denies it.

Dongsuk brings Se-Mi home and gets caught by Choonja. Choonja first yells at Se-Mi for coming home but San comes running out crying. So, Choonja relents and let’s Young-Ah go into her room.

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Then Choonja goes into the room and kicks Dongsuk out to speak with Se-Mi privately. She asks Se-Mi if something did not work out the way Se-Mi planned. Se-Mi’s eyes brim with tears and she answers haltingly that she tried her best to succeed but it did not work out…

Choonja answers that it’s expected that transitioning from just taking care of the household to working professionally would be difficult. She also adds that even though she knows her son can be frustrating, she hated to see Se-Mi look down on Dongsuk. She explains that she wanted to teach Se-Mi a lesson but realized when Se-Mi was gone that Dongsuk and San just need Se-Mi to be with them… She tells Se-Mi that everything is fine now that Se-Mi is back, effectively forgiving her for leaving the house.

Choonja then goes to check on Myungsuk who is studying. He tells his mother that he’s fine and he does not blame his mother.

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At the same time, Inyoung downs shots of soju. Sanshik sits next to Inyoung to tell her to stop drinking. But when Inyoung turns to him, she sees Myungsuk and grabs his face. Sanshik runs away when Young-Ah comes home letting her take care of Inyoung.

Young-Ah asks Inyoung what is going on. Inyoung cries to Young-Ah that she feels like hundreds of needles are constantly stabbing her heart…and she sees Myungsuk everywhere… Especially when she closes her eyes, she sees Myungsuk so clearly…

The scene returns to Choonja’s place. Haji asks Choonja whether it’s true that Choonja is going to send Haji away. Choonja smiles that Haji needs to find her own path and a nice man to marry. Haji takes thus ad wanting to send her away because she’s a burden and runs into her room. After throwing a small tantrum, she calls someone to let them know that she’s changed her mind and wants to take them up on their offer.

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The next day, Inyoung walks along the campus and hides behind a tree to spy on Myungsuk. She sees him teaching an outside class and sighs that Myungsuk looks completely fine. She puts her sunglasses back on decides to leave.

Myungsuk sees Inyoung’s retreating back and runs after her. However he loses her among all of the students and tells himself that he must have been mistaken.

Another professor runs over and tells Myungsuk good news! An university in England has an opening and they asked for Myungsuk specifically because of one of his papers. The other professor reminds Myungsuk that if he goes for a temporary position abroad, he will automatically be guaranteed a tenure position at the university when he returns. Myungsuk answers less enthusiastically that he will think about it.

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Meanwhile, Young-Ah goes to speak With Mi-Hee separately. She hands over a piece of paper and explains that she invested the bribery allegation to help Mi-Hee but found the opposite. Mi-Hee looks nervous. Instead of confessing, she yells at Young-Ah to stop trying to win the election with lies like this and walks off.

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But, the words weigh on Mi-Hee as she goes off to down a few drinks by herself. Her ex-husband shows up again and they drink to old times. Mi-Hee gets completely wasted and her ex-husband has to carry her home… After which, he gets into bed with her.

Se-Mi comes home to a worried and supportive Dongsuk. He tells her that he found out that the scoundrel academy head has tons of debt from gambling; he’s going to need money again soon. He has a plan and enlists his dad to play the role of a rich country man.

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Then Mi-Hee wakes up abruptly to Junsu’s voice as he returned home early. Mi-Hee comes out into the living room to find Junsu and Young-Ah waiting for her. Young-Ah explains that Mi-Hee should know what Young-Ah is here about… Mi-Hee shouts that it’s defamation but gets pulled away when her ex-husband drops something.

Mi-Hee goes into her room to find her ex-husband jumping around anxiously because he needs to go to the bathroom. Mi-Hee tells him to hold it and goes back out. But within a few minutes her ex runs out and straight into the bathroom.

Junsu sees his father and declares that he’s incredibly disappointed in his mother. He furiously turns to his wife and demands to know what she had to say but Young-Ah demures that she will tell him next time.

When Inyoung comes home, she just about faints because she hasn’t been eating or sleeping. When she gets back on her feet, she sees some encouraging words from fans and declares that she will do better for her fans. Then she looks down to see a scribble from an anti-fan who wrote that she’s a crazy idiot. Inyoung asks Sanshik to erase all of the graffiti and goes inside.

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However, peace is not waiting for Inyoung in her room. She sees Myungsuk at her desk… And then in the kitchen…she decides against sleeping and asks her manager for her script to memorize.

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Young-Ah finds Inyoung completely dazed from not sleeping the next day. She sits down next to Inyoung to check on her when she gets a call from her mother to tell her about Myungsuk going to a professorship abroad. Inyoung gets to overhear everything.

Back at home, Dongsuk’s dad gets a call from the scoundrel who starts asking him about why he wants to invest in the academy. Dad does a great job and convinces the scoundrel to meet at a cafe.

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The scoundrel sits down and starts to ask Dad about his academy… About the teacher that he knows… Dad falls for it and the scoundrel calls him out.

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All of a sudden, Se-Mi appears to declare that Dad is her father-in-law. The scoundrel runs but Dongsuk grabs his ankle. Not one to let the scoundrel leave quietly, Se-Mi grabs a tray and knocks the scoundrel out by hitting him in the head.

They bring the guy to the police and find good news; since Se-Mi didn’t apply for the loan herself, she will be able to get out of the $100,000 debt. Se-Mi, Dongsuk, Choonja and the dad celebrate the good news when Soonhee runs in anxiously asking everyone to follow.

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They run over to the storage room to see that it’s a mess. And the jerks took the aged house secret soy sauce! Soonhee carefully adds that she went to get Haji but her room was empty, too.

Choonja refuses to believe it. She runs to Haji’s room to check for herself. Except she sees that Soonhee is right… Everything is gone.

The family wonders if it should call the cops since the priceless family sauce was stolen. But, Choonja tells everyone to wait. If it was Haji, she would have a good reason and would bring the sauce back.

Meanwhile, Inyoung is at her breaking point and faints in front of her door. Young-Ah sees this and calls Myungsuk.

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Later, Mi-Hee sees Young-Ah bring something into their boss’ office and grabs the paper. She runs out to read the paper and sees that it’s Young-Ah’s resignation letter, taking responsibility for all of the bribery allegations against Mi-Hee. Young-Ah runs out and grabs the paper back. In answer to Mi-Hee’s questioning look, Young-Ah tells her mother-in-law that she doesn’t want her husband to be more disappointed or hurt… To him, his mother is everything and she has always been a just person.

At the same time, Myungsuk decides not to ring the doorbell and leaves. But minutes later, Inyoung decides that she cannot sleep and walks out. A few steps out the door, she faints.

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Myungsuk comes running back and carries her to the hospital. However, when Inyoung wakes up only Sanshik is by her side. He tries to distract Inyoung by showing her some fan videos.

The first video shows someone filming a group of girls gushing over her and Myungsuk asking those girls to give Inyoung a bottle of water. Then the nurse comes to ask for Inyoung’s guardian. Sanshik says that it’s him but the nurse responds in confusion as there was a different guy there earlier… With glasses…

Sanshik realizes that there’s no way to lie about the situation and tells Inyoung the nurse is right. Myungsuk carried her here and Myungsuk was actually the one who erased the graffiti on her apartment wall… He has been buzzing around her background this whole time.

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Inyoung runs out to see Myungsuk’s retreating back. She panics and tosses a slipper to get his attention. It hits Myungsuk and he pauses which gives Inyoung enough time to run up to him and hug him angrily.

MY TWO CENTS

I wasn’t really feeling the angst in this one. But once I thought of it more like a movie than a drama and assumed more time was passing, it seemed more believable. With those assumptions, the story becomes incredibly romantic between the young idol star who has to choose between her career and what seems to be her first love. Inyoung portrays the highly emotional first real break up symptoms well in that she has no interest in the real world anymore… She tries but she keeps getting things wrong because her brain is filled with memories.

The writers appear to have tried for a daddy-long-legs scenario with Myungsuk but the episode was too short for it to be successful. Rather, Myungsuk’s character is helped by the fact that he was in the right place at the right time and was able to carry Inyoung to the hospital.

Turning to side characters and storylines, Dongsuk’s sweetness and kindness really shined in this episode. I had to sigh when he couldn’t beat up the fraud-committing scoundrel but had to resort to grabbing his heel. Yet, even though it looked less than Hollywood-heroic, the facts of the matter stand that Dongsuk is still trying his best for a woman he loves even though she made it clear that she was tired of him. That kind of love is amazing by itself; it was also that kind of love that helped Se-Mi find the scoundrel (with the help of Dad) and clear her name of the $100,000 debt! Hopefully, the writer gives him a break and he can get a job in the last episodes.

Finally, Young-Ah quietly showed us how mature she is in this episode. The elections faded into the background as we wondered about whether or not the bribery allegations were true. Before we have a chance to really get disappointed in the childish and selfish Mi-Hee, our attentions are re-directed to Young-Ah who decides to sacrifice her career for her mother-in-law. My jaw almost dropped and I almost cussed!

Young-Ah has made it clear through the previous episodes that her work is important to her and that’s why she’s not quitting. So, we know what an important decision this is to her. Yet, once I had time to digest it, it made sense and seemed commendable instead… The two things Young-Ah wants most right now is to get her husband back and her mother-in-law’s approval. Since her husband has basically chosen his mother over her, she decides to do what she can to protect him. Pretty darn amazing for a side character.

The Virtual Bride – E09

Inyoung gets kicked out of the house and has a last date with Myungsuk before she breaks it off.

THE RECAP

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It’s family crisis time! Choonja kicks Inyoung out of the house in the middle of the night and even declares that she’s stopping the filming. A cute pun where Inyoung calls Choonja “Mother-in-law ” and Choonja snaps that she’s not Inyoung’s mother. Myungsuk’s father interrupts to whine about what Inyoung is supposed to do if she cannot call her “Mother-in-law. ” With that, Junsu takes Inyoung away to calm Choonja.

Myungsuk had a talk with his mother and father. However, the negotiations still with both sides noting that Myungsuk has never disappointed his mother and Choonja has never said “no” to Myungsuk…

Junsu brings Inyoung to his house and tells Young-Ah not to tell anyone. He even takes away her cell phone.

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Young-Ah watches quietly and then invites Inyoung to some beers. She tells Inyoung that Inyoung doesn’t have to apologize; she is more worried about Inyoung getting hurt. Inyoung answers that she doesn’t mind the repercussions because Myungsuk makes her feel warm and happy.

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Night passes…Myungsuk rushes over to Junsu’s office first thing in the morning and asks about Inyoung’s safety. (Like a manager would do something to his leading celebrity…) Junsu tells his brother-in-law that Inyoung spent over a decade training and being unpopular; she’s just becoming famous and thus scandal can take away her popularity. Myungsuk agrees that he doesn’t want to ruin Inyoung’s chances as popularity but he wants to know she’s fine.

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Later on, Young-Ah goes home to find out how her family members are dealing with the crisis. Choonja confesses that she likes Inyoung as a person but she doesn’t approve of Inyoung as Myungsuk’s bride. Young-Ah then goes to Myungsuk who gives his answer that he knows the logical thing is to give up on Inyoung but he cannot. Young-Ah sympathizes with Myungsuk and tells him about Inyoung’s location.

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Myungsuk runs to Inyoung’s house with the new information and they gleefully reunite. They almost get caught but thanks to Mi-Hee’s possessiveness, Junsu is stopped from going back home. Even Dongsuk calls to give his support as he tells Myungsuk that with the exception of Choonja, everyone likes Inyoung.

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Inyoung and Myungsuk resort to the people’s therapist. As they drink, Inyoung teaches Myungsuk that she puts in all of her negative feelings into the empty can and crush it to get relief. Then she confesses that she’s so frustrated because she likes Choonja but she doesn’t want to stop liking Myungsuk. After Inyoung falls asleep, Myungsuk puts a blanket on her and goes to bed in Young-Ah’s room.

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The morning brings it’s own mini crisis as Haji sounds the alarm that Myungsuk stayed the night at Young-Ah’s with Inyoung. Young-Ah texts Junsu the alarm. So, he stumbles half awake home to find the two in bed together.

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When Choonja arrives before the two can leave, Junsu pretends to have slept in the bed. However, Choonja yells that if the two culprits don’t come out she will call the broadcasting station and ask that they don’t let Inyoung on air. With a squeal, Inyoung opens the closet door.

To calm Choonja down again, Junsu promises to not let Inyoung near Myungsuk again. With the subcrisis over, they walk out and run into Mi-Hee. Choonja then finds out that Mi-Hee hasn’t let Junsu sleep at home for a while.

The family calls a meeting as they discuss their wishes. The family agrees that they don’t want to sell their house.

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Choonja tries to reason with Mi-Hee in a cafe. She promises to convince Young-Ah to drop out of the election if Mi-Hee would give up on her redevelopment plan. Mi-Hee answers that she cannot give up. Choonja downs her glass of water and declares that the whole family will help Young-Ah win.

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Back at the academy, things are still awkward as the head pulls out some dust from Se-Mi’s hair. He then asks her to take over the academy as he starts to focus on the second branch.

At the same time, Junsu and Inyoung’s manager are in damage control mode as people call to confirm the rumors that Inyoung and Myungsuk are an item. It turns out that Haji has been sending leaks out to the stations…

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Unfortunately, someone calls Choonja who ends up giving an unofficial interview that Inyoung purposefully seduced Inyoung for the money and prestige.

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Junsu worries about Inyoung getting hurt. Coincidentally Inyoung comes into the office and reassures him that she’s fine. She worries about Myungsuk’s future at the college instead. Hearing this, Junsu yells at Inyoung for ignoring her teammates who were allowed to resign their contracts due to Inyoung’s popularity.

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As for Myungsuk, he gets angry at his mother’s insistence on hating on Inyoung and yells at her. He goes back into his room in a mood only to be followed by Haji who declares that she loves Myungsuk. Myungsuk turns around and tells her that he’s going to pretend he didn’t hear her confession.

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In the morning, all of the family members note how unfortunate it is that Choonja turned the sweet Inyoung into a heartless gold digger. Soonhee takes the chance to snipe that Choonja’s children are all having difficulties because of their mother. Choonja’s had enough and she stomps into her room to get all of her account books for the household finances. She angrily throws them on the table and declares that she’s leaving since the family doesn’t seem to want her.

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Choonja heads over to Young-Ah’s house and Inyoung moves into Mi-Hee’s apartment…Mi-Hee enters her house to find it a complete mess! Inyoung explains that she was staying at Choonja’s place as her daughter-in-law and had to help. But, she’s staying at Mi-Hee’s place as a singer so she doesn’t need to clean up. With that, Inyoung leaves to go into her room and Mi-Hee turns to her son to ask how long Inyoung will be staying.

Back at home, people are feeling Choonja’s absence as Soonhee is unprepared to prepare such extravagant meals for the family. The family members take turn checking in on Soonhee because they get hungry. The grandfather even pushes Dongsuk into the kitchen to help. He smiles that it might not look like much but it’s actually hard work to prepare all of the meals for the family.

Meanwhile, Young-Ah excuses herself because she’s not hungry and leaves her mom to worry about her daughter.

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The next day, Choonja calls Inyoung out to the cafe. She tells Inyoung that she likes Inyoung as a daughter but not as a daughter-in-law and asks if they can’t just be mother and daughter instead. Lonely Inyoung gets moved and wonders about Choonja’s words in the ride back. Right on time, some of her members text her about their new album that Junsu promised them.

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At the same time, the academy head gives Se-Mi the legal papers which transfers the academy into her name. He also gives her a new name plaque. Se-Mi looks moved but then gets a text from Choonja.

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Choonja asks Se-Mi to return home in return for Choonja’s permission to work at the academy. Se-Mi responds that she does not want to return home and is considering divorce if Choonja refuses to approve of her working. She explains that she believes that she will be able to take care of San financially.

Choonja goes home in a mood and decides to leave so that Junsu can come home. At the same time, Mi-Hee’s husband drops by with flowers. Mi-Hee gets worried about Junsu seeing his father and pushes him into the house.

By the time that Mi-Hee enters her house, her husband has already taken off his clothes to shower. She curses him until he walks out all clean and Mi-Hee cannot help herself but sighing at his looks. A few minutes pass and Mi-Hee returns to normal so she goes back to yelling at him to leave.

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Later, Inyoung seems to have made her decision. She invites Myungsuk out to a date at her old elementary school. Her condition for the day is that they never let go of each other’s hands… Among the background of sad music, Inyoung and Myungsuk enjoy a happy date in the playground and even spend tons of money so Myungsuk can get Inyoung a ring from the toy turnstiles. Before he gets a ring, he gets a toy handcuff which he puts on her fingers and asks her if she likes him. Inyoung answers that she loves him instead of just liking him.

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The drama throws us a surprise with Se-Mi. All of a sudden her coworkers barge in and announce that they are not going to teach anymore because they haven’t been paid for three months. She also gets a text from the bank that alerts her about a loan of $100,000 being funded in her name…

Back at Mi-Hee’s place. Her husband knocks out drunk and she drags him into her room just as Junsu comes home. When Junsu offers to read to her so that she can fall asleep, her ex-husband snores and Mi-Hee has to pretend that she’s already sleeping.

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Junsu happily goes to his apartment but finds himself locked out. Young-Ah comes out and tells Junsu that she’s changed the password for the lock. She adds that he’s not allowed to come back until he figures things out with his mom.

Finally, Myungsuk and Inyoung also arrive at home. She let’s go of his hand and tells him to let her go now.

MY TWO CENTS

An episode of surprises? The first one that I totally did not expect was the academy head pulling a fraud on Se-Mi. While, I was wondering if he was cosmopolitan or bisexual, I did think that he was interested in Se-Mi. It was perfectly set up for some kind of love triangle between Dongsuk, Se-Mi and the guy! The fraud was completely unexpected… It almost feels like making him into a bad guy is a cop out so that Se-Mi can return to Dongsuk without really developing Dongsuk’s character or the love triangle storyline.

Inyoung’s decision was more expected. It was also not that sad. For as much as I love watching this drama, as I noted in the last recap, I have difficulties falling for this pair. Their chemistry is “Meh” at best. So, while the sad music played and I knew I should have been sad, I just wondered how the story would progress.

Inyoung’s decision does provide for an interesting internal conflict. It’s true that Inyoung feels responsible for her teammates. Growing up without parents, Inyoung must also be swayed by Choonja’s offer to continue as mother/daughter. Her decision to try to end things seems logical and practical at this point but we can see how the writer includes the angst and tries to convince us that this couple is meant to me 😉

The Virtual Bride – E08

Inyoung and Myungsuk start their lovey dovey dating away from Choonja’s suspicions.  Meanwhile, Choonja and Soonhee begin a powerplay at home.

THE RECAP

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When we return, Inyoung happily looks through fake family pictures from her past. She gets too embarrassed to acknowledge how happy this makes her but she does give Myungsuk a peck on the lips. Our resident scholar doesn’t need much encouragement before he leans in for a followup kiss.

Our resident stalker (Haji) sees all this and runs back into her room in fury. She throws a pillow against Inyoung’s poster and starts to brood about what she can do in revenge.

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Meanwhile, Dongsuk angrily watches his wife walk up to her apartment with the academy head. He loses it and follows them in, pushes his wife aside and punches the head in the face. When he takes the time to look up, he realizes that there’s a bunch of students in Se-Mi’s apartment for some extra studying.

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Se-Mi pulls Dongsuk out and reams into him for resorting to violence. She also demands to know why he would doubt her.

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Things are going much better for the Inyoung and Myungsuk lovebirds as they take couple pictures in the morning…with Haji glaring in the background. She decides that Myungsuk doesn’t deserve his milk and drinks it up herself.

Then when Choonja wonders about how Myungsuk has changed lately, Haji notes that guys change after they start dating. Choonja gets worried and goes into Myungsuk’s room to pick up the milk glass. She finds a book on the ground and picks it up to find the picture of Inyoung that Haji planted.

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So, Choonja goes back out to find Inyoung making kimchi. She asks Inyoung about her boyfriend and asks to speak with him. Inyoung calls her manager and puts Choonja on the phone. He goes along with it and Choonja goes away satisfied.

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Poor Choonja, Soonhee comes over and tells Choonja that it’s her lunar birthday the next day. She asks Choonja to prepare a feast. Choonja angrily tells Soonhee to prepare her own feast. So, Soonhee goes fake crying to her husband who tells Choonja to do as Soonhee asks.

Meanwhile, a bunch of fans come crowding Young-Ah for her signature. Mi-Hee angrily runs out and runs into her husband. He asks her to accept him back.

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Mi-Hee drags her husband to a park and tells him to go back to the young wench he left her and Junsu for. Her husband answers that she left for another man. Mi-Hee tells him that she doesn’t care and he deserves to suffer before leaving.

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Se-Mi apologizes to the academy head on behalf of her husband. He answers good-naturedly that he only suffered because be couldn’t stop his instinctual reaction to hit back. Se-Mi suddenly sees that the head is bleeding and picks up a napkin to blot it out. The two pause realizing the awkward atmosphere.

Dongsuk arrives at just that moment and drags Se-Mi out. He tells her that she can choose either the academy or him, because if she continues to work, he might ask for a divorce.

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Meanwhile, Young-Ah gets the cold treatment from Mi-Hee and her husband. However, Junsu does ask his mother whether or not she could just give up on developing the land that Young-Ah’s house is on. Mi-Hee tells Junsu that she only wants to help Young-Ah’s family; they would pay her family three times the asking price so Young-Ah’s family could move someplace else and start a business with the money.

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Back at home, Inyoung and Myungsuk are filming another episode. This one is about outdoor cold baths. Myungsuk takes off his shirt and Inyoung starts pouring cold water on him. They pause when Myungsuk seems cold and the episode turns to a romantic moment between Inyoung and Myungsuk.

Choonja sees this when she walks by. She runs over and throws a fit causing the filming to stop.

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Inyoung and Myungsuk meet up at night. Inyoung asks what Myungsuk what Choonja wants in a daughter-in-law. Myungsuk answers that Choonja wants a busy, cute daughter-in-law who is wise. Inyoung answers confidently about the first two but deflates and gives up on the wise category.

Myungsuk puts his arm around Inyoung and consoles her that his mother will one day see her charm.

Choonja interrupts their secret date looking for Inyoung. She asks Myungsuk if he likes Inyoung. When Myungsuk looks like he might confess, Inyoung throws a rock at Myungsuk.

So, Myungsuk backs off.

The next day is another power play between Soonhee and Choonja. The grandfather reminds Choonja to prepare the breakfast feast for Soonhee. Soonhee notes that she wants to eat japchae but she doesn’t have to since she knows how difficult it is to make the dish. Inyoung js the only member of the family who backs Choonja up noting that it is much more difficult to make japchae.

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Afterwards, Myungsuk and Inyoung exchange lovey dovey looks which Choonja catches. Unaware that Choonja is suspicious the two go off to continue their dates on the phone exchanging pictures.

Meanwhile, Junsu runs to tell Young-Ah that she’s misunderstanding Mi-Hee. However, Mi-Hee catches her and Junsu pretends to be there to give Young-Ah the dry cleaning fee.

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When Young-Ah refuses to drop out of the election, Mi-Hee turns to other methods. She goes to visit Choonja. She tells Choonja that Young-Ah needs support and suggests that Choonja pay for a neighborhood feast for the elders. She even offers to reserve space at a nearby restaurant.

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Afterwards, Choonja prepares the food for Soonhee’s birthday feast with Soonhee taking issue with Choonja’s cooking. When the guests arrive, Soonhee even orders Choonja around to show everyone who’s in charge.

Inyoung looks at the situation and suggests that Choonja offer up delivered ja jang myun (black bean noodles), which would imply that Soonhee cannot order Choonja around. Choonja does so and Soonhee fumes.

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Inyoung also takes this opportunity to go see Myungsuk. They decide to go roller blading where Myungsuk pretends not to know how to skate so that he can fall all over Inyoung and keep on hugging her. ^^ now that was a cute scene!

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Choonja continues cooking when she feels nervous about Inyoung not being home. She calls Myungsuk to ask whether she should bring him food. Myungsuk answers that he’s off giving an outside lecture. She accepts the explanation and then calls Inyoung to confirm that she’s at the airport.

Feeling relieved again, Choonja returns to cooking food to bring to the feast that night for Young-Ah. Her husband comes along and Choonja tells him to help out. However, since Young-Ah’s father has been defrauded so many times, he calls Young-Ah to confirm.

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Young-Ah runs home and tells them not to continue with the feast as it would violate bribery laws.

Next, the grandfather calls Choonja over to his room as Soonhee sobs. She cried that she’s nothing in the house since Choonja has all of the power. So, the grandfather agrees to let Soonhee do whatever she wants. Soonhee’s revenge is to order Choonja to bring the accounting books so that Soonhee can oversee the household spending.

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To add oil to the fire, Se-Mi comes home with divorce papers. She gives them to Dongsuk and tells him to contact her after he’s reviewed the papers.

Dongsuk grabs her and asks if she’s only doing this to teach her a lesson. Se-Mi answers that she’s tired of living with his family and his inability to provide for the family; she’s actually thankful that he brought up divorce first.

Dongsuk asks his mother to apologize to Se-Mi since she’s threatening to divorce. Choonja angrily responds that she doesn’t need to apologize when Se-Mi is the audacious daughter-in-law who left her own child. She tells Dongsuk not to worry as Se-Mi wouldn’t really divorce him. Like an idiot, Dongsuk lets his mother convince him.

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Young-Ah also deals with her problems. She goes to ask Mi-Hee what she did with Choonja. Mi-Hee answers that all she wants is for Young-Ah to drop out of the election. Young-Ah pulls out a voice recorder and replays the recording of Mi-Hee demanding that Young-Ah drop out. She reminds Mi-Hee that it’s illegal to order another candidate to drop out.

Mi-Hee pretends to fall backwards in shock and Junsu runs over to ask Young-Ah why she’s doing this. Young-Ah clearly tells him that as much as his mother is important to him, her family is important to her; she will not drop out of the election or let Mi-Hee manipulate her family members. She adds that she will delete the recording because she’s different from Mi-Hee and leaves.

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Back at home, Myungsuk brings home a box with couple shirts which the two wear in the storage room. Haji notes what they are doing and calls Choonja over with the worry that something seems off with the lettuce.

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Choonja walks over to the storage room where Myungsuk is telling Inyoung that the formula symbolizes that a complicated person like himself met a simple person like Inyoung and everything sorted itself out. Inyoung pecks Myungsuk and he pulls her on for a kiss just as Choonja walks in.

MY TWO CENTS

I take my complaints back.  This episode fully developed the relationship between Myungsuk and Inyoung.  It’s cute even if the chemistry is not there.  If I were to compare the relationship to anything, I would compare the chemistry to a more awkward version of Sweet 18, which starred Han Ji-Hye and Lee Dong-Gun.  There’s an awkward cuteness about the romance.

There is one thing though…Ryu Soo-Young is too old and too big for Dasom.  Even with the awkward cutesy character, it’s still awkward…The 14 year difference shows up whenever the focus is on the two main character’s relationship.  Don’t get me wrong, Ryu Soo-Young is a good-looking guy;  there was a time when I had a crush on him in the past.  It’s just that he does not match well aesthetically with Dasom.  Rather a more gangly physique like Chun Jung-Myung might have matched her better.

Jumping from one topic to another, I don’t like the way that the writer is writing about Myungsuk’s supposed nerdy cuteness.  Specifically, I don’t like the formula on the couple shirt and his explanation.  The fact that he decided that he’s the more complex number and Inyoung is the simple component that makes his life more simple was a bit insulting.  Understandably, Myungsuk is supposed to be a talented mathematician.  However, that does not mean that Inyoung is an idiot.  Rather, she’s been groomed and invested her time in a different area… Instead of impressing me, it irritated me that Myungsuk would put himself on a pedestal at Inyoung’s sake.  Speaks volumes of a man if he cannot lower himself to lift up the woman he supposedly loves.

Finally, I was happy to see Young-Ah continue to stand up for herself against Mi-Hee.  It makes me happy because dramas are an exaggerated reflection of current society.  The fact that two of the daughters-in-laws would challenge the unreasonable behavior of their mother-in-laws imply that the culture is slowly changing.  In Young-Ah’s case, Mi-Hee is continuing to be unbearable.  While, it’s clearer that she’s turned out to be unsufferable because of her husband’s betrayal, it does not mean that Mi-Hee is stupid.  She knows exactly what she’s doing to her son’s marriage and Young-Ah.  What we need is for Junsu to act instead of pampering to his mother.

The Virtual Bride – E07

Myungsuk confesses to Inyoung and the two start their awkward and bumbling romance.  Meanwhile, Se-Mi continues to get tempted by her academy head while Young-Ah is told by Junsu that she has to choose the election or him.

THE RECAP

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Myungsuk gasps out that he wants Inyoung to stay. Inyoung snaps back that Myungsuk is nothing to her so he has no right to tell her what to do.

Myungsuk holds on to Inyoung’s bag as he turns around and declares to the air that he won’t go on any more blind dates while he likes someone else. Inyoung still doesn’t realize that he’s talking about her and continues to snap at him to leave. Myungsuk finally turns around to hold on to her hand and answer that he’s holding on to her now…

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Misunderstandings are cleared up as Inyoung explains that she made up her boyfriend so that Choonja won’t worry. Myungsuk, in turn, asks Inyoung to give him some time so that he can figure out a way for her to like him back. Inyoung notes that she never said that she doesn’t like him… When Inyoung’s manager shows up.

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Inyoung smiles that she doesn’t want to leave anymore because her horoscope states that she shouldn’t move. She goes back in with Myungsuk and we get another scene where Myungsuk and Inyoung hide in the corner… With Myungsuk basically pushing her against the wall.

In the morning, Soonhee is the only one who declares loudly that the house feels empty without Se-Mi. Choonja eats healthily while the rest of the family quietly glares at Choonja. Soonhee pushes it further by declaring that Choonja should bring Se-Mi back since she kicked her out. Choonja turns to her husband for help but he only agrees with his father who’s already siding with Soonhee.

Myungsuk is on a roll! He keeps smiling at Inyoung and even comes into the kitchen to announce that he’s leaving. Inyoung snaps at him being the only one who understands how Choonja would react if she suspected that Myungsuk likes her. However, she runs out right after to mess up his hair and clothes…

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She smiles after mussing up his style so that he no longer looks snappy and runs back inside. A few minutes later Junsu comes and asks Myungsuk if it’s true that Myungsuk stopped Inyoung from leaving.

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They take the conversation outside the house and Myungsuk smiles that Sangsik (the manager was correct), he stopped Inyoung from leaving because he likes her. Junsu asks if Inyoung reciprocates his feelings and Myungsuk denies it. So, Junsu tells him to curb his feelings since he knows that Choonja would never approve of Inyoung…continuing would only hurt her. What both boys don’t realize is that Inyoung had been listening from behind the door.

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Next, Inyoung goes to help Young-Ah in her project to give out food to the elderly. A bunch of Inyoung’s fans show up and Inyoung agrees to take pictures and sign autographs so the fans all help out. At the same time, Mi-Hee goes walking through the local market with her campaign team. One of the market owners ask her how she’s going to save the neighborhood economy without kicking them out and redeveloping the market. Mi-Hee ignores his question and starts singing instead.

Mi-Hee returns to the office exhausted only to find that Inyoung’s fans published pictures of Young-Ah online. Mi-Hee pretends to be happy for Young-Ah but she snipes that it would be a horrible thing for Young-Ah to be disqualified for using celebrities to promote her campaign…

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Mi-Hee turns to eating ice cream at home. She pretends not to have an appetite when Junsu comes home but Junsu laughs as Young-Ah has ice cream on her chin… Junsu promises to make sure that Inyoung does not go near Young-Ah in the future. However, Mi-Hee is not satisfied and whines that she had no luck with her husband…so, it’s not surprising that she has no luck with her children.

Junsu realizes that his mother wants something different and offers to send Inyoung to help Mi-Hee out. Bingo! He calls Inyoung to clear her schedule so that she can help Mi-Hee out the next day. Inyoung sighs that she will do whatever Junsu wants since he’s her boss before turning to Myungsuk.

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She tells him to stop being so obvious about his feelings or Choonja will kick her out. Myungsuk smiles that you can’t hide your true feelings and Inyoung smiles that Myungsuk has a romantic side. He asks her about herself that other people don’t know. So, Inyoung pauses and then answers that when she was at the orphanage, she was happiest when they played “house.” This was because when they played house, she had a family.

To demonstrate, Inyoung uses flowers to show how they prepared the food. Myungsuk agrees that the breakfast looks delicious but notes that he wants to try Inyoung’s cooking. Somehow this request for manual service gets Inyoung’s heart beating and she runs off to sleep early.

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In the morning, Inyoung has everything prepared by the time Choonja comes. She asks if she can prepare breakfast. Even though Haji answers that Choonja never even let Se-Mi take care of breakfast, Choonja agrees. Inyoung prepares all of these dishes…made out eggs! Why you ask? Because Myungsuk likes eggs.

Remembering that Inyoung warned him not to make his feelings obvious, Myungsuk notes angrily that the breakfast table is ridiculous since everything is made out of eggs. He sighs that he will only eat since he does not want to waste food. Inyoung does not realize that Myungsuk is lying and gets hurt.

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Even after breakfast, Inyoung sulks in the kitchen. Choonja smiles and tries to cheer her up that the family ate everything, so Inyoung should be proud. Inyoung whines that she tried her best only to be told that her food is food waste. Choonja laughs and tells Inyoung to go in and rest as they will take care of the dishes. Inyoung walks out to find Myungsuk waiting for her. He offers to take her to the movies in exchange for the breakfast. Inyoung looks at him incredulously and snaps that he can go with someone who doesn’t make food waste.

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Next, Inyoung goes to her orphanage with Mi-Hee to volunteer. At every opportunity, Mi-Hee tries to rest or cut things off early after the pictures. However, Inyoung is just as combative and keeps asking Mi-Hee if she only came for the publicity – spurring Mi-Hee to continue her best.

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At the same time, Se-Mi sneaks back into the home to see her son. She promises that she will come back for him soon when Choonja comes in with snacks. She gets furious when she sees Se-Mi and kicks her out again. Se-Mi goes to her office to cry. She barely has calmed down when the head of the academy comes in and invites her to a nice lunch as he’s feeling glum. To emphasize the contrast, Se-Mi gets an angry text from Dongsuk asking why she came home to annoy his mother… =_=

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Coincidentally, Junsu takes Inyoung to a nice restaurant to eat with a drama director. Except the drama director bails because he’s busy. So, Inyoung asks Junsu to invite Choonja. She’s in the middle of preparing kimchi but agrees to come for free steak. The starts are not aligned for a fancy meal for Choonja…

Within minutes of her invite Se-Mi and the academy head come into the restaurant. Inyoung immediately assumes that they are having an affair and tells Junsu to cancel his invitation. He calls Choonja and apologizes that something came up at work. Choonja reassures him that she has not even changed or put on make-up. Just as she starts to take off her outfit, Soonhee comes in to ask Choonja to make lunch for her husband (Choonja’s father-in-law). Choonja snaps at Soonhee to do it herself and leaves.

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As for Inyoung and Junsu, they not-so-stealthily follow Se-Mi and the academy head’s car back to the academy building. Seeing the two enter the same elevator, they decide that it’s an affair. They run to Young-Ah and spill everything! As it’s a drama, Dongsuk was there delivering kimchi and overhears. He snaps at Inyoung for lying about Young-Ah and goes home to sulk.

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What’s going on in the election, you ask? Mi-Hee gets annoyed that everything she does gets overshadowed by Young-Ah’s deeds. So, she leaves early and goes to a public computer lab to anonymously comment on articles about her. Her ex-husband stalks her there and Mi-Hee enlists him in the online attack.

Back at home, Junsu asks Young-Ah if she couldn’t be more understanding about his mother’s campaign. Young-Ah doesn’t disappoint and honestly tells Junsu that she’s made her decision and he should know that she’s disappointed in him as well. Junsu changes the subject.

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Mi-Hee comes home in the morning with her ex-husband and gets caught by Junsu! She pretends to faint and then sulks in bed until Junsu offers helping her get an article written in the newspaper. Mi-Hee perks up immediately!

At the main house, Inyoung waits for Myungsuk until she hears from Choonja that Myungsuk is working overnight. Meanwhile, Dongsuk looks online about ways to find out if one’s wife is cheating…The long night passes with little sleep for the two of them… In the morning, Dongsuk goes to ask his mother for some money so that he can buy flowers for Young-Ah.

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As the reporter comes to interview Mi-Hee, Young-Ah is off doing her work. She randomly sees a grandfather having a seizure on the ground and runs to stop a car from running him over. She calls for an ambulance and goes to the emergency room as the elder’s guardian until his actual guardian shows up.

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At the same time, Dongsuk arrives at Se-Mi’s apartment building with the flowers. He sighs that it’s his fault that Se-Mi is being accused of cheating just because he’s not capable. Then a car pulls up and Se-Mi comes out with the academy head…

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Things are not that calm at Mi-Hee’s place as well. As Mi-Hee, Junsu and Young-Ah eat fruit while watching the news they see the elder’s son giving an interview about how Young-Ah saved his father. Then the newspaper company calls to say that the article got caught. Mi-Hee turns to Young-Ah and yells at Young-Ah to choose either the election or Mi-Hee and Junsu. Wait for it guys…Junsu walks with Young-Ah to their apartment and tells her that he will support her decision but he cannot abandon his mother…THEN HE PACKS UP AND GOES TO HIS MOM’S APARTMENT!

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The only calm is with Myungsuk and Inyoung. He calls her out to the jars and shows her a present. He’s spent the whole night up photoshopping his and Inyoung’s pictures together to create some family pictures for Inyoung because she said that she never had a family. Inyoung looks like she’s going to tear up with emotion and opts to kiss Myungsuk instead.

MY TWO CENTS
OMG! I can’t believe that Junsu did this to Young-Ah. More than Mi-Hee’s childish behavior, I am more disgusted by Junsu. That last scene where he tells Young-Ah to choose between the election which could symbolize both Young-Ah’s dream and her desire to protect her family and him left me speechless. My gut reaction? Junsu does not deserve Young-Ah for all that he’s a CEO of an entertainment company. Young-Ah is beautiful and smart. She’s also a salaried government worker. In Korea, once you are a government worker, they rarely fire you. Additionally, you get a lifetime pension. Since they don’t even have children, it might be a good time for Young-Ah to re-evaluate whether or not having a “not-there-husband” is better than spending the time to find herself or a new love. HMPH!

Sigh, not that I got that off my chest. I was happy to see that the drama is maintaining its zappy and fast pacing as well as development of the characters. Other than basically wanting to throw Junsu out of the window, I feel like I have learned a bit more about most of the characters – endearing each one of them as a viewer. Notably, I find myself seeing what Inyoung sees in Choonja. For all of her gruffness, there is this cute naivete and sweetness about her like the way that she happily got dressed to go eat steak or the way that she’s accepted Inyoung even if it’s temporarily – even complimenting her on her cooking.

Since I complained about Myungsuk’s character in the past, I was happy to see his character get some more screen time and storyline in this episode. Since Ryu Soo Young is too old to have the automatic squeal-worthy charismak it’s going to be up to the writing and the acting to carry his character. In this episode, Soo Young nailed the dorky but sweet motel-solo older single nerd. It’s his first real crush because he’s always been focused on making his mother happy. Hence, he has difficulty hiding his emotions to the point where Inyoung is worried about getting kicked out. Then he overzealously pretends not to like Inyoung or her cooking, hurting her feelings – all because he does not realize that he just needs to be standoffish…He does not really need to insult her. The way that Myungsuk’s character has been written and is being portrayed really seems to nail the endearing dorkable type and I’m starting to warm up to the MS/IY ship.

As it’s late, I’ll end my ramblings here. Hope everyone has a happy Thursday! Fighting y’all!

The Virtual Bride – E06

With the local elections going forward between daughter-in-law and mother-in-law, Junsu chooses his mother’s side forcing Young-Ah to realize that she’s all alone.  Meanwhile, Myungsuk shows more interest in Inyoung and Choonja sets him up on a blind date.  Finally, the threat to Se-Mi and Dong-Suk’s life grows as Se-Mi’s boss gives her a car and an apartment as a bonus for heading his most popular class.

THE RECAP

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The office congratulates Young-Ah and even Mi-Hee has to offer her hand in front of the others. However, she follows Young-Ah out into the hall to beg her to quit. Young-Ah offers to drop out if Mi-Hee gives up her development project.

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Meanwhile, the family tries to convince the grandfather to rethink his relationship with Soonhee. The grandfather is resolute and hands over his latest diagnosis which states that he’s still young in health.

Soonhee comes over and comments slyly that Choonja is lucky that she has both a mother-in-law and a father-in-law. The men of the house try to convince Choonja to just accept it but Choonja is furious.

Se-Mi asks if she can be excused to go the the academy. Choonja yells at her to quit as Se-Mi isn’t qualified to take care of other children when she almost lost her own child.

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Meanwhile, Inyoung gets something in her eye and Myungsuk blows into her eye. She gets caught in the act and Choonja storms out. Seeing the two, she kicks Inyoung out. Inyoung promises that she has no interest in Myungsuk because she has a secret boyfriend. Getting a call from her manager, she pretends that he’s her boyfriend.

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Calm again, Choonja tells her son to go on a blind date. This leaves Inyoung and Haji both in a bad mood because Myungsuk accepted the blind date. Myungsuk doesn’t come out unscathed as he keeps thinking about Inyoung talking on the phone…

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He walks out to find Inyoung outside wondering if it’s acceptable for her to ask him not to go on a blind date until the end of the program. She ends up toning it down and asking Myungsuk if he is going on the date for schedule purposes. Myungsuk confirms and asks if Inyoung is really dating. Feeling hurt, Inyoung also confirms. Yay for comedic misunderstandings!

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Things fall apart for Se-Mi as well. Her class is doing amazing and the parents even want more of her classes. When she asks her mother-in-law’s permission, Choonja stands firm that Se-Mi should quit. Finally, Se-Mi declares that her family can move out and Choonja agrees.

As for Young-Ah, Junsu comes in to ask if he couldn’t just convince his mother. Young-Ah tells him directly that he would never have been able to convince his mother. The next day, Young-Ah and Mi-Hee promote themselves at the same Park.

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Inyoung gets curious and asks Myungsuk about his blind date. It turns out his date is a professor at a college, was a Miss Korea and also a volunteer at the UN… Her father is also a hospital director. Inyoung exclaims in surprise that such a girl would be interested in Myungsuk.

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In revenge, Myungsuk asks her about her boyfriend. She lies that he’s a tall, successful business man. Myungsuk questions Inyoung’s boyfriend’s taste and the two have to start filming. The mission is washing Myungsuk’s car and the two happily attack each other.

After the filming, Myungsuk even drives Inyoung to her “date”. Inyoung makes up a lie that her boyfriend asked her to buy some snacks and runs off leaving her wallet in the car…

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Myungsuk follows to return her wallet. He finds Inyoung when she is by herself as she pretends to be with her boyfriend on the phone. She looks up in surprise. Instead of admitting defeat, she turns to a random passerby and grabs his arm, asking to walk together until the end of the street.

Inyoung comes home to find Choonja still cooking and he dish that the grandfather asked for. Choonja brings the dish into his room and finds out that it was for her friend Soonhee.

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Later, Choonja brings Soonhee into the storage room and tells her to get out. Soonhee busts out a marriage certificate. Choonja tells her family members who agree that living together is one thing but marriage is another thing… What if Soonhee makes a big deal out of the inheritance? They decide to do a family vote!

The grandfather bursts in and yells at them that he can marry whomever he wants. Soonhee is only a few minutes behind and she agrees that a family vote will work.

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At the same time Se-Mi wonders at the rental, water and utilities prices. She gets called away by the head of her Academy who gives her a key to a brand new car! He even adds that he got her a studio near the Academy as well…he knows that she’s becoming a popular teacher and he doesn’t want her scouted by some other Academy.

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Meanwhile, Mi-Hee and Young-Ah hit the same elder centers to gather votes. Mi-Hee jumps in whenever Young-Ah tries to give her name and takes over the tasks. When she comes back to the office, she overhears Young-Ah and the coworker together planning for the upcoming debate. To add to surprises, her husband shows up because he got hired at the community center as well!

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Junsu comes home to find his mother completely in pain from the work today. He sighs and goes back to his wife. He finally apologizes for ignoring her when she was dealing with the childless issue. He explains that he was afraid that he would be a bad father like his own father who had an affair and left the family… He promises to work harder with her and asks her to drop out of the race. They can just ask his mother to drop the development plans after she gets pregnant!

Young-Ah seems slightly moved. Riding the sympathetic wave, Junsu asks Young-Ah for a glass of water and goes over to read Young-Ah’s notes for the debate the next day.

Inyoung’s manager calls her about finding the perfect apartments for her. She declines each one citing one issue or another. Then she goes off to tell Myungsuk not to go on the blind date as it might affect their show. Myungsuk tells her that they should ask the PD who answers that a blind date would be perfect as it can turn into a subplot regarding a love triangle! Myungsuk 1 Inyoung 0.

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Its almost time for the family vote and Se-Mi gives her car key to Dongsuk reminding him that they will leave his parents house; he can trust her as she will take care of the family. Dongsuk gets all excited about the car but sees a text message arrive on Se-Mi’s phone before he goes to the living room too.

The text is from the head of the academy who asks Se-Mi if she liked his present. It goes on to say that an amazing woman like Se-Mi deserves an amazing life with a better car and a better house… But she looks like she’s imprisoned in her house… He tells her to trust him as he will help her achieve what she deserves. Reading this all, Dongsuk pauses… Hopefully, because he realizes subjecting a beautiful and amazing woman to a life of dealing with a demanding mother-in-law because they can’t afford to live separately does not mean that the woman’s beauty or talent disappears.

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The family meeting begins! Soonhee interrupts to show everyone a declaration stating that she gives up all legal rights to the inheritance that she got notarized by an attorney. The vote begins and Soonhee wins at a 4 to 3 vote.

Choonja angrily tells Se-Mi to leave without her son. Idiot Dongsuk whines that he’s not going to leave. So Se-Mi ends up leaving by herself. She tells Dongsuk to tell San that she will come back for him in one month.

The next day, Mi-Hee presents with Young-Ah’s PowerPoint – that the center becomes a one stop shop for the community members. Young-Ah realizes that her husband stole her presentation.

Her friend asks Mi-Hee what one of the words mean making Mi-Hee flounder. Young-Ah jumps in to explain that she had the same idea and gives the rest of the presentation.

Afterwards, Young-Ah goes to give the hospital visit schedule to her husband and announces that she will not resign. Junsu immediately apologizes for stealing the PowerPoint but it’s too late.

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Meanwhile, Myungsuk goes to his blind date which Inyoung crashes. Inyoung insinuates that the girl’s nose is fake but the girl pushes it up showing that it’s real. Inyoung next mentions the harsh schedule in a traditional family. The girl smiles that she’s also from a traditional family. Similarly, a remark about the port on Myungsuk’s computer does nothing.

When Inyoung gets a text from Choonja to being cake home for celebration, Inyoung runs off. She also calls her manager to agree about moving to a dorm. Myungsuk follows her but loses her in the lobby. In a couple of minutes, he runs into Inyoung’s fake boyfriend and angrily tells him off for cheating on Inyoung.

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The man answers that he doesn’t know what Myungsuk is talking about as the girl from the other day was a stranger. Myungsuk realizes what happened and happily returns to the blind date. When his date starts ragging on Inyoung, Myungsuk angrily tells her that he does not know anything about her as she’s a sweet and caring girl. Inyoung’s manager texts Myungsuk if he can move the filming for the next day to the afternoon as Inyoung is moving that night.

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Myungsuk leaves the date and runs home. He finds Inyoung waiting for her ride and tells her not to leave.

MY TWO CENTS

Another light and fluffy episode with some speedy developments! I loved how this episode was kind of realistic in that Inyoung gets caught lying about her boyfriend. Yet, Myungsuk assumes otherwise because he’s already infatuated with her. Inyoung’s failed attempt at throwing Myungsuk’s date seemed so cringe-worthily real. After all, women who go on such blind dates know that they are in for a realistic marriage… They aren’t expecting a perfect man and a whirlwind romance – not that they wouldn’t be happy if they chanced upon one.

The question remains how much chemistry can the writers and the team drum up between two presumably motel-solo (never dated people) of two different personalities and professional experiences. So far, I like the cute exchange and I can understand Inyoung falling for Myungsuk who is an assistant professor-about to turn professor… But Myungsuk? Seems more like infatuation with her looks with a dash of gratitude at how Inyoung treated his father. Not convinced, though open to convincing.

On to the side characters, I was uber disappointed in Junsu in this episode. Up until now, I had thought he was being especially kind and indulgent to his mother so that Young-Ah has to deal with Mi-Hee less. Yet, in this episode, he crossed over that last ten percent and fell smack into mommy’s-boy territory. What the heck was with him stealing Young-Ah’s presentation? That was completely uncalled for! As a woman, if my husband pulled something like that on me, I don’t know if I could trust him ever again.

Finally, I’m also intrigued by the love triangle developing with Se-Mi, Dongsuk and the academy head. Sometimes the academy head seems a bit flamboyant and cosmopolitan but then he crosses the line with the texts like he sent this time.

I frown strongly upon affairs whether the husband or wife is cheating. Yet, Se-Mi is in such a bad position because of her husband who is satisfied to live at home and subject his wife to Choonja’s abuse that I hope Se-Mi can leverage this into spurring the complacent Dongsuk into action. The situation is toxic for Se-Mi and she can use outside help that provides resources for Se-Mi to reach her full potential. Hence, I’m glad that Dongsuk saw the message and that Se-Mi left. Now it’s time for Dongsuk to show us why Se-Mi fell for him in the first place, hopefully wooing Se-Mi’s heart and us as well.

The Virtual Bride – E05

Inyoung saves the day with her impeccable taste. We get a first kiss between Inyoung and Myungsuk. Choonja shows us her soft side. And, the political race is on between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law!

THE RECAP

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Choonja walks in to see Myungsuk under the covers. He pokes his head out and pretend do to be completely half asleep and reassures his mother that the head of his department changed recently, which is why she got the weird call.

The next day, Se-Mi asks Inyoung to attend the parent day for her. Inyoung happily agrees to get away from Myungsuk after being embarrassed from the other night. Except, Myungsuk shows up in class as well. Dongsuk had asked Myungsuk as well.

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At the same time, Choonja suggests that Soonhee goes on a blind date with this old widow…

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Back in the classroom, the parents are supposed to kiss the child on the head every time certain words come up in a song. Everything goes peacefully until San leans over to pick up a ball and the two end up kissing! Awkward!

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When Inyoung and Myungsuk come home, Inyoung gets caught by Choonja because of her father-in-law. To calm Choonja both promise that the other is not their type.screenshot_2015-09-01-21-16-31-resized-640

As for Se-Mi, she and her Academy head come out of a rival academy. As Se-Mi checks a text from her husband, the head pulls her out of the way of a bicycle in a hug… Se-Mi feels her heart pound.

Se-Mi comes home to get yelled at by Choonja and get jumped on by Dongsuk asking her to buy him a new suit. Se-Mi yells at him for not having his life straight compared to the academy head.

The next day, Junsu fawns on Inyoung because she’s a hit with several commercials. Junsu tells Inyoung that she can replace any of her stylists or even her manager if she wants.

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Inyoung then goes home to give all of the family members a new cell phone. She thanks them for helping her succeed and even notes that they’re the closest thing to a family that she knows. The topic changes saving one’s significant other as speed dial one and the family jokes about the grandfather. Choonja grumbles about Soonhee spreading rumors. When asked, she reassures everyone that they did not fight, she set Soonhee on a blind date.

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Next, there’s filming for the next episode. The two are supposed to pick peppers and Inyoung wonders if she should use scissors instead. Hearing this, producer runs over and stops her. He reminds her that the viewers have more fun if the celebrity has a difficult time. Then he agrees that Inyoung can use scissors if she accidentally cuts her shirt in the middle of picking.

Myungsuk gets angry at the thought of Inyoung cutting her shirt into a crop top and invites Inyoung to a bet… The losers in rock-paper-scissors has to pick the whole field! They play and he loses twice.

From the side, Inyoung’s manager wonders if Myungsuk likes Inyoung since only an idiot would lose to her… If you noticed, she played rock and scissors… In Korean, the game is called rock-scissors-paper.

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We turn to Young-Ah’s story. Mi-Hee finds out that her competitor is winning in the polls by a large margin and asks Young-Ah to get her mother’s signature to approve her development plan. Young-Ah apologizes that she cannot convince her mother to sell their family’s home.

So, Mi-Hee takes matters into her own hands. She goes off to convince Choonja herself! Before Mi-Hee can say anything, Young-Ah bursts in and steals the papers.

Mi-Hee stalks home and complains to Junsu and yells at Young-Ah. Junsu tries to stop her but then pretends to be just as angry when his mother protests in anger that he’s protecting his wife in front of his mother. This all gets interrupted by a visit from Junsu’s dad…who gets kicked out by Junsu.

At the same time, Inyoung happily coos over pictures of Myungsuk in her bed before falling asleep.

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The next day, Choonja leave a Inyoung hanging blankets to dry. Myungsuk steps in to help Inyoung and the two share a moment under the blanket…

Choonja interrupts by yelling at Inyoung for ordering Myungsuk to do housework. Myungsuk distracts her by asking her for a drink.

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But! Time for another crisis! Haji runs out with the bad news that the Internet is full of complaints that their kimchi taste horrible! The secretary comes back to inform the group that the culprit was Dongsuk.

Side Story! Among romantic music, the grandfather runs into the cafe where Soonhee is having her blind date. He yells at her and drags her out after declaring that she is his woman (and apologizing to the man for being rude on their first meeting). Back in Soonhee’s restaurant, he tells her to trust him as he will protect her from now on. (Did anyone else see how the actor playing the grandfather was smiling the whole time? Hahahha! I bet they had fun filming this classic kdrama scene!)

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When we return to Inyoung, they are at the restaurant that is causing the problem with the bad kimchi per Inyoung’s plan. They begin filming another episode where Inyoung tastes the kimchi with her husband. Looking surprised, she declares that it’s not her mother-in-law’s kimchi. She goes around tasting the kimchi on other people’s tables and announces that it’s all not her mother-in-law’s kimchi.

The owner accuses her of defaming his restaurant and Inyoung tells him that she can recognize her mother-in-law’s kimchi. They commence a blind test on the grounds that if Inyoung cannot correctly pick out her mother-in-law’s kimchi, she will pay for everyone and take care of the restaurant’s marketing. In return, the owner promises to acknowledge that he has been using other kimchi, formally apologize and pay for everyone if Inyoung gets it right.

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Inyoung does the tasting and gets it correct. True to his words, the boss kneels in front of Choonja. He apologizes that he tried so hard to find the perfect stew… But then his restaurant went belly up…he had so much debt that he didn’t know what to do… When he saw Choonja’s kimchi on the television, he thought it could help his restaurant and it worked… Yet, when he started making money, he got greedy and thought he could pay his debt off faster by using cheaper kimchi.

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Choonja sighs that her son is no better off than him. When her husband asks if they should call the police and file a claim, Choonja answers that she will give kimchi to the man… For free temporarily. She wants him to call all of the customers who were fed the cheaper kimchi and let them taste her real kimchi. When he pays off his debt, he can pay for her kimchi again.

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As for Mi-Hee, nothing is off bounds for the writer! The drama harpoons the political system with Mi-Hee getting a call from someone. He tells her that the higherups pressured her competitor who has decided to drop out of the race. So, she’s the only one in the election and a de facto winner. When a coworker comes in to congratulate Mi-Hee on the news, she pretends to be demure and extols the value of a democratic system.

Young-Ah walks over to ask if Mi-Hee no longer needs her family land now that she’s basically won. However, Mi-Hee answers that her program is more important than ever if she’s elected.

Back at home, the manager tells Inyoung that the company is willing to get her an apartment… And he found a vacancy in the building she likes. To his surprise, Inyoung seems less than enthusiastic.

As Inyoung leaves, we hear about the latest family crisis! San is missing because Se-Mi forgot to pick him up. (This was the week that the school bus was suspended temporarily.)

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Everyone starts to go looking for San who isn’t at the school. Even as Inyoung is being driven away, she remembers how San liked the stray dog near his school and always fed it. She makes her manager drivers her to the school, arriving a few minutes before Myungsuk. She runs in the rain toward the playground to see San sitting on the slide with a dog. Inyoung envelopes him in a hug as Myungsuk arrives.

Back at home, Choonja yells at Se-Mi for forgetting to pick up her son. Not one to take a beating lying down, Se-Mi points out that San has a father in addition to a mother. Dongsuk’s only excuse is that he had been kicked out due to the kimchi incident… Choonja fumes when he turns to her and blames her for Se-Mi being disappointed in her.

Meanwhile, Inyoung receives begrudging praise from Choonja for saving San. Peace has returned to the family.

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It doesn’t last long as within minutes the grandfather walks in holding Soonhee’s hand.

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Junsu’s life is just about to get more complicated as he has a congratulatory wine with his mother. She gets a call that another competitor entered the race. As she asks for the identity, Young-Ah walks in and announces that it’s her.

MY TWO CENTS

This drama continues to feel like a Korean live action of an animation. It’s light, fluffy and fast-paced. You get the conflicts that are written well enough that it triggers your empathy and within the same episode you get some catharsis as the problem is resolved.

Additionally, I’m satisfied to see several characters getting development. Within just a few episodes, we have been introduced to Young-Ah, who is pretty successful as she became a competent government employee with a guaranteed lifetime pension. We see how she’s trying her best to gain her mother-in-law’s acceptance, probably a result of her always being praised as she grew up.

So, she even gets tempted to take her mother’s signature stamp to approve Mi-Hee’s plan. (I couldn’t tell if it was approving the sale of the land or just approving the plan to build a new commercial complex on the land of her family’s house.) As cheesy and cartoony as it was for Young-Ah to show up as the new competitor in the local elections, the story was written well enough that I had been wondering why Young-Ah doesn’t just run if she would be better suited for the post.

Another notable character revelation seems to be Choonja. She stated that she was the one who developed the famous kimchi. In addition to her soft spot for Inyoung not having parents, she also handled the fraudulent kimchi ordeal with grace. So, she becomes this complex character who seems generally fair and proud of her accomplishments with a few blind spots – Myungsuk being one of them. As such, i don’t actually hate her regardless of blind love of her son or her treatment of Young-Ah which seems to be stemming from the insecurity triggered by Dongsuk…

One character that still needs development – Myungsuk. I get the cute romance and his being Inyoung’s knight against the hardships of celebrity. Yet, there’s something still missing. Myungsuk just elicits a reaction of “Oh, that’s cute.” The squeal-factor is not there… And I would love it if the drama could add that it. (Not a parodied squeal factor but a real squeal-factor.)

Final note. Did anyone else notice that both Young-Ah’s and Mi-Hee’s hair got revamped? The hairstyles in this episode was much more flattering! Kudos to their respective stylists.

The Virtual Bride – E04

Inyoung goes viral due to her groping of Myungsuk! Thanks to that, Inyoung’s image is set as an idiot/vapid celebrity.  All goes swimmingly well until a bad video surfaces that threatens to make everything fall apart.

THE RECAP

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In a exaggerated fashion, Choonja finds Inyoung in Myungsuk’s room with the two sitting together at his desk. Immediately, she demands to know if Inyoung is seducing Myungsuk. Inyoung tries to save herself by blurting out that she was just typing for Myungsuk who got his arm hurt because of her. When Choonja hears this, she gets even more furious.

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The next day, Choonja kicks Inyoung out of the house. Even with her son-in-law and son asking her to reconsider, she doesn’t budge; what does she care that the variety show became an overnight hit because of the cooking/groping of Myungsuk scene?

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Resorting to desperate measures, Inyoung’s manager listens to Dongsuk and calls Choonja pretending he’s the head of Myungsuk’s department. He notes how he has high hopes for Myungsuk and enjoys watching the show.

Myungsuk comes home and Choonja gives him the phone. However, he listens to Inyoung’s manager’s pleading that Myungsuk go along with the skit since this is Inyoung’s last chance.

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Meanwhile, Young-Ah asks her mother-in-law directly about whether or not her plan to redevelop their city rests on building the factory on her family’s property. Her mother-in-law answers by taking Young-Ah with her to deliver diapers and baby supplies to a new mother. This is a program that Young-Ah had developed and her mother-in-law focuses on how Young-Ah never gave her a grandchild. She tells Young-Ah that she will forgive Young-Ah for everything if she could convince her mother to sign the documents agreeing to the plan and selling their home.

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Young-Ah answers that she doesn’t feel comfortable doing this. Cue next morning adult temper tantrum with her mother-in-law going on a hunger strike. Junsu tells Young-Ah that he will take care of it since it makes no sense to force Young-Ah to sell her family home.

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At the same time, the parents of Se-Mi’s students come ready for a witch hunt because Se-Mi didn’t finish her class. No amount of apologizing is enough to placate them… Until the academy director shows up and offers that they enroll their kids in a new special class that focuses on midterms by Se-Mi. If their children’s grades don’t go up, they will be refunded for their fees and also have access to any other class at the Academy. Hmmmm, someone is putting his neck on the line for Se-Mi…

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Variety show filming time! Due to her popularity, Inyoung’s now has her own stylist and makeup artist! Today’s episode is Inyoung cooking chicken soup for Myungsuk. To make it more interesting, she’s supposed to catch the chicken herself.

Inyoung murmurs that she’s afraid of chickens but agrees to do it for the viewership. They go off and Inyoung keeps failing so Myungsuk offers to help. He also sucks in a very sitcom/exaggerated way.

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Then just as Myungsuk catches a chicken, Inyoung falls face first into the mud. She almost curses but remembers the camera and plasters on a smile. With a fake happy voice, she notes that she’s happy they caught the chicken and now she can go cook for her husband.

Myungsuk goes after her, demanding to know why she’s willing to ruin her image for this show. Most of the comments are all berating her and not supporting her. Inyoung tells him to keep away because she promised his mother, as a condition to her staying, that she would stay away from him. A flashback shows Choonja telling Inyoung that she had a horrible early marriage with a hitler-esq mother-in-law and a husband who was always outside the house… The only thing that kept her sane was Myungsuk. Therefore, she wants the perfect bride for Myungsuk. Moved, Inyoung promises to stay away.

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Choonja shows up so Myungsuk hides under the barrel. Trying to distract Choonja from taking the barrel, Inyoung drags her away to do her makeup.

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When Choonja’s husband comes home, he exclaims that Choonja looks so much prettier, even Choonja seems happy about it. Compliments continue through dinner and everyone seems to be appreciative except for Haji.

Being a literal bum living off of his mother, Dongsuk is full of energy and jokes that they should go eat Korean BBQ. Young-Ah snaps that she’s going crazy with the house chores, preparing and taking care of San, and now preparing a special class at the Academy. She shakes a bunch of papers that she has to grade in his face.

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Instead of offering to responsibly take some of stuff off her plate, Dongsuk continues to joke that he can give her a massage. So Young-Ah kicks him and he falls just in time for Choonja to see. The two pretend that Dongsuk was exercising but Choonja tells Young-Ah to quit her job.

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Inyoung and Myungsuk have a romantic moment when he finds her in the storage room to ask why she’s willing to throw her image away. Inyoung answers that to celebrities, have negative publicity is better than having no publicity because negative publicity still means that the people have an interest in you. So, she’s willing to do anything she can and look stupid if it means she can become famous.

Myungsuk looks at Inyoung in a new light realizing that she is not just a vapid idiot.

Choonja calls for Haji and the two hide behind a cabinet…which brings them really close to each other. Gulping on both sides ensue.

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Then Inyoung finds Choonja unhappily tasting a dish. Inyoung suggests that Choonja make it slightly more salty and answers correctly when Choonja quizzes her on what ingredients went into the stew… All from tasting it. Choonja let’s Inyoung fix the dish but while Inyoung has a great sense of taste, she doesn’t have the practical knowledge about the amounts to put into the stew.

Choonja sighs that Inyoung must have never paid attention to her mother’s cooking. Inyoung responds that since she was young, she didn’t have a mother making Choonja pause.

Haji sees the bonding and glares. When Inyoung returns to the room that she’s sharing with Haji, she finds Haji drinking and joins her.

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The next day, Young-Ah and her Academy head find Dongsuk waiting for Young-Ah outside the academy. The head invites Dongsuk to lunch with them and takes the two to a sushi place.

There, Dongsuk gorges on the sushi and then asks the head to invest in his company that he wants to create. The head asks if Dongsuk has looked into the market share, the average costs of employee hiring or whether the employment laws regarding his employees would change. (Dongsuk wanted to create a male house cleaning service).

Dongsuk does not know the answer to any of these questions and the academy head excuses himself to go wash his hands.

Se-Mi snaps at Dongsuk to stop as he’s embarrassing her but Dongsuk has no idea why.

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Meanwhile, Young-Ah and her coworker ask her mother-in-law (Mi-Hee) if she wants to join. However, Mi-Hee reminds Young-Ah that she refuses to eat until Young-Ah gets her own mother’s signature on the petition. Young-Ah apologizes that she cannot and leaves.

True to her words, Mi-Hee does go out to get some signatures for her petition. Then she runs into her ex-husband and runs off. Finding herself fighting a losing battle against starvation, Mi-Hee sneaks into a Chinese fusion restaurant.

As luck would have it, Young-Ah and her coworker stop by because they bought Mi-Hee some sushi but did not have time to eat themselves. Young-Ah spots her mother-in-law and tries to leave for a different restaurant…except her coworker calls Mi-Hee out.

When they get back to the restaurant, Junsu comes over with some sushi as if he really thinks that his mother will starve to death. He asks Young-Ah to at least pretend that she’s going to get the signature…

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That night another crisis occurs. A video of a drunk Inyoung saying that her mother-in-law is a devil and that her “husband” is a numbers-pervert that cannot get married. The staff asks Haji how the video got leaked since Inyoung was drinking with Haji…Haji cries that she lost her phone and has no idea who leaked the video.

The netizen reaction is as expected as well. Everyone is pissed off that Inyoung is such an ungrateful brat and it looks like the variety show might be in trouble. As a result, Inyoung’s next episode changes to visiting her sister-in-law.

Back at home, an interesting episode ensues. Dongsuk has difficulty sitting up because of stomach pains. Meanwhile, one of Choonja’s friends come over and blasts Inyoung for what she said behind Choonja’s back. She even comments that Inyoung must not know better because she does not have parents. Choonja glares at her friend and snaps that this has nothing to do with Inyoung’s parentage.

Hearing that there’s rumors about her father-in-law dating someone circulating because of Soon-Hee, Choonja runs off to teach Soon-Hee a lesson. While she’s gone, Dongsuk loses consciousness until his father arrives. After a visit to the emergency room, everyone finds out that Dongsuk had food poisoning.

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The family gets a lucky break because someone uploaded the full video. The complete video shows that Inyoung really said that she thought her mother-in-law was a devil but she actually has a really sweet and cute side. She also explains that she won’t marry into the family because she’s not fit for her “husband.” All of the angry netizens change their opinion and Junsu is satisfied that they don’t have to pay liquidation damages for all of the commercials that he signed Inyoung up for.

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Inyoung goes to thank the convenience store owner who uploaded the video. However, he confesses that it was actually Myungsuk that came and reviewed the security videos for hours until he ran off..He brought the cell phone and asked the owner to upload the full video…

Jja-jjan! Myungsuk saw that Haji still had her phone and did not lose it. He confronts her and Haji cries confessing that she did it out of jealously. Myungsuk reminds her that the whole family was hurt because of her decisions. He also leaves after warning her that if she torments Inyoung again, he will not forgive her.

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Feeling moved, Inyoung goes to Myungsuk’s room and thanks him. He pretends to not know what she’s talking about when Inyoung asks how he found out about the video…until his mother calls and Inyoung ducks under the covers with Myungsuk to not get caught in his room.

MY TWO CENTS

Again episode where I’m left thinking that the music producer is genius! The music choices are perfect for a sitcom/romantic comedy. It’s like scene after scene, the music highlights that the series is making fun of itself…As if it’s saying, “having fun? It’s a story, lets all enjoy ourselves!” >.< <3<3<3

Point two of surprise was the little glimpse of depth to Mi-Hee’s character. I would be pleasantly surprised if Mi-Hee’s character accepts her ex-husband back and backs off of her almost Jocasta complex-like fixation on Junsu! I had been steaming when she brought Young-Ah over for the delivery just to use it as an emotional crutch supporting her request that Young-Ah helps gets her mother’s signature approval regarding the new neighborhood development. However, seeing Mi-Hee actually trying to get her own signatures instead of continuing to force Young-Ah do all of her work…Seeing that Mi-Hee had actually created her own project development ideas and a powerpoint…Her reaction against her ex-husband, which was mainly anger that he might be caught by Junsu… Makes me think that we might be able to salvage her character into one that is palatable still!

Another thing that I really liked about this episode was how we saw misunderstandings could affect a celebrity’s life. It wasn’t even a subtle jab since the same episode showed how Inyoung was willing to fall face first into the mud and laugh it off for a viewership boost. She explicitly tells Myungsuk that she doesn’t care of she gets bad publicity as long as she gets publicity because being forgotten is like death for a celebrity. However, when the edited video surfaces, we see how it can affect the celebrity both professionally and personally. Inyoung basically becomes the pariah of her family and her management company. Her budding romance and beginning acceptance from a family almost disappears. Then it turns out that the video was edited…But, I want to even note that even if it was not edited. Inyoung didn’t commit a crime like drunk driving. She got drunk and let herself complain to someone whom she thought that she could trust. Everyone complains about their work; yet, it became a huge issue when Inyoung did it because she seemed fake based on the actions of her character on a “variety show.”

I thought that was eye-opening because I am also guilty of finding celebrities fake sometimes. But then again whatever we see on the air is a persona; it is the same persona that put up when we go to work ourselves. No one calls me fake when I put on a go-getter persona at work while wanting to stay in bed binging on Korean drama at home…but, in a way, it’s the same thing. The actors/actresses play a persona given to them by their trainers/producers/writers. This persona shouldn’t define them when they’re not working. Of course, everything changes if an actor/actress breaks the law or purposefully hurts someone else…

Finally, was that chemistry that I saw between Inyoung and Myungsuk? Color me surprised! I did not think that it would be possible for the writing/acting/directing to create chemistry between two actors who are around 20 years apart! Ryu Soo-Young was born in 1979 and Dasom was born in 1999! Yet, when they crouched together in the storage room and stared at each other…with the special effects of the heartbeats, I found myself really rooting for the couple. They’re CUTE enough that I can some times forget the age gap. Hopefully this continues.

The Virtual Bride – E03

Misunderstandings and hijinks galore! Inyoung seduces Myungsuk’s head of department and they get some failed couple yoga.  Sitcom forward!

THE RECAP

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Inyoung hears Myungsuk declare that he will only film with her and decides that Myungsuk must have fallen for her.

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Meanwhile, Choonja demands that Junsu take Inyoung away. However, the father cuts her authority by saying that he wants Inyoung to stay forever. Junsu promises to take Inyoung away after the filming ends.

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The first episode airs and everyone despairs that the viewership is so low. Junsu decides to switch her out if it doesn’t increase… And Inyoung schemes with the producer and Dongsuk about creating a loveline to increase the viewership.

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The next day, Inyoung wears some trendy glasses while grocery shopping. At her mother-in-law’s snapping, she takes it off after worrying that people would recognize her. Unfortunately, no one recognizes her at all.

In fact, they go to the meat shop where the owner mentions that he heard about a variety show featuring an idol… He hears that the idol is here and runs out!

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The women next go to the friend’s restaurant. There, Inyoung tries the bean paste and comments that it’s not her mother-in-law’s bean paste. The friend freezes but Haji also tries it and declares that it is Choonja’s paste.

Inyoung takes another taste and murmurs that it’s too sweet like it includes some MSG. Choonja suspiciously tries the paste herself and glares at her friend as she realizes her friend added some MSG in… She declares that her friend will get no more bean paste from their house and the women leave mid-meal.

Choonja’s friend calls the grandfather for help. He goes to speak with Choonja, finds her in a fury and leaves quietly.

Meanwhile, Dongsuk comes in with a bunch of orders for kimchi. Choonja just grumps that they don’t have the capacity to fulfill so many orders while Dongsuk suggests that they start a new company. As for Inyoung, she tries to get some brownie points by offering to help make the kimchi.

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At the same time, Junsu takes his mother out for a fancy lunch while his own wife works hard and has a late lunch. Pretending that she’s weak, she has Junsu call his wife and ask her to get the 100 signatures needed for his mom to be a candidate. There goes Young-Ah’s lunches!

Inyoung dresses in a little black dress, dancing around when Dongsuk comes in to tell her that they have a great opportunity! Myungsuk has a drinking event – he needs someone to come and drive him home!

Se-Mi excels at work, agreeing to put in extra hours before the midterms so that the academy can do well. Dongsuk calls at that point to tell her that his mother is in a pinch; Se-Mi can win points by helping his mom out. Tired and overwhelmed, Se-Mi hangs up.

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Cue Inyoung all dressed up, full makeup and full of confidence! She runs into the drinking meeting and introduces herself. Then, she finds out who is higher ranked than her husband and goes to flirt like crazy with the department head to show that she’s a great wife.

Being Inyoung, she also does a total sexy dance when they ask for a song. Then she pulls the department head up for a sultry dance instead of her husband! Like a true sitcom, Myungsuk gets jealous and angry. He gets up to pull her away but falls flat on his face…he does end up pulling her out and tells her to stay in the car.

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Inyoung happily flounces out thinking that she seduced him. When she drops her keys, she bends over and overhears other assistant professors gossip about Myungsuk and how he decided to call Inyoung because the department head said that he’s a fan. Deciding that Myungsuk only declared that he would only do the filming with her was because of the department head, she drives off without Myungsuk.

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At home, Inyoung tells Myungsuk that it’s all his fault without explaining anything. She tells him that they should try to help each other out and just have a strategic partnership.

Young-Ah comes home then as well. Choonja tells her to prepare the garlic. So begins Se-Mi’s housework until 3am while her husband sleeps… Afterwards, she starts preparing her lectures for the next day.

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Bad things flood – not rain… In the morning, Dongsuk tells Se-Mi in front of everyone that the reason their son San doesn’t want to eat is because today is the official pre-musical rehearsal at school… Yet, Se-Mi hasn’t made San’s costume. Young-Ah promises to have the costume made and brought to her son.

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As for the grandfather, he brings his girlfriend some of Choonja’s kimchi. The girlfriend doesn’t seem impressed and tells him that she’s angry that he doesn’t love her. The grandfather pulls out a lipstick… But confesses that he told the employee that it was for Choonja. Grandfather gets kicked out.

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Next, Inyoung and the other employee help Young-Ah get signatures for her mother-in-law… They work at the gas station, help clean restaurants and even visit an elder center. At the same time, the mother-in-law gets her hair and makeup done for a photo shoot.

After it’s all over, Young-Ah thanks Inyoung. Inyoung tells Young-Ah that it’s fine… But asks her to tell Junsu not to replace her on the show.

The mother-in-law comes and thanks everyone for their help. She offers to buy food but then notes that she cannot due to bribery laws… Inyoung suggests that the mother-in-law just cooks at home instead.

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Net show episode, some sultry couple yoga! They call out Myungsuk and put the couple through some poses that should result in gradual skinship. However, each pose doesn’t work and Inyoung gets thrown to the side each time. To top it off, Myungsuk declares that he’s not going to film the episode today… Just like someone came to drive him home but left with the car…

Inyoung angrily grabs Myungsuk’s arm and Choonja comes in at that moment.

Things aren’t looking well for Young-Ah as well. Her coworkers come to get a free dinner on her mother-in-law who tells Young-Ah to sit as she prepares everything… Furiously….

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Back at home, Inyoung offers to get a storage box for Choonja. She jumps for it when Myungsuk comes in and tells her to use a chair. Inyoung refuses and keeps jumping. She ends up toppling a pot and Myungsuk pulls her out of the way saving her… But getting hurt instead.

Inyoung begs him to keep it a secret from his mother as he needs her help, too. Myungsuk agrees because he feels sorry for her but wonders why she keeps saying that he needs her help…

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At the same time, Young-Ah’s mother-in-law rips into Young-Ah for enjoying the noodles that she suffered in preparing. She orders that young-ah finish all of the clean-up!

Poor Young-Ah, she just can’t win. Even when Junsu comes home and shows his mother all of these photoshopped pictures, her mother-in-law snaps at her for giving a compliment.

Junsu’s father calls and Junsu takes the phone away to hang up on him.

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Meanwhile, Myungsuk goes to get some ice because the arm is starting to swell. Inyoung feels guilty and makes a cast for Junsu… Which Haji sees.

Choonja is also tired and grumpy. She calls Se-Mi and orders that Se-Mi buy some boxes on her way home before hanging up. Feeling cornered, Se-Mi has to ask another teacher to cover for her as she runs off to buy boxes.

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At the same time, Inyoung types for Myungsuk and he explains the 80:20 rule about how 20% of the work results in 80% of the progress. Inyoung murmurs out loud if she’s not in the 80% of the celebrities that don’t make any money.

Crisis alert! Junsu isn’t satisfied that Young-Ah does all of the work. He asks Young-Ah to help his mother prepare her PowerPoint presentation.

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Young-Ah goes in and sees a PowerPoint presentation that offers a plan for continued urban development… And it includes her mother’s house in the area for development. Her mother-in-law comes in and sees Young-Ah near the computer. Running over, she suspiciously closes her laptop.

Back at home, Se-Mi gets a call from the academy telling her that the place is a mess! Her substitute never took over the class and the parents are furious. She walks back into her room in a mood only to get yelled at by her husband because she forgot her son’s tree costume… San fell asleep crying!

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Choonja overhears this and walks in to yell at Se-Mi for being a horrible mother. She tells Se-Mi to quit. Se-Mi yells back that thanks to Choonja, she does not have to since she’ll probably be fired anyways…

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As this conflict boils over, Choonja leaves in a huff where Haji finds her and suggests that she brings Myungsuk tea. Choonja agrees and finds Inyoung in her son’s room to her utter horror.

MY TWO CENTS
Hmmm, I bet the writer is a woman. She’s not so subtly commenting on the state of many working moms in Korea, and I love it. Other than Choonja ordering Se-Mi to clean up the mess of kimchi making by herself, I don’t even think the conflict was that exaggerated. Se-Mi, herself promised to fix San’s costume and didn’t ask her husband to do it. Se-Mi is the one trying to create an overly comprehensive schedule at the Academy…

Once the writer added normal social pressures and responsibilities without adding the additional support (as many women still don’t get it) Se-Mi’s over commitment became apparent. Over breakfast, it was clear that both Dongsuk and Choonja were giving Se-Mi the guilt trip for not preparing San’s costume earlier. But in a more efficient world, Dongsuk would have already prepared it; all he has to do is take San to a tailor… Yet, due to the guilt trip, Se-Mi couldn’t help herself but promise to fix it herself…

Similar situation with the boxes. Choonja purposefully did not call Se-Mi to let her know that they found boxes after hanging up on Se-Mi. Her earlier call was the same as telling Se-Mi that she would have to bring boxes since she didn’t help prepare the kimchi. However, wouldn’t it be better if Se-Mi contributed financially to the family instead and the family could hire part time help? Just saying… It wouldn’t be traditional but seems more efficient and more appropriate given Se-Mi’s affinity for outside work.

Now that the tirade is over.  Beginning impressions/summary:

Pros of the show:

  • Refreshing sitcom that blatantly makes fun of itself.  It’s been a while since there was a sitcom where the focus was sitcom instead of the romantic comedy part.  Like Hello Francesca.
  • Parody music is spot on! Music Director, you are the best!
  • Strong acting from the main characters (Choonja, Inyoung, Se-Mi, Young-Ah, etc)
  • Several interesting storylines/conflicts.
  • Interesting snippets of the difficulty of pursuing a career in entertainment
  • The aesthetics and colors – the show is a pleasure to watch.

Cons/Issues:

  • Young-Ah’s mother-in-law’s character seems really cartoonish… She’s almost as cartoonish as Inyoung’s character.  I always cringe when she comes on.
  • Junsu’s character is the type that I hate the most in guys…I have difficulty keeping myself from speeding through the scenes focused on Junsu and his mother. We might need some back-story on this family before I warm up to them.
  • Less than stellar chemistry between Dasom and Ryu Soo-Young.  While, I like the plot and the characters…There is something…However, the exaggerated glasses on Ryu Soo-Young’s character helps with the cartoonish match-up with Dasom’s.