03 May 2013

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When A Man Loves - Episode 9 (A SqueeCap)

Posted by CM Shukmeister on May 03, 2013
At the half-way mark, the darker elements are starting to come out. Seo Mi-do doesn’t take her relationship with Tae-sang seriously, but she is in for a rude awakening when she finds out how it is to date someone like Oppa...

Episode 9

Shuk: We open up back under the cherry blossoms by the Maisan mountains, and Tae-sang sort-of-kind-of-not-quite pops the question by asking if he would make a good husband. She skirts the issue my saying good men make good husbands, but she bolts when he presses her (a bit) for a real answer.
JoAnne: Because she doesn’t have the sense God gave a rabbit. No, I don’t want to insult rabbits by associating them, however slightly, with Miss PissMeOff. She doesn’t have the sense God gave Grandpa Leeteuk, with his purple hair, questionable sports outfits, and one grey suit. There.
kakashi: I like Grandpa Leeteuk more and more. Seriously. I made quite a lot of gifs of him.
Shuk: On the drive back, she essentially ignores him in the car ... (insert kakashi-gif in mid-sentence. Goodness-gracious, I made so many gifs today ...)
... but he invites her over for lunch at his house the next day. She covers her unease by mocking his cooking skills; he does a bit more showy driving.
JoAnne: Girl, why are you not in the back seat wearing a VERY welcoming smile?
kakashi: That's him, after doing the showy driving. Just lovely, this boy. 
Shuk: Gu Yong-gap is a Pissed Purple guy, hitting baseballs and breaking the bat as he remembers President Han’s words to him. Then, for some reason, he contacts the little gangster, whining that he’s lonely and wants to meet up for drinks, and I can't tell if he’s sincere or scheming.
JoAnne: Getting tired of the baseball, Grandpa. We get the message. You sold your soul to the devil for the body of a much younger, much hotter man. Unfortunately, the devil made you take the hair of a failed Idol, too, but that’s another story, I guess.
kakashi: What follows are three Yong-gap gifs. You may ask yourself why he gets three gifs. That's a valid question, of course. But frankly, there's three gifs because I was so fascinated by his pink outfit. And then, I was struck by the fact that this guy is really conflicted. See how he sighs? That was really well acted. The acting and the pink outfit = deserves three gifs. 
Shuk: The Lees and Dong-goo are playing basketball while Seon-joo looks on. During a break, she chats with Jae-hee, trying to a way to wedge him between our canon couple. Dong-goo comments on his phone conversation with our resident bad guy, and Seon-joo spells it out loud for Jae-hee’s benefit: Yong-gap likes her, she likes President Han, Yong-gap hates President Han.
JoAnne: How old are these people? What kind of grown-ass woman goes to sit at the basketball court to watch the guys play, like it’s an actual thing to do that people with lives would do?
kakashi: Probably a fantasy of the writer-nim. But these guys are not nearly sweaty enough to make this appealing.
Shuk: After the game, Jae-hee sees a poster for a seminar on finding your dreams, by a well-known theater producer named Kelly Jo.
JoAnne: Of course he does. This boy keeps tugging at my heartstrings and it’s pissing me off, quite frankly. I am TEAM OPPA.
kakashi: Is that Kelly Jo a cameo we should know about? What does Google Fu say?
Shuk:  Google Fu says aniyo.

Shuk: Chang-hee and Dong-goo are touring the resort site, the little gangster is trying to get him interested in a sure-fire investment, but Chang-hee isn't interested and he won't ask his younger brother or his hyung. The two get into a heated argument, and Dong-goo’s resentment finally gets a voice:
YDG: “It's because I need money. I come from a poor family in a farming village. I have to pay for my mom and my brothers. Tae Sang never gave me a nice house like he did to you. I just have to drive if he tells me to, sell if he tells me to, go home when he tells me to.”
Shuk: Chang-hee looks in shock as he continues.
YDG “When you were in prison, I was the one who took care of Tae Sang hyung. But he didn't do anything for me. All he cares about is you. If I knew this would happen, I should have killed him then. Just a few years in prison and I get a house and have my brother's tuition paid. I should have killed him.”
Shuk: Chang-hee finally snaps, and punches him to the ground. Dong-goo pulls himself up and quietly tells his friend that, with both brothers there, Tae-sang will forget about him. The look on Chang-hee’s face as his friend walks away gave my heartstrings a tug.
JoAnne: Well we knew this was coming, but still. And I do feel sorry for the little rat bastard. He was always just kind of tagging along with Oppa and ChangHee, trying his best and working hard, but never really getting the love. 
kakashi: I have no clue what you guys are talking about. Oh blissful gif-making with no sound and subs... 
Shuk: Seon-joo is eating lunch alone when she gets a call from Yong-gap. He shows up at the restaurant, and they eat together with reluctance on her part. Our Bad, now in a suit of the perfect hair-hue, correctly guesses that Seon-joo has found Tae-sang’s family but hasn't told him. He offers to help her as a peace offering; she offers to dye his hair red.
JoAnne: For a second, I was all excited that we were finally going to unveil the mystery behind his hair, but no. I was wondering if there was some significance to the red hair, like making him look like the demon that he is or something. Did you laugh REALLY hard to see her eating with sunglasses on so she didn’t have to look at him?
Shuk: I might have snickered once or twice, maybe.
kakashi: I close my eyes when she appears. That's how much I do not like her. 
"Yes, thank you, kakashi! I like you too..."
Shuk: He pours salt in her wounds regarding Tae-sang, bur promises to exact pain for making her unhappy. Seon-joo leaves the restaurant, and heads over to the ramyun shop for a to-go meal. Han eomma is nonplussed that she keeps calling her ‘mother-in-law’.
JoAnne: She’s not the only one, Mom.
kakashi: You could have saved money, drama-makers, by rigorously cutting out completely redundant stuff. 

Shuk: At the market, we get a Best Love-esque montage of Tae-sang buying groceries.
JoAnne: squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
kakashi: (echo that)
Shuk: And at home, an adorable scene of a man trying to arrange flowers.
JoAnne: [Dead]
kakashi: Let's have a little game - Find the difference between gif 1 and gif 2! 
Shuk: Our episodic JYP dance number has Mi-joon and Mi-do’s friend Eun-hye practicing their moves to B.A.P's "One Shot", and Mi-do feels a bit jealous that her friend is pursuing her KPop star dreams. At home, she sees the Kelly Jo poster, and her dad confirms it was ‘that young man’ who put it there.
JoAnne: So now I think the heavy-handed earlier introduction of our dancing idols is just part of a not-very-subtly played out theme: They're going to emphasize her youth and the youthful interest in chasing dreams and contrast that against his relative age, sedateness, and readiness to settle down. What do I say? Oppa is hot. Your argument is invalid.
kakashi: Bleh. But "One Shot" is a good song. Thanks, Shuk, for the link.

Shuk: She opens up a keepsake box, and finds her old diary, with her stage directions for various plays. Well, at least she didn't find the coffee coupon…
JoAnne: That’s what I was expecting. 
kakashi: She gets a gif here. Yeah. She looks much better than in most other shots where there is too much emphasis on the pissed-off expression on her weirdly shaped face. And I really liked that everything is pink. 
Shuk: Tae-sang is loading up the refrigerator when Seon-joo invites herself over, his mom’s soup in tow. She sees the flowers and food, and Tae-sang confirms his dinner plans. She washes her hands, but forgets her leather bracelet (me likey!), and heats up the soup.
JoAnne: Oh my God. Where is your PRIDE? Will you just go AWAY, please? Oppa don't want you. We don't want you. I used to think you were ok for a little bit, but now you just irritate me.
kakashi: Can somebody tell that woman to please put a different expression on her face?? Is she an actress or not? [insert random SSH-on-the-phone-gif to calm nerves]
Shuk: Tae-sang’s eyes light up; it reminds him of his childhood food. Seon-joo meanders around the house, and sees both the piano and the dolls. He asks about the soup, but she’s pissed now and says she made it. She asks: "Are you cooking for that girl?"
JoAnne: DUH. Why ask the question if you know the answer and hate it? You are the most irritating person ever, Seon Joo. Kakashi! You aren’t going to put her face up this time are you? She doesn’t deserve it. Well maybe that sunglasses one, that was funny.
kakashi: No, I vow to not put her face up unless I really have to. There's something much better for you that Shukie found: 
This pretty much was her face through most of the episode.
Shuk: “That girl” happens to call, and Seon-joo makes sure Mi-do is aware of her in his apartment. Spiteful biatch.
JoAnne: (purposefully left blank to reflect my complete OVER YOU-ness.)
kakashi: ... [insert very rude words]

Shuk: Tae-sang does a complete overhaul of his apartment; furniture, closet, windows, bedding; agonizes over scary movie versus musical…
kakashi: And I went wild giffing. I really am into these cleaning, cooking, working men! 
 
Shuk: …. And promptly falls asleep on the couch.
JoAnne: Oppa snores a little. I like it. I also give a hearty thumbs up to faded jeans and grey sweaters and Oppa lying flat out on a surface where I could, you know, just crawl up his body like it was a telephone pole. (Also: The scary movie was actually a drama – Hon. VERY good, I can recommend it if you like that sort of thing. (I do, plus it stars Im Ju Wan – not sure I spelled it right but VERY cool girl.)
Google Fu: Our Dramabean Goddesses did a one-episode review of "Hon".
kakashi: Very cute scene where he imagines how she will jump on him for protection and ... stuff. By the way, did you notice how he smirks when he arranges the blanket on his bed??! What do you think he is thinking? 
Shuk: The brothers are exercising, and Chang-hee wonders aloud if his brother is embarrassed at having a thug in the family. This gets him a spit-take full in the face, and a brotherly chase scene.
JoAnne: In an Oppa-less drama, these men would be drool-worthy. I feel bad that I hardly give them notice. In the interests of full disclosure, I did smile very fondly at the pretty men with the cute brotherly relationship and the hot bods during this scene.
kakashi: Some scenes are almost too obviously gif-scenes. There's little skill required to spot them and little thrill in doing them. But still...
Shuk: Tae-sang finally wakes up, and realizes he has to hustle to get ready.
JoAnne: I am suddenly consumed with a desire to see Oppa actually doing The Hustle.
kakashi: That is a rather suggestive pose, this is ...  oh wow, this is actually quasi a crotch-shot!!!
Shuk: Mi-do is choosing her outfit as her mother flutters around. Mi-do tells her in exasperation that she doesn’t plan on marrying until her debt is paid. I personally think she likes the Oppa arm-candy, but doesn't want his feelings. Hmm, maybe Seon-joo would be the better match…
JoAnne: BITE YOUR TONGUE, WOMAN.

Shuk: At his apartment, Mi-do is suitably impressed with Tae-sang’s place, remarking on it size. He calmly says it’s just a matter of filling it up: wife, kids, etc., and offers her the chance to pick her own room now.
JoAnne: I want to be Mistress of the Mousetrap! But actually, that’s a really, really ugly apartment. I like his bedroom, kind of. The walls, anyway. But nothing else.
kakashi: Right? Especially that sculpture (or whatever it is) wtf? But the blue in the bedroom works really, really well with the white shirts. Apropos white shirts ... all I could think of during the cooking and eating scenes was how stupid it is to wear white stuff when cooking and eating noodles with red sauce. Seriously.
Shuk: She remarks how tasty everything is, and forces Tae-sang to eat a hot pepper (that he especially put aside just for her), for her amusement.
kakashi: This is getting SO OLD. Why is it so funny that he can't eat hot stuff? She is dumb and cruel. Just leave him alone. I hope you get spaghetti sauce on your white top.
 
Shuk: He ends up drinking a half carton of milk, spilling down his shirt in the process.
JoAnne: I’m so conflicted. On the one hand: that kind of teasing is in poor taste, young lady. But on the OTHER hand…OPPA IS TAKING HIS SHIRT OFF!!!!!!
kakashi: No, that damn director is teasing!! So mean, give us SSH shirtless already!!! 
Shuk: Tae-hang is heading for the bedroom to change his shirt when Seon-joo shows up, looking for her bracelet that she left in his bathroom (when slipping him Eomma’s soup). The two girls exchange dagger eyes, especially at Tae-sang’s half-opened shirt. Yeah, SJ, that little chippy has rights to that chest you don’t have. It’s a shame she doesn't exercise those rights.
JoAnne: For REALZ, yo.

Shuk: Instead, Mi-do flares green as she questions Seon-joo’s behavior. Tae-sung is happy she is showing possessiveness.
JoAnne: Oppa. For the love of GOD, Oppa. You need to set that delusional ‘friend’ straight. What you are doing is worse than what Mi Do has done with Chubs, for the record, because this girl has been trying for years to get with you, and you know it, and we can see that whatever crappy stunts she pulls, she does have years-worth of feelings for you.
kakashi: Does she really? I'm not feeling feelings from her. I'm feeling nothing but a stupid expression. Sorry, is that too annoyed?
Shuk:   He needs to send her a Hallmark card:
Shuk: Our resident Destroyer of Baseball Bats calls Seo-joo as she storms off from the apartment. He tells her he has tracked down the man that ran off with President Han’s mother. She has a solar flare in her yellow dress when she throws her phone.
JoAnne: Bored. Bored. BORED WITH YOU TWO. GO AWAY.
kakashi: I am not at all bored with him. See the green thing he wears? So fascinating ... 
Shuk: Things are much colder at the apartment as our couple shares a cup of coffee and some fruits. Tae-sang tries to make conversation by talking about Mi-do’s friend. They have a conversation full of missed communication cues. She wonders why he would mock someone’s dream; he counters that she has never told him her dreams. Annnd, she still doesn’t.
JoAnne: Well where’s the fun in actually SHARING yourself with the man who loves you, Shuk?
Shuk: Should we sit them down and explain it to them?  I vote he sits on my lap during the talk.
The Key? "At least some code in common."

Shuk: They end up on the couch watching “Carmen”, while Tae-sang tries the old stretch-and-hug routine, which she counters by grabbing the fruit fork. By the time Carmen is dead, he’s asleep.
kakashi: Can one of you ladies tell me what her problem is?
Shuk: She sneaks out without a word or a note, and heads home. Jae-hee is there, too, changing the chalkboard and leaving the shoes: “When I throw my sad shoes to the moon.”
JoAnne: Bored. Bored. BORED WITH YOU TWO. GO AWAY. Yes, that’s right. This movie should be Oppa and maybe Chang Hee, just hanging out and doing bromantic stuff. Or romantic stuff with me, in the case of Oppa. The rest of you sad sack characters do not deserve to be in a drama with my Oppa and his friend.
kakashi: "When I throw my sad shoes to the moon"??? Omg that made me laugh long and hard. 

Shuk: Tae-sang wakes up to a dark and quiet house, and castigates himself for falling asleep.
kakashi: Very cutely so. And ... Baeksang! 
Shuk: Seon-joo is doing some Pilates on a torture device and thinking about that open shirt. She meets up with Jae-hee at the office to discuss the investment strategy into Hong Kong, and manages to manipulate the conversation. There’s a 2 night, three day investment management junket scheduled, and she urges him to invite Seo Mi-do as most everyone is bringing their significant others.
kakashi: That exercising machine interested me a great deal, I almost made a gif. 

Shuk: In his dark and gloomy batless office, Yong-gap gives orders: find this person before the cops do. At the business, Mi-do sees President Han and his old friend sharing coffee. She turns around in a huff and heads back to the office. Jae-hee note she is not wearing shoes, but tells her to go to the Kelly Jo seminar and see if she would help them arrange an exhibition.
JoAnne: Well, she has on shoes. (They are, at the very least, knock-off Laboutins) Just not HIS pink shoes.
kakashi: Friends, I present to you .... Shukie's very first gif!!! Ta-daaaaaaaaaa (I think she wants to take over my part. But I'm not yet sure I'll let her) 
Shuk: Mi-do meets President Han on the steps per his request, and he sweetly apologizes for falling asleep. She goes on the offensive, and caustically asks him if he’s stringing Seon-joo along in order to boost his business.
Tae-sang is hurt by the question (see very pretty picture above) and asks her why she would ask him that. She tells him this is how she feels, and he asks if she just blurts out whatever she feels. She turns to walk away, but he yells at her to stop. Jae-hee climbing down the stairs, stops short as Oppa’s voice echoes through the stairwell.
kakashi: Baeksang! 

Shuk: She looks back at him with wide eyes. Come to think of it, she has never heard a loud tone from him, and, after a moment, he continues:
HTS: "Do you think I'm joking? Do you see me as a fool because of everything I do for you? How can you talk to me carelessly like that?"
Shuk:  Mi-do counters that the debt makes her feel burdened, and there is a tense moment: she is staring defiantly at him, his eyes are filled with hurt and anger. And he finally tells her that she should know exactly how he feels about her, and with that, he walks away, leaving her on the steps, and Jae-hee watching everything a flight up.
JoAnne: I get his being upset, I do. But I also get HER. She’s right, he’s allowing an inappropriate situation to continue and it isn’t fair to anyone. Seon Joo has been FAR more inappropriate than anything Mi Do has allowed between herself and Chubs, and Oppa maybe can convince himself that Seon Joo isn’t an issue, but a woman knows when another woman wants her man, and Mi Do is not wrong about this. Oppa, you over-reacted. But come here and I will kiss you and we will be ok. Especially if you have on a little cologne and I can bury my nose in that space where your neck turns into your shoulder, right in that hollow behind your collarbone… I think I think about that too much, Shuk.
Shuk: I think I saw a cherry blossom there. Should I go in for a closer look?
kakashi: No. I don't get her. Well done, Han Solo. Shout at her some more. 

Shuk: The Seo family is slurping noodles at Han Eomma’s shop, and it’s situation normal: Mom is picking on Dad, Dad is picking on Junior, Junior pouts.
Shuk: Our froggy uncle shows up at The Golden Tree again, whining a sob story that his mom is dying and needs money for the hospital, but Tae-sang isn't buying it and calls Security. Jae-hee sees this all and wonders about the stone heart of his boss.
JoAnne: Because in ALL the years that he and his brother have been entangled in Oppa’s life, no one has ever talked about the sad story of Oppa’s youth. Ever notice how siblings can have decades-long friendships, almost sibling-like relationships really, and the other family members know absolutely nothing about that person except that they exist? I see it all the time in KDramas. It’s annoying.
kakashi: And poor oppa is hurting :((
 
Shuk: Seo Mi-do listens raptly to Kelly Jo explain how she reached for and achieved her goals. On the bus ride back, she looks at the autograph and smiles. She receives a phone call from Tae-sang, who asks her to see him at her house. She nearly misses her bus stop, and, in her haste, drops her stage diary.
Shuk: At the office, she enthuses to Jae-hee about what she learned, but her face falls when she realizes the diary is missing. She still has the downer face when she’s home and sees Tae-sang for the first time since their argument that morning. He is immediately contrite, thinking her mood is because of their fight, but she’s too focused on the loss of the diary, and doesn’t register his apology. He offers to close the bookstore, and she walks into the house.
kakashi: And I made this particular gif because of his profile. He looks very good from the side. 
Shuk: Later, Tae-sang is getting ready to leave, when Mi-do goes flying out of the house and into a waiting taxi cab. He follows her to the bus depot, and realizes what’s she is doing. He tries to call her, but she left her cell phone at home. Mi-do is searching every bus looking for her stage diary. She steps onto a bus, sees a sudden movement, and screams - It’s Jae-hee, and he’s found her diary. They leave the depot in step, and decide to share a drink together.
kakashi: dun-dun-dun .......
Shuk: And Tae-sang is leaning against bus and listening to their cozy banter.
JoAnne: That is one GRIM look on your face, Oppa. I could even go so far as to say murderous. Hmmmmm. And also…yummmmmm. I do like Gangster Oppa too, after all.

FINAL THOUGHTS


Shuk: Seo Mi-do really disappointed me in the episode. Throughout the character development, Tae-sang has remained consistently aware of her feelings. I have no doubt that Tae-sang will help her achieve her dreams no matter what; after all, he’s been trying to do that for seven years. BUT COMMUNICATION IS THE KEY! I can't believe she doesn't see his devotion, so I can only surmise she is deliberately been cruel so she can feel like she’s the victim when he breaks up with her. Because, really, what effort has she even put forth into their relationship?
JoAnne: There has been a lot of focus on Oppa’s lack of experience in romantic relationships, but almost none given to the fact that Mi Do is immature as well. Since Tae Sang hasn’t allowed love in his life (I refuse to admit there’ve been no women, ever, but whatever) he has a certain openness and innocence about the feelings he has for Mi-Do. He isn’t censoring himself or filtering his behavior through a ‘cool’ lens. Yes – he does try to PRESENT himself to her in a cool light, but he never calculates his emotional responses to her now that they are together. He lets his love and his joy and his hope show. She, on the other hand, shows very little, and seems to be the kind of girl – at least with him – who wants to play little games. He pouts playfully. Even when she has reason to be angry, her pouting comes across as ‘spoiled brat.’ I know it’s because she isn’t ready for an adult relationship, but it’s frustrating beyond belief. I get a very Scarlett O’Hara vibe about her, minus the former-rich-girl aspect. She’s not READY for a serious relationship. He’s kid-like, but she IS a kid, and even though she’s come to like him she didn’t start from that place. She hasn’t caught up to him yet. I have no doubt she will…but I think it might be too late when she does.
kakashi: I'm still waiting for people to die. Isn't this a melo? And why doesn't anyone have amnesia? Or a terminal illness?! Weird. I really don't like Mi-do. In fact, I've disliked her from the start and I am now at the point where I would like to poke needles into a doll that looks like her.
uhm ....

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