16 January 2014

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Can We Love? - Episode 3 (A BriefCap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on January 16, 2014
The clearest message from this drama so far is that being almost 40 sucks. Let me tell you (as someone who is almost at almost 40): it does not. But it is indeed true that the big 4-0 does something to human beings. As does the 3-0. But while turning 30 is almost always a GREAT thing because you really come into your prime then and people start taking you seriously as a professional, the 4-0 is a different animal. At 30, there still is so much potential. At 40, most things have become routine. You look at your life and go: huh, that's it? Quite naturally, then, the 4-0 are a time of crisis. 
But, here it comes, crisis isn't only bad. A crisis is also always a new beginning, a time for catharsis. From the (disappointed or even shocked) "huh, that's it?" you can venture into new territory, into where you have not yet ventured but really want to go. Self-awareness is a wonderful thing: If this is your life, then decide what aspects of it you like - and which aspects of it you want to change. This is where the people in this drama are headed. They might be turning 40, but that is not the end. It is a new beginning.

Episode 3

Where are we at after episode 1 and 2? Ah, right: Big suckerage all around. Jung-wan has lost all her money and her house due to her mother, Sun-mi has been brutally dumped on several fronts, and Ji-hyun is afraid her perfect life might begin to crumble. As for the men: Oh-boy has a mommy-issue, Ah-boy has an ex-love issue, and Lovesick-Puppy has a noona-issue.
In episode 3, Oh-boy gets to shine - as bright as a thousand suns! He is one yummy mister, and I do wonder why he isn't married or in a relationship ... hm. Any dark secrets we don't know yet? (Haha, I really can't believe these men are all so nice, I am waiting for one of them turning into a mass murderer or something!) Anyway, he is flirty and funny and invites all the women he works with over to his house for a self-made dinner. Well, he actually invites Sun-mi, who he bumps into by chance at a breakfast place, to show her that he cooks better than Jamie Oliver. For whatever reason, she gets him to invite all of them: Jung-wan, herself, and her two female co-workers. Lovesick-Puppy would have been invited too, but he doesn't want to come. Why? Cause Sun-mi's face lights up when she talks about Mr. Oh - she smiles at herself in the mirror, goes to a hair and make-up place in anticipation of the dinner and is overall happy and in a good mood though she shouldn't be after being sacked from the TV show and all. Awww, poor woman. He is so not into her.
But OMG, Oh-boy cooks like a god. Oh boy, Oh-boy is so cool and confident and funny, I am in love ... yeah, I totally understand why Sun-mi is about to make a fool of herself. Once inside, Sun-mi's employees check his apartment and come to the conclusion that he is single - and that Sun-mi should "entice" him before anybody else does.
 
She plays cool, but entice him she wants: She deliberately leaves her cell phone there when they leave, to be able to go back later and pick it up ... when he's alone. That (lame!) trick doesn't work though because Mr. Oh isn't home anymore when she turns up at his doorstep again. He went to the supermarket to buy a bottle of wine, which he wants to drink with his cousin Mr. Ahn. At the supermarket, he witnesses a very humiliating scene between Jung-wan and Mr. Ahn's sister, who makes her swear by her kid that she will never see her ex-husband again. Man, that woman needs to be smacked for being so clueless and snotty!!
Jung-wan also came to his dinner, but only for a very brief moment: she has to go work at the supermarket (which, by chance, is very close to his house). She excuses herself after only two bites of his delicious looking pasta (and after bumping into his very manly chest in the kitchen). He is convinced it's a date, but she lies (and is backed by Sun-mi) that it is "something at home".
 
Being found out by him causes her some embarrassment and she asks him not to tell Mr. Ahn about her part-time job; he might misunderstand and think she isn't giving her full attention to the script. Mr. Oh promises to keep it a secret, but the first thing he does is tell his friend and cousin all about her apparent money troubles and more: Mr. Ahn - who likes to do sexy stuff with wood in his free time - is surprised (and shocked?) that his sister's future husbands is Jung-wan's ex-husband. The two men decide that it is better for her not to know that he knows.
Mr. Ahn takes Jung-wan out for lunch. Kind as he is, he has deposited some money into her account - and on the fly, he also gets Ji-hyun's phone number from her. Why? Cause Mr. Ahn and Ji-hyun finally got a chance to talk, earlier, after she bumped into his car by accident. Or rather, could not longer avoid each other. Their story is a very sad one and their meeting bitter: She thinks he left her, while he believes the opposite. After a silly fight, she walked out on him so many years ago, and he never called her back. For him, she just disappeared. Both suffered tremendously, believing the other did something wrong. Really, really stupid, you two. The meeting with her after such a long time is obviously deeply troubling for kind Mr. Ahn - though he believes her to be happy - and he tells his friend that he wants to discuss things with her again - until he understands what really happened. He needs closure.
Ji-hyun is also having a very hard time. Her niece tells her about Sera's drinking problem (well done, kiddo!), but Sera just rages like a lunatic, so full of disrespect for her mother. She has found out that she secretly smokes in the bathroom and will certainly not hear anything from her. She actually flees to Ji-hyun's mother-in-law after a (well-deserved) slap, the witch, who throws things at Ji-hyun and calls her names. Yeah, normal behavior for a Korean MIL. 
Jung-wan isn't well ... not enough sleep, too much stress. Luckily, Mr. Oh comes to the supermarket every day, to see her, tease her, check on her. Their's isn't a rainbow-butterfly kind of relationship at all, though: we know about the first impression in the hotel room and the taxi-incident, but she also falls asleep in a meeting with him, leaves his dinner right after it has begun, gets quite loud with him in another meeting and disagrees forcefully with what he says, does silly drinking games with him (so funny!) and finally throws up on him.
 But he seems hooked, or at least quite intrigued, because he makes up all kinds of reasons why he needs to come to the supermarket all the time. When he comes to complain about her throwing up on him, she collapses into his arms. He brings her to the hospital, where he witnesses a hilarious scene with her mother and her son. After he has left, he asks Mr. Ahn to please pretend the company will pay her hospital bill so that she doesn't feel burdened - but he will secretly pay for it. Bless your kind soul, man.
And who turns up at the end of day? Jung-wan's ex-husband. Earlier in the episode, he waited for her outside Sun-mi's house, to apologize for his almost-wife's behavior towards her. He seems to be having regrets of sorts, or is at least nostalgic, because he mentions that things would have been very different between them if he had been successful as a professor earlier in life. Hm. He also lies to his new bride about where he has been. Hm-hm. And now, ex-husband invites all of them to his house, his ex-wife, his ex-mother-in-law, and his son, to live there before his marriage until they can settle things. Hello? How does THAT sound like a good idea to anyone?!
Some Thoughts

Can We Love continues to deliver good value television even though there are a few (too) familiar elements in it. Especially our main heroine is a bit too "hard-working-plain" for me to get overly excited about - even though there is hope that she will develop into something much more interesting - but hey, there are still the ahjussis! And the BROMANCE! And the crazy-noona-love! So, no points for originality from me, but a lot of points for very good acting (by most of the cast), for a few good laughs, and for enough chemistry between various people to keep me interested. And if you're interested in a much more lengthy analysis of things, go and read the BriefCap of Episode 4, which will be posted shortly!

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