22 March 2014

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Nail Shop Paris Episode 1 (A SongJaeRimJob)

Posted by mary on March 22, 2014
Mary: Hello fellow squeeglets! Mary here, dropping by for a quick Song Jae Rim Job aka Nail Shop Paris Squeecaps. This drama was called #WTFParis on my side of the Twitterverse so I ignored it... until Mo Il Hwa almost died last week and I was desperate to see something, anything with Song Jae Rim in it. Thankfully, the show is a cute, funny watch despite the ugly nickname someone gave it *eyes JoAnne*
JoAnne: Umm, hello...I believe that back then I was live tweeting encouragement to watch and going on OT to say listen, it's crazy, but you have to see it, it's weirdly good. I got a lot of people to watch it!
kakashi: Hello! I'll be joining you! You seriously made me watch this mess with all your squeeing!!!! Plus, I'm a complete goner. Mary made me fall in love with Song Jae-rim and now, my heart flutters when I see him or when I hear about him. Thanks.
Mary: Hehe I know that now, but outsiders who are new to this and see it being called #WTFParis think that the show sucks when it doesn't.
JoAnne: WTF Paris wasn't meant as a condemnation - I couldn't stop talking about how I couldn't wait for the next episode, but seriously, WTF? Show is crazy nuts.
kakashi: It's a name that sticks.
Mary: Like Song Jae Job? *snerk*
kakashi: Yes. Although ... isn't there a word that's missing? O___o (Use your imagination. Alright. I'm putting it back.)

Song Jae Rim Job: Someone had to do it
Mary: Since we've all been tweeting using your catchy nickname #WTFParis *hangs head in shame* let's just man up and take responsibility for fixing the reputation of this show. How? By working on this special SongJaeRimJob together!
kakashi: Yes, let's Wo-man up and gang up on the man for a ... never mind.
JoAnne: Shall we have the whole gang bang one out? Let's hop right on this! (And before you ask...Yes, Mary. I am.) (*laughs uncomfortably* *googles all the words in JoAnne's joke... just in case*)

EPISODE 1

Mary: We open at night in the Joseon(?) era as a Cute Nobleman (who isn't SongJaeRim, boo!) walks through a dark village when a woman grabs him and pushes him against a wall. RAWR! It's his date, Park Gyuri of KARA. Dressed a tad too sexily for a typical sageuk lady, if I may add.
kakashi: She has a really interesting face. I think I like her. I'm always really glad when they don't look like cloned copies of themselves, the female K-Stars ... Also, she cannot NOT act. Which doesn't mean she CAN act, but it's better than the alternative, which is she CANNOT act.
JoAnne: I thought she had a really interesting look (and sound) as well. Very pretty.
Mary: They smile in relief to find each other. She shushes him and they hug and make kissy faces not even a full minute into Episode 1. Suddenly, I like this show. Specifically its standards on skinship.
kakashi: Is this the norm in the show? Does that mean we will get SJR naked?! 
JoAnne: Only if you have DF Premium AND VikiPass.
Mary: Alas, no kissies for the Idol Girl yet. Someone shoots an arrow between the lovers, making me howl in frustration. Noooooo! How dare someone disturb the fun, sexy times?! Idol Girl is of the same mind. She doesn't just howl, she turns into a gumiho. You know those charming beings who seduce men and eat their livers for funsies? Yep. That one.
kakashi: Wow, look at those eyes!!! Great cgi, show. 
JoAnne: I heard they used a company called Willkinn F/Ecks.
Mary: Idol Gumiho proceeds to whoop Gumihunter's ass so he does the sensible villain move: he takes Cute Nobleman hostage with a knife to his throat. Cute Nobleman yells at her to leave him and save herself but Idol Gumiho refuses to listen to her Steak and Kidney Pie so the Cute Nobleman grabs the knife and stabs himself, making the decision for her.
kakashi: Huh! Reminds me of the film Anaconda - It Will Take Your Breath Away, in which the main lead, Eric Stoltz, swallows a wasp or something within minutes and stays quasi-dead in bed for the entire film.
JoAnne: That's where Cher got the idea to cast him in Mask.
Mary: A male, in voiceover, argues that the story can't have a sad ending like this. (Aaah... so the sageuk part is just a novel.) A female voice, the writer, answers that it's okay because Idol Gumiho will turn Nobleman into an immortal, and they can live together for a looooooooooong time. Doing what, you ask? Well, judging from the first minute of this episode, my guess is they won't be collecting college degrees. Unlike a certain Edward.
kakashi: Fuck Edwards sideways. And Bella too! *hate* sorry for being so coarse, sometimes it just overcomes me. (How can you even fuck someone sid--- oh.)
JoAnne: Look, someone took a bunch of file folders and stapled them together on one side and put it in a frame.
 
Mary: We switch to modern times, where the writer of the love story, Hong Yeo Joo, (also played by Park Gyuri) is preparing to sign a book deal with a publisher. She's a famous online author who specializes in gumiho fiction. The publisher asks why she only writes about gumihos and Yeo Joo shares a crazy tidbit that she met a gumiho when she got lost in the mountains as a kid. Publisher doubts the story but humors her anyway. The perks of being a famous artist.
kakashi: I am guessing at this point that this is going to be of importance later in the story, right? There hardly ever is any substantial information in dramas/movies that do NOT play a role. Unless it's a red herring. But this doesn't smell like one at all.
Mary: It also serves the purpose of showing she's a bit of a bitch and doesn't care about people. I thought it was Park Gyuri's face, but apparently not. She plays a bitch here. Me like.
JoAnne: My smart chingu.
Mary: Before the contract is signed, an assistant interrupts the meeting with bad news: netizens are bashing the gumiho story and calling it a rip-off of Twilight. The publisher withdraws the offer and asks Yeo Joo to submit an original novel with no hint of plagiarism first.
kakashi: Don't do it, kids! 
JoAnne: I call dibs on Team Kei. (WTF! That's cheating! We haven't even gotten to him yet!)
Mary: Back home, our heroine stews in anger and complains to her roommate, Kim Ji Soo, but roommate is honest and admits the novel does sound a bit like Twilight. That gives Yeo Joo enough righteous anger to stay up all night and write. Cut to:
Mary: ... this. Panda eyes and the defeated admission that every time she tries to write, she ends up copying ideas from a book or movie she's seen before. Ji Soo advises her to look for real and interesting people she can use as an inspiration for her story. (But... why is a famous writer taking writing tips from her stylist roommate? Yes, why? This is SO BORING) Aaaanyway, Yeo Joo strolls outside and witnesses a cute guy coolly neutralizing a crazy hostage-taker. Cute guy is played by the same actor in the gumiho novel.
kakashi: I object!!! This is not a cute guy. Not At All. He looks like a weird genetically modified chipmunk with human ears.
JoAnne: Agreed! SO NOT CUTE. He looks like Mangchi, you know that monkey? (Not the Poodletop in Age of Feeling, no.) He looks like he should be covered in fur.
Mary: *sigh* I find myself in the difficult position of having to defend this guy... he's okay! Really! He serves a greater purpose in the WTF Revolution.
Mary: Yeo Joo is intrigued and follows him to work, expecting a police station or detective agency, only to end up in a certain Nail Shop Paris where Cute Guy works as a nail artist. And I'm sorry but, can I leave you for a second? Because I spot a character on the side who is demanding 100% of my squeecapping attention...
JoAnne: Hitler? Blonde Hitler? Cheesy dude? These were my thoughts at first, I must admit it. I was so wrong.
Mary: Oy! It's Song Jae Rim! My reason for existing. He is mine. My precioussss... Just look at that grumpy face. He is the opposite of cool Mo. I can't believe I can love a Kung Fu Master and a Nail Artist at the same time, but that's Song Jae Rim for you. Well, not for you. No Song Jae Rim for you! He's mine. ALL MINE.
kakashi: While you keep on talking, I'm already acting. I'm on a plane to South Korea. 
JoAnne: I'm still not ready with the hair and the skinny and that goddamn facial hair. I was mourning MY Song Jae Rim, who has muscles, and long hair, and tattoos. (JoAnne, you should learn to appreciate inner beauty. Or Google search.)
Once more for the ladies Mary.
Mary: *ahem* Yeo Joo is disappointed that her new crush/inspiration is a nail artist. (A manicurist? Someone who gives hand... jobs? Nyehehe.) She's about to leave and look for another character inspiration when she stops in her tracks and thinks, "A nail artist + crime-busting hero? No one has done that character before!" She turns right around and stalks Cute Guy some more.
kakashi: I admit to being a bit reluctant in starting this show, because I have heard rather negative things about it. But ... WTF WHY did I NOT watch this when it aired?! This is totally up my alley!! A few minutes in, it is clear that this show is pure insanity.
JoAnne: I just kept sitting there, repeating W....T....F? every 5  minutes. I remember it vividly.
A completely necessary screencap. On account of that sexy man on the left framed by the window.
Mary: Also, pffft. Is there a meta-joke in there somewhere? Show is totally poking fun at the fact that dramaland is full of chaebols, geniuses, doctors, lawyers, and cops... but not nail artists, right?
kakashi: Whoever wrote this is probably a genius. 
JoAnne: Many years from now, we will realize that this show was the first appearance of a new movement: WTFism. The WTFists will hail this as a classic.
Mary: It will do for kdramas what Na PD did for variety shows: PAIN = GOOD.
Mary: Yeo Joo sees a Wanted: Interns sign outside the shop but it's males only. So she does the sensible kdrama thing: cut your hair, bind your chest, wear unisex clothes courtesy of stylist roommate, change your name and TADA! Back to Paris for that internship!
kakashi: the roommate can die, I don't care. Also, this KARA woman is quite a good cross-dresser. Compared to others. By the way, do you know why there are so many cross-dresser dramas? I have a theory ... one of these days, I might share it with you. (Oooh...share it in that other WTF test post you hi-jacked and turned into a thing!)
JoAnne: If your theory doesn't include a sub-culture of kink previously only DREAMED of among the KDrama media darlings, I don't want to know.
Mary: Yeo Joo, posing as Ki Joo for now, is welcomed by friendly Jin aka Jeremy 2.0, although that's not really a bad thing nowadays. He's played by Cheong Dung of MBLAQ who is Sandara Park of 2NE1's younger bro! Squeee! (I am at awe at your knowledge) I grew up watching Sandara Park here in the Philippines so she has a soft spot in my right lung. (Because my heart is fully occupied by Song Jae Rim. Sorry, Dara!)
JoAnne: His nickname is Thunder and he's a big fluffy doofus in MBLAQ. I prefer Joonie and SeungHo, but he was a good dad on Hello Baby, at least.
Mary: Ki Joo is led upstairs for the interview as Kei (that's Song Jae Rim's character) watches closely because he is naturally sharp like that.
kakashi: Oh my goodness he is so HOT. He is also perfectly legal, has been to the army and back, and since noona romances are the new thing, this can totally happen.
JoAnne: I did take note here that they did not totally destroy my Rimmie.
Mary: Or fine. Maybe it's because he saw Ki Joo secretly taking pictures of Alex. *grumbling about accuracy in a SongJaeRimJob*
kakashi: Mary, let me tell you: there are no rules on this blog. If you want to make up everything in one of your recaps, you're allowed to. 
JoAnne: But then YOU have to deal with the comments from readers. Me, I'll make shit up all day long to go along with your cap. I'm good with that. (I can only imagine what kind of "shit" you'll be making up, JoAnne.)
Mary: Ki Joo knows diddly-squat about nail art and mucks up the interview but Lady Boss-nim is all smiles and tells her it's ok. She can learn during her internship. What's important is to understand the purpose of being male nail artists: Take care of a person's heart along with their hands. She smiles and accepts Ki Joo's application and dear JoAnne, I AM SCARED OF THIS WOMAN. Pretty, nice, AND successful ladies in kdramas? They're like the limit of sin(x) as x approaches infinity.
kakashi: This is an equivalent of a barkeeper, only they don't serve drinks but hand jobs? Awesome. 
JoAnne: Just keep watching.
Nice + Pretty + Successful + Non-lead Lady Character?
Mary: Ki Joo goes home for the day, shoos away one of Ji Soo's suitors, and works feverishly on her new novel, Love of A Thousand Years. (She must be referring to me and Song Jae, then?) She shows up for work the next day to ask creepy questions like, What is your hobby, Alex? and our sharp Kei eyes her even more intensely suspiciously. If it were me in that room my singing ovaries would give me away. They'd have to drag me out, screaming I STILL LOVE YOU AND YOUR QUESTIONABLE FACIAL HAIR, SONG JAE RIM!
Just one kiss, please?! Oppa? Oppaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!
kakashi: Well, I am glad you mention it. This moustache has to go. I will personally fly over to shave it off him. In the meantime, it does serve a purpose: it prevents me from trying to climb into my computer to ... you know ... do stuff to this man. And in case my husband ever reads this ... this is not me talking.
JoAnne: (Yes it is her. But it's not like I wouldn't say the same thing.  And I bet that mustache tickles...)
Rimmie says NO
Mary: Jin gives our heroine a uniform, a locker tour, and the nickname Bunny. (Because she's wide-eyed and clueless all the time aka stupid-looking.)
kakashi: [insert mean snark]
JoAnne: If JIN thinks you look stupid...
Mary: Jin must have your talent for perfect nicknames, JoAnne, because the first thing Bunny does after Jin leaves is take out her voice recorder and open Alex's locker. Smart move. Not. Kei catches her (hawt) and she high-tails it out of there only to hang out in a bathroom stall and discuss her secrets over the phone with Ji Soo. The show's writer must have read my Bathroom Use Law, because right outside the stall, washing his hands by the sink is Alex (not hawt). How much did he hear? Was it enough to guess the truth?
JoAnne: The AlexBot was only at half power so the hearing modules were not turned on. (He always seems to be at half-power.) (he needs iron, maybe?)
Mary: After smelling Alex's soap and watching his coffee-drinking habits (girl, you're insane!!), Bunny is left to entertain one of Alex's regular customers (you have to remember her further down!), here to play exposition fairy and formally introduce our harem nail artists:

Smiley Angel Jin who's cute and nice to everyone (totally a Jeremy 2.0!)
Lonely Ice Prince Kei the love of my life Edward to my Bella who brings outs women's maternal instincts. LOL That is soooo wrong, Show. So very wrong. Are you sure you know what "maternal instincts" mean? (Straight to jail, everyone!) (At this point I'm like...there is no one hot in this drama. Why did they ruin my Song Jae Rim?) OMG people, mary wrote [[ INSERT KEI-PORN HERE ]]!! That's directed at me, kakashi, who is taking over giffing. A note on that ... the only files I could find are mkv-files, which my gif-app doesn't computer. Therefore, I had to find others and I found ... a German subbed version! 
Alex (no nickname? BORING), the favorite of all 30+ y/o clients... because he studied traditional medicine but had to quit due to an accident. Because, WTF Show?! He's a genius with a trauma. Does that make him our hero? (I will choose to ignore him from now on) (He's always so SLOW. Can we push him down the stairs?)
Mary: A poorly-dressed couple comes in and the husband requests a hand massage for his wife. Everyone stares at the wife's scalded and scarred hand because that's not embarrassing for your customer at all, Nail Shop of Supposedly Sensitive And Hot Namjas Paris. Bunny in particular stares too long, prompting Kei to scold her. And already, I am sad that he's watching her every move like she's watching Alex's. :( Kei is going to break my heart here, huh?
kakashi: He is so smart. Opppaaaaaaa! Marry me! 
JoAnne: I mean even if I put a bag over his head to hide the blond tips and the hideous mustache he's so SKINNY...
Mary: Alex does the Alex thing of being perfectly annoying and listening to the husband's story about how he couldn't afford a wedding ring for his wife, even causing a car accident which further strained their limited resources. When the couple tries to leave Paris after a basic hand massage (they couldn't afford fancy nail art) (sorry, hand massage just sounds dirty on this blog), Alex congratulates them for being the 100th customer of the day, entitling them to a free special nail service. And the way Kei turns around and smirks makes me ASFDa2 Q342 09adSDFAPA ADFG RI23B -I TMRP0I afWOIJRLAKFJ DFJLKFJDLJ ...words. Show. Concentrate. Paris. Okay... Kei's smirk makes me think that Alex faking contests like this to help people out is a normal occurrence in their shop.
kakashi: Song Jae-rim is such a scene-hog. All eyes on HIM. 
JoAnne: I did keep staring at him and wondering why, because I was so sad about his hair and his mustache.

Mary: Lady Boss-nim agrees to play along with the Good Samaritan act (wow, she is too nice, this one) and assigns Alex and Kei to brainstorm designs for the special service. (They're award-winning nail artists, duh!) Meanwhile, Jin unknowingly feeds Bunny's crush by telling the story of how Awesome Alex got into an accident as an intern and never returned to the hospital. Choosing instead to use his knowledge of medicine and psychology to heal hearts at Paris. *insert hero music here*
kakashi: ... while I throw up a little into my mouth while ignoring him. 
JoAnne: It's a logical switch.  Save lives, save hearts...both valuable work.
Mary: Bunny squees her way home and back to work next morning. She finds out Alex stayed up all night to finish the design and inquires about his health. He ruffles her hair at the concern and her heart goes *thump thump* at the contact. I admit that her crush is cute, but he's nothing compared to this.
kakashi: *busy ignoring*

[[ KEI AGAIN. SORRY KAKASHI]]
yeah, yeah
Mary: Kei. Slightly naked in the locker room. Making strange moaning sounds as he tries to stick a medicated patch on his bare back. I hit pause on the player and write down "Be reborn as Song Jae Rim's medicated patch" in my bucket list. He asks Bunny to put on the patch for him, which she does without looking (boo! hiss!) but she trips on her way out and plants her boobs on Kei's hands. HAHAHAHAHA
kakashi: Show, you're a tease!!! I was muttering to myself "take it off, take it off, take it off!". I know he's skinny and all, but hey, I take what I can get!!! 
JoAnne: Ohhh..you know, maybe...
Mary: Kei gets this puzzled look on his face (did he feel it? Did he?) and I always wonder what the actors are thinking when they film scenes like this, ever since I watched my first cross-dressing drama (Hana Kimi Taiwan). I think Ella mentioned something about being so embarrassed after filming and running away to hide for a couple of minutes.
kakashi: I think that's cute, but I always doubt that these people are as innocent as they claim to be. Cause whenever I switch from Kdrama to Kmovie, I get the shock of my life. If they show you sex, they SHOW you sex! 
JoAnne: Well think about the Idols who act. I firmly believe you cannot move the way they do unless you are the King or Queen of Pornlandia.
Mary: The 100th Not Customer couple comes in and Kei styles the wife's nails to look like a wedding ring. Awww... it's pretty but I find long nails scary. O____O
kakashi: Scary and repulsive. Hello, nightmares.  
JoAnne: Scary, repulsive, unsanitary, impractical. Imagine trying to do a good Job with those things.
Mary: Everyone is in a good mood after their charitable act and they head out for Bunny's welcome party. They go for drinks at a place owned by Woo Min, their former nail artist mentor. He's into occult stuff and asks Bunny to pick a tarot card. She draws one that means secret, curiosity, and mystery. Ex-Nailist asks her what her secret is and everyone looks expectantly, while Kei looks perfect. Bunny laughs it off and Ex-Nailist wonders if mystery card means love triangle instead?
kakashi: Oh, it does? That's good!
JoAnne: Trying to imagine Alex in the throes of lust and failing.  Picturing Jin and laughing.  Picturing Kei and ...ohhh.  Hmmm. (You mean like this?)
Not for the last time, did Mary wish she could be a Korean model too.
Mary: Bunny is trying her darnedest not to get drunk. (Good, we all know drunk = bye, bye secrets! in dramaland.) But when Jin announces he'd like to get plastered so they can sleepover at Alex hyung's place, Bunny grabs that beer quickly and proceeds to get wasted herself.
kakashi: Alright, woman. I like you.
JoAnne: Shortest discovery of cross-dressing imposter ever in 3...2...nope, fooled ya.
Mary: The plan must've worked because next we know, Bunny is on the floor waiting for everyone to fall asleep. When the coast is clear, she gets up and explores Alex's place. She examines drawers and cupboards, taking notes on her voice recorder. She checks Alex's food preferences and closes the fridge when out pops Kei from behind it. LOL He drags her outside for interrogation. Who are you? Why are you hanging around Alex? Are you... gay? And I love my Oppa's acting in this scene, the way he seems to hesitate asking, not wanting to offend, but also concerned that this new kiddo is hanging around Alex like a lovesick stalker.
kakashi: We get a glimpse of his cute side and I DIE. 
JoAnne: Oh dear.
Mary: She denies it, looking wounded at the questioning, before mumbling excuses and running away. And Kei does this funny "Wha..? What did I do? It's not like she's a girl..." thoughtful face.
kakashi: Beautiful, think harder and shave. Thanks. 
JoAnne: I think he needs help with the shaving. It's important that things be very smooth in order to have a proper go at our first SongJaeRimJob, so I volunteer to go to Korea and give him a helping hand.
I give JoAnne permission to shave my Oppa. But mind where you're touching!
Mary: The next morning, Bunny tells roommate Ji Soo that someone is suspicious of her and she plans to quit should anything happen today. That's just asking for it, girl! Indeed, a couple of things happen when she gets to Paris. She finds free coffee outside (good). She gives the coffee to her crush, Alex (good for your crush). She is bullied by Kei (not so good, but cute, I'm getting Coffee Prince vibes). Kei keeps making jokes about how she can carry alllll those heavy boxes if she's a real man when Jin cries for help: Alex collapsed!
kakashi: Seriously! Who gives coffee they find outside to anyone??! Though ... well done, woman. Alex can die or stay in hospital for 9 more episodes.
JoAnne: But what if, during his coffee-induced coma, he BODYSWAPS with Song Jae Rim? or Park Gyuri? Or Thunder? No. (At the rate Show is throwing all tropes at us, I wouldn't discount the possibility.)
Mary: Turns out there's glue in his coffee. The one Bunny found outside and gave to him like an idiot. Bunny explains she didn't buy it herself -- which doesn't really make sense, even if it's true. Kei grabs Bunny (whoa, there! 'ware the boobs!) and is about to beat her up when Lady Boss-nim stops him. Boss and Jin will take Alex to the hospital and Kei and Bunny will check the CCTV. Chop! Chop! 
They watch the CCTV records and find that yes, Bunny did not drug that coffee. It was *gasp* planted by Exposition Fairy! Remember her? Alex's regular customer? Around 3000 words ago in this wordy SongJaeRimJob? (I'm sorry.)
kakashi: Huh, interesting. So glue in coffee makes people collapse? I will have to try this at the office. 
JoAnne: I had heard that the competition in academia was intense, but dayum.
Mary: JoAnne, did you not watch Harry Potter?

Comments

Mary: Wow, this Show is like Coffee Prince + You're Beautiful on crack. Maybe it's because we only have 10 episodes, but it feels like everything happened in Episode 1. Cross-dressing, boob-grab, naked locker sharing, gay jokes, false accusations, and name-clearing. *phew*
kakashi: so far, it's pretty standard, even though the male nail artists are quite an interesting twist. Or "intersting", rather. I'm interested in seeing Song Jae-rim look beautiful and don't care at all what he does. Killer, Kung Fu Master, Nail Artist ... who cares.
JoAnne: Can he also be a secret serial killer?

Mary: I noticed this show aired on MBC Queen network. The one with the tagline: "What Women Want". What do you think? Is this what we want? Kakashi? Do you regret being peer pressured by JoAnne and I into watching this? :D Will this show be enough to tide us over once Age of Feeling ends or runs out of budget or Mo Il Hwa dies?
kakashi: *denial mode* Age of Feeling will never end! How dare you! Do women want this? Of course they do! But they also want MUCH MORE. 
JoAnne: It's a delicate Job, but someone has to do hiIT. 
Mary: Also, sauna scene previews for episode 2. I'M SO EXCITED.
More naked people jokes? This show is spoiling us!
Dear WTFParis Friends, Please refrain from posting spoilery comments until kakashi finishes watching the whole thing. I WANT HER TO SUFFER FOR CLAIMING MO. We think it would be fun if she goes through all the stages of WTF-ery that this show is. Bit by crazy bit.

Thanks for playing along, squeeglets!

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