01 May 2016


Dramaworld - Episodes 3 & 4 (Recap)

Posted by JoAnne on May 01, 2016
JoAnne: Dramaworld turns out to have a few surprises in store for us this week, but one thing is no surprise - Claire is just as bad a student here as she was at home. Will Dramaworld survive her?
kakashi: More importantly, will I survive her? 
Shuk: Hi there! [waves] Back from vacay and ready to weigh-weigh. In, that is, on these episodes.
Cookie: I had a few good cackles...It's hard to see the brief glimpses of potential. *sigh* lead on, Macduff

Episode 3

Claire carries her Dramaworld rule book everywhere, and Seth works diligently to get her up to speed. Today he shares the essential rules of a facilitator:
  • Rule #1: Know your character 
    • he gives her a uniform so she can wait tables at Joon's restaurant, then introduces her (in English) to Seo Yoon. Despite his earlier claim that everyone is subtitled in Dramaworld Seo Yeon doesn't understand what Seth and Claire say to each other, which is fortunate because Seth admits what we knew last week: he loves her. Ah, but does he love-love her, or just "love" her? Does it matter? Do we care? I care! Actually, no not really but it does prove to me that I could have written this script. You're proud of that? [pats Cookie on the back] I care a little. Like a tiny smidgen.
  • Rule #2: Do not affect events directly; set objects in motion and then stand back
    • cue Seo Yeon slipping on a banana peel, with Joon conveniently catching her, followed by that requisite moment of staring into each other's eyes. The rules of this world are still largely unclear to me. How many facilitators are there? I kinda wonder that things didn't go wrong earlier in Dramaworld, because how should banana peels assure that two characters fall in love?  Aah Kakashi...you haven't watched any bad SBS romcoms lately have you? Clumsy improbable incidents ALWAYS lead to skinship which leads to lurve. I've often wondered how the women in these dramas can wear such impossibly high-heeled shoes, yet turn an ankle at the drop of a hat (or a banana). There MUST be a special rule or something, because it does seem to defy the laws of physics. 
  • Rule #3: Do not watch the drama
    • This is confusing to me (and to Claire) until Seth explains that this is not a TV show for the characters, and points out that it would be like a creeper watching their intimate moments. Gotcha. I think this also relates to what he told her earlier. The people in dramaworld obviously live through every minute of this drama. So... like the uncut version. They also go to the toilet etc. Of course, having somebody watch you on the toilet would be extremely creepy. But how do you know what's going on if you don't watch? They should get a highlight reel or something. This rule doesn't make sense. Agreed. If a Facilitator doesn't know what is going wrong in the future, how can they change the present storyline?
  • Rule #4: These characters cannot know they are in a drama (if you know something but they don't know it yet, don't tell them!) So what happens if you tell them? They go poooooof, goodbye? It would have been good for this show if the writers had thought about this stuff more than 30 seconds.  It's like a time paradox thingy. You can't tell people about their future because it will make them do things differently which will change their future which will change you coming back to their past because that future didn't happen...or something. #scifigeekforlife Think about it - is Buzz Lightyear any happier for knowing he's a child's plaything? #Disneygeekforlife
These are the four basic rules, Seth explains. In the event that a rule is broken by force majeur, see Appendix 2. But she won't need to see that, because she won't break rules, will she? That's not an actual question, is it Seth? Because you know she will.
I'm kind of surprised that he wasn't rolling his eyes as he read the rules off to Claire. But Seth is an earnest young man.
I really want to know what's in Appendix 2 now! No, I don't. But for the sake of pretending I care, I do. 
They just wanted to used "force majeur" coz this doesn't make sense...what has to happen to "force" them to break the rules? 
No doubt we will all know about Appendix 2 in the future. Which we aren't supposed to know about (see Rule 3). Man, it's like a self-licking ice cream cone, really.

Just as expected, Claire absolutely sucks as a facilitator. Waiting tables, she interrupts an arguing couple to fangirl over them as actors/characters she loves (cameo by Han Ji Min and Sung Hyuk - better known in these parts as Moony for his beloved character in Come, Jang Bo Ri.) Seth is worried, and not only because Claire broke 'like, every single rule in 10 seconds' - those characters aren't in Taste of Love and shouldn't have been there. Cross-over in Dramaworld is a bad sign. (Would it be a ploy for ratings in a sinking show?)
Why would it be? If these people all live in the same world, aren't they BOUND to run into each other? Especially since there only are about 5 restaurants, 6 houses and 2 pojangmachas in Seoul anyway.
I dunno the BBC seems to handle it well (shoutout to all Doctor Who/Sherlock fans)
Her hair and her squealing is already getting on my nerves a little bit. Okay, maybe a lot.
Seriously, she is so bad at this. It's as if she learned the rules specifically so that she could break them. She spills the beans that Joon is interested in Seo Yeon, directly encourages her to go after him, distracts her from tasks, and just in general creates a horrible night for everyone. It doesn't help that Joon is on edge because his mother is visiting the restaurant, although Bitchy Second Lead oh so helpfully keeps her entertained for a while.
I cringed so much at the "let your hair down". In a kitchen!!! Claire is just so clueless. Are we supposed to sympathize with her?
She's just misguided. The hair down ploy works, her timing was wrong. Seth messed things up for her though. I wonder why.
I think anyone who has watched dramas as much as she claims to have, should already know the proper timing of things. I always expect the kiss in one episode less than that exact middle of the story. Henceforth known as Shuk's Theorem of First Real Kiss: "(#Episodes / 2) - 1 = XOX".
Seth warns the human truck of doom that she's pushing too hard; subtle and invisible is the order of the day unless she wants to risk getting her own story line. (which you could see flew around her head making chirpy noises but never entered her brain) They observe from the sidelines as BSL ingratiates herself with Mama Joon and our grumpy lead pouts manfully while gazing off into middle distance. Suddenly, everything freezes. It's a flashback!
So, this show is really stupid, but sometimes, it makes me laugh. This was funny

Not for Seth and Claire, though. Whatever facilitator spray keeps them from being subtitled unless they are talking to a character also makes them immune to this. Claire frets over Joon's troubled heart and worries aloud that he's thinking about his father's murder. Seth corrects her - it's suicide - and orders her not to fall in love with the lead. Well, if that ain't suspicious...we clearly someone someone dressed in black push him off the roof, and I doubt it was a Healer crossover. Maybe Rim's character in Two Weeks.
Come on, writers. Come on. I am not sure whether you are just bad or whether you are not taking your audience seriously enough. Whatever the case, it makes me angry. Try a bit harder, please
That was really interesting right? How could Seth not know it wasn't a suicide? or was he correcting her as a reminder that that's what the characters think? (That, I think.) Am I giving the writer (s?) more credit than they deserve? Way too much.
With everyone on edge, Seo Yeon naturally makes mistakes; she forgets instructions, drops things, and even gets locked outside in the alley. Then Claire tries to put out a pan fire with an extinguisher and ruins all the meals in the kitchen, forcing Joon to close for the night. Of course, he reacts by firing Seo Yeon: if she'd been where she was supposed to be, doing what she was supposed to be doing, the fire wouldn't have happened. Nice work, Claire.
Among the 100,000 things that don't make sense, explain this to me: is there a force majeur at play here too, unmyeong? Because why else would Seo Yeon have locked herself out? That wasn't a facilitator, unless it's an invisible one. So sometimes, a facilitator does something, but very often it just happens? Dramaworld is just too messy for me, it makes me uncomfortable.
If you lock yourself out, why not run around the building to the entrance? That would seem the most logical, rather than lean back against the building and contemplate your life. This is from someone who left her cipher card on her desk yesterday; I called every office extension I knew until someone picked up and let me back in. Then I took the good-natured ribbing and made sure the durn thing was back in the case. Also, Claire caused most of the chaos, not Seo Yeon, soooooo...?

Episode 4

Our mysterious Man in Black is back, studying a board full of photos and what appears to be relationship mapping. (a Conspiracy Board is always a good thing) After studying it for a moment, MIB replaces Joon's father's photos with a picture of Claire. Hmmm, so he's studying the drama? Is this a case of Good Facilitator vs Bad Facilitator?
Ohhhh, is Claire Joon's father now? How intriguing. 
That has got to be the most disorganized "who are the major players" map I've ever seen. 5 points for menacing character in leather and hoodie tho. 
One good ceiling fan fiasco and the whole thing is kaput. Why not use a white board?
Seth and Claire walk into a coffee shop, Claire's nose buried in the Rule Book. There's an entire wall of photos behind them, which doesn't seem like a big hint or anything at all like that. (soooo clever. Not) As she runs through a list of what must be approved types of facilitation - karaoke, curing incurable diseases, fainting spells - Seth explains that in Dramaworld, leading men (even second leads) are incapable of allowing women to hit the ground. He encourages Claire to test it out, and it's hilariously true - our Flower Boy Second Lead, the one Seo Yeon calls Oppa, comes flying out of nowhere to catch Claire as she 'faints.' He really is adorable.
One of the cuter scenes. Like others here, I'm fully on Team Flower Boy Oppa. I want him to get all the girls and all the boys. 
Yes. I admit these few minutes made me giggle.
Our two facilitators sit at a table near the window while Claire thumbs through the book and they chat about off-screen manipulation. In the back ground, a man crosses the street and is hit by a car. He's tossed like a rag doll and a horrified Claire rushes to his aid. The man (Si Won, hilarious as always) imprints on Claire immediately.
Excellent scene. Laughed out loud and wished this drama were, overall, better. Also want Siwon back
Hahaha That was the best. Good graphics too, that car hit was horrific. Siwon was funny as usual.
Truck of Doom Full of Likes on this one.
Seth races in to pull her away and implores her to be more careful. When Claire responds indignantly, he reminds her that cancer, memory loss, hit and runs...they all exist to further the story. Seth decides that he'll go fix the mess Claire just made with Si Won, which means she'll have to go get Joon to hire back Seo Yeon. You have a lot more faith in Claire than I do, Seth.
Do we even understand why he is concerned? I don't. 
If it's so important that the world implodes if Seo Yeon isn't hired back, why put the amateur on it? Why not have HER fix Siwon and SETH fix the story line? Again, it makes little sense within it's own in-verse rules. Let's just rewatch Siwon, shall we?

Seth rushes off, Claire heads over to the restaurant, and we see that Seo Yeon is visiting her oppa at his flower shop. Yes, the flower boy is an actual Flower Boy, plus kind, caring, empathetic, and in possession of an endless supply of charm and hot coffee.
Only... why is he there? Just for second-lead syndrome? Still, I want him to get all the girls, all the boys, and all the flowers. 
Hihi He's adorable. I just want him for myself. Is he a trainee? This guy needs a legit drama. Let's appeal to the descendants of the sun writernim. He'll have Gong Yoo as a seongbae. Yes yes..I like this.
He is a cutie-pie.
Claire's efforts to persuade Joon to reconsider his actions of the night before aren't met with resistance, exactly, just a lot of broody staring from a few different angles. She finally gives him direction on where to look, except it makes no sense. I can only assume she finds it uncomfortable for him to stare at her. Joon eventually wonders how she could know all of the things she's telling him and Claire, Grace and Wit Personified, tells him she's 'smart'. Joon tells her she's 'different.' Well we know that's not a good sign, don't we?
This scene was long and weird and made me realize how I don't care about anyone in this
Poor girl trying to prompt a flashback by making him stare into the distance. If only that were how it worked. *looks up from tablet and stares into the distance. Flashback promptly appears*

Claire reminds Joon that he opened the restaurant because he couldn't stand the idea of everything being frozen. He wanted warmth. The restaurant is warmth for the 'frozen food' that is his heart. She places her hand on his chest for emphasis, and this time, Joon appears to react to her actual words, not just pose broodingly. She reminds him that his restaurant stands for comfort, home, love - does he want that to change?
Okay, these lines are hilarious, but I am not 100% sure that our writers did it all deliberately
If I were him in RL, I'd already be calling for a straightjacket for her.
Apparently not. He sends off a text, we assume to Seo Yeon. When Claire asks if he apologized, he tells her 'Better. Go wash your hands.' I actually spend a few seconds trying to rationalize that 'go wash your hands' would somehow mean that she was re-hired to Seo Yeon, but Joon was actually enlisting Claire to help prepare a meal. Meanwhile, So Yeon and her Oppa are doing face masks.
Random PPL? Those two are cute and just as beautiful as I expect people in Kdrama to be (by which I mean to say that others in this drama are not). 
I too was like "wait what? she can't be sous chef!". PPL worked kakashi coz I want that face mask.
I saw that mask!!! I almost tried it before my Asian trip. I did think it was a waste of good makgeolli, though.
In the kitchen, Joon tosses Claire ingredients and instructions. When she asks what they're doing, he says that they're getting Seo Yeon back. 'With radishes?' Claire and I are both skeptical, but Joon assures us that while some men are poets, for some men, 'This is all we've got.' He's holding a huge daikon at his waist and sort of jiggles it at her. Yes.
Ha, ha? 
Hey, it amused me.

Of course Claire scrapes her hand while grating veggies, but she passes it off as minor and Joon fails in one of the most basic of KDrama Lead acts - he does not demonstrate his secretly caring heart by treating her scratch with ointments and serums and patches, nor does he fret about the future scar. Does this mean that it won't actually be Claire? The lead only ever ignores wounds in the girl he doesn't want.
Yes, what's up? No bandaid? I think our male writers simply didn't spend enough time researching KDrama, sadly. 
Yeah, there should have been some tender wrist grabbing and at least one soulful stare.

They continue getting to know each other better over meal prep and Joon discovers that they've both lost parents to suicide. Claire slips up again with the knowing things she shouldn't know and causing suspicion. Quelle surprise. In her distress, she accidentally spills some ghost pepper hot sauce on the scrape from earlier, then makes it worse by adding water. This time, Joon does come to the rescue. It clearly has an impact on Claire, and when he hand feeds her a few moments later it just seals the deal.
He comes to her help by gushing a white substance all over her. Yes
*gasp* dirty mind! Now i'm going to rewatch a couple of dramas looking for the innuendo.
It's milk, silly.

Meal ready, they wait at the restaurant for Seo Yeon, who is apparently ignoring Joon's text. (yeah, cause he's not really a male who knows how to communicate) Not ignoring: Ga In, the Bitchy Second Lead. She's spying on them and... taking photographs? Why?
Yes, why?
Joon and Claire head off to Seo Yeon's home once they realize she isn't coming to the restaurant. Claire is convinced that a proper apology is all that's needed. Along the way, a drunk woman staggers over to Joon and without a word he begins piggybacking her down the street. Claire is a bit non-plussed but Joon seems to think it's the most natural thing in the world. She's a girl. There must be piggybacking. Claire nods knowingly about magnetic pull.
Yeah, another scene that made me laugh
At least she didn't vomit down his shirt.
Ga In meets up with our mysterious Man in Black in a dark little bar. She tells him that they have a problem. 'If I don't get what I want, you don't get what you want.' MIB passes it off as an unintended event and cautions her about her tone. Gasp! It's Evil Seth! 'Don't worry,' he says. 'I always get what I want.'
I'm strangely unexcited
My theory is correct! Evil facilitator ftw! (id that all it takes? gel and a hoodie?). Now I have to figure out if I'm ridiculously brilliant or the script is horribly obvious. 
I'm voting the latter, unfortunately.


Well, who didn't see that coming? Of course, half the fun of something like this is that all the 'surprises' should be things we expect... and that we then get surprised by something ELSE. So far, there hasn't been something else. I do enjoy the little bits of wink-wink-nod-nod we get, but it feels like they're holding their punches, you know? Perhaps it's because there isn't much time to develop anything, with such short episodes.
I'm pretty sure they're holding their punches because they don't have any punches. Sadly, this is a lazily written production. As so often, the makers seem to think that the wink-wink-nod-nod is sufficient. They'll all get the insider jokes and that's enough? Not really. Kdrama and its weird tropes and rules would indeed lend itself to great comedy, but this is not it. It's not intelligent enough, it's not surprising enough and despite the very short episodes, it's often boring
It's pretty obvious this was not written by or in consultation with true fans (or they're just going for the lowest denominator which is equally insulting). Drama fans are an amazingly intelligent and talented group of people and it seems the writers are mocking us a bit. 
Let's face it; we all like the tropes, and so far, there isn't a single one we don't recognize as nauseum. But there has to be a real story and arc as a structure to hang all those lampshades. Without it, there's not much to keep a person interested.

It's beautifully filmed, but the story is very, very thin for all its cleverness, and the acting is a bit wooden. I do still have curiosity about Seth/Evil Seth, so that's a plus.
The story is thin and inconsistent. It's writer 101: make sure the rules of your world make sense. They don't. Let's hope there is a good reasons for Seth/Evil Seth. 
Oh he totally just wants out. After years of facilitation he's fallen in love with Seo Yeon. He obviously can't leave which means he messed up somewhere so this is his revenge/suicide/grand gesture. And writers if that's not the brilliant conclusion you came up with it should be. Get a re-shoot together stat...it's not like real dramas don't do that all the time. 
Live shoot! Live shoot! Live shoot!

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