28 January 2017

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Love for a Thousand More - Episode 7&8 (A Mini-Squeecap)

Posted by trot wood on January 28, 2017
Trotwood: For a show that is short with very short episodes, in these episode it asks its characters (and by default its viewers) some very philosophical questions about living. Do you try to avoid loss when you know it’s going to happen? How do you remain optimistic when you know something will end? Why do we keep going when we know we will die eventually? What would we do if we were immortal? Thus, none of you should be surprised that this squeecap is not as "mini" as the others.
JoAnne: If we think about it for a minute, we all know that everything ends, eventually. Despite all evidence to the contrary, though, something in our brains doesn't really let us think about that until we get pretty old, or learn that we're fatally ill. We think about it a bit when someone near us dies, true. Perhaps a bit more when the death is premature, or particularly random. But in general, we avoid these thoughts. Poor Mi Jo cannot, though, because she knows that she'll be the one to live, and thus she must watch the death of every single person she ever knows, let alone cares for. That's a much bigger shadow than ours is, and it's incredibly sad.
A thousand years of watching people die has got to be absolutely horrible. I've heard of old people who've lost most, if not all, their peers, get very depressed and want to leave this world.  And a thousand years is just so long!  You still have to take it day by day which makes it tedious.

Episode 7: Timing vs. Phrases When I Say I Love You

Cold Open: Yeon-Ji and Hyunsik walk into their sparkling clean apartment/studio with shocked looks. They can't believe that Junu would clean like this. They are even more shocked when Junu comes in behind them and volunteers to cook ramyeon for them. More saeguk speak and music for Hyunsik about the way people change..
He does look like that Paksa actor. Maybe after years of ignoring this group, I have a Winner bias now...
After credits: They are sitting up on the roof/deck cooking and eating. Junu starts telling horrible jokes, and he is cracking himself up (Please get a shot of their reactions; I also want those bowls they are using). Hyunsik is so flummoxed by this behavior that when Yeon-Ji asks him for one of his pithy saeguk comments, he admits he’s got nothing.
Hyunsik gets short shrift in this drama. I wish we would see more of him.
Me too. Also, didn't Junu just steal all of Yeonji's jokes?
 
Yeon-Ji goes to her next counseling appointment with Mi-Jo all excited about Junu’s change, especially when after she describes his behavior, Mi-Jo says they are signs that he is falling in love. Yeon-Ji wonders if Mi-Jo is also in love because she looks glowing, but Mi-Jo scoffs at the idea since she’s declared a moratorium on love for herself as we know. But when she doesn’t get mad when they hear Junu’s song from upstairs and Jason shows up and receives a smile, Yeon-Ji’s suspicions are confirmed.
I really like Yeon-Ji. She is a good person. I hope this is a drama that allows Junu to have decent people as friends, and that they don't reveal themselves to be terrible. I always wonder that the lead never picked up on any of those bad qualities, and then I think it's a flaw for them.
I'm sure Yeonji is just fine.  Anyway, I like her and don't want to think anything bad about her. 
Despite asking Mi-Jo out to eat, Jason takes her to a blood donation center. She’s all like, “Why aren’t we eating?” And he says that the two of them can afford to give lots of blood with no harm to themselves. So civic-minded!  I love Jason.  But what if they make new immortals?  She is disappointed that she didn’t think of this herself, bemoaning all the money she could have made by selling her blood over the years. They get their snacks (blood donation centers have the best snacks! Do they?  I've never been to one. Yes, they often give t-shirts, too. Sometime you can get tickets to amusement parks or other types of coupons. At least they do here. But it's important to get a snack so you don't feel light headed) and head out.

He wants to walk, but she says shouldn’t they rest? But he looks at her like she is crazy. They don’t need to rest. Instead, they could be saving lives all the time and should be thinking of ways to do it. She looks at him in amazement because she thinks that is brilliant. She never thought of her immortality that way. She still doesn’t want to go bungee jumping with him though.
I won't lie. This totally shocked me about Jason, because despite - in fact probably because of - that creepy aegyo shit he pulls, my gut instinct is not to trust him and that's he's shady as all get-out.
I never trust over-aegyo.
Close up of Breast Cancer guy’s funeral picture, and I’m immediately sad. The picture is on his chair, and Mi-Jo is putting flowers in front of it. Glasses guy is in shock, clearly surprised that he had breast cancer (dude, why would lie about something like that?). The girlfriend cries as Mi-Jo holds her hand. She says that she is fine because they did everything they could and loved each other as much as they could.
I do get the peace of that, a little bit. As I grow older and lose more people, I understand that the pain of losing, of not having more time to enjoy them, is much less than the anguish of regret for not using that time properly. But if that person lived well, and you lived well with them, the loss is tempered over time by the memories that you have, and knowing this can be a comfort in the immediacy of loss.
I can't say I've lost anyone close as yet, but yes, it makes sense to have as much love between you and the person as possible. 
Next scene, we see Mi-Jo and Junu on the roof/deck having a drink while she vents her frustration at this attitude. She can't believe that the woman is happy about such a love. Junu says everyone dies, and he talks of couples in their 70s who get married not knowing how long they have, but they do it because they’re in love and live in the moment and build memories. Aww. He tells her how when he went to the orphanage after his parents died, he thought he was unlucky, but the other kids were jealous of him because he had happy memories with his parents. This makes her think, but she has lots more experience losing, so I don't think she is convinced.
I do think that there's probably a tipping point there. I can think both Mi Jo and Junu are right, and it's because they exist on a continuum: after a while, too much loss is just too much loss. I think it's one reason why really old people say that they're ready to go...and it's why I would never choose to be immortal.
Same.  I mentioned that same thing above about old people being ready to go.  MiJo must've lost everyone. 
Next morning, she comes back from shopping and realizes that her turtle has escaped. My first instinct was to laugh at the idea of a turtle escaping, but Mi-Jo is so obviously painfully panicking here that I couldn’t. She looks through her apartment and then goes upstairs. How cute is Junu’s face when he sees her at his door? But this immediately changes to concern. Mi-Jo seriously looks like she is going to pass out from worry and leaves in a daze.
No, sorry, she lives above street level. How in the world does a turtle escape? How long was she gone, a week? It would take that long for even a genius turtle to figure out how to open the freaking door. And how did it get downstairs? Did it roll down the steps with its little arms and legs tucked into its shell? What was it thinking? 'God, finally. I have a clear 7 days to make it these next forty yards. If I can cover six inches a day it's totally doable!'
Mabye it's a supersonic turtle.
So of course, when Krunk Soul is supposed to be rehearsing the song later he cannot concentrate. After several failed attempts, Junu apologizes to the members and leaves, running to find and increasingly distraught Mi-Jo. They search into the dark until Mi-Jo just sits down in the middle of the street in tears. Junu tells her to go home, and he’ll continue to search. He eventually finds Beak-nyun, and despite his fear of turtles picks her up to take her home. That’s love, people!
How is anyone scared of a turtle, though. Maybe he got bit by a snapper once.
A turtle.  He's scared of a turtle.  
He shows up at Mi-Jo’s door, waking her from a nightmare in which she searches a dark forest looking for Beak-nyun. She is so relieved that it takes her a moment to see how bedraggled Junu is, but this does not stop her from following him up the stairs to give him a back hug. He’s a bit stunned at first, but then he smiles and puts his hand over hers. (please include a gif of the closeup of the hands, I loved this).
Post-credits: Mi-Jo is having a love counseling appointment with a new client who wants to know how she can tell if a guy is in love. Mi-Jo says he laughs a lot because he's thinking about the person he likes, he'll hum more, and he'll blink more as his heartbeat speeds up. This is interspersed with shots of her and Junsu, and she does each of these things, so her client (unsurprisingly) says, "I think you are in love." We close with Mi-Jo's rapid blinking.
For a smart woman she sure is dumb.
She's convinced herself she's not into love and men anymore, but from her personal history, it's clear that dating was her hobby.  Also, if I blink my eyes more, will my heart rate go up?

Episode 8: Does his Past Matter?

Cold Open: Later (post back hug), Mi-Jo and Junu are sitting on the roof/deck together not looking at each other, but there’s warmth in the air. Junu tells her that he’s never told anyone else about the mystery woman and that the story he told for the Liar’s Game wasn’t a lie (duh). He does like her very much. She smiles slightly at this, but then he takes off his necklace with the ring on it, telling her that he’s always wanted to give it to someone he likes; it’s what has helped him through everything. She is shocked, remembering when she gave it to that boy and realizing that he is that boy. She jumps up, saying she is really tired and leaves.
He told her the story, though.  How did she not recognize him back then?
So many stories in her life: how could she keep track of them all? 
After credits: we see Mi-Jo carrying the boy Junu into the hospital and laying him down on a bed. We cut to the present when she is with her group, where she’s obviously telling them about Junu. They don’t get why she can’t tell him that he is that boy, but she thinks of her last love and how they were happy and he got old and died and she was alone again.
At a certain point I guess it just gets creepysad. Crad.
Pffft.
 
Next scene shows her walking along the road to the apartment when she’s caught by a smiling Junu. He asks her when she’s getting out of her next counseling appointment so they can see a movie, he asks her to go on a walk, or for a drink. She keeps giving him reasons why she can't see him. He finally says he’ll meet her up by the tree and leaves. He waits there, but Yeon-Ji shows up instead, told by Mi-Jo to meet him there. He’s clearly not happy.
She needs to stop doing that. It's not fair to Yeon Ji or Junu or anyone, including herself.
That night Mi-Jo is sitting outside by the park (I can’t tell where this is exactly, but I can say that I would love to live in this neighborhood and please get a full pic of this hanbok. It’s a dream). I got the feeling she was avoiding going home when Jason appears.
Is he stalking her?
 
She cheers up when she sees him, but she asks him whether he doesn’t want to know about his past and who he really is. He doesn't and insists that he is fine not knowing why or who he was. She thinks this must be why he is always so happy and optimistic. She can't stop remembering. They come upon the Krunk Soul group, and Junu scowls.
Blonde kid is too cute. 
 
Yeon-Ji teases Mi-Jo about whether Jason is the person she is seeing, which makes Junu scowl even more. He walks off with Yeon-Ji chasing after him. Mi-Jo quietly tells Jason to go on without her. He watches them all thoughtfully while Hyunsik has one of his saeguk speak moments. I quite like Hyunsik, so I’m glad they’re giving his superfluous character something to do.
And I still get very conflicting vibes from Jason. Mostly that he is not what he presents himself to be. It's so strong a feeling, in fact, that I'm almost disposed to dismiss it and look elsewhere for my surprise. 
Over-aegyo is suspicious. 
But to me, it's also because it seems like an act that he uses to cover something else. People I know who are cutsie don't have the serious side that we see here or the fact that he seems really observant. they usually do not notice anything besides themselves and other cute things.
Yeon-Ji catches up to Junsu and, remembering all the clues she's had before, asks him out right whether or not he likes Mi-Jo. He doesn’t answer, but she clearly gets it from his look. She confesses right then and asks him why with her trying for three years he can’t see her but they’ve lived close to Mi-Jo for only a month and he likes MJ? Mi-Jo is watching them through the trees.
The next day finds Mi-Jo and Yeon-Ji at a coffee shop. Yeon-Ji tells her that she should’ve have figured out why Junsu was changing and that he was always looking at Mi-Jo not her. Mi-Jo apologizes and admits that she feels relieved that she knows she can open herself up again but that she will not be pursuing her feelings for Junsu on the back of Yeon-Ji's unhappiness. Besides, she plans to move. She also tells her that she’s a great girl.
So, wait. She's happy that she can feel but has no intention of feeling and in fact doesn't want to feel. So then why is she happy to learn that she still can?
I guess Mi Jo was so traumatized by her last relationship, she shut herself down emotionally, which is another pain in itself.  So, it's a relief to open up.  But since she is immortal, she can wait for someone else, I guess. 
That night Junsu finds Mi-Jo up at the roof/deck, but she tries to get away. He asks her why she keeps avoiding him which she denies, but we all know is so true. He tells her to just tell him that she doesn’t like him, and he’ll disappear (sigh. Why do they always do this? They alway lie) She turns and says she doesn’t like him. Thankfully, Junsu doesn’t believe her (Yay!), but tells her he’ll disappear anyway (booo!). He doesn’t need to stick with someone who doesn’t appreciate his feelings.
Thank you.
Of course, he has left her a bag with a CD and CD player that contains his completed song. She listens to it. She is even listening to it the next day when she sees Junsu across the street listening to his headphones, too. I’m already starting to panic. Headphones and traffic in Korean dramas and K-pop videos always means someone is about to get run over. They end up facing each other on opposite corners, and when he sees her, tears come into his eyes. He turns and walks the way he came, but she runs after him into the street right when the light changes and gets hit by a car—driven, ironically, by the laptop guy who thinks they are all crazy. I missed that it was laptop guy!  I say ironically because the episode ends with Junsu cradling her in his arms and both Junsu and the laptop guy seeing Mi-Jo’s wounds heal right before their eyes. She starts to regain consciousness, but it dawns on her what they’ve seen, so she closes her eyes again.
And why did she suddenly decide to chase him? Her resolve didn't last long. You're still a great girl, though, Yeon Ji, that part wasn't a lie.

Post-credits: we are in the counseling group and Mi-Jo is in tears. She says there is someone she really wants to tell her secret to about her being 999 years old, but she can’t say anything because she is a monster. She doesn’t think she can take the look on his face when he realizes she's a monster.
It's not like I don't sympathize with her....*wipes away tears*
But did her last husband think she was a monster?

Comments:

As much as I find Jason's personality tics annoying, I find his questioning of her helpful. I can see how losing love over and over can be a drain. I might have thought of ways to save people since I knew I couldn't die, but I don't know if I would still be able to think as positively as he does if I were her unless I actually had such conversations with him. The drama really made me ask myself how I would act if I were immortal and whether that would change some of the decisions I am making now. This episode though made me think of the potential for innumerable new loves rather than what I had been thinking of--the innumerable losses of old loves.
True, if you're a cute immortal, you can always find someone new. But that doesn't encourage loving someone.   

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