07 January 2017

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Love for a Thousand More - Episodes 1&2 (A Mini-Squeecap)

Posted by trot wood on January 07, 2017
I really enjoyed this show and think more people should watch. It really wasn’t something I planned to watch. It was about a rapper (I thought), and I don’t like rap. The official poster did not look appealing at all. However, I’m on constant look out for short satisfying drama, especially during busy times at work. This fit. At ten episodes at about 15 minutes apiece, it seemed perfect. Who knew that it would be so satisfying?
JoAnne: Same in that I'd no plan of watching, but only because it wasn't really popping up in my news. I've got nothing against rappers per se - but then Trot was saying how enjoyable it was and when I looked, I agreed. Plus: fast episodes and two people I like as leads.
For this recap project, I’m calling them a mini-cap because I’m going back to the pattern from Noble My Love and do two episodes each post. I want to try to finish during the winter slow period at work!
SakiVI: I was surprised how interesting it was. We have this love expert who is uniquely situated to help Korean women because she practically is The Korean Woman after 999 years of life, and this old soul in a young man who is her soulmate. The side characters are developed just enough that we don't think "what?" or "get them out of the way" either.
True. They keep the focus small and laser-sharp, which can only ever benefit a show.
Synopsis: Mi-Jo (Hwang Seung-eon from Thumping Spike) is a thousand years old and became immortal after being saved from death by a mysterious stranger. Currently, she makes a living giving love counseling based on her 1000-year experience with and observing love. She doesn’t believe it in herself anymore because all the men she falls in love with either die or get creeped out by the fact that she can’t die. But some musicians move in upstairs disturbing her peace. Will this give her an opportunity to rethink how she is managing her immortality?
Maybe.
It's kind of hard to beat that 'they're always going to die' piece.

Episode 1—Love: Is it Necessary?

Cold Open. A group therapy session with our heroine introducing herself. I can’t tell if she is leading this or is a participant. She knows more than any of them, so she is basically leading them, including the lead psychiatrist, who is clearly bored. She introduces herself as 999 years old and the most important lesson she’s learned is that love is worthless, so she is never going to fall in love again. She advises them all to do the same. There are four other people. We don’t get their names, so I’m going to call them the woman, camo tank top guy, computer guy, and glasses guy. Computer guy (whose typing into his laptop how they are all crazy) says that it must be hard on her and asks her what she does. She replies, “I’m a love counselor” with no hint of irony and the show opens.
This looks like a therapy group - doesn't it seem odd to you that she'd be in therapy? Doesn't that expose her quite dangerously?
 
We see an example of a counseling session. A female college student asks advice about a male college student she is interested in but who claims that he just needs to focus on his work now. Mi-Joo knows exactly his type having dated such types before (probably lots of times). I think she remembered Jang Young-sil, rofl. She advises the woman that she needs to not push but show interest in the work. She even gives her a sachet that she swears with help attract him.
It's quite subtle, but right away you can pick up on these tiny little things that she does that make her seem like an old lady, without her ever 'acting' like an old lady.
Next, there is a humorous montage of her living through wars with invaders showing up at the same meal time throughout the ages. This was so well-done. I loved it! This bring us to contemporary times when she tries to eat a meal but starts hearing so much noise that she thinks a war is going on. In the midst of packing her things for the inevitable evacuation, she realizes that the noise if just coming from the upstairs apartment.
When it's an ancient man, they always make him rich. Why isn't she rich and living in a stand alone house?
She goes upstairs to confront the new neighbors only to meet Hyunsik (Kim Jinwoo) and Yeon Ji (Kim Hee Jung), cool hiphoppy musician types. They think she is there for audition and try to politely get rid of her, so she just gets angrier. When they are realizing their mistake, our male lead comes out to see what’s happening. It’s Yoon Junu (Kang Seung-yoon), and he clearly recognizes her. Cue nostalgia flashback music and his memories of a former Mi-Jo consoling him as a boy. (First Love Alert!) Thus, while she is still yelling about the noise, he rushes to embrace her. Music stops when he finally realizes what he’s doing. Embarrassed he pushes her away and runs back inside.
I loved this instinctive move he makes, no hesitation at all - he must have been so shocked at himself in the aftermath.
Of course, his band mates—we find from the pictures on wall that they are called Krunk Soul (of course, they are) —want to know what that was all about. He says to forget about it and changes subject by critiquing their work. He’s bothered though by the similarity between the woman he saw and woman in his memory.
As anyone would be.
Show closes with Yeon Ji coming to Mi-Joo for love counseling. We all know where this is going, right? But I just didn’t care that much that I knew. I found the premise intriguing and our heroine winning. 
I like Yeon Ji.
I do, too.
I do, too. There actually isn't anyone in the show that I don't like so far.

Episode 2—Can I Make Him Love Me?

We continue immediately after the last episode with Mi-Jo asking Yi-jeon about the guy she likes. She is genuinely surprised that it’s that “bastard” from upstairs, but she quickly goes back into professional mode. YJ has liked Junu for three years, but he only treats her like a teammate and only talks to her about music. She has a super cool motorcycle, and she hasn’t even had the nerve to ask him to go for on a ride on it yet. Sidebar: it's weird how liking someone can turn the most confident person into mush. At her sincerity, Mi-Jo softens, wondering aloud if it could be YJ’s clothes. I didn’t blame her for this because I don’t find hip hop clothes attractive on women or men, but clearly Mi-Jo and I are old people. I don't think hip hop clothes are attractive either - oh, wait. Mi-Jo decides to help, but this isn’t purely altruistic or business. She make YJ make a deal that the band will move out if she helps YJ.
I like girls to dress like girls, and I find 'hip-hop' style on women sort of cheesy. Actually, on men it's cheesy, too.
We move to a montage of Junu doing his whole hip hop club DJ thing while Mi-Jo does a voice over about his background like he’s in a case study. Turns out that he is an orphan and named cold statue because he has no friend besides music and isn’t interested in women at all. I call BS on this because hello, his age! Three months ago the rapper from their band ran off with their deposit for recording and rehearsal space which is why they are in the apartment upstairs.
I hope we get to hear him sing. I liked Kang Seung Yoon even before Winner.
At their next session, Mi-Jo, after going back into her past to dissect men from her 900 year experience that are like Junu, decides that the way to break through Junu’s barrier is through laughter. Problem is that neither she nor YI are that good at coming up with or telling jokes; thus, the “joke” date fails. There were a lot of puns, and I freaking loved them. Junu is perfectly clueless. Although the waiter/cook gets the jokes and asks YJ to tell him more so he can share with his kids.
They were fun but she was just so awkward with it.
Next we see Mi-Jo doing Tai Chi in the park with several elderly people. She actually stands out not because she looks young but because she seems to be doing angry Tai Chi with her movements jerking every time she thinks of the jerk Junu.
This whole thing really reinforces that she's old, old, old, no matter what she looks like.
Here we get introduced to Jason (Jang Ki Young), who leads this group. He is young and good looking and asks her out right if she has something on her mind. He seems impressive and cool until he goes uber aegyo on her. Uber aegyo actually suited him a lot. He offers her his heart (something he must have been doing for years and often), but she just thinks he’s silly because he is. Still cute, though.
He seemed pretentious and possibly sleazy before the aegyo, which turned him into something cringe-worthy. Enormous and immediate 'no' with every cell of my being.
We also get a humorous flashback of her and times she should’ve died--punishment by poison, ax in shoulder, arrow in head—and how creeped out all the men were because she didn’t die. This is another reason she stays away from men. Sounds fair. Good thing she wasn't in Europe, or she'd have been burnt alive.
Seriously. She's not very good at protecting her secret.
That night Junu is walking home, shaking his head at the lame joke texts YJ keeps saying, when he comes upon Mi-Jo on a ladder trying to change the lightbulb. He’s obviously affected by her and reaches for the necklace he’s wearing. He passes her and is on to the next flight when she falls and breaks the bulb. Show closes with a close charged stare between the two after he helps her with the bulb.
Electric spark, what?
It feels a little weird that he'd go from hugging her on sight to not even trying to find out more about her.

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