March 7, 2013

Seoyoung My Daughter – Episode 37-38

Episode 37

Yikes! Episode 37 of Seo Young My Daughter opens with a hair-raising demonstration of the scariest driving ever. Raise your hand if being run off the road by your honey is on your relationship dealbreaker list.
Seoyeong pulls away from Ujae who has run her car off the road and grabbed her by the arm in the middle of the street
Ki Beom has a hilariously ironic tirade about lying and family values. His hypocrisy is completely invisible to him. Until Ji Seon’s damning faint praise that he’s the best of the betrayers in her life, that is.

I’m not sure how far back it goes, but there is a tradition of women drummers in Korea, and it isn’t hard to see why. They have to release the stress and frustration of all that sexism somewhere. I hope Ji Seon’s drumming session clears her shock so she thinks of asking Seo Young for an explanation.

You’d never guess Sang Woo had been in a previous romantic relationship. Didn’t he ever take a haen-deu-pone (truth, the Korean word for cell phone is 핸드폰) photo with Mi Kyung? Hard to imagine she wouldn’t have whipped him into proper boyfriend shape. I’m glad he attracted stares when he sent Ho Jeong scurrying for samples. I was about ready to poke him with a toothpick myself. The fact that she was all excited to be of service made it even worse.

I guess I have to give Sang Woo credit for trying to make Ho Jeong happy, as he promised. The problem is, he’s doing it from the head instead of the heart. Isn’t he in love with her yet? She’s so perky, and so indefatigably optimistic. What’s not to like, unless you’re a total misanthrope? Of course, the whole premise of their relationship is completely absurd. If it works out in the end, it’ll be a fluke. I wonder if Sang Woo knows she’s blogging their marriage.
In a cell phone photo a surprised Ho Jeong forces a smile
A lot of obvious but previously neglected things are said in this episode. Dad asks Woo Jae if he has investigated Seo Young’s reasons for lying. Um, no. Why is that, oppa?

Sung Jae asks where else she has to go – less of an issue for her than it was for him – and why an honest person would lie. Right?

Yoon Hui asks how Seon Woo could tell all after she explicitly promised not to. I asked how anyone could expect otherwise from someone so self-absorbed and reactive, but did anyone listen?

And Shim Deok asks Sam Jae to work for her, as if the very idea was a brilliant and radical inspiration. To them maybe. To us, not so much.

Sung Jae wipes away tears as he auditions for the role of an adoptee seeking his birth motherSung Jae has learned a little about being a good friend. Did you catch the title of the drama he’s been cast in (My Mom Got a Family)? It’s not only an ironical reference to Sung Jae’s situation, but an homage to the drama Lee Jung Shin’s CNBlue bandmate Kang Min Hyuk starred in. Fine, maybe “homage” is too lofty a word. Whatever.

5 stars to Yoon Hui for breaking through Seo Young’s bright facade. She’s a true friend. Note that they are speaking banmal now.

I suppose we have to see Seon Woo’s pain, since Kdrama is all compassionate and everything, but it’ll take one heck of a tear-jerking backstory to evoke a sympathy vote from me. Paternal abandonment, perhaps? But no, Ji Seon mentioned parents. She’s so relentlessly obsessed with Woo Jae that it’s hard to picture her any other way. That’s all we know about her.

Seoyoung My Daughter is jam-packed with emotional meetings in restaurants. Fortuitously, the place always empties out before the shouting starts. It seems awfully public, but I guess that’s the only way they can justify all the American background music.

I could hardly believe my ears when they played “The Long and Winding Road” as Seo Young and Woo Jae enter the restaurant at the end of the episode. That’s the exact phrase I used to describe the course of love in “romance vs. family” dramas in my Love Rain review!

So where’s my screen credit?

Episode 38

Mom actually calls her daughter a bimbo?! This is mom who used to punch Ho Jeong, so I guess she’s actually improving. Gang Sun is a terror in her way, but since the unhappiness she’s causing is mostly her own, I don’t dislike her the way I do Ki Beom and Seon Woo. I’m looking forward to her transformation. Will her personality completely change, or will they find something for her to do with her life that’s a good fit for the way she is? Tough love weight-loss coach? Paparazza? Totalitarian dictator?

Sang Woo has finally learned to express affection and kindness to his sister, if not his wife. He said exactly the right thing in his text to Seo Young.

Ho Jeong presses her quilt to her ears to block out Sam Jae and Sang Woo's conversationA Korean-American blogger studying in Korea wrote that there was no concept of privacy in Korean culture. Certainly Ho Jeong feels no shame about rooting through dad’s stuff, and sharing it with Sang Woo. Um, maybe that was hidden in his closet because he didn’t want other people to see it? Yet then she goes to extremes (extremely silly. Cloth is not an effective sound barrier!) to respect Sang Woo’s and dad’s privacy, even though something major is obviously going on.

"Ho Jeong and Sang Woo lie on opposite sides of their bed with a large one-eyed pink stuffed animal between their pillowsAll the Lees going into shock as they realize the secrets they’ve been keeping from each other is a little funny. I know it’s supposed to be tragic, but it’s so Gift of the Magi.

What will happen to Ho Jeong’s marriage now? One thing’s for sure, the giant pink stuffed cyclops that sleeps between her and Sang Woo has got to go! I can tell you what isn’t happening in that bed…

Did you notice the word Sung Jae used to ask Eun Su if revenge had healed her? Kibun (기분), a concept which has no parallel in western culture, is central to Korean daily life. I’m still wrapping my brain around it, but I’ll add it to the Culture page one of these days, since it sheds a lot of light on puzzling drama moments, not to mention on international politics. Even if her kibun was restored by crushing him as devastatingly as he crushed her, Sung Jae still owes Eun Su an apology to my way of thinking.

Tangential fun fact: in Korean, the same word (sagwa 사과) is used for apology and apple.

Gyeong Ho is reaping what he sowed. That’s what you get for bonding with dad against mom. You like dad, right? Maybe we’ll find out now what Gyeong Ho is doing in this drama. So far, not much. Hope dad packed his seal when he left mom so she can’t sign for him anymore!

Hah, the Kangs were all keeping secrets too! I wonder what the moral of Seoyoung My Daughter is? Honesty is the best policy? You think?

Sam Jae is still fibbing, presumably because he doesn’t want Sang Woo to know just how long he’s been lying to him. I don’t know why he bothers, since it’s obviously all going to come out in the end. Everybody will feel better to know he was present at Seo Young’s wedding, however distressing it was at the time.
Sam Jae squats in the snow outside the Kang's house waiting to see Seo Yeong
Aigoo, why is everyone calling and calling, and not leaving messages? Don’t they have voicemail in Korea??

Whoa, Ji Seon’s articulacy isn’t the only thing blooming in her conversation with Seo Young. She shows a new consciousness and perspective about her feelings, too, instead of just spraying them like a fire hose at everyone. But why did she say she trusted her husband for 20 years? We know that isn’t true.

Be that as it may, she put her finger on the real price of lying. It instills doubt in those who are deceived, doubt not only of the liar, but of themselves. But why is everyone so certain that Seo Young’s reasons can’t possibly be relevant, even when they like and respect Seo Young? That’s not logical.

Stop snickering. A girl can dream.

Yun Hui stands by the side of her bed and looks down at Seo Young sleeping with a sympathetic expressionHah! Woo Jae won’t divorce Seo Young before understanding her reasons, but torturing her is OK? It’s a good thing they stuck in that scene with Yoon Hui, cause I couldn’t figure out why Seo Young wouldn’t talk to him. Yes, Woo Jae’s been a real disappointment, but surely telling him the truth would just make him feel that for himself? It’s kinda late for Seo Young to protect her father’s pride now. I feel pretty sure Woo Jae’s going to hear about it sooner or later, from Yun Hui if not from Sang Woo, or perhaps even from Sam Jae himself (avoid promo videos for Seoyoung My Daughter, or you’ll see this sooner than you want to).

I’m taking bets on how father and daughter will react, now that they are finally facing each other after all this time and angst. Will they run into each other’s arms, or drag the reconciliation out for another episode or two?

Related posts:
My Daughter Seoyoung – Episode Reviews

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