March 12, 2013

Seoyoung My Daughter – Episode 39-40


Seoyoung My Daughter has been relatively light on morose drinking scenes, but in this episode, it’s soju all around.

Ji Seon confirms that she did NOT trust her husband for 20 years as she told Seo Yeong. Which means her shock was more a case of wounded pride than wounded feelings, no? However, I think she did expect, if not trust, that Ki Beom would protect her reputation, since it reflected on him. Maybe that’s why her summation of betrayal in her conversation with Seo Young is so succinct.

Whenever I’m tempted to feel sorry for Sam Jae (which is often), I remember how he stole his wife’s money, and how his homeless family slept in the the 찜질방 (jimjilbang = public baths) when he deserted them.

However, it wasn’t quite fair of Woo Jae to blame him for the discovery of Seo Yeong’s secret. All this excessive refusal to make excuses is getting annoying. Sam Jae should tell his kids that he didn’t know Woo Jae arranged the job until after he took it, and that his attempts to quit are what aroused Woo Jae’s suspicions. Seo Young, at least, has reason to remember how relentless Woo Jae can be. Come to think of it, wasn’t it her idea that Woo Jae should arrange a job for “Yu Man Ho” secretly?

Yoon Hui seems to think Seo Yeong’s efficiency in the face of trauma is denial, or a facade of bravery, but I think Seo Young’s actually enjoying it. She’s an expert at functioning in a crisis, only this time she’s free of financial fear and in control of her own life. I like the way everyone in Seoyoung My Daughter is finding themselves. It’s the Kdrama edition of RoadTrip Nation.

I’m still pondering the perfect transformation for Gang Sun. Any suggestions? I’m really curious whether she has a dream.

For those who haven’t turned to soju, there is chocolate. Delivered by a slightly magical Chocolate Fairy who looks like Prince Charming :)

It’s good to see Sang Woo and Seo Young together again. He’s a much better listener than he used to be. However, her reasons for refusing to talk to Woo Jae are getting thinner and thinner. She owes it to herself not to let misconceptions stand unchallenged. And even though Woo Jae betrayed her as much as she betrayed him, understanding what happened promotes the best closure for everyone.

Even Gang Sun notices the change in Ji Seon. Not that the changes are all that subtle, but Gang Sun doesn’t usually look very far beyond her own skin.

The penny finally drops for Ho Jeong. Choi Yoon Young portrays surprise and shock so well – I always get a kick out of it. She’s a great natural comedienne. I don’t think Ho Jeong has quite grasped the implications for oppa’s relationship with Mi Kyung yet, though.


Well, Sam Jae’s conversation with Woo Jae was not a surprise to me, sad to say, since it was spoiled by a promotional video on the show that I watched. Is a spoiler warning so much to ask? Seo Young had good reason to fear Sam Jae’s attempts at intervention, but with Shim Deok’s guidance, he managed to do it constructively. I especially like his pointed insight about Woo Jae’s personality at the end. Woo Jae is getting quite an education on his failings.

One of the most interesting things about Korean drama is the way it looks at how everyone involved contributes to a situation. From our semi-omniscient viewing port, we see several different characters with entirely different perceptions of Sam Jae, based on their own limited experience with him. That kind of thoughtful, cinematic twist has elevated SeoYoung My Daughter (if just barely at times) above the sudsiness.

Ho Jeong finally reaps the doubt that is inevitable with a one-sided marriage. Seo Young’s brother would be utterly unacceptable to Mi Kyung’s parents, but she didn’t think of that yet, or she would suffer less. We knew Ho Jeong and Sang Woo had to get together the moment he said he could never love her. But did I imagine such a bizarrely justified marriage? I did not. I’ve seen enough Kdrama by now that I probably should have, though!

I can’t tell whether they’ll endure as a couple. I could see Sang Woo realizing that he could never make Ho Jeong happy despite his promise, because she wants to be loved and he can’t love her. Which should have been totally obvious to both of them from the start, but yeah, yeah, this is fiction. Then again, could his appreciation for her buoyance, faith and optimism deepen into love? Well, I guess that’s what the remaining 10 episodes are for.

That and Sung Jae’s smashing success as an actor. And perhaps a reunion with Eun Su? As for Ki Beom, will he finally recognize the unfounded overconfidence which he passed on to both of his sons? That would be something to see.

And what will they do with Gang Sun, once she has no one else’s life to manage? Could Mi Kyung up liking the rich suitor her dad has in mind for her? Despite her issues, I still think she deserves someone nicer than Ho Jeong’s smug and chilly brother.

We haven’t seen a “normal” Seo Young through most of SeoYoung My Daughter – she’s been either determined or submissive, and controlling situations by controlling herself 100% of the time. It’s nice to see Lee Bo Young get a chance to extend her range as Seo Young expresses herself in new ways.

The magician scene is on an intriguingly different level, with its metaphor and poetry. This episode in general feels deeper and more resonant, as if the writer suddenly perked up after trudging through weeks of maneuvers to get her to the point where she could really say something.

Sung Jae, we have a book here in the U.S. for kids with two mommies. Oh wait, that’s a different situation. Ji Seon and So Mi may learn to get along, but probably not that well.

I hope some couple somewhere in the drama ends up happy together. So far, neither the love matches nor arranged marriages have turned out well. I get the feeling most drama writers are not happily married!

Related posts:
My Daughter Seoyoung – Episode Reviews

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