April 2, 2013

Seoyoung My Daughter – Episode 45-46

Hey, it’s my 100th post! How did that happen?


Let’s see, what’s left to wrap up before Seoyoung My Daughter ends? Quite a lot, actually. I wasn’t sure the Ho Jeong/Sang Woo marriage would last, but now I’d be surprised if it didn’t. Everything else is still in development, although the clues to where many of the other storylines are going have been, shall we say, generous?

Why does Sang Woo lie to Seo Young about Mi Kyung – surely noona knows his lying face. And hasn’t he grasped yet that lies never turn out well? Sheesh, that’s the whole moral of Seoyoung My Daughter. Catch up, Sang Woo.

I can’t believe Gang Sun is making Ji Seon clean her house (and that Ji Seon’s doing it)! Just like Ji Seon can’t believe Woo Jae’s being sweet, unless he’s sick, grieving or crazy. Take note oppa! Even oma thinks “nice” is not your strong suit. I guess it makes sense for Woo Jae to really start changing his behavior with mom rather than Seo Young, since that’s where his dismissal of what women say about their own feelings began. Ki Beom’s chickens are coming home to roost, with all his kids taking mom’s side. But can it ever be a big enough comeuppance to satisfy? We can only dream.

How Ji Seon and Gang Sun will end up is still a mystery. The lack of foreshadowing makes me fear they’ll go back to their husbands. Not that I’d mind so much in Gang Sun’s case, but it would be a tough break for Min Seok. Too bad Gang Sun wasn’t home when Ji Seon wondered out loud why she objected to Min Seok’s commercial. She needs to hear that from someone richer than her. But I wonder if Ji Seon’s words carry the same weight in Gang Sun’s mind now that she’s divorcing the rich man (and cleaning up after Gang Sun).

Finally, Sam Jae and Shim Duk are going out. That took long enough!

Aigoo, halmeoni blaming herself for her abusive son. It’s all her fault because she’s poor?!

LOVED the look on Ki Beom’s face when Seo Young asked for more money. Priceless!

I understand Seo Young being upset about everything that happened around her without her knowledge, but how is it her fault that Mi Kyung kept her family a secret so that Sang Woo didn’t know she was his sister-in-law? What does she think she could’ve done if she’d known? Even if her secret hadn’t come out, and she divorced Woo Jae under some pretext so Mi Kyung could marry Sang Woo, does she really think the Kang parents would’ve been OK with their daughter marrying their son’s ex’s brother? Oh, wait, there I go being logical again. Mianhae.

Woo Jae wanted Seo Young to live her life free, and without pressure?? You mean pressure like crashing her opening day party, and her first independent gig, forcing her to eat with him, showing up unannounced at her home and work after she’s repeatedly told him she doesn’t want to see him, showering her with unwanted gifts, and insisting they should be friends? Is he listening to himself?!

Ho Jeong’s friend isn’t much of a friend. Some things just don’t need to be said. Even though we know she’s right about the blog, seems like she ought to be focusing on the fact that Sang Woo wants to make Ho Jeong feel loved.

Ji Seon has smartened up considerably, using Ki Beom’s obsession with image against him – hoist with his own petard. Delicious :)

Not appreciating Sang Woo’s tough love pep talk to Seo Young, though he made exactly the points I was thinking about Mi Kyung. And of course, he’s entirely right about Woo Jae. But accusing her of making herself a victim is a little thick. And that snarky comment about him only taking on things he could handle! I hope karma gives him a good kick in the butt for that one.

Oh, no, are they going to kill off Sam Jae, or is he just saying he has a stomach ache to leave more food for his date/boss(!)? Do I hear the snap crackle pop of rising suds?

I know Woo Jae was really suffering in his office at the thought of never again seeing Seo Yeong, and it’s not Lee Sang Yoon’s fault – he’s brilliant at looking pained – but his shirt was such a beautiful color, it’s all I could look at.

Aww, poor Ho Jeong. She doesn’t really have any right to expect more with Sang Woo, but she should trust her instincts a little. As for the cliffhanger, I’m keeping my fingers crossed she just fainted from fear and he was really a nice man despite his scary looks, or too drunk to even notice her and just looking for a place to pee, or at worst, a mugger who stole her phone, but not (please!) a rapist. They wouldn’t do that to Ho Jeong, would they? The audience would not like that.

See, I told you he was really a nice man. Shame on you for jumping to conclusions based on appearances. Though I gotta say running into a dark alley to escape from street harassment was not Ho Jeong’s brightest moment. She needs to take a page from Ji Seon’s book.

Running to the sister of the man you think just rejected you is also a puzzling choice. And how did Ho Jeong know where Seo Young lives? But Seo Young can’t resist Ho Jeong any better than I can. Even when her heart is broken, she still bubbles. If Ho Jeong was a blog, “I feel your pain” would be her tagline.

At least karma administered the butt kicking Sang Woo so richly deserved, quite promptly, in fact. That makes me happy :) And they are so adorable as a real couple.

Wish I could disagree with Gyeong Ho about Mi Kyung’s emotional priorities, but the idea of emotionally distracted Mi Kyung as a doctor has disturbed me more than once. I hate that they make the only female doctor a hyper-reactive flake. Argh.

I think Warden Gang Sun is learning a lot from her houseguest. Mostly things she doesn’t want to know. Love the Roomba, though. It’s such a Ji Seon solution :) Kim Hye Ok had a job to make Ji Seon likable in her petulant, hysterical days, but she managed to show a charming side to her childlikeness. Now that she’s calmer, we see a lot more of that sense of wonder and discovery. It’s quite engaging.

Speaking of childlikeness, Sung Jae and Min Seok playing patty cake is so, so right, right?

Feelings behind the Ji Seon-Magician reunion? JJinja?! Followed by When a Man Loves a Woman when Ki Beom replaces the Magician? Seriously!? Makes me wonder, not for the first time, if Koreans realize how lightly Americans take our own pop music. Apparently Kpop is king (and queen) in Korea, and it’s the rock bands that can’t get a gig. Which is too bad, because Korean rock bands can be quite good. WAY better than American pop singers.

Winter hiking. Brr! I know it’s all symbolic of seeing the larger picture and everything, but I’ll have my meaningful flashbacks in front of a roaring fire with a large mug of cocoa, thank you very much. You’d think someone who sells outdoor wear for a living would know to cover his head when cold (and carry a parka in his SUV). Boy rescues girl from sexual harassment is wearing rather thin (especially as an enhancement to stalking), but at least Seo Young gets to rescue him back because he didn’t wear sensible shoes.

Seo Yeong calls Mi Kyung “hey, young lady” (politely), as if they are strangers. Mi Kyung’s sort of got the right idea about not letting her personal life affect work, but as usual, she’s going overboard. I don’t want an emotionally cut-off doctor any more than a flaky one. Wanna bet she and Gyeong Ho have a lesson yet to learn together about that? And what’s with the change of bangs so she looks more like Sung Jae? Is she feeling the love now that she knows he’s her biological brother?

I’m with Sam Jae – seems a bit early in Seo Young’s new practice to be taking a mental health day. Can’t agree with Seo Young, however, that everyone around her is more of an adult than she is. Adults are precious few in Seoyoung My Daughter! I can’t think of one, can you? Oh, wait – Seon Woo’s law partner. But maybe he just seems that way because we hardly know him. When Seo Young got so shook up by Sam Jae’s visit, I kept waiting for her to remember her own advice to Eun Ho about his dad not being the only thing in his life. Physician, health thyself.

As for Yun Hui’s explanation for her collaboration with Woo Jae, it won’t wash. If she reads Seo Young’s mind for her, how will Seo Young ever learn to read her own? Didn’t Seo Young herself make that very point quite recently? For those who think the ends justify the means, what if both of them had left Seo Young alone (as Sang Woo advised) to come to her own conclusions in her own time?

I guess employment records aren’t confidential in Korea. The wedding secret is long overdue for uncovering, but wouldn’t it be a lot simpler just to ask him? Too rational again? Cheseong hamnida. Tough habit to kick…

Related posts:
My Daughter Seoyoung – Episode Reviews

8 comments to Seoyoung My Daughter – Episode 45-46

  • sandy

    I see that your way of interpreting the show is similar to mine I did not think SY was that guilty and actually wanted her to go all feminist lol never was too keen on WJ oppa even though girls were rooting for him like crazy also I dont see how SY was just being childish what about the struggles and hardship she went through what do the others know about that to preach but truth is the messages of the show are good ( sincerity is better than pride ) even though its too obviously preachy and ideal its rare very very rare to see sincerity in a korean dramas I have to say here the amazing acting especially LBY and dad and a little bit of hidden honesty in the writing gives the show this rare sincerity

    • sandy

      and congrats for your 100 post

      • sandy

        also forgot to say I did not like SWs harsh advice either not sure if brothers are allowed to push sisters towards theirs exs especially ones they dont know much about you know SW can get on my nerves sometimes way too self righteous for my taste he is what we call a family guy and he is not sure his sis can make it on her own which I dont think is reasonable on the other hand SY was sill suffocating from repressed feeling and she needs to get those out

        • Mihansa

          I totally agree that Seo Young really needs to get back in touch with herself, after playing the role of Woo Jae’s wife for 3 years. I’ve liked the recent episodes where she is trying things out, getting in touch with her feelings, and just learning who she is without the pressure to play a certain role to serve someone else’s needs. It’s bizarre how Sam Jae and Sang Woo both belittle Seo Young’s ability to survive, and see her as emotionally fragile, when she supported both of them for years!

          As for brothers pushing sisters towards their exes, I think this has to do with the Korean attitude towards marriage and divorce. Divorce is becoming much more common in Korea, but it has broader impact than it does in the U.S., since not only the couple, but their families are united by a marriage. So what does that mean for the families when there’s a divorce? I think Korean culture is still working that out, as you can often see in dramas.

          Did you see Love Rain? Even though Jang Geun Suk’s parents had been divorced for years, mom considered them still family, and dad had a sense of obligation to her. And even though Seo Young deceived them for years, and was technically no longer part of the family, Ki Beom still perceived her as more trustworthy to protect the family reputation than anyone else he could call.

          I agree about Sang Woo’s self-righteousness. When he condescendingly told Seo Young that he didn’t take on things he couldn’t handle in Episode 45, I wanted to slap him. However, he was eating those words by Episode 46, I’m happy to say :)

    • Mihansa

      Yeah, even though Woo Jae can be quite charming, a lot of his behavior in the relationship with Seo Young would be completely unacceptable in an American context. I think it’s a credit to Lee Sang Yoon that he makes Woo Jae as appealing as he is, despite his self-absorbed, bulldozing behavior, especially since he doesn’t have the typical pointy-chinned idol Korean handsomeness to bias audiences in his direction. Even by the high standards of Korean acting, he’s exceptionally gifted at communicating emotions through his facial expressions. That keeps Woo Jae interesting, and even somewhat sympathetic even when he’s doing pretty outrageous things.

      I disliked Sang Woo intensely at first. He was so cold and arrogant, and didn’t seem at all appreciative of the sacrifices that Seo Young was making for him. I saw a brief interview of Park Hae Jin on an entertainment news show, and he seemed a lot like his character, so I assumed they had typecast him.

      However, then I saw the episode of Happy Together that featured LBY, LSY, PHJ and Park Jung Ah (here), and formed a different opinion of him. It was pretty obvious that there was a strong connection between PHJ and LBY, much more so than between LBY and LSY, and she drew him out so his likable side was more visible. I’ve warmed up to his character, as he’s learned his lessons, and gone through changes. His transformation has been by far the most dramatic and interesting in the series, except maybe Kim Hye Ok’s.

      The Happy Together episode was filmed in January, early in the series, and LBY said she was getting a lot of very negative feedback from Korean viewers on Seo Yeong’s desertion of her father. I think it’s hard for us to understand what a scandal that is in Korean culture, both as a violation of parental respect, and of a women’s role to subordinate her personal well-being to the care of her family. It says a lot about Korean culture that Seo Yeong was seen as the one in the wrong, even though Sam Jae’s bad behavior made his family homeless, and led to his wife’s death. LBY herself was more sympathetic to Seo Young, and felt the uproar was a challenge to her to work harder to show Seo Young’s point of view.

      I’m not sure I understand exactly what you mean by sincerity. Certainly there are a lot of well-intentioned lies in dramas that turn out to have unexpected consequences, resulting in a Lesson that Honesty is the Best Policy. Is that what you mean?

      I’ve been trying to reconcile conflicting things I’ve read about Korean culture – on the one hand that there was no concept of privacy or TMI, but on the other, that you have to be very careful not to say anything negative. I read something recently that was helpful. Apparently South Koreans are very strongly inclined to identify people in terms of whether they are a member of their group or not, more so than almost any other culture. The group could be family, job, schoolmates, etc., but the point is, people who are not in a group with you essentially don’t exist to you, and it’s OK to completely disregard them.

      So I think the negative audience reaction was to Seo Young attempting to oust her father from the family group, even though he already did that himself when he abandoned them. That was what everyone within the drama reacted to, too. Sang Woo took dad’s side and ousted Seo Young from the family group instead. Woo Jae’s family was scandalized that she left her own family to join theirs. Everybody says this over and over without really explaining why it’s such a big deal. I guess it doesn’t need explaining among Koreans.

      Of course, estrangement from a parent in the US often results in negative reactions from at least some other family members, as well as family-identified friends, and many religious traditions, but I don’t think it’s so universally frowned upon as it is in Korea.

      Interestingly, Korean Americans I’ve met have made an extra effort to include me in the (otherwise all Asian) group, despite my non-Asianness. Korean Americans seem to be much more American than Korean in my (admittedly limited) experience, but it seems that the groupiness carries over more than the exclusiveness. I’ve also had this experience with southeast Asians. In several workplaces where workers tended to group themselves together by ethnicity or nationality, the Filipino and Indonesian groups were not exclusive like the others – on the contrary, they actively reached out to include ungrouped people of any ethnicity. As I’ve said elsewhere on this blog, I feel that US culture has moved too far away from group identity, and I think this is something that we could re-learn from Asian cultures.

  • sandy

    by sincerity I mean SYs repressed feelings towards WJ and dad that she keeps from them due to her pride/hurt you already saw how the writer already put her father and husband in the same frame now even though both have done some very unforgivable stuff I guess we can say they are the ones who love her the most and yes love can be quiet harmful thats what the show asserts that love alone is not enough you should listen and understand and even though the guy has his bad sides still love is not selective even in real life

    concerning the cultural part you know culture varies from one place to another koreans are so very different from everybody else and its both attractive and repulsive in my point of view as they are both very interesting and very harsh/ strict/critical so I have read more than enough and in this particular case what seo young did is called a sin against heaven cause parents are no matter what they do are sacred in korean culture this is their old traditional system so yes SY has done a crime in their point of view and they were really harsh against her which is a little silly since she only cut ties but did not kick her father or hit him or something and the fact that the korean audience can roof for guys who kill ppl in revenge dramas but are scandalized buy something like that it something I cant understand however their reaction has softened a lot in the later episodes it seems the show was showing the gab in understanding between generations again saying understanding is the way to solve things like in the case of the typical korean elder male KB what I find to be a contrast is the fact that korea has the second highest divorce rate so where is the strong family system here

  • Mihansa

    > the show asserts that love alone is not enough you should listen and understand

    You’re absolutely right – now that you say that, I realize the drama makes that point over and over again.

    > they are both very interesting and very harsh/ strict/critical so I have read more than enough

    We should probably keep in mind that the way people behave on the internet is not necessarily representative of their culture. I sure wouldn’t want American culture to be judged by the comments you’d find under an entertainment news story or (heaven forbid!) in a craigslist forum.

    Where did you find Korean divorce statistics? I looked all over for them (including ROK government sites). All I could find was the number of marriages and divorces in a given year, but nothing on how long the marriages had lasted, or total marriages vs. divorces over a large time span, so I couldn’t get a meaningful picture of what the Korean divorce rate really is.

    I have heard that first marriage is being delayed to 30 or later, and that the divorce rate is highest among adults over 50 (presumably dissolving unsuccessful arranged marriages once the kids are safely off on their own). I have also read that you would never guess there is a culture of respect for age from the way old people crossing the street are treated by drivers, or in the workplace if they are in a subordinate position.

    Formality is one thing, and actual respect is another. One of the reasons I welcome a relaxation of formalities in U.S. culture is because I felt a lot of the rituals of respect were insincere and hypocritical.

    It’s interesting to hear you describe the different perspectives as an age gap. The Korean generation gap is one of the many things about Korea that reminds me of the 60s and 70s in the U.S. I recently watched a Korean game show where they act out little scenes of conflict, and their celebrity guests take sides. There was an issue of whether the bride, or the groom’s mom who arranged the wedding should keep the wedding gift money from the bride’s friends. The reactions fell strongly along generational lines.

    In any case, I’m glad to hear the heat over the drama has mellowed. I guess LBY achieved her goal :)

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