During the crazy excitement that was KCON, Soompi had the opportunity to sit down with drama blogging superstars girlfriday and javabeans, the lovely ladies behind Dramabeans!
We asked them some really, really hard questions (sorry about that!) but I think you’ll all enjoy their answers! Check out the full interview below.
Okay, first things first, what is your favorite show this season? javabeans: Pshhhh…. long silence…
girlfriday: Okay that’s really hard
javabeans: There are a lot of shows I like right now, not one that is my all time favorite… Joseon Gunman? It’s not the awesome amazing 100% I wanted, but it’s pretty good. Marriage Without Love as wellnot the 100% but I’m enjoying it.
girlfriday: Marriage Without Love is probably the best but in a year, will I think it’s the best drama of the year? No, probably not.
What is your most anticipated upcoming drama? javabeans: Secret Door?
girlfriday: Secret Door is the most anticipated for hoping it’s gonna be really good and expecting it to be good. I’m also anticipating Nodame for the possible trainwreck it might turn out to be. It could be awesome and cute or it could really be a trainwreck…
Now that K-drama is such a huge phenomenon, how have your jobs changed? Has the hallyu blogosphere changed a lot since you first started? javabeans: We’ve always been in our own bubble, so on a day-to-day basis nothing is differentmy day is the same. There’s new drama, but it’s the same routine and it’s weird to come to places like this to see how other people react to it. For me it’s always been the same but it’s interesting to see how other people react to it as well.
girlfriday: Clearly the field is growing and everyone is out there doing a blog, a video blog, some kind of reaction to K-pop or K-drama. But I don’t think it changes our perspective because we just put our heads down and do what we do. There are always going to be people who pop up, especially when there’s a popular drama, you know, My Love From The Stars comes out and everyone is blogging about it but then they only do that one show and disappear. This happens year after year so interest waves like that.
Who are your personal favorite bloggers? Has anyone caught your eye? javabeans: I feel really bad, because my answer is no. The thing is though, when we write, we need to formulate our own opinion first as a rule and I don’t read spoilersI hate when people talk about things before I’ve seen it. So I don’t read anything until I write my recap about it. But once I write my recap I’m just really tired, I’m done.
girlfriday: I just don’t want to deal with that episode and I never wanna look at it again.
javabeans: So I’m not going to read my recap again, much less go out and read a bunch of other recaps. I do like to kind of know what’s going on, but I just don’t have the time. We work ourselves into the ground just doing our own thing so we don’t really have the time. I would actually like to hear about other bloggers and if someone is really good I’d like to really hear about it (girlfriday: Mmhmm!) but…
girlfriday: Sadly we don’t have time.
javabeans: Unless other people say “you should check this out.”
girlfriday: Yeah, a lot of time people recommend other sites. Fans let us know more often.
We’re in bizarro world, there is no such thing as K-Drama. What is your life like? javabeans: Am I writing for Television Without Pity then?
girlfriday: Then I’m doing this for American television.
javabeans: Television With Pity? TV Without Sympathy?
So you guys would definitely be doing some sort of television blog? javabeans: Well, some sort of that… before I was drama blogging, I was still watching dramas but I was a writer and a blogger so it seems natural to continue that.
girlfriday: We’re both writers first and we’re fans of television first and so-
javabeans: This just happens to be the way.
girlfriday: Yeah… Otherwise we’d be talking about American shows I guess?
javabeans: And that market is saturated!
Good thing Korean drama’s exist then! Next question, if you had to live in a drama world, which role would you be? javabeans: I would be the villain, with lots of money, who never gets caught doing anything bad. Like the evil mother-in-law so I can be like “I don’t like her” because I want my son all to myself. Except, that would be kind of icky
girlfriday: Well, if it’s a drama world, might as well be someone really crazy rich!
javabeans: Exactly, if you’re going to give me a hypothetical, like I’m going to choose to be poor!
girlfriday: I don’t want to be the cinderella. I would like to be a professional dilettante.
javabeans: Oh, like Mo Ne in Bad Guy.
girlfriday: Yoon Eun Hye did that in My Fair Lady, I’ll be that. She gets like male butlers and stuff.
javabeans: Hot male butlers.
girlfriday: Hire a whole staff of flower-boy butlers. That’s what I would do.
So a lady chaebol, nice. Now, you’re making the ultimate drama, a romcom, who would you cast? javabeans: We should pick the girl, that’ll be harder. There are very few that we like… Park Bo Young, because no one has seen her lately.
girlfriday: She’d be good for being young, youthful, trendy.
javabeans: Although, she’s in her twenties now so not that young.
girlfriday: She plays young.
javabeans: I mean considering, Yoona played way older, Go Ara played way older. She can be leading lady, and leading man… I want to see her with Lee Min Ho again. Like, for the fourth time.
girlfriday: Park Bo Young and Lee Min Ho?
javabeans: Cause if you see the old photos of them , they’re super cute together in school outfits huggingsuper cute.
But not as high school students right? javabeans: No no no, as adults. Okay, now this question is like cookingeverything has to come together well
girlfriday: Who is the second lead?
javabeans: Well, I can’t like them more than Min Ho.
girlfriday: If it’s someone I like, then I’d want them to be the lead of their own drama.
javabeans: Right! Actually I could do Park Bo Young and Lee Je Hoon. Cause I wanna see Je Hoon happy for once.
So you’re going to make him the second lead!? javabeans: No no, as the first lead! He’s my obsession right nowhence the Secret Door hype.
girlfriday: Now I have to do the second lead? A second lead who tugs at my heart Sung Joon? But then he’s so pretty and so perfect, like how could you… See? Second lead’s hard.
javabeans: I could say Sung Joon.
girlfriday: Okay, but already in that drama I’d be rooting for Sung Joon to get the girl. And then we’d fight.
javabeans: Well maybe the girl that Sung Joon could end up with could be…
javabeans: See? This is a long question.
girlfriday: It opens a can of worms…
javabeans: We’re going to end up calling you like “we changed our answers!!”
girlfriday: Jung Eun Ji? I don’t like her in Trot Lovers right now but I like her in other stuff…
javabeans: Either of them I guess.
Okay, now you’re committed! No changing your answers! Who’s an underrated second-lead who deserves the spotlight? javabeans: Yoon Hyun Min.
javabeans: He’s the friend in Witchs Romance and he was in Heartless City.
girlfriday: He’s really great.
javabeans: He keeps being the third lead so he needs to get something!
Now for a speed round of questions. Most number of shows followed at once? javabeans: Six?
girlfriday: Six, maybe seven?
javabeans: That’s a full load. Two on Monday/Tuesday, Two on Wednesday/Thursday, one Friday/Saturday, and one Saturday/Sunday.
girlfriday: Maybe even more than that
javabeans: Yeah, maybe one more.
girlfriday: It might be more like eight.
javabeans: When we were training minions, it was definitely more like eight because we would watch things we wouldn’t have if they were doing them.
girlfriday: Even now on the site, all of the other recaps, we have to still follow the shows.
Longest drama marathon in hours, or days, in one sitting? javabeans: I used to marathon old dramas that had already aired and I would do a Saturday, so maybe 12 hours?
girlfriday: I’ve sat through 16 episodes straight of a drama I don’t sleep very much.
Since we’re at a K-Pop event, an idol actor who’s really good? (Not including Yoochun!) girlfriday: Oh, I like Yoon Doojoon. He’s surprisingly really good, I really like him in Let’s EatI was shocked.
javabeans: I feel like there are some really good ones. Seo In Guk? Does he count as an idol?
girlfriday: I don’t know if he counts…
javabeans: I don’t know since he was a soloist but he’s good.
Favorite all-time drama couple? girlfriday: Gumiho and Tae Woong in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho! There are others but…
javabeans: I can’t even think of romances! Help me! What do I like?
girlfriday: Choonhyang? My Girl? I like the couple in Answer Me 1997.
javabeans: I’m being really picky…
girlfriday: Your favorite dramas aren’t necessarily romances, like Shut Up! Flower Boy Band, Gaksital…
javabeans: Oh! Princess’s Man!
Most disappointing ending? javabeans: We have a lot of them…
girlfriday: Oh god, so many…
javabeans: Shark? Although that wasn’t that good to begin with… What started okay and then went bad? OH! GOD’S GIFT!
javabeans: It started off so good and then it crashed… I want my hours back!
Most satisfying ending? javabeans: Gaksital? I mean I cried but it was healing.
girlfriday: That was the most satisfying.
Favorite drama OST? javabeans: Princess’s Man. The Moon Embracing The Sun is also good, a lot of sageuks (historical dramas) have good OSTs
girlfriday: I like Queen In Hyun’s Man.
So, check out all of their recommendations and let us know your ultimate drama casting below!
Take a look at the recap for the second episode of new SBS drama “Three Days” by Dramabeans below!
In the woods, a SWAT team sweeps the area with dogs as a man flees for cover.
Inside the presidential villa, Security Team Leader Ham sits with his shirt off after bandaging a wound in his arm. He growls that the suspect in the assassination attempt against the president has been spotted: “It’s Secret Service agent Han Tae-kyung.”
And back in the woods, we see that it’s Tae-kyung who’s being chased by the army of agents. Crud.
90 minutes earlier. March 5. 8:00 PM.
We go back to the moment of the blackout, this time from the Secret Service agents’ perspective from inside the villa. They scramble to get communications back up to check on the president’s status when the shots ring out: one, two, three.
The leader at the control desk interprets the flashlight signals that come from the fishing dock where the president was, just moments ago. He repeats in a shaky voice: All personnel dead.
Team Leader Ham rushes down to the dock. He finds two agents down, each with a bullet wound. That’s two shots, with the third unaccounted for…
Another agent spots the president’s shoe floating in the lake, which bolsters the first thought they all had—if President Lee was shot, he’d have fallen out of his fishing chair and into the lake.
Team Leader Ham orders a search and tells them to keep things under wraps until they confirm the president’s status.
That’s not really how the Blue House rolls though, because as soon as they send signal flares up to aid in the lake search, the central security team at the Blue House receives satellite images that send off warning bells.
The security planning team sends Cha-young to the chief secretary’s office to deliver the report, though he receives a phone call that beats her to the punch. Or was she here to deliver different news altogether? Hm.
Twenty minutes later, Team Leader Ham gets status reports from each division. The blackout was the result of an EMP that took out the entire city’s power. Ballistics show that Agent 1 went down with a sniper shot to the head, which sent Agent 2 jumping in front of the president to shield him. A shot to his chest takes him down.
In the replay according to the report, the sniper then gets the president in his sights, looking around in the dark and frozen with fear.
The team in the woods finds the bunker the sniper used to conceal himself—just a shallow hole dug into the ground with leaves for cover.
One of the agents suggests that the EMP is the greatest cause for alarm, because it means only vast military power could be behind this. The natural conclusion they jump to is the most dangerous one: that North Korea just assassinated their president. Crap, don’t start a war!
(Okay, I know this is a drama where everyone is meant to be shifty, but the security team’s second in command (Ahn Gil-kang) looks extra shifty. Stop punctuating everything with that side-eye.)
Meanwhile, Tae-kyung fiiiiiinally manages to break through the guards at the gate (though if an unarmed man can get past your security, how good is your security?) and rushes into the command room.
They’re confused as to why an off-duty agent on probation is doing here, but then he asks them first—did someone attack the president? They’re dumbfounded that he came here knowing this, and then he relays the army colonel’s dying message that someone would attempt an assassination on this day.
Tae-kyung is sure that the colonel was killed to keep him from being able to warn them, and says that finding the colonel’s killer is the key—he’ll be connected to this assassination plot.
Team Leader Ham doesn’t waste any time ordering them to follow up on the colonel’s case, but then Chief Secretary Shin storms in with Cha-young in tow. The already tense relationship between the security team and Chief Secretary Shin gets dicey when Team Leader Ham has to admit that the president has gone missing on his watch. He makes sure to add that they still have no evidence that President Lee is dead. Well that’s not exactly comforting.
It turns out that Cha-young already followed up on the colonel’s murder after she spoke with Tae-kyung, but the results of her investigation are alarmingly different from Tae-kyung’s version of events.
The CCTV outside the colonel’s house shows only one man entering the house that evening: Han Tae-kyung. Uh-oh. Tae-kyung swears he saw another man leaving the house before he entered, but the footage shows no one else, and there was no USB drive either.
They also checked on the security cameras for Tae-kyung’s place, but there was no evidence that the colonel was ever there, and the security ajusshi claims that Tae-kyung never came by to look at the footage. What.
Chief Secretary Shin doesn’t beat about the bush, and claims that it would be near impossible for someone to infiltrate their perfect security system (ahem, says the guy who missed the part where a blackout incapacitated them) unless it was an inside job by someone who knows every inch of their protocol… someone like Han Tae-kyung.
He points out that Tae-kyung is the prime suspect in the colonel’s death, and asks if Team Leader Ham is going to protect him again out of loyalty. Tae-kyung is floored at the sudden wave of suspicion directed at him, but swears to his boss that it wasn’t him.
But the situation is too serious to let it go at that, so Team Leader Ham orders Cha-young to take Tae-kyung into custody and begin an interrogation. Tae-kyung takes a step closer to argue, but Shifty Second Ahn Gil-kang whips out his gun. The whole room freezes over.
Tae-kyung takes a moment to process, and then just steps closer to the barrel until it’s right up in his face, without so much as flinching: “Go ahead and shoot. What Secret Service agent is afraid of a gun?” Okay, that was badass.
Thankfully Team Leader Ham intervenes. He remains focused on the most important task—finding the president—and orders everyone to comply, including Tae-kyung.
Thirty minutes after the shooting, local police officer Bo-won stirs awake after her fall from the EMP blast. As she gets up, she hears a man’s voice speaking in English. It’s the same duo from the white truck she stopped earlier, now packing up the EMP device.
The problem is they hear her too, as the leaves rustle beneath her. One of the men approaches, gun drawn. She’s injured and limping, but she runs and tumbles down the mountainside in a breathless panic.
She manages to get to her police car, but it’s no safe haven—the radio is out, and the engine won’t start. Gah, every time she looks behind her it sends a chill down my spine. She ditches the car and limps away, but the man in the woods stops when he finds her police badge with her name and picture on it. Ack. There might as well be a bullseye stamped on her forehead.
Despite following protocol when it comes to Tae-kyung, Team Leader Ham firmly believes that he’s innocent, and calls Tae-kyung a person who isn’t capable of that kind of betrayal.
Cha-young remains friendly and casual even as she escorts Tae-kyung to interrogation, saying that she can’t just take his side blindly when all the evidence says otherwise. Tae-kyung points out that if he wanted to kill the president, he wouldn’t have needed an EMP—he’d have walked right up and shot him.
He adds that he’d have no reason to also kill the colonel or his own father. Right? She argues that there’s no proof of those deaths being linked to the assassination attempt, but he’s more convinced than ever that his father’s death is connected to all of this.
He stops to look out at the signal flares on the dock, and wonders aloud why the shooter bothered with an EMP—it’s hard to acquire and unnecessary for the operation. She assumes it was to make the getaway easier.
But Tae-kyung says the blast came before the shots, which only makes it harder for the sniper, so why cripple your own assassination attempt? He goes to the compound map down the hall and draws the trajectory of the shots fired, from one dock to the other.
A light bulb goes off and he runs down to the dock. Hey, guy who’s under arrest, maybe tell people where you’re going before running away all suspicious-like. No wonder you get chased by dogs later.
He reaches the gate to the other dock and finds a mark in the sand. He thinks to himself that if this gate is unlocked, the attack could’ve taken place from anywhere inside the compound. He pulls on the chain… and it comes undone. He scans the area and the first building within his sights is the Secret Service dormitory.
By now Cha-young and the guards have caught up to him, and he yells at her to get Team Leader Ham. “Somebody opened this door! Chief Secretary Shin was right—there could be a mole on the inside.”
In an unknown location, a man covered in shadow (and the giantness of his cell phone—convenient, that) makes a call to the EMP duo as they drive past an accident on the side of the road. He reports that there’s been a hiccup but they’ll take care of it, as he looks down at Bo-won’s ID.
Bo-won has made it down to the village, where the local townspeople tell her about the shots fired and worry that it’s war.
Thankfully Cha-young is trusting enough to give Tae-kyung the chance to meet with Team Leader Ham as requested. He asks to speak to him alone, and Ham gives him five minutes to talk. Tae-kyung asks him to consider what he’s about to say as the ramblings of a madman:
We revisit the events based on Tae-kyung’s narration. The EMP is set up to go off at exactly 8:00 on the hour. When the lights go out, shots one and two are fired killing the two agents. Then the third kills President Lee, landing him in the lake.
The gate to the other dock is opened and then re-chained. (To hide the weapon? Or set up the dock as the decoy shooting area?) But Tae-kyung’s point is this: the shots actually came from inside the compound—from inside the security team’s dorm no less.
Team Leader Ham listens to his theory with a skeptical look—it’s already been determined that the shots came from the dock, and this is just a theory. But Tae-kyung explains that the EMP wasn’t set up to conceal a getaway, but to give the shooter the chance to attack from within.
The blackout sent all agents running to priority one: the president. That left the shooter alone in the agents’ dormitory, the last place anyone would care to look for suspicious activity.
As he says this, he approaches the window and steels himself before opening it. He looks out from the vantage point and sees it in his head: the sniper rifle aimed at the dock from this very window. “The shots were fired here, from this window.”
Aaaaaaack. Tae-kyung says tensely that he doesn’t believe that Team Leader Ham would’ve done such a thing, and asks who was in here at 8:00 tonight. But strangely, Team Leader Ham jumps to dismiss it as a baseless theory.
And then Tae-kyung hears the faintest sound coming from inside the room: tick-tock-tick-tock.
They exchange a charged look, and Tae-kyung says that an EMP wipes out everything, including clocks. One look at the wall clock confirms that it stopped at 8:00 PM, just like all the others. But he says that the Russians developed a wristwatch for just such a purpose, to keep running in the event of an EMP blast.
He follows the sound of the ticking clock to Team Leader Ham’s jacket hanging on the coatrack. The wristwatch is still ticking away faithfully. Tae-kyung: “You must’ve had a personal interest in EMP bombs…”
We go back to the shooting, and this time it’s Team Leader Ham behind the sniper rifle. Tae-yung: “Or… you already knew that there would be an EMP blast.”
He barely finishes the sentence before a gun is cocked. Crap. Team Leader Ham raises his pistol: “The president doesn’t deserve to be protected. That person did something that should never be done.”
Tae-kyung asks if he really killed the president and two of his own agents, and Team Leader Ham just calls it a sacrifice to prevent an even greater sacrifice. He adds that he can’t let anyone else get hurt because of Tae-kyung, and moves to pull the trigger.
Tae-kyung screams, tears pooling in his eyes: “And my father?! Did you order that too? Confidential 98—is that why you killed my father?!”
Before Ham can react, Tae-kyung lurches at his throat and disarms him swiftly. He leaps out the window and tumbles to the ground for a getaway.
Team Leader Ham fires out the window, and everyone runs toward his office in a panic. Cha-young is nearest to the scene, and when he hears her approaching, he fires off another shot into his own arm. Damn.
Tae-kyung races through the woods in the scene that opened the episode, and Team Leader Ham names him as one of the culprits in the assassination attempt. Tae-kyung stops to take a breath and takes out Bo-won’s card, determined to get answers.
He makes it down to the road and jumps out in the path of an oncoming car, and hijacks it just seconds ahead of Cha-young and her team.
Bo-won makes her way to the police station, but it’s eerily empty inside. She finds one landline that still works and makes a call, but the line suddenly cuts out. She looks around and then stops in her tracks when she sees a familiar white truck parked outside. Ruuuuun!
She gets to the back door but one of the men is already there trying to get inside. They struggle with the door and he clamors to get in, but she barely manages to lock it behind her. The other man is headed in the front with a gun at the ready, so she locks herself in the back room with a window as her only escape route.
Once he starts shooting at the door, she has no choice but to jump. Ow, she lands on her already injured leg. A man comes up behind her and covers her mouth before she can scream, and ohthankgod it’s Tae-kyung.
He asks if she can run and gets her to the car just in the nick of time. She asks if he has a phone or a gun (I love her cranky complaint: “What kind of Secret Service agent has no gun?”) and he asks about the men—he thought at first they were following him, but it’s clear they wanted to kill her. She tells him that they’re suspects in his father’s murder.
Back the villa, Cha-young is wary enough of the accusation that Tae-kyung shot his boss that she asks Team Leader Ham point-blank if Tae-kyung shot him.
She relays what he found out about the gate being open, and watches on edge as Team Leader Ham reaches for the gun in his holster… but goes for his pocket instead.
He says unconvincingly that he must’ve left the gate unlocked during a routine check earlier today. But he’s saved by the bell when an agent radios in from the lake that they’ve found the president.
Meanwhile, Bo-won takes Tae-kyung to the site of his father’s crash. He walks down to where the car landed and pictures his father still there, looking back at him. He swallows back his tears.
Bo-won looks on sympathetically as he asks if the ambulance came right away, and if his father was in a lot of pain. At the sight of his tears, she thinks back to the moment she first saw him sitting alone at his father’s funeral.
The security team heads down to the lake as the search boat reaches the shore. The president’s body is hauled out in a bag, and the agent tells Team Leader Ham he should see for himself. They open the body bag, and everyone’s faces freeze in shock.
Tae-kyung and Bo-won come back up to the road and he asks if she’s sure about the two men behind his father’s accident. That’s when she repeats Dad’s dying words about the file they’d be after, and Tae-kyung makes her repeat it to be sure: “Confidential 98?” She’s positive—that was the name of the file, and now it’s gone.
A bright light suddenly flashes in their direction from down the road. God, not the truck again?
Back at the lake, we finally see the body in the bag… it’s not the president. No one is more surprised than Team Leader Ham, who can barely contain his twitchy reaction. “Who is this man?! Where is the president?!”
In the woods, President Lee struggles to stay conscious, bleeding from his head down to his hand.
A flashback reveals that Tae-kyung’s father was in on something with the president, who asks, “On March 5, will all this be over?”
Dad answers that his trip to the villa will be his last opportunity, so they can’t lose this chance. He warns that it could be dangerous, and tells the president to trust no one.
President Lee starts to fade out of consciousness…
And back on the road, Tae-kyung and Bo-won look toward the light and see the truck of doom coming straight at them.
In celebration of Soompis 15th birthday, I asked some of my favorite K-Entertainment bloggers to gift us with a 15-themed post. Dramabeans is a K-Drama blog that needs no introduction, though you may not know that it was started by a Soompier who started recapping 2007s Daljas Spring on our very own K-Drama forum. Its since become the authoritative voice in K-Drama recapping and analysis, and is my go-to site for drama-related news. I hope you enjoy this special series! -soomp
You’re fifteen years old now, rejoice! You’re now eligible for your driver’s permit, maybe heading toward your first homecoming dance, and have a whole year to plan the Sweet Sixteen to end all Sweet Sixteens. You’re also now old enough to advisably watch the stuff dramaland has been marketing to you for the last five years. I know, that probably makes it automatically less cool, but waitdramaland can be useful! Admittedly it’s not so helpful in defeating acne and hormones, but it does offer up some valuable life lessons from those who have navigated the shark-infested waters of high school before you. Listen to your unnis and hyungs, and learn.
Lessons From Dramaland: How To Be 15
1Fall in love. But pick wisely, because you’re stuck with your first choice forever. Our advice: Try to avoid the assholes and psychopaths. Though it helps if they’re screaming rich, or maybe royalty.
2But before you fall in love, cross-reference your family trees. We wouldn’t say no to blood tests, either. You never know if Mom was a hussy.
Choi Young fights off the faster-than-the-speed-of-film mercenary soldiers, taking them down with seeming ease, although he’s also growing gradually weaker. I’m hoping this is merely the side effect of his swordfight with Ki Chul and not something more dire.
Eun-soo is approached by the Uncle of Dubious Allegiance, aka Deok-heung (or Deokheunggun; he was the son of a king and a concubine, sharing a father with Gongmin’s father). She’s suspicious at the sight of her diary, figuring this means he’s on Ki Chul’s side. Smiling uncle agrees readily. So not so dubious then.
Deok-heung clarifies that he’s not returning her diary to her; he’s merely doing as Ki Chul told him: Show her that he possesses it, and she’ll follow him back. Eun-soo’s not amused with this little power play and has a message for Ki Chul: Screw the diary, and if he wants to play, he can just play by himself.
He asks what the diary is, and whether it’s true she’s a heavenly doctor who can see the future. Eun-soo glares and leaves him hanging.
Young makes it back to the palace in one piece, and stops at the meeting spot Eun-soo had designated for their daily partner meetings. She’s not there, though, since she’s busy handing out homemade toothpaste to a group of Woodalchi men, saying that healthy teeth make for strong warriors.
Young interrupts all grumpy-like, barking at them and sending them scattering. Eun-soo heads to his quarters and orders him to sit so she can take a look at his injuries. He rattles off excuses like how he has to go see the king and change his clothes, and she cuts him off, “HERE!” I know it’s too much to hope she means change your clothes here, but you know, once it’s been thought, the image isn’t about to leave my brain.
Eun-soo adds that she could get the princess’s royal order: “So that as your personal physician, I can grab you at any time and look you over!” So there’s a job title for that? I’m halfway there already.
He tries to hold back his injured right hand, but she insists and sees that he’ll need stitches. She asks after the shoulder and thigh slices he incurred from Ki Chul, and Young replies with his characteristic understatement that he’s fine, and he was just grazed. He’s totally lying! Close personal inspection is needed. I volunteer myself.
She gets to work stitching, and sighs that all her supplies are dwindling as she uses up her last bandage on his arm. Young tells her that the mercenaries won’t be back, and that he’s stationed a lookout to report on strange occurrences. He also worries to see her limping, though that’s just because the knife he strapped there is awkward. Oh, you. Is the indifferent warrior turning into a hovering mother hen?
Eun-soo takes in the view of the palace garden, taking her time to see it fully for the first time. She tells her court lady that she figures it’ll take her a long while to return home, so she’ll have to get acquainted with this world. She adds, “If I see it properly and remember it, I feel like I won’t be able to leave this world.”
But she perks up right away, asking her two ladies in waiting what their names are and what makeup they use, since she’s just about gone through her makeup stash. Ha, I love that they toss in that detail, that Eun-soo’s been faithfully wearing her modern-day makeup all along. I mean, we could obviously see that, but most of the time we’re just left to assume it’s movie magic.
Young has his audience with the king, who has been worried sick in his absence and urges him up from his kneeling stance, telling him he doesn’t have to observe those formalities with him. Aw.
Young reports that the scholars will not be the target of more attacks. He was supposedly the only person who knew where the king’s supporters were being harbored and none of the mercenaries tried to get information out of him, they just tried to kill him. He will now escort the scholars to the palace safely, “But the one to keep them safe is you.”
Lady Choi has misgivings, though: if Ki Chul gave up on the scholars, he must have something else up his sleeve. Gongmin wonders what that could be, but Young excuses himself from the speculation, asking the king to handle the politics. Lady Choi mutters that his manners with the king are taking a downturn, which is just cute, and Young apologizes. Heh.
Deok-heung returns to Ki Chul and fills him in on his encounter with Eun-soo. He asks if Ki Chul called him out of hiding and all the way here just to see her, and Ki Chul adds, “Not just to see. I’d like you to help in bringing her to me.”
Ki Chul doesn’t seem too concerned about the king’s claim on her, because he figures that will be resolved when they get rid of the Woodalchi protecting her. If Deok-heung succeeds in bringing her—not just through force, but willingly—Ki Chul offers him whatever he wants. Ah, and if this is an out-of-power member of the royal family… methinks Ki Chul has just found his replacement king.
Deok-heung asks what he wants that requires the doctor. Ki Chul answers, “All I need is the doctor. That’s all I want.”
Young gathers his men to plan security for tomorrow’s lecture, with the arrival of all the scholars. They’ll need multiple lines of defense, both inside and outside the palace. There aren’t enough men to go around, so Young puts his men in charge of guarding the interior, while he’ll take care of the outside. All alone?
Young instructs Joo-seok to be so tight with security not even a mouse could get by, and Joo-seok overzealously promises not to let even an ant by. With this hilarious dryness, Choong-seok picks up something from the ground and flicks it at him: “An ant.”
On to Man-bo’s, where Young negotiates how much to pay ajusshi and ajumma for feeding and housing the scholars. Man-bo grumps that Young is a stingier businessman than they are. I love that ajumma acts like this is a negotiation (“You’ll give us five, right? Five.”) and Young doesn’t budge an inch (“Two”) even as she keeps going (“Three, then, okay?”).
Dae-man comes running up to tell him that the doctor is out shopping in the marketplace, to Young’s annoyance. She’s with her two ladies looking at cosmetic ingredients, when ajumma butts in and asks what she’s mumbling about. It’s her stall, and then Man-bo snatches the pouch out of Eun-soo’s hand to say he’ll just give it to her. The movement causes the ladies to draw their swords, though, and Man-bo’s wondering why the hostile response.
Young comes up behind them, and ajumma tells him, “She sure is a looker.” Man-bo adds that she must be from heaven, all right. This cracks me up. It’s like the parental third degree, but totally backward, and with swords.
They continue on, and Eun-soo tells Young of her plan to become a Goryeo businesswoman and hit it big. The plan: Make lots of soap and distribute it for free, and when the people find they can’t live without it, she’ll start charging. Plus, she’ll target all the noble ladies, and it’ll be a hit. Ah, the tried-and-true hook-’em-early tactic. Eun-soo even has a sales strategy, and chirps, “In my time, there’s this thing called a pyramid…”
As they walk, ajumma and ajusshi watch from a nearby rooftop and note how Young is smiling—and not like just some ghost, “but like a living person.”
Then Deok-heung steps into their path, greeting Eun-soo and guessing that her surly companion is the Woodalchi. Young eyes him suspiciously and doesn’t bow his head until he’s told he’s the king’s uncle, while Eun-soo declines his offer to join them. Young takes note of Eum-ja and Hwasuin hanging around in the distance, sizing up the situation.
He asks why Eun-soo didn’t tell him she’d met the man earlier, and orders Dae-man to Lady Choi immediately, to inform her that Deok-heung and Ki Chul are in cahoots. He also orders the two ladies in waiting to report the doctor’s every movement to himself and Lady Choi. He reminds Eun-soo, “You said we should tell each other everything.”
She hesitates to explain, but he presses. She says that if she’d told him, Young would have felt burdened to go retrieve that diary from Deok-heung. He can’t deny that.
Then she spots Eum-ja and Hwasuin in the distance, which has her panicking and darting off in the opposite direction.
Dae-man delivers the news to Lady Choi, who immediately goes to inform the princess. But the tidbit she conveys—spoken extra-loud for the mole’s benefit—is merely, “The doctor is making something quite interesting.” She talks aloud about Eun-soo’s cosmetics enterprise, all while writing the true message on paper for Noguk to read.
Noguk doesn’t know who Deok-heung is, but upon hearing (er, reading) that he’s the king’s only remaining kinsman, her eyes widen in alarm. They come to the logical conclusion, that Ki Chul has decided to back a new king. Noguk asks how long they’ll be keeping the mole in place, and Lady Choi replies that she still has further use, so they’ll leave her for now.
Then, Noguk resumes speaking aloud and instructs Lady Choi to prepare a table for tonight—Noguk will present the king with liquor. Omo. Is the queen making the first move? Is somebody gonna get some?
Ajumma and ajusshi discuss Deok-heung, basically filling us in on some exposition about the man’s history: He was born to a court lady and the king, and evicted from the palace along with his mother as a young child. He spent his life in hiding, which is how he’s still alive as the sole remaining royal relative.
Meanwhile, Young browses a table full of daggers. Is he buying a smaller one for Eun-soo’s ankle strap? Aw, it shouldn’t be romantic for a man to buy a woman a dagger, but whaddaya know.
Gongmin tells his advisors that he intends to give his scholar-supporters official government offices. It’s for their protection; Ki Chul can’t kill them so easily then. Told that he has to get the approval from another body of officials, Gongmin declares that he’ll abolish that department, since they’re all under Ki Chul’s thumb.
Ki Chul still has the ability to create offices, it seems, and he makes one for Deuk-heung. It’s not a position under Gongmin’s authority, but the Yuan empress’s, who we know is Ki Chul’s sister.
Deuk-heung has no response, and Ki Chul asks what he thinks. The response: “Nothing. I think nothing. That is what’s kept me alive this long.” Hm. Interesting level of disinterest here. I wonder if Ki Chul’s disappointed in it; he doesn’t like strong kings who oppose him, but he does like strength in people.
Deuk-heung confirms that he was called because Ki Chul wants him to replace the current king. Ki Chul asks what kind of king he’d like to be, and he answers, “One who’s around a long time.”
Lady Choi drops in on the king, relaying Noguk’s request to have him over for drinks tonight. At that word, the eunuch drops his book and falls to his knees in alarm. Ha, I’m not so sure it’s something you should be sorry about. Lady Choi smiles to herself, and Gongmin looks at them all in confusion.
Gongmin arrives in the princess’s quarters that night, and Lady Choi orders all the ladies to “close your ears, and close your thoughts—just guard for those coming in.”
Noguk shares her concerns over Ki Chul’s activities, and suggests sending an envoy to her Yuan relatives. If Ki Chul is to overthrow the current king he’ll need some sort of justification, and if they can beat him to the punch in asking for the empire’s help, it could prevent a coup. She pleads, “Please, let me help.”
Gongmin doesn’t respond, and instead presents her with the gifts he has brought. There’s jewelry in one box, and the second box he prefaces by asking, “Do you remember?”
Inside she finds a scarf, which is the one she’d worn to veil her face the first time they met. He asks now what he’s guessed all this while—that she knew who he was, and didn’t say a word about her identity. He’d wondered why, thinking perhaps she was toying with him.
A flashback shows us how that encounter ended years ago: After he’d asked her to marry him (so he wouldn’t have to marry the Yuan princess), he’d gone to fetch someone. But when he return to get Noguk, she’d gone, leaving only that scarf behind.
He tells her that while he is king, he doesn’t have much—not power, not support. The only thing he has is his principles, and he will protect his own people. Noguk sees sadly that accepting Yuan’s help, and therefore hers, goes against his principles.
Gongmin replies, “I have already broken my principles once—I swore that I would never hold a Yuan woman dear in my heart. But I broke that.”
Finally! A straight, honest confession! He continues, “I tried to resist, but you’d already entered my heart. I couldn’t force you out, and that’s why I treated you so coldly. Will you help such a weak me to not break my principles again?”
He brushes a tear from her cheek, then takes her hand.
A weapons delivery arrives at Woodalchi headquarters, with a large chest holding swords and a small chest meant to be delivered to Young directly. The men aren’t aware of an order, which immediately makes me worry for that little box, which Deok-man takes to deliver to his boss. He leaves in Young’s room.
The big day arrives at court. Gongmin and his advisors (along with the Ki faction) take their positions, and Young leads in the scholars. They present themselves to the king.
Eun-soo talks with Jang Bin, memorizing new medicinal terms and lamenting her aging memory. I hear ya, sister. They cross paths with Deok-heung and pass with brief nods, and Eun-soo wonders if it’s okay to dismiss him as unimportant—after all, he wasn’t significant enough to show up on her history tests.
Gongmin begins the proceedings, asking for his scholars to advise him along the way. He begins by dismissing Ki Won from his office (for neglecting his office, having shown up for work exactly two days since he’s been king), followed by one of his advisors (for doing nothing in the past year, according to court logs).
Ki Chul protests the king’s methods, but Gongmin cuts him short—the office governing senior statesmen (which is Ki Chul’s province) that he was supposed to consult for these matters was abolished this morning. Gongmin then confers a senior office upon Lee Je-hyun, his head scholar.
Then a newcomer joins the proceedings: Deok-heung, who greets his nephew for their first meeting ever, and offers his assistance to the king in his new position. Gongmin replies that if that’s true, he’s grateful for the help. There’s a brief standoff between them as Deok-heung says the office he just abolished was created by Deok-heung’s father. Gongmin replies that he knows this. Tension!
We cut to later that evening, when the proceedings are over and the king broods alone in his stateroom. He has ordered everyone to stay away, but Young joins him inside and finds him in a pensive mood.
Gongmin asks if the primary reason Young joined his side was to honor his promise to the doctor. To do so he needed to fight Ki Chul, and that required power. Hence the king.
Young asks, “Is the order of events important?” Gongmin tells him that he keeps having these doubts—that if he were to hand Eun-soo over to Ki Chul, perhaps that would solve things. But that means Young would leave him, finding it pointless to serve a king who doesn’t honor his word. Young doesn’t answer, though perhaps he doesn’t have to when the answer is obvious.
Eun-soo has nightmares, thinking of all the people she’s seen die. When her memory lands on her stabbing Young, and him running the sword in deeper, she wakes up with a cry.
Young hears it from outside, but Jang Bin prevents him from entering her room, telling him she has nightmares every night. Young had no idea, and Jang Bin says, “It’s because she fools you, with her smiling face.”
Eum-ja and Hwasuin are relegated to babysitting the king-to-be, who enjoys this idle lifestyle with gisaengs to feed him and drink with. Hwasuin’s bored out of her mind, and you know she’s dying to be out in the world where all the fun is, with men to play with or roast, or sometimes both.
Sitting in the second-floor window, Eum-ja notices Young strolling into the street below, bending to pick up a rock, and then hurling it straight at him. It’s easily blocked with Eum-ja’s flute, but Young hurls another rock. The baddies visibly perk up; finally a little excitement.
Below the window, Dae-man also hurls a rock upward, but he does that more stealthily, so while the baddies are distracted by Young, he knocks the flute away. Ah! Thank you for that! There are only so many bleeding ears you can watch before you’ve had enough.
Dae-man darts off with the flute, and Young smiles. Now it’s Eum-ja who’s frantic and he pursues.
Young looks up at Hwasuin and beckons her near with a wave. Aw, honey. She didn’t even need the invitation. She leaves Deok-heung to continue his exploits… and a shadow looms at the door. The gisaengs immediately rise and open to reveal the Suribang swordsman, the white-clad man with the crush on Young. Ah, so this was ALL planned?
Hwasuin skips down to meet Young, who’s here to deliver a warning: Don’t show herself in front of the doc anymore, since Eun-soo’s afraid of her. Hwasuin taunts, “And if I do anyway?” Young smirks that her right hand will no longer be attached to her body. Then he figures he’s stalled long enough and heads off, leaving Hwasuin puzzling over his meaning.
She runs back inside to find the room empty and signs of a struggle. Drat that pretty boy!
Deok-heung is blindfolded and kidnapped by Suribang men, who deliver him to Young. Deok-heung huffs that this is a violation of law, that Woodalchi must be acting on behalf of the king.
Young smiles that nope, he’s merely the guy who saved Deok-heung from being set upon by thieves. And while he’s rescuing him, might he also make a request? He has the doctor’s diary, doesn’t he?
Deok-heung scoffs that he wouldn’t keep something so important on his person. That’s already back in Ki Chul’s safeguarded drawer. Young tells him, “I’d like you to get it somehow and return it to the doctor.” He says that Eun-soo believes the diary to hold the answer for returning her to heaven, so perhaps Deok-heung could work with her in that goal. He reminds him that if Ki Chul were to figure out the diary’s secret himself, he would have no need of Deok-heung. And that would mean his death.
Deok-heung asks what would Young gain from this. He answers that his mind would rest at ease. Young leaves with a few warnings: These thieves might attack at any moment, and in the future Young may not rescue him, and the doctor is good with knives so he’d better not treat her badly.
Young returns to the palace, where he sees Eun-soo deep in round 1 of her get-rich-in-Goryeo scheme: She hands out soaps to the court ladies and Woodalchi men. “This time is free of charge!”
Then he meets her outside for a knife training session, replacing her heavy one with the pretty new one he bought. She takes a few practice swipes with the dagger, although it looks more like she’s trying to cast a spell with it.
He teaches her better ways to hold it and stab, which basically amounts to a lot of panting and close holds. Aw, the soldier’s flirting. She mocks his serious attitude and cracks up, even getting a smile out of him.
She smiles at the view and says it’s nice here, but he knows she’d still rather be back home, “And you’re holding that in, aren’t you?”
Woodalchi headquarters is stormed by officers, who don’t explain their purpose but are led by a familiar face—it’s the supposed deliveryman who brought the weapons delivery earlier. I knew he was shifty. He points out Deok-man as a guilty party, though we have no idea what the charge is, and the men ransack Young’s quarters. Oh no, was that box a plant for insidious evidence? The men find a letter in his chest.
Deok-heung has found Young’s words convincing after all, because he arrives at Eun-soo’s door and assures her that today he hasn’t been sent by Ki Chul. He’s here of his own accord, and he holds up the diary, which he managed to swipe. Thus he can’t let her keep it, but she can take a look. His condition is that he be with her as she reads.
Eun-soo peers at the diary, which she doesn’t seem to recognize at all, though she calls bullshit on the assertion that it’s from a thousand years ago. She points to the writing, saying that that paper hasn’t aged that much, and you can still see indentations from the highligheter pen. She doesn’t know what the writing means, with its combination of numbers and English letters.
Young catches a glimpse of them poring over the book, but as soon as he steps inside he’s apprehended. He’s taken to the stateroom, where Gongmin waits looking chagrined. Seated at the table are Lee Je-hyun, his student Lee Saek, and Ki Chul. They ask if he recognizes that red box, and he doesn’t.
Gongmin informs him that his new officials have taken on their very first assignment—rooting out Choi Young’s corruption. Whaa? Were they really not on the king’s side after all?
Lee Saek accuses him of taking a bribe for a measly sum, ordering inferior weapons with court money to profit from the savings. Wasn’t this a City Hunter episode? It’s so absurd that Young can only laugh, and Gongmin knows just as well that this is a mistake. If ever a facial expression said *headdesk* his would be it.
But the new officials are firm, reminding the king that he told them not to be swayed by power or other forces. Plus, the king had granted Woodalchi with extraordinary privileges, which in their principled minds, can only lead to corruption. Sigh. So they’re not against the king; they’re just taking this job way too seriously and leaving no room for other explanations.
Glowering, Young bends down to glare into Ki Chul’s eyes. He tells him, “If you were going to frame me for something, you should have chosen high treason.”
Lee Saek asks Young to confirm that he’s never seen the document recording the transaction—and that means that the crime lies with the men who accepted the package behind his back. Namely, Deok-man and Dolbae.
Young looks back at his men. Ki Chul sneers. Rock, meet hard place.
Here we are with Part 2 of the very long Podcast #12, which concludes our talk about the current drama landscape. (Check out Part 1 here if you missed it.)Podcast #12, Part 2Running time: 61:56In which we: continue the podcast with I Do, I Do;move on to Big (11:17);start a very long discussion about Gaksital (24:45);take a tangent on our personal experiences and understanding of the Occupation and Koreas emotional response to Japan (27:21);return to Gaksital relevancy (34:01);and end with a brief(ish) detour on Joo-won, Tae-woong, and 1 Night 2 Days (51:44)
Our next guest segment is here! As you know, we chatted with gummimochi and kaedejun in Podcast #9, and wed initially planned to include this portion with HeadsNo2. But it will surprise nobody, Im sure, that we ended up chatting for so long with everybody that we decided to split the parts, although we did record this segment around the same time as the others.
Without further ado, everybody say hello to Heads!
Introduce HeadsNo2 and talk about Rain; and sageuks, Chuno, conversion dramas (5:35); Scent of a Woman, Thousand Day Promise, melos, Padam Padam, Salaryman, Myung-wol the Spy (10:02);cable shows, Season 2s, and extensions (14:10); drama ratings, mainstream dramas, Dream High 2, Man of Honor, sageuk successes, The Moon That Embraces the Sun (19:08); HeadsNo2 on joining Dramabeans, recapping, choosing what to recap, Vampire Idol (24:19); sageuk gravitas, as spoken in The Princesss Man, Chuno, and more (29:39); k-pop fandom and favorite actors/actresses (34:50).
Songs Used in Podcast (In order of use)
Rain아쉬운 빈 공간 (Lonely empty space)
Rain태양을 피 하는 방법 (Gtr. Remix) (How to escape the sun)
javabeans: So here we are with the last giveaway in our five-year anniversary extravaganza! Phew, I’m tired. All this organizing is exhausting. Next year Dramabeans is just gonna have to deal with a store cake and a third-rate magician.
girlfriday: Just no clowns. That’s no way to spend a birthday.
javabeans: Now I know how Santa feels. Well, maybe without the drunk crazy.
girlfriday:Maybe this is why he drinks.
javabeans: Who knew it was work giving stuff away?
girlfriday: Well I’m inherently selfish, so not me. But it WAS really cool to read everyone’s thank you’s to our hard-working contributors and guesties. Thanks for giving them so much love!
javabeans: Yes. It makes us feel better for loading them down with recaps. What, this recap factory doesn’t run on unicorn dust and fangirl dreams, you know.
girlfriday: No, it runs on the blood sweat and tears of the few willing to be paid in Dramabeans Dollars, aka Abs Photos of the Day.
javabeans: Anyway, this is our last giveaway to celebrate our fifth birthday, which means this is your last chance to enter to win a birthday giveaway prize!
girlfriday: For the last big hurrah, we’re giving away a Samsung Galaxy Tablet, so you can watch dramas, listen to kpop, and read Dramabeans wherever you go! If you end up in rehab because of it, we will disavow all knowledge of enabling your habit.
javabeans: Enter at your own peril.
And now, for our winners. Congratulations to
Jules (aka snoozit), winner of a one-year premium subscription to Dramafever, Missyu_who, winner of the other premium subscription to Dramafever, and Carinne, winner of the iPod nano (with javabeans playlist).
Question: What do you want to see on Dramabeans in 2012? This is your chance to tell us that one thing you’ve always wanted to see on DB or what you want to see more of this year. Maybe that’s more of the same, or maybe you’ve got a wild ‘n crazy out-there idea. We are not averse to crazy. (As always, please use a valid email in the comment form. No need to tell us where you live this time.)
Prize: A 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tablet 7.0 Plus.
Winner announced: Sunday, January 29, at 8pm, Pacific Standard Time*
*Or, 10pm in Mexico City, 11pm in NYC, 1am in Buenos Aires, 4am in London, 5am in Paris, noon in Singapore and Manila, 1pm in Seoul and Tokyo, or 3pm in Sydney and Vladivostok. Okay, you get the point. (You can refer to this handy Time and Date converter to find out what this is in your time zone.)
girlfriday: Wheee! That was one long birthday party! I know we only turned five, but it feels like we turned 500! Thanks so much for all the love and support for Dramabeans all month long.
javabeans: And while it’s the site having the birthday, we wanted to make the party about the readers, since otherwise it would be a party of two, hosted by our special friends soju and nostalgia.
girlfriday: And mostly when we do that, we get strange looks from other people. We know it’s mushy, but we wouldn’t be where we are without you guys, so we wanted to make sure and say thank you to all our faithful readers from around the globe.
javabeans: Thanks also for all the great suggestions to the last giveaway prompt. There were some fun ideas, and some wacky ones. There were also some requests that we wanted to point out on the site, since they already exist! The header and footer links are a great place to look for resources, like:
Recap Index Drama Ratings List Who’s in that header? Frequently Asked Questions girlfriday: There’s a lot of fun stuff in places other than the homepage, so dig around and do some exploring! We take no responsibility for the hours you lose going down that rabbit hole though. You’ve been warned. There’s a handy-dandy tag for our conversation posts, done in this format, and our variety recaps like 1 Night 2 Days are done in that style as well.
javabeans: For example, you can also filter out first episode recaps, if you want to check out how a drama starts, or read up on actor interviews or award ceremonies. That’s just one of hundreds (or thousands?) of tags on the site, which you can find on this convenient Tag Index.
girlfriday: Hopefully that’s helpful and not overwhelming. We realized from a lot of the feedback you gave us that some people might need a quick refresher Dramabeans roadmap. We can’t promise that we’ll fulfill every last request, but rest assured that we’ve read them all, and plan to try out some fun new things this year. No worries thoughwe won’t change who we are, save for surprise lobotomies or evil twins switched at birth.
javabeans: It’s K-dramaland, though, so never say never. A hint for potential future twin-usurpers, however: I’m the evil one.
girlfriday: Does that mean your twin is the nice one? Where can I find her?
javabeans: Out with your nice twin.
girlfriday: Damn, I hate those two.
And now, for the grand prize winner of the Samsung Galaxy 7.0 Plus tablet drumroll
javabeans: Our winner is KDrama Fan! Okay, that descriptor may apply to more than one of you. But if you’re the KDrama Fan who wrote Comment #353, you’re our winner!
girlfriday: Congratulations! *throws confetti*
javabeans: Thanks to everybody who participated in our giveaway extravaganza, and here’s to making Year #6 one to remember. In a good way, I mean. I have enough traumatizing memories already, thanks to clowns and math.
girlfriday: Thanks for that glimpse down memory lane. Now we know why you’re the evil twin.
javabeans: You say that like YOU aren’t.
girlfriday: I might be the good one! You never know!
javabeans: In the fourth dimension, maybe. Speaking of which, I hear dramaland calling my name. There’s a drama that needs recapping! *shoves girlfriday into the wormhole first*