Playful Kiss 3 Sezon.html
K-Pop idols often discuss their relationships with one another, and recently some idols took to Twitter to entertain their fans with a friendly conversation.
U-KISS"s Eli, NS Yoon-G, and Eric Nam had a friendly conversation on Twitter that including Eli expressing shock at NS Yoon-G"s latest teaser video, and Eric and Eli seeing how each other is doing. Eric also had a shout out for Super Junior M"s Henry, who retweeted the teaser videofor Eric"s new song, although Henry wasn"t involved in the larger conversation.
NS Yoon-G started the whole event, tweeting that she and Eli would be on Tastyroad the next day.
Eli then tweeted the second teaser for NS Yoon-G"s upcoming song "Asasi," and commented on how much black she was wearing. He then followed up by tweeting laughter and calling the teaser "dirty!" because the teaser is very sexy. Yoon-G responded by shouting in jest at Eli, and Eric spotted the whole conversation and laughed at them.
(Bing Translator adds the word "wong," which is incorrect.)
The three idols have all worked at Arirang television station in Seoul because they"ve all spent time in the United States and are fluent in English. Even though they haven"t publicly displayed their friendship in the past like some idols have (such as Super Junior"s Heechul being best friends with F.T. Island"s Hongki,) their interactions on Twitter revealed that the three idols have a friendly relationship.
The conversation continued with Eli calling out to Eric in English, and commenting on a duet between Eric and Eli"s fellow U-Kiss member Kevin on After School Club, an Arirang television show.
"Hello there i saw your duet with kev you two look cute together haha ;)" tweeted Eli, retweeing Eric"s response to Eli"s and Yoon-G"s conversation.
Eric responded by laughing at Eli"s comment, and say "what" followed by "how are you doing?"
(Bing translates the word for "hyung" into mold incorrectly.)
Eli responded that he was doing well, and then asked his hyung (older brother in Korea, meaning Eric) how he was doing. Eric responded that he"s well, and added that he"d see Eli soon.
Not to be left out, solo artist and Super Junior M member Henry Lau got in on the act and retweeted Eric"s music video teaser. Eric responded cutely in English with "thanks brooooooo ^^"
Although a lot of idols use Twitter to interact with fans, it"s uncommon to see idols interact with one another, let alone several idols have a conversation.
This is a long recap, so hold on to your horses, people. A lot happens in this episode, but it’s not earth-tilting or mind-blowing revelations like your daddy killed my mommy, your best friend is in love with me, or I’ve got incurable prostate cancer so I must run away and can’t be with you.
Playful Kiss (Mischievous Kiss) continues to be all about the ordinary yet important things that can happen in the real life of high school seniors. Like college exams and interviews, and figuring out what goals you have in life. It doesn’t make for garnering nearly 50% ratings, but it does make for some satisfyingly charming viewing for yours truly.
Seung Jo has Ha Ni in bed, and tells her he’s just a hot-blooded 19 year old like Joon Gu said he was, and leans over for what appears like an impending kiss. Ha Ni tells him that they should date in a healthy way first, which makes Seung Jo highly amused. Alas, he was just tormenting Ha Ni, and she leaves his room all red-faced and heart-thumping. Oh, Seung Jo, you are such a tease. Little brother Eun Jo comes home to see Ha Ni doing the pseudo-walk-of-shame from Seung Jo’s room, and is a mite perturbed.
Ha Ni ends up leaving her school book with the Seung Jo doodles in his room when she high tails it out of there, and Seung Jo picks it up to read it (and is highly entertained). Back in her room, Ha Ni grumbles that Seung Jo is a bad guy, always toying with her. She looks at her love letter which Seung Jo marked up and graded a D –, and remarks that her heart just doesn’t listen to her, and she clearly still had feelings for Seung Jo even after the way he treats her (oh honey, he treats you about a billion times better than he treats any other female on the planet, ‘cept for Mom, so please don’t despair).
At school, Ha Ni has a meeting with her teacher to determine her college options. With limited prospects due to her low scores, her teacher suggests looking for ways to emphasize her other attributes, like her potential or family connections. Alas, Ha Ni’s grandfather is NOT a patriot, her father is NOT a special government agent, Ha Ni is NOT a teen parent (at this point Ha Ni’s dad suggests that he run away from home to make her one), and her family is NOT a multi-cultural one.
Her teacher finds out that Ha Ni can attempt to apply for Parang University’s Social Affairs major – since Ha Ni donates blood twice a month, which is equivalent to doing 100 hours of community service. Ha Ni is having a meal with a fast food restaurant with her friends when they see Seung Jo meeting with a recruiter, and looking both bored and annoyed. Poor Seung Jo, it sucks to be a genius, everyone wants you.
In the self-study classroom, all the students are hunkered down to cram for the big college entrance exam, but Seung Jo remains listless and curiously unfocused. He walks out and goes to sit in the dark outside and think. Ha Ni’s teacher is filling out an application for Ha Ni, and Seung Jo’s teacher comes by and gives her a vitamin C tablet (aww, now that is a sign of true wuv, sharing vitamins!).
At home, Ha Ni is working on her Parang University application essay on her computer when suddenly it crashes and she loses all her work! She is mighty distraught, and of course Seung Jo comes to the rescue, with mini-me Eun Jo tagging along and smirking in the background, and Mom genuinely worried. Seung Jo yells at Ha Ni for opening so many windows while she was working. He yells at her to stop wailing as she is distracting him, and Ha Ni holds her lips shut and mopes.
As if there was any doubt, Seung Jo reboots the computer and retrieves Ha Ni’s file. Mom drags Eun Jo out, and Eun Jo is reluctant and stares at Ha Ni on his way out. Seung Jo asks Ha Ni about her applying to Parang University. He asks her why she wants to go to college since she sucks at studying and doesn’t seem to like it. They have a discussion about when you like something, it makes your heart beat faster, and Ha Ni wants to go to college to find what she likes and what she is good at. Seung Jo says he’s never had that sensation, and would like to experience it.
In the pouring rain, Ha Ni goes to an interview for Parang. A very strict interviewer (who refuses to delay the interviews even though some students can’t make it due to the inclement weather) tells Ha Ni that with her poor performance (scoring in the top 50 only once) and lackluster community service (blood donation), how did she even get an interview. Another interviewer mentioned that Ha Ni scored quite high on her personal essay for confidence and creativity.
However, before she exits, she makes a sincere declaration to the interviewers that is rather persuasive. She says that even though she’s not good anything, she tries her best. The college can pick more accomplished students, some of which won’t put in the effort to make it to an interview because of pouring rain. Ha Ni says that she is slower than most people, but she never gives up and always finishes. She tells the interviewers that her nickname is Noah’s Snail, and asks Parang to please raise a snail this one time? (Okay, someone better make a snail stuffed animal for this show).
That night during dinner, Ha Ni is depressed thinking she bombed her interview, and then Seung Jo drops a bomb that he’s not intending to attend college and wants to go work. Ha Ni brings Seung Jo a midnight snack, with a gift of a fork (a Korean symbol to stick it, i.e. to succeed and do well), and encourages him to sit for tomorrow’s exam.
Seung Jo looks at her gift, reads her card, and smiles. In the morning, Seung Jo does head to the exam, but he has a cough, and everyone is worried. Ha Ni gives him some cold medicine, which he takes, and then she discovers it actually makes one drowsy.
She follows him to the exam site, and he tells her she’s supposed to be headed in the other direction. She screams a “fighting” and cheers him on, and Seung Jo looks back at her, and then waves a goodbye as he enters to take the exam. Gah, it’s these little teeny tiny moments between them which make me savor the slow but completely believable development of their relationship.
During the exam, Seung Jo’s vision gets blurry and he nods off. A girl classmate sitting near Seung Jo notices in distress the situation. A trio of mean girls led by head bitch Jang Mi goes and confronts Ha Ni about Seung Jo falling asleep during the exam, and says that its all Ha Ni’s fault and she has no right to continue to like Seung Jo.
Ha Ni is clearly distressed. At school, Seung Jo gets his score and it’s so high he remarks that it’s the first time he actually feels like he could be a genius. Ha Ni gets accepted to Parang University off the alternate list, and the entire family celebrates (and Seung Jo lurks outside smiling at the news, oh hes such a softie). Mom gives tickets to Ha Ni to attend a stage musical production (of Goong! OMG, I was lurking to try to see Yunho as Prince Shin) as a treat, and tells her she will meet Ha Ni on Saturday. On the day of the musical, Mom lies that she’s stuck in traffic and can’t make it, so Ha Ni goes in alone.
During the performance, Seung Jo comes and sits down in the seat next to her. Ha Ni is startled upon seeing him, and he flicks his finger at the stage for her to stop staring at him and pay attention to the performance. When she keeps staring at him, he actually physically turns her head back to the stage. Mom is at home self-congratulating her successful plan to set up her beloved kids on a date, and Eun Jo is perturbed yet again. Oh, Eun Jo, you’re a mite young to understand the vagaries of young love.
After the show, they are walking home and Ha Ni pinches herself in happiness (she seriously is the sweetest, cutest little thing ever). Ha Ni asks whether Seung Jo will go to take a specific top universitys entrance exam, and Seung Jo is annoyed that college is all anyone wants to ask of him. Ha Ni tells Seung Jo he’s got such talent and smarts, and should have a goal in life, so that he can be happy living his life. Ha Ni tells Seung Jo that if he attends Parang University, she can make him happy.
Seung Jo picks a little stuffed animal for Ha Ni from a game machine as his celebratory present for her getting accepted to college, and she shrieks in giddiness. Of course, who happens to be nearby other than Joon Gu and his Bye Bye Sea posse. Joon Gu, Ha Ni, and Seung Jo sit down for a drink. Ha Ni tells Joon Gu she attended a musical with Seung Jo, and that he was the one who picked that stuffed animal for her.
Joon Gu disses the stuffed animal – telling Ha Ni it’s a cheap gift for her getting into college, and that’s it’s easy for someone to grab a stuffed animal from the machine. Seung Jo remains silent but looks annoyed. He finishes his drink, balls up the cup and accurately tosses it into the nearby trash can. Ha Ni is impressed, and Joon Gu one-ups Seung Jo by tossing his empty paper cup backwards into the same trash can. Seung Jo gets up, takes an empty can from a nearby table, heaves it into the air and the drop-kicks it into the same trash can! Joon Gu tries a backward drop-kick and ends up falling on his head. Heh, male posturing, always good for a laugh. And coming from Seung Jo, is absolutely drop-dead hilarious to watch.
Ha Ni sees the gamesmanship, which leads to another daydream where she is an European lady of the manor, Joon Gu her ardent admirer who is coming to possess her, and Seung Jo her beloved who comes to save her. First off, I swear this daydream scene was filmed in the same garden the You’re Beautiful scene was filmed (at the end of episode 1, where Mi Nam descends like a fairy and the A.N.Gell boys look at her as she walks through a garden of statutes). Second off, this is my fave daydream scene so far, bar none.
Anyways, daydream Joon Gu and Seung Jo unsheathe their swords (heh, sorry as I giggle for a extra minute here) and prepare to duel for Ha Ni’s honor. Seung Jo declares that if he dies in defense of Ha Ni, then he died for love (man, the dialogue in Ha Ni’s daydreams are…..engrossing). Might I say both Kim Hyun Joong and Lee Tae Sung look mighty fine dressed as European swordsman. Ha Ni cries for both men to stop, and she snaps out of her reverie to see Joon Gu and Seung Jo staring at her like she’s a mite crazy in the head.
The next day, Ha Ni follows Seung Jo out of the house to make sure he goes to take the university exam. She loses her new stuffed animal on the crosswalk, and runs back to retrieve it. A car runs into Ha Ni and she ends up at the hospital with some scratches and a broken leg. The family comes to visit her. Ha Ni immediately asks about Seung Jo, and is told that Seung Jo admitted her to the hospital, and then left to take the exam. Ha Ni is relieved, but then Seung Jo shows up to everyone’s surprise.
First of all, another great episode. No filler, all forward momentum on the plot. At this point, there is actually quite a lot of plot. Too bad the plot is very mundane. I say too bad because even though I love PK, I know some folks will grouch that the very everydayness of its occurrences equals no interesting plot.
I find the very relatable matters like getting into college, giddiness of first dates, having things go wrong that seem so utterly important to you (like failing an interview, losing the data on your computer, giving the man you love cold medicine that causes him to fall asleep during an important exam), all very significant and meaningful in the context of PK, which is a realistic construct of their world.
So, simply throwaway scenes like Seung Jo chatting with Ha Ni about having something move your heart to beat faster, Ha Ni bringing Seung Jo a snack and some encouragement for his upcoming exam, etc., all very interesting to watch. In the world of PK, what is happening in the lives of Seung Jo and Ha Ni are indeed quite significant changes and plot movements. It just so happens that compared to other slightly similar dramas (like Boys Over Flowers or Goong), what happens in PK is grounded in reality.
That makes PK’s story less dramatic, but also conversely easier to enjoy on its face value. It’s a trade-off. I cannot wish BOF was less ridiculously over-the-top, since that made it so cracktastically entertaining. Similarly, I cannot wish PK was more heightened with tension, since it would negate the source material about two kids growing into adulthood together and finding lasting love with each other in everyday ways.
Lastly – Kim Hyun Joong was a tad flat in his delivery and performance in this episode, but redeemed himself by not busting out laughing when he filmed the daydream sword fighting sequences. In all seriousness, it’s clear that he can’t do quiet introspection without his portrayal coming off morose and stiff, but he can do angry, sly, witty, and teasing all very well. I think the problem is that its actually harder to act cold, aloof, stiff but present a world of emotions, however tightly wound those emotions are, through only the window of your eyes and little else. Overall, I like Kim Hyun Joongs performance in PK, but its becoming clear hes likely never going to be an consummate actor able to tackle any role.
Jung So Min continues to be perfection as Ha Ni. If Seung Jo doesn’t want her, I bet a million boys will be lined up around the block for her. But of course, Joon Gu gets the first position. Unless hes been slayed by Seung Jos sword.
[credit: screencaps from hyunniespexers.wordpress.com, news articles, and from MBC stills].
The wait between episode 8 and 9 felt extraordinarily long, likely caused by the previous episode ending on an adrenaline pumping note. Episode 9 of Playful Kiss (Mischievous Kiss) continues to take purposeful strides forward in the lives of Seung Jo and Ha Ni, both as individuals and as a couple-in-the-making.
As this point, PK isn’t going to be gaining an onslaught of new viewers, but I bet money no one currently watching is getting bored and ready to drop it. PK has turned out to be a drama that appeals strongly to certain viewers, and that’s about it.
Who would have thought PK would turn out to be neither mockworthy (ala Boys Before Flowers), nor a giddy unexpected phenom (like Goong). Rather, PK is the straight man in the manga-adaptation genre, a charmingly whimsical yet true-to-life little love story. And the straight man more often than not is overlooked as the least interesting character.
Seung Jo and Ha Ni are in the midst of evading the gangsters, each of whom clearly must have a gimpy foot because our cute kids are not so much running as they are filming a slo-mo shampoo commercial. But they get away, and seek refuge in a mini-mart while the gangsters look elsewhere.
After calming down and quenching their thirst, Seung Jo thanks Ha Ni again for getting him into yet another thrillingly unexpected shenanigan. Ha Ni wonders whether Seung Jo knew he was being followed, and Seung Jo replies that the weird thing would be if he didn’t know he was being followed by Ha Ni. The boy definitely has a Ha Ni-dar, he just doesn’t want to acknowledge it yet.
Ha Ni sadly notes that if Seung Jo liked Hye Ra, then there is nothing she can do to stop it. An expression of “eh, no” flits over Seung Jo’s face, then he changes the subject and asks Ha Ni where she wants to go next. Ha Ni is stunned and thrilled that it appears Seung Jo wants to hang out with her, like, on a date. Omo, she must not be very creative, or else her little mind doesn’t turn that fast, because they end up rowing in a cheesy boat on a little lake.
Ha Ni is all basking in her own brand of happiness, when Seung Jo, as usual, deflates her grand romantic daydreams. Ha Ni notes that it appears that only families are on the lake, and they are the only “couple”, wherein Seung Jo tells her that the lake has a legend that any couple who comes to it will break up in 6 months. But because they aren’t dating, Ha Ni shouldn’t care.
Oh, but Ha Ni does care, and she immediately stands up and tells Seung Jo they have to get off the lake right away. If her intention was to swim to shore, then she succeeded because her upright position causes the boat to sway and she pitches right into the lake. Seung Jo grabs her arm as she falls and he take a nose-dive right after her.
They sit by the lake and dry off, as Seung Jo gets them some food and a change of clothes. Seung Jo is as considerate under these circumstances as he’s likely able to be, as we know he wasn’t born with a solicitous bone in his body. Maybe there is a solicitous curl in his newly permed hair?
Either Seung Jo is completely oblivious, or he doesn’t give a flying fig (likely the latter), but he brought back infamous Korean couple t-shirts as their change of clothes. He tells her it’s just cheap clothes he bought at the roadside stall, but to Ha Ni it’s akin to solid gold threads. Niiiice, and then Seung Jo gives her a burger and Ha Ni is about thiclose to expiring on the spot from happiness.
As they sit and eat the hamburger, waiting for their clothes to dry, Ha Ni considers this the best meal she’s ever had in her entire life. Ha Ni queries why Seung Jo grabbed her hand instead of Hye Ra, and is told that she was standing closer to him. Seriously, you’re a genius and this is the best lame excuse you can come up with?
She apologizes for yet again causing trouble. Strangely, Seung Jo doesnt seem upset at all. As someone who has always lived an uneventful life until he met her, she has led him into a completely different world. For Seung Jo, this is all so unexpected, and he compares it trying to solve a math problem. Not just any math problem, it’s like it was created just for Seung Jo, and it’s his responsibility to solve it. [What did I say earlier about Seung Jo coming to grips with Ha Ni being his own personal burden!]
Ha Ni wonders if Seung Jo’s math problem analogy is referring to her, she really is so very dim. Initially, Seung Jo tried to evade the problem, but that didn’t work. If there isn’t something fundamentally wrong about the problem, then there must be a solution, and he will find it. Ah, Seung Jo is an empiricist, and now he is determine to face it head on.
Ha Nis fanciful mind takes a great leap and thinks that he is proposing to her! Seung Jo wonders how Ha Ni can possibly reach this preposterous conclusion. He says that he merely doesn’t dislike her. Being with her is hard, but he doesn’t hate it. Ha Ni grabs his arm for a side hug, and tells him that she has liked him since their first year in high school, and always thought he disliked her.
She is gloriously happy, and Seung Jo looks at this little slip of a girl grabbing his arm and gives an unseen smile at her (the smile comes at the very moment after Ha Ni says that she’s liked only him since high school). Ha Ni doesn’t know the classic philosophers, she can’t cook, and she’s not a model student. But she promises to continue trying hard. Seung Jo says he’s looking forward to her trying to become smarter because of him. He tells her the next goal to prove herself should be the upcoming midterm exams.
Seung Jo walks Ha Ni back to the restaurant. He asks her how the living arrangement is working out. Ha Ni says it’s livable, especially since its only temporary until their new house is built. She then wonders if what happened today is okay for Hye Ra, since she was originally out with Seung Jo. Heh, Mr. Poker Face throws the question back at her, wasn’t Ha Ni originally out with tennis sunbae? Oh, teeming jealousy, thy name is Seung Jo.
Tennis sunbae and Hye Ra are having an uncomfortable dinner together. Poor besotted tennis sunbae works up the courage to tell Hye Ra his feelings. He tells her that he is lacking in many ways, and Hye Ra uses that opportunity to misinterpret “lacking” to mean he’s still hungry. She pushes her food to him. He tries again to tell her he can’t stop thinking about her, but she just firmly tells him she wants to leave because she has a headache. I can’t say she’s being bitchy, as she is cordial yet coolly distant to him during this speech.
Ha Ni’s dad tells her there is some delay and difficulty in the construction of their new house. Ha Ni’s two friends show up at the restaurant and enjoy a meal prepared by Joon Gu and chat with him. They tell him that his forwardness with Ha Ni turns her off, and that the reason she is obsessed with Seung Jo is because he is so cold to her.
Tennis sunbae has tons of cell phone pics of Hye Ra, and he shows them to Ha Ni. She asks how yesterday’s date for them went, and is told they just had dinner and then Hye Ra went home. Tennis sunbae wanted to confess his feelings, but each time he sees Hye Ra his mind goes blank.
Tennis sunbae asks Ha Ni if she confessed her feelings to Seung Jo, and is told she did it through a letter. He wants to write Hye Ra a letter, and Ha Ni hurriedly tells him not to. Since Hye Ra is the female Seung Jo, Ha Ni is picturing the grading of the letter fiasco to befall tennis sunbae.
Ha Ni helps tennis sunbae refine his technique for wooing Hye Ra. She literally has him re-enacting the scene where Seung Jo kisses her after the school graduation, including a play-by-play where they each play the kisser and the kissee. The sequence is hilarious! Of course, other tennis club members come by and witness the tutoring out of context and mistakenly think Ha Ni and tennis sunbae are getting it on, what with all the talk about “kissing”.
Word spreads like wildfire, and mutates. Seung Jo overhears the gossiping that has Ha Ni actually kissing tennis sunbae and asking for more. Of course Prince Seung Jo gets annoyed. Tennis sunbae freezes up when he sees Hye Ra and cannot perform his kiss maneuver on her. Tennis sunbae is so furious at himself he grabs the tennis racket and is about to go unleash some hell on the poor folks, but is restrained by Ha Ni. And Seung Jo watches the two of them grabbing at each other.
Ha Ni is informed by her friends about the rumors, which she laughs off until it dawns on her that their interaction could be misconstrued. She runs off to explain herself to Seung Jo, but finds him walking with Hye Ra, who uses that opportunity to bring up how quickly Ha Ni has progressed with tennis sunbae. Seung Jo ignores Ha Ni and brushes right past her. Oh poor boy, sorry you can’t handle your personal love bunny spending time with another man.
Ha Ni wants to text Seung Jo, but can’t bring herself to send. Seung Jo hears a text and clearly hopes that it’s from Ha Ni. Back at the Baek house, the parents are out on a date, and Eun Jo comes out to play. He eats and entire pizza while playing video games (which excites me to no end seeing Eun Jo act like a kid his age), and falls ill. Ha Ni happens to be by the house, and calls Seung Jo in a panic.
Seung Jo calmly talks to her on how to handle the situation until an ambulance arrives take Eun Jo to the hospital. The doctor tells Ha Ni that Eun Jo needs immediate surgery (he has intussusception – when one part of the intestine has folded itself into another part), and Ha Ni consents.
As Eun Jo is recovering post-surgery, Seung Jo tells Ha Ni that the doctor complimented her on her handling of the emergency. Ha Ni tries to explain the gossip with tennis sunbae, and Seung Jo tentatively reaches over clasp her shoulder. He cuts in and tells her that he’s already heard the whole story.
He thanks her, and gently lays his cheek barely grazing her head. She turns around and he holds her in for a hug as she sobs, telling him how scared she was that should would make another mistake, that something would happen to Eun Jo. In Seung Jo’s gentle embrace, Ha Ni feels like her heart is going to melt.
Ha Ni’s father is having financial difficulty with the house construction, and the Baeks give him back all the monthly rent he paid them during the time living in their house. The Baek parents also use this opportunity to convince Ha Ni’s dad to move back in with them. Mom reveals the kiss to the two dads, telling them that the kids just want to conceal their budding relationship from the elders.
Ha Ni and Seung Jo hang out with Eun Jo, and another little boy Noo Ri who shares the same hospital room. They find out that Noo Ri is really sick and has been in the hospital for over a year now, unlike Eun Jo who is recovering from surgery. When told that Noo Ri has to re-do the 4th grade, Ha Ni offers to teach him his lessons. Smartypants senior and junior both mock her and tell her to just eat some cake.
The nurse tells Ha Ni and Seung Jo that Noo Ri needs to rest and cannot play around with them, despite it making Noo Ri happy. The poor kid has heart problems, and Ha Ni is saddened to see such a small child having to do IV drips daily, take so much medication, and be bed-ridden. Seung Jo tells Ha Ni that crying isn’t any help. Ha Ni says that Seung Jo can actually do something. Since he’s a genius, it’ll be easy for him to become a doctor, and if he’s a doctor, he can help all the sick patients.
Seung Jo responds that he’s not going to become a doctor just because Ha Ni wants him to be one. To Ha Ni, a doctor is exactly what she imagines Seung Jo to be, picturing already her Seung Jo in a white coat. She tells him she wants to see that, and Seung Jo tells her that she’s hopeless.
Ha Ni and Seung Jo go to the hospital every afternoon, to tutor the boys and play with them. Eun Jo gets discharged from the hospital, and there is a round of tearful goodbyes with Noo Ri. Ha Ni finds out at his welcome home party that she has been moved back into the Baek house.
Ha Ni finds Seung Jo sitting outside on the porch, and she joins him. Ha Ni says that its strange how she ended up living again in the Baek house, and Seung Jo tells her not to cause any more problems for him. Nothing more is said, except both are content and happy. Ha Ni happy because she is back to being with her beloved Seung Jo, who looks at Ha Ni and smiles a small but genuine grin.
Joon Gu makes the perfect little dumplings for Ha Ni, and while they are enjoying the meal, Ha Ni’s dad tells Joon Gu that they are moving back in with the Baeks. Joon Gu’s face falls, and his disappointment is palpable. [Lee Tae Sung’s acting is marvelous in how he essays that very second of happiness turned to gut punch when he hears about Ha Ni moving back in with Seung Jo].
For Ha Ni, even though she feels sadness at causing Joon Gu pain, she is still happy to be living with Seung Jo again. That night, Ha Ni is taking a bath after moving back in, but she can’t find her underwear. She wraps herself in a towel and tries to sneak back to her room, only to have Seung Jo pop up with her underwear on his finger.
He asks of its hers, and she accuses him of stealing it. Seung Jo can’t imagine anyone wanting to steal underwear that only a kid would wear. She tells him that she only occasionally wears this underwear, and she usually wears lace panties. Seung Jo then tells her that she’s unsexy anyways, and probably an A cup is more than enough for her.
Seung Jo tells her that it looks like she hasn’t developed any further since grade school. He can look at her wrapped only in a towel and not feel anything. Ha Ni is mortified, and asks whether it’s amusing for him to tease her so. If Seung Jo doesn’t like her living in the house again, he should just say so. Seung Jo says he can’t help himself, when he sees her he gets an urge to tease her. He says its clearly her fault, since she drops stuff left and right.
Daddy Baek sees them talking and tells them that Eun Jo is around and not to be so open with their affection lest the poor boy is traumatized by some adult loving. Plus, they should wait until they are married. Heh. Ha Ni scurries to her room, while Seung Jo happily smiles, yet again. Okay, Seung Jo is really making up for a lifetime of being a poker-face in this episode, isn’t he?
Daddy Baek takes Seung Jo to school, and asks when he has to pick a major/profession. Seung Jo replies that he’ll pick in the next semester. Daddy wants him to major in business, but Seung Jo replies that he’s not interested. At school, Ha Ni stops her bike to talk to Seung Jo, who just ignores her.
Seung Jo tells Hye Ra that he’s always had everything so easy (as has she). Since he met Ha Ni, he’s startled to realize there is a different way to see the world. She makes him want to push himself more, rather than coast through life. Hye Ra listens, with an understanding of what Seung Jo is saying reflects about the way he feels towards Ha Ni.
A funny little interlude where Ha Ni realizes that tennis sunbae needs to hold a tennis racket when he confesses to Hye Ra, since he becomes a confident and determined person when he has a racket in hand. Back at the Baek house, Ha Ni and Mom indulge in some mother-daughter female housework bonding. In Seung Jo’s room, she sees a newspaper open with apartment rentals circled.
Ha Ni laughing tells Seung Jo she heard from tennis sunbae that he might move out, and that is must be a joke. Seung Jo confirms it to be true, he is planning to movie out. Ha Ni wonders if it’s because she moved back in, and Seung Jo tells her it has nothing to do with her, and for her not to assume everything happens because of her.
He wants to be more independent, be a responsible person and not rely on his rich parents anymore. He wants to move out, get a job, and support himself through school. This really doesn’t seem like a move to get away from Ha Ni, more like a move that being with Ha Ni has spurred in him – to think about his future and his goals in life, and to be proactive.
Episode 9 welcomes back Ha Ni-of-the-hairdo-changes, and introduces Seung Jo-he-who-now-secretly-smiles-a-lot. I liked this episode, it wasn’t ground-shifting nor was it rife with a lot of anything in particular. There weren’t a lot of laughs, nor were there a lot of angst. Misunderstandings were resolved quickly or not even allowed to form at all.
What I love about PK is that everyone talks, about pretty much exactly what they are thinking. And every word is honest, their real feelings at that time. Hye Ra tells Seung Jo she likes him, Ha Ni tells Seung Jo she likes him, Joon Gu tells Ha Ni he likes her, everyone knows tennis sunbae likes Hye Ra, Seung Jo tells both girls exactly the state of his emotions.
It’s just too bad Seung Jo’s emotional catharsis takes forever to rise, as he continues to putter along like the turtle in the race. Folks may bemoan the continued juxtaposition between nice and warm Seung Jo with cold and distant Seung Jo, sometimes both appearing within scenes of each other. I find this wholly believable, the tenor of their relationship factoring into other considerations percolating in Seung Jo’s mind, i.e. his future.
Seung Jo is past treating Ha Ni badly as a defense mechanism or on purpose as an outlet for his jealousy or confusion. He both accepts and enjoys Ha Ni in his life, as well as requires some distance from her to sort out his own issues. How many of us need space and the room to grow? Seung Jo needs that from Ha Ni, but runs the risk of losing her. It’s a double-edge sword.
It may feel like retreading to see the same types of happy and not-so-happy interactions between Seung Jo and Ha Ni, but I can see they have taken many steps forward as people and as friends who have gotten to know each other. Plus, it feels so real, like the confusion of emotions make for people acting warm one moment and distant in another. What PK lacks is drama of the OMG-variety or any high-stakes life and death dilemma. I like it, but it does make for episodes that are like taking a hot bath, infinitely pleasurable during but forgettable afterwards.
And poor Joon Gu, who barely has any screen time in this episode. He’s breaking my heart simply by thinking about him quietly pining for Ha Ni. I can’t wait for him to meet his OTP, because this boy is 100% goodness wrapped in a hottie shell.
Finally, I don’t think we’ll see their post-wedding story, other than maybe as a montage or brief fly-over. At the pace of the story, I think episode 14 is the earliest we’ll get the Big Moment In The Rain.
[Credit for screen caps goes to soompi.com PK forum and MBC official stills]
Hello everyone! Let’s get this party started, shall we? The penultimate episode of Playful Kiss (Mischievous Kiss) was part wish fulfillment of every fan wrapped in the worst nightmare of a persnickety drama critic. I shall do my best to recap from the happy fan part of me (who am I to rain on the warm and fuzzy parade), but I feel my inner critic itching to Hulk-out. Ill try to restrain it.
It turns out that all the episode 15 spoilers I shared were all 100% accurate. Yay for not being the bearer of false information. Boo for it causing me personally to feel a tad let down. Regardless, I enjoyed episode 15 for what it was – the end of the journey of Ha Ni and Seung Jo as individuals, and the beginning of their journey as a couple. Asking anymore of PK for an odd-numbered episode is akin to asking why the editing monkey sucks at editing a scene. It’s the best he can do.
At this point, my enjoyment of PK is likely increased substantially by the euphoria rubbing off from all the various forums and fans that are so rabidly awaiting the grand conclusion of this story which we have so loved. As a stand-alone episode, I probably like it more than it deserves quality wise, but that’s a subjective emotion I’m happy to experience.
We’re back at the roundtable of wedding bombs, which Mom just dropped on everyone. Seung Jo is rightfully chafing at Mom’s continued manipulation of his life. Mom sees nothing wrong with her busybody ways, didn’t Seung Jo decide himself he wanted to marry Ha Ni? Seung Jo reminds her that he specifically said after graduating.
Mom says that waiting will only prolong it even further – what with Seung Jo then having to do his mandatory army service thereafter. She wants them to get married while they are still young and pretty! Her husband and Eun Jo are about to pipe up with further objections when Mom lays down the law. No more no, buts, if – everyone must comply with her directions about this event. Mom-dictator gets up and walks away, leaving silence in her wake. Seung Jo gives a giant humph of annoyance while Ha Ni tries hard not to bust out in giggles and grins.
Its evening time, and Mom sees Ha Ni’s dad standing outside deep in thought. She asks him whether she overstepped her bounds, scheduling the wedding so soon. Dad disabuses her of that notion, which turns out to be rather well thought out. Since Seung Jo and Ha Ni already live together, Mom thinks that getting married now make their living arrangement more proper. [She’s probably worried the kids are gonna sneak around at home with the easy access, and then she’s stuck planning a shotgun wedding.]
Ha Ni’s dad is worried that he doesn’t know what he needs to do to help plan a wedding. Mom assures him that all he needs to do is buy the wedding ring and the wedding dress. Methinks Dad is sad about marrying off his beloved daughter, a bittersweet tangle of emotions likely every father-of-the-bride experiences when giving his daughter’s hand away becomes a set reality and not just a future event.
Ha Ni is enjoying a meal at the noodle shop with her friends, and reveals that Mom has planned a wedding for next week! The friends commend Mom on her go-getter ability to make things happen. When they find out that Joon Gu has been told of the upcoming wedding by Ha Ni’s dad, it becomes obvious why he’s looming in the kitchen all lethargic and down, not even coming out to say hi to them.
A beautiful foreign girl walks into the shop, which freaks everyone out because no one knows how to talk with her (presuming she doesn’t speak Korean). Dad gets dragged out, and after a Hi and a Thank You, he tugs at Ha Ni to take over. Mwahahaha, we all know how well Ha Ni speaks English (“Shut your mouth”, anyone?).
Turns out the girl speaks perfect Korean, and just wants a bowl of the shop’s famous hand-cut noodles. She slurps it up all, enjoying every delicious bite. She chats with Ha Ni and her friends, explaining that she is half-Korean, from her mother’s side, with a British father. Her name is Christine, and she specifically acknowledges Joon Gu with a compliment on his delicious side dish. Too bad Joon Gu the noodle zombie doesn’t really respond to her, likely still a tad depressed about losing Ha Ni.
Ha Ni goes ring shopping with Seung Jo. He nitpicks at her every selection – this one is too fancy, that one too shiny. Who replaced Seung Jo with Goldilocks? When asked to pick one himself, Seung Jo rants that he doesn’t even see the need for a ring. Why does a circle on your finger symbolize love? He doesn’t want to wear one at all.
Ha Ni insists that he wear a ring, to show the entire world that he’s married (i.e. off-limits to the grabby hands of other females). Seung Jo throws it back at her that the ring clearly isn’t a declaration of love, it’s meant as a symbolic handcuff. He steps back from the ring display and walks out the store, leaving Ha Ni wistfully looking at another couple modeling wedding rings with a fully participating man.
Seung Jo is still uncooperative, refusing to even enter a bridal salon with Ha Ni. He says he already owns a suit and doesn’t want to buy one just to wear once. He tells Ha Ni to go pick her dress and he’ll wait for her elsewhere. I would be more upset at Seung Jo, except this is behavior I’ve seen from plenty of impatient bridegrooms disdaining the wedding preparation fervor and geegaws that go along with it.
When Ha Ni suggests a change of plans and they go take wedding pictures, Seung Jo gets even more recalcitrant.To Seung Jo, taking wedding pictures is ridiculous – what with the “look over here, bridegroom; smile widely, bride” – and he won’t go. Ha Ni gets frustrated with his lack of cooperation, he won’t pick out a ring, he won’t take wedding pictures. Why did Seung Jo even come out with her then?
Seung Jo replies that he couldn’t stay in the house any longer, so he came out. Ha Ni wants him to just start participating in his own wedding preparation. Ha Ni raises her voice at him, for being so difficult, and Seung Jo reminds her that arguing in public is embarrassing. But Seung Jo’s behavior is what is embarrassing Ha Ni.
She wonders how the people in the ring store think about her, what with Seung Jo’s attitude in the store. She’s tired of accommodating him, and he tells her to stop then. Seung Jo drops the cavalier response that its no wonder some couples planning weddings end up breaking up. He walks away leaving Ha Ni rather stunned at his response.
Ha Ni and Seung Jo are sitting in his car. He tells her that she can’t get married alone, and just because they are getting married doesn’t mean Seung Jo will cater to her. Ha Ni wonders if Seung Jo has ever made concessions to her. Seung Jo sighs that it’s because of his Mom’s meddling that things are turning out like this.
Ha Ni says it’s not his Mom, why did Seung Jo mention that he wanted to marry Ha Ni in the first place. Seung Jo agrees with that question – why does he want to marry Ha Ni. He tells her it’s not too late to reassess the situation and reconsider their options. This is the first time the 16-episode length of PK feels like a negative factor to the development of their relationship in the drama.
Episode-wise it feels like Seung Jo and Ha Ni literally just got together as a couple. So to accept rationally the sudden wedding, their bickering about the preparations, everything – feels so rushed and creates an emotional disconnect with me. I accept (based on knowing the story) that this development is entirely consistent, but I think people coming into this story without any knowledge of the source material will feel this wedding sequence forced and unnatural to the flow of the relationship.
Ha Ni confides in her friends that she’s got a reluctant bridegroom on her hands. Seung Jo won’t even talk to her at home these past few days. Said reluctant bridegroom goes to visit his future father-in-law, who is flipping through books to help him compose a speech on the wedding day. Seung Jo tells Ha Ni’s dad that he has something to say. Mom is admiring wedding China with Ha Ni, who tries to be excited but can’t hide her real mood from Mom. She gets a call from her dad, and arrives at the noodle shop to find Seung Jo there as well.
Seung Jo is driving Ha Ni and her dad, and tells her that she’ll know where they are going when they get there. It turns out Seung Jo is driving them to visit the graves of Ha Ni’s grandmother and mother. When they arrive at the hillside grave, Seung Jo lays a bouquet of flowers at the site. Ha Ni’s dad reveals that it was Seung Jo who wanted to come visit her mom and grandmother.
Seung Jo talks directly to Ha Ni’s grandmother – announcing that her grand son-in-law is here, is she pleased with him? He continues by saying that Ha Ni is already causing trouble, but he will take good care of her. Ha Ni says she doesn’t like it, but then revises her assessment by saying thank you to Seung Jo. She tells her mom and grandmother that she is getting married.
After the grave site visit, the happy-again couple are strolling in a park-like area. Seung Jo says that tennis sunbae can be their wedding announcer. Ha Ni wonders where they are going for their honeymoon? Seung Jo wonders if they have to go at all, since they don’t have much time on their hands. When Ha Ni starts grumbling, he says fine, and asks her if there is a place she’s been wanting to go? Ha Ni says Italy, maybe Rome? Seung Jo shoots it down, and Ha Ni concedes it’s rather far-fetched.
How about some place with a beach? Maybe an island? [Like, maybe, New Caledonia?] Seung Jo says if she wants an island, they should go to Yeoui Island (which is in the middle of the Han River in Seoul). Mwahahaha. Ha Ni is rightly horrified. Seung Jo then proposes an even smaller island (Id suggest they go to Dokdo Island). He can’t stop teasing her, can he? He suggests that he shakes his cellphone, and if the three icons that pop up are the same, then she can pick their honeymoon destination.
Ha Ni agrees, but wonders if there is a slim chance of that happening. During the shake, Ha Ni is chanting “Jeju Island” while Seung Jo is repeating “Yeoui Island.” Voila, the three icons turn out to be the same, and Ha Ni hops around Seung Jo in glee. Seung Jo smiles and shakes the cellphone again, it once again it pops up three icons that are identical. Oh Seung Jo, you just like playing with your Ha Ni, don’t you?
Ha Ni is in her room with her best friends, and they’ve come to spend the final night hanging out with her and bearing presents. The present turns out to be, no surprise, a lacy pink underwear set and pink pajamas, plus a sultry perfume. One friend hops up and demonstrates to Ha Ni what she is supposed to do on her wedding night: shower, put on sexy lingerie, spritz on some perfume, seduce her Seung Jo oppa/husband.
Back in the room of the Baek brothers, Eun Jo tells his hyung that he’s really going to end up with Oh Ha Ni. Seung Jo smiles and queries whether Eun Jo isn’t happy about it. Eun Jo’s resigned to it – she’s not smart, she’s rather slow on the uptake, no matter which way you slice it Ha Ni’s a dunderhead. However, she’s willing to jump into the water to save Eun Jo even when she can’t swim, and she continues to like Seung Jo even after being treated so poorly by him.
Eun Jo says that compared to an Oh Ha Ni, he wants to marry a smart and beautiful woman. But he’s happy that Seung Jo is marrying Ha Ni. Eun Jo confesses that as much as he loves and adores his hyung, Seung Jo has got some personality issues. With that in mind, Seung Jo is much better suited to marry Ha Ni. Eun Jo concludes by announcing that they will definitely be happy together, and wishes Seung Jo a big congratulations on his upcoming nuptials.
Outside the Baek house, on the eve of the wedding, is a man that I immediately burst into tears when I see. It’s Joon Gu, leaning against a wall, there to wish Ha Ni well for a life journey she is not taking with him. He talks to the Ha Ni behind the window in her room, telling Ha Ni that he’s very happy right now, because she is happy. And when she is happy, then he is happy. He wishes her sweet dreams, and that he will see her tomorrow.
Ha Ni’s dad is drinking alone in the kitchen, and a sleepless Ha Ni finds him and shares a lovely father-daughter moment. She grasps his hand, and thanks him for raising her to be such a great person. Her face starts to crumble, and her dad reminds her not to cry, lest people say she’s not pretty tomorrow with her puffy face.
Too bad her dad’s face starts to crack as he says this, leading him to wonder why there are tears on such a happy occasion? He laughs at himself for crying – he raised a daughter as a single parent, so he should be happy that he’s giving her away tomorrow. They get up to practice their walk down the aisle, and its such a poignant moment between a single father and his only child. Their hitherto duo-existence changing irrevocably tomorrow, the beats and rhythms of their relationship adding new characters and texturesa son-in-law, a husband, an extended family.
And……it’s the wedding day! Omo, I think I’m more excited about this wedding than my own. Well, not really, but it’s up there in excitement level. The Baek parents and the little bride groom are welcoming the arriving guests. Ha Ni is in the bridal waiting room taking pictures with her friends. Who arrives to congratulate the snail bride but her teacher from Class 3-7. And she brought along her date, Seung Jo’s teacher from Class 3-1!
Turns out she’s got a bun in the oven, courtesy of her now hubby smarty-pants teacher! Totally predictable, but oh so cute nonetheless. Ha Ni’s teacher is way too excited about her former student snagging Baek Seung Jo, stud of the high school. She gets gently dragged out of there by her hubby. Now it’s the perfect place to digress and tell you that Ha Ni’s looks like a meringue confection in her flouncy monstrosity of a wedding dress. But she’s glowing, and gorgeous. Someone restrain me from reaching in there and slicing off half her dress with my scissors.
The next to arrive to visit the bride is her former rival-in-love, Hye Ra, who immediately compliments the bride as being beautiful. Hye Ra admits that she’s satisfied. When asked about what, Hye Ra graciously says that she’s glad the reason Seung Jo didn’t pick her was because of Ha Ni. When Ha Ni doesn’t quite understand, Hye Ra explains that she’s complimenting Seung Jo’s taste in women. See, a lady can remain classy until the very end, I highly approve. She congratulates Ha Ni, and tells her to be happy in marriage that it makes her so jealous she’ll want to get married herself.
Over in the other corner of tying up loose ends, Joon Gu has found Seung Jo and is delivering a final message. Joon Gu warns Seung Jo to be wary of him. He might take Ha Ni and run away before the end of the ceremony. Joon Gu-yahh, were you up late last night watching The Graduate?
MC tennis sunbae prepares to start the ceremony. Ha Ni hears the narration from her waiting chamber, with Eun Jo keeping her calm. He reminds her not to commit any faux pas – like putting on the wrong ring, or tripping on her skirt. Eun Jo the little squirt suddenly tells his future sister-in-law that he has a wedding present for her. He whispers something in her ear, and Ha Ni’s eyes widen in shock.
Ha Ni is walked down the aisle by her dad, to the applause of everyone and the direct gaze of one person. Seung Jo is stoic as he stands waiting for her at the altar. What? Like the robot will suddenly start spazzing just because he’s getting married. His gaze softens as he steps down to take Ha Ni from her father’s arm. Going without someone officiating the wedding, the bride and groom stand alone at the altar and exchange their vows
The dad gives successive speeches, and we get a glimpse into their long-standing friendship. Seung Jo’s dad goes first – he confesses to growing up with Ha Ni’s dad, practically living at his house until junior high. He continues by saying that there is no one in the world as kind and gentle as his good friend, and now they are becoming in-laws. He concludes by giving thanks for raising such a lovely daughter and giving her to their family.
Ha Ni’s dad begins his speech by reminiscing about his very own too-short marriage. How it snowed on their wedding day. How they ate left over noodles for Christmas. How soon thereafter Ha Ni lost her mom, and they held each other and cried. But today, Ha Ni has beside her such a responsible and admirable husband, as a dad he can finally take a load off his shoulders. He finishes by thanking Seung Jo for taking care of Ha Ni.
The couple exchange rings. Ha Ni’s is placed gently on her hand by her husband, whereas Seung Jo’s ring flies out of Ha Ni’s hand. Everyone gasps and looks around for it. Seung Jo’s dad thankfully finds it immediately, and the wedding ceremony wraps up without another hitch. Everyone laughs at the gaffe, except Seung Jo who just doesn’t know when to loosen up.
Thank god his new wife has got a sparkling personality! When Seung Jo grumbles that she’s so clumsy, Ha Ni tells him to quit it. She knews Seung Jo really really likes her. When Seung Jo looks confused at her assertion, Ha Ni reveals that she knows their second kiss was not in the rain but instead on the resort bench when she was asleep. Seung Jo whips his head around to glare at Eun Jo, who looks every which way but at his brother.
Ha Ni grabs Seung Jo and pulls in him for a big giant kiss! The audience goes wild with the female show of affection. Seung Jo’s struggles a tad and pulls free at the end, staring at Ha Ni like he suddenly realized he is going to be married to this crazy adorable girl for the rest of his life. Yes you are, Seung Jo, yes you are. And I think you may have gotten the better end of the bargain.
Best part is when Ha Ni throws the same phrase he used when he gave her that first kiss against the wall – just messing with you – back at him. She seals the moment by sticking her tongue out at him. And I fall into a puddle of smiles and bliss. I am sososososo happy to see the return of confident, playful, and charming Oh Ha Ni.
Joon Gu watches the conclusion of the ceremony from outside the wedding hall, a view of his achy back more than enough to convey his bittersweet emotions – happy that his Ha Ni is happy and in good hands, sad that it’s not in his hands. He wipes away his lingering tears. Don’t cry anymore, Joon Gu. If loving Ha Ni meant that you pursued a life full of purpose and accomplishment, then your love was not in vain. You’ve truly made yourself a worthy man not just for Ha Ni, but for any woman out there!
A quick shot of an airplane in flight, and we cut to Ha Ni and Seung Jo driving a convertible down a highway in Jeju Island. Ha Ni is more than excited enough for the both of them, asking Seung Jo to stop the car so she can step outside and admire the view. By the way, they are totally wearing couples outfit, likely all purchased by coordi Mom.
Ha Ni notices that Seung Jo doesn’t get out of the car, instead sitting silently with a surly expression. Turns out Seung Jo is still pissed that his embarrassing baby pictures got shown during the reception. When Ha Ni laughs at his expense, he tries to drive off without her. Heh. Back in Seoul, tennis sunbae is not-so-surreptitiously following Hye Ra after the wedding. She wants to shake him, but in the end elects to spend time with him.
The newlyweds arrive at their resort, and run into another couple, who apparently were on the same flight as our Ha Ni and Seung Jo. The husband is lugging about 12 bags, and his princess of a wife is directing him to check-in. The shrewish wife comments that Seung Jo sure is handsome, he could be an actor! Ha Ni drags Seung Jo off in a jiffy. Thank god Ha Ni’s bitch-dar is working perfectly.
Tennis sunbae and Hye Ra are having a quick meal at a hot dog store, leading Hye Ra to remark that tennis sunbae really does like hot dogs. He tries to tell her a joke, which leads to him pointing out that she has an eye booger. He does make her laugh when he tries to practice eating a hot dog in 20 seconds, so he can try out for a food eating contest that can take him to New York. Tennis sunbae also accidentally reveals that he watched Hye Ra for the four whole hours she practiced tennis the day she got dumped by Seung Jo.
Ha Ni turns on the faucet in the plush bathtub in their swanky hotel room, playing with the posh accoutrements. Tell me now hasn’t played around in a fancy hotel room before? Not I. She goes out to their adjoining patio where Seung Jo is sitting on the bench. Ha Ni tells Seung Jo that she knows she has flaws and shortcomings, but she will continuously work on them. She will do her best to be a good wife.
She puts her head on his shoulder and is luxuriating in the romantic moment when the other couple walks by and announces that they are in the room next door. Just great. Ha Ni and Seung Jo talk with the hotel concierge. They end up booking the same fancy newlywed meal as the other couple, who are clearly the least happy and in love newlyweds on the planet.
During dinner, the slap-worthy wife makes pointed remarks – such as whether they got married so young because Ha Ni got pregnant – which lead Ha Ni to gulp down all her wine to endure the interminable meal. Turns out that chick is the same age as Ha Ni and Seung Jo, twenty-one, and her new husband is eleven years older than her. Ha Ni’s drinking that night makes her sick the next morning on the side of the road.
Detour back to Seoul again, where Christine as taken to eating at the noodle restaurant and doing her version of the Ha Ni stalking. Joon Gu brings out her bowl of noodles, and schools her on the correct way to hold and utilize a chopstick. Christine is clearly savoring the tutelage immensely.
Ha Ni and Seung Jo are sightseeing when they are tracked down by the other wife. Shameless Hussy is actually her other name, which I will use henceforth. Who knows where the submissive husband went, but Shameless Hussy drags Seung Jo around the museum leaving Ha Ni following sadly in their wake. The sad-sack husband shows up to complain about his wife to Ha Ni.
Shameless Hussy points out Ha Ni talking with her husband, and is about the do the Oppa Pout Wiggle on Seung Jo when suddenly a be-wigged lady comes barreling between them. The incognito lady is none other than Mom, here to ensure her kids have the best most “fruitful” honeymoon ever. Seung Jo’s Mom-dar goes off, and he’s immediately annoyed she’s come to interfere again.
Ha Ni finally steps up and grabs her husband back from the clutches of Shameless Hussy, and they walk away to enjoy the rest of the sightseeing. The camera pans away to reveal a second mini-be-wigged individual lurking around – Eun Jo is here, too! Shameless Hussy keeps getting restrained by her husband from interrupting Ha Ni and Seung Jo. I hope someone is drawing up divorce papers for him.
Seung Jo and Ha Ni are back in their hotel room, and Ha Ni finally takes out her lingerie presents and works up the courage to don them. Too bad Shameless Hussy and her husband bust in with champagne and snacks wanting to enjoy a night cap together. No one restrain me, imma going to go sharpen my cleaver now, if you hear shrieking turn the other ear, okay? Actually, I love Seung Jo’s reaction – he steps back from the door with the same freaked out look as when he encountered chicken head hoodie Ha Ni at the mini-mart (“please take 8,800 won from here”).
In the morning, Ha Ni again hopes for an entire day to enjoy with Seung Jo, when suddenly there is a pounding at their door. Shameless Hussy’ husband tells Seung Jo that his wife is writhing in pain (omo, perchance from that cleaver embedded in her skull courtesy of me?) and needs help. Why doesn’t he go straight to the resort doctor requires a suspension of logic so great I might as well announce that the earth is flat. But I’m in a forgiving mood, and have already given PK so many passes might as well keep the streak alive.
Seung Jo goes to help her, and is touching her for where she hurts. Ha Ni gets upset, and Seung Jo is infuriated that she would be upset when he is training to be a doctor and that is something he will be doing in the future. No, Seung Jo, she is upset because any monkey, much less human being, could tell that the witch is faking it to get your attention.
After Ha Ni storms out, and the husband follows her, Shameless Hussy promptly stops writhing (I knew I should have just beheaded her, it’s cleaner and she can’t resurrect herself), sits up, and gently caresses Seung Jo’s hand. Shameless Hussy states that Seung Jo must not like Ha Ni, and doesn’t want to touch her. Too bad he couldn’t have met her earlier…..at which point Seung Jo shakes her hand off him and stands up to school her.
He tells her if he met her anywhere but here he would never spare her a passing glance. Because they met here, as married couples, he deigned to speak with her. He tells her never to compare herself to his Ha Ni. Seung Jo walks out of the room, leaving her fuming at the rejection. He goes to find Ha Ni sitting on a bench watching the waves, and they make up, tickling each other.
We switch over to them sitting in their hotel room in matching pajamas. Ha Ni apologizes for behaving irrationally, and getting jealous over such a little thing. It’s clear Seung Jo is more nervous than he lets on, because he suddenly doesn’t sound so smooth. He says Ha Ni is cute, sometimes. She is pretty, on occasion. Seung Jo puts his arms around her, and asks why does he like her so much?
He pushes her back into the sofa, and questions what she has done to him that makes him think about her all the time? Seung Jo leans over to kiss Ha Ni (and all you hear is me screaming “HIS HEAD, WHY IS THE CAMERA SHOOTING THIS SCENE FROM THE ANGLE WHERE HIS HEAD OBSCURES ALL THE LIP SUCKING!?!?”), then he picks her up and carries her to bed. [I made the screencap extra large so everyone can see exactly why I am breaking up with the PK camera immediately after episode 16 airs.]
They are kissing on the bed when Ha Ni stops Seung Jo mid-make out, telling him she needs to go prepare. He asks for what? She replies the stuff a woman needs to prepare for. He silences her with a kiss that is preceded by the confession that he can’t wait any longer. They proceed to really make out (and all you hear is me screaming “THE WALL, WHY IS THE CAMERA PANNING OVER TO A FRICKIN’ WALL!?!”).
Even more bizarre than a camera that appears to enjoy filming a wall rather than steamy sexing between newlyweds, the morning dawns and Ha Ni wakes up in her own bedroom. Koala go wut? That was a combination time-jump and teleportation going on there. She looks at a framed honeymoon picture of her and Seung Jo and smiles blissfully.
She hurries downstairs where Mom is setting down breakfast for Seung Jo and Eun Jo. God knows how much time has passed since that wedding consummation scene, I’ll not even attempt to make heads or tails of the PK-time lapse logic. Seung Jo tells her the alarm went off at 5 am, leading him to wonder what breakfast she was planning to make this morning.
Turn out she slept right through it. Eun Jo pipes up that his brother can still reconsider. Ergh, Eun Jo, not after what your brother did to her in Jeju Island. Don’t think he can refund this wife anymore. Ha Ni wants to go to the library with Seung Jo to study, confessing to Mom that she needs to be prepared to take the nursing exam to be admitted to the program.
Mom reminds Seung Jo to go register their wedding certificate, and Seung Jo says he’ll have to think about it. Mom is horrified (that her son got some and then won’t do right by the girl, yeah, that’s about it), and Ha Ni is flabbergasted. Why is Seung Jo suddenly reluctant to make their marriage legal under the law?
Seung Jo says that he’ll get the marriage registered when Ha Ni passes the nursing exam and gets accepted to the program. Ha Ni says that’s not right, and Seung Jo wonders if she has so little faith in herself. Where’d all her determination and grit gone? Probably the same place her virginity went – into your pocket. Ooops, did I just say that? Sorry!
A happy Ha Ni is a complacent Ha Ni, and Seung Jo knows it. He just dug up the same motivation that got Ha Ni to test into the top-50 that one time in high school – to prove something to Seung Jo and get him to do something she wants. Seung Jo saunters away with a sly grin, knowing he’s got his Ha Ni right where he wants her – ready and anxious to accomplish a meaningful goal in her professional development.
This episode wasn’t just poorly edited. If there was an editing Razzie in the K-drama award, this episode would sweep the awards. In fact, as a drama PK would probably be nominated as a whole, because having half its episodes awkwardly structured really takes the viewer out of any scene and back to reality with the herky jerky cuts. With that said – I’m satisfied with the substance of what happened in this episode, regardless of how it was delivered.
This was the first episode where it felt like too much plot was crammed into too little time. Perhaps an 18-episode drama would really allow the conclusion of Ha Ni and Seung Jo’s story to develop with more subtlety. A slice-of-life drama doesn’t work so well if the story doesn’t flow at its natural pace, whether that pace is fast or slow. PK has been a slow drama, and suddenly it’s barreling down an expressway going 90 mph. The viewer was forced to re-adjust our expectations in this episode.
While we know Ha Ni and Seung Jo get married young, the build-up to the wedding in PK was awkward and not terribly convincing. PK can no longer coast on the cute or the sweet to elicit awwws from me. I want more substance in showing how the couple express their love for each other. Luckily, we get that later in the episode. It also manifested itself in the wedding, which was built upon the relationship we’ve watched develop between Ha Ni and Seung Jo for 14 episodes now, so the ceremony felt natural and satisfying to watch.
There were a lot of poignant moments, and my favorites in this episode were Ha Ni and her dad’s quiet moments together the night before the wedding, Joon Gu’s various ways of letting Ha Ni go and wishing her well, and Ha Ni surprising Seung Jo with a kiss of her own. What can I say – our couple getting married and consummating their wedding made me feel like I was marrying my own baby off. I wanted to pat myself on the head and say “you did it” to those two kids.
This episode hammered home the point that only Oh Ha Ni can put up with Seung Jo’s rather staid and chilly personality, making it a marriage where they truly understand and can put up with each other. You’ll never get a conversation between them whereby one person accuses the other of being totally different than before they were married. These two know what they are getting into, and love being with each other regardless.
There is a lot of story to wrap up in one short hour, so I hope the final episode tomorrow mixes all the elements together and surprises us with a delightful confection of an ending that leaves everyone satisfied that we’ve spent the last 16 hours with PK. It goes without saying that those who love the story and this iteration are happy with its existence, and those who feel otherwise have their own opinions. I look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts, and sharing my own when the drama wraps up tomorrow.
[Credits: screencaps from Baidu Playful Kiss Bar, MBC official stills, and soompi.com]
Hold your horses, people. It’s coming. All good things come to those who wait. In the meantime, here’s an appetizer. Tomorrow’s Playful Kiss should include the following events.
Written Preview for Episode 14:
Finally, Seung Jo and Ha Ni confirm their mutual feelings for each other. Seung Jo tells the parental units that he and Ha Ni will get married after they graduate from college. The entire house is filled with happiness and warmth. Ha Ni feels like she is living a dream.
Seung Jo and Ha Ni separately go and resolve matters with Hye Ra and Joon Gu, respectively. When Ha Ni sees Joon Gu, she feels like she has wronged him so much. She doesn’t know what to say to him. Seung Jo shows up in front of them.
Seung Jo introduces a new game for the company. Ha Ni checks her grades and is in for quite a surprise….
[Credit: translation from Korean to Chinese @ baidu Playful Kiss bar, translation from Chinese to English done by me]
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. I say absence makes me a cranky and irascible koala. But I won’t hold it against Playful Kiss for taking a short break and returning to my embrace with the first of 7 new episodes (plus 2 BTS specials) broadcast solely on Youtube. All good things come to those who wait, and today we got our first good thing!
These recaps for the Youtube episodes are likely going to be short on the recapping if the trend holds based on this first episode. Not much stuff happens, but because very much cute happens, itll be heavy on the screencapping.
Honestly though, if these little interludes weren’t between our Ha Ni and Seung Jo, I would be checked out of these episodes so fast it’ll set a world record for speediest koala getaway. Because it is our beloved newlyweds, I soak up every frame and every charming moment, smiling the ENTIRE time. My cheeks hurt, but man was it worth it.
Youtube Episode 1 Recap:
A new day dawns and sunlight filters through the bedroom window of a familiar backdrop. We see picture after picture of the happy couple hung on a decorative screen, and all the accoutrements of a newlywed couple strewn about. Its 7:30 a.m., and Ha Ni and Seung Jo are still sleeping. Seung Jo must really love Ha Ni, because he’s allowed the entire room to be decorated like a pink fairy on acid dropped by and exploded the color everywhere.
Ha Ni voiceovers: when she opens her eyes in the morning, she can see a content Seung Jo by her side. Even though they have been married for over a year, she still can’t quite grasp it. Does Seung Jo feel the same way?
Seung Jo awakens and looks at Ha Ni, who greets him with a tender “Good Morning.” He tells her that her gaze is as piercing and hot as the sun. Since it’s a Sunday, they should sleep in a little more. Ha Ni says the entire family is on vacation except for them, so she needs to get up and make breakfast for Seung Jo. No wonder he’s trying to keep her in bed. Bed = more Ha Ni snuggling + no Ha Ni-made food to eat. It’s a win-win situation!
Seung Jo hugs her tighter in his embrace, saying she can spare 5 more minutes. Ha Ni consents, just 5 more minutes. And then a persistent ringing interrupts the mood. It’s dark inside their bedroom, and Seung Jo sits up and turns off the clock. Ha Ni remains inert and dead to the world. We are now in a less pink bedroom, and it’s clear (as if we couldn’t tell) that the earlier scene was all Ha Ni’s happy dream.
Seung Jo is annoyed that Ha Ni set an alarm for so early in the morning. The sun isn’t even up, and he’s the one to be awakened by the alarm set for her. He tells Ha Ni to stop staring at him with that look, and harrumphs back into sleeping position. Ha Ni sits up, likely with a little annoyance that her hubby didn’t appreciate her attempt to start her day early so she can create the perfect day with him. Sweetheart, men just want to SLEEP, that is their idea of a perfect day. Don’t worry, youll understand sooner or later.
Ha Ni, dressed like a mini-Mom (it’s both adorable yet potentially Oedipal from Seung Jo’s point-of-view, I must say), is off to the supermarket to shop for the day’s groceries. She voiceovers: it’s been a long time since she spent a weekend with Seung Jo. She wants to be just like the newlyweds in movies (ROFL, Ha Ni darling, you kill me with your ridiculous concepts of marriage) – eating breakfast together, then cleaning the house, and finally going out to see a movie. She wants to be a good and proper new wife.
As she swans through the market, she is stopped by an attendant who calls her “newlywed wife”, and she’s so giddy that she buys a boatload of vegetables from that lady. Before she leaves, she’s gifted with two apples which are promised to be as sweet as honey.
When Ha Ni returns home lugging the groceries, she sees Seung Jo about to bite into a piece of toast. She quickly intercepts said toast and tells him he cannot eat just that. Breakfast is important, and she’s back to make it for him. He asks her where she went, and what she’s intending to celebrate coming home with all this food.
Ha Ni asks him to not be like that, she’s been anticipating this weekend with just the two of them. He asks her whether she’s fine making breakfast by herself, and not to let him go hungry. She grins and tells him that she’s a new wife, she would never let her hubby go hungry. Seung Jo parrots back “new wife”?, “husband”?, clearly understanding that Ha Ni wants to construct her little fantasy of a weekend day for a newlywed couple.
She pushes him out of the kitchen and upstairs, asking him to clean the room and do the laundry whilst she cooks. Seung Jo bursts her bubble by revealing that he knows she’s trying to emulate what the newlyweds do in the movies.
Ha Ni replies that they ARE newlyweds, and pushes Seung Jo to just go do the cleaning chores. He makes one final push for them to just go out to eat, but Ha Ni cajoles and pouts him up the stairs. Her smile and the accompanying “un un un un” sounds of pleading are so adorable even I would not be able to resist her.
We cut to a cross-montage of Ha Ni setting the table and making breakfast, while Seung Jo makes the bed and cleans the room. When he heads to do the laundry, he pulls his pants out of the washer and discovers that Ha Ni put it in without taking out his keys, wallet, or money. He shakes his head, uttering only the long-accepted understanding that this is typical Oh Ha Ni behavior.
Ha Ni has googled an English breakfast recipe, but it doesn’t take a genius to know that the end result will resemble nothing like the pictures. Even Ha Ni is dejected at the food she made. When Seung Jo comes down, one look is all it takes. He gives a big sigh, and asks her whether this was some unintelligible (to her) English breakfast recipe? He is braver than me, as he sits down and actually takes one bite of the food.
He tells her that everything looks like an unrecognizable disaster, but the veggies are okay. She replies that she cooked it first, but Seung Jo tells her it needs to be soaked for a few hours beforehand before cooking. He looks at his wife and comments that this appears to be the breakfast made by new wife Oh Ha Ni.
He requests some coffee, and Ha Ni tentatively brings it with a niggling worry that it’s also undrinkable. Seung Jo takes a sip and tells her that it’s delicious, which brightens her up considerably, but she still apologizes for the breakfast debacle. She remembers the apples, and gives one to Seung Jo, explaining that the market ahjumma gave them to her.
He takes a bite and confirms that the apples are as delicious as the market ahjumma has promised. He tells her to eat the other one (after she initially thought he was offering her a bite from his apple, heh). Seung Jo says that having some coffee and an apple for breakfast on a weekend is not bad. Ha Ni replies that she’ll do better tomorrow.
Seung Jo tells her that since he already did the household chores, aren’t her next tasks to pick out an outfit for him to wear, to wash the comforter, and to go watch a movie? He tells her they should wash the comforter tonight then. Ha Ni is surprised that Seung Jo knows her grand plans for this weekend!
We cut back to the night before. Ha Ni is on the computer searching for English breakfast recipes. She writes down what she wants to make, and starts talking out loud to herself. She’s planning to make him breakfast after a trip to the market to pick the freshest produce, then they will clean the house together. She wants to be a daughter-in-law that is loved by her family.
She continues on about washing the comforter under the sun, using lots and lots of bubbles, and then hanging it out to dry. Afterwards, they can go watch a movie. But not before she picks out the perfect outfit for Seung Jo, something autumnal. She goes to get it ready for tomorrow. It turns out that Seung Jo was in bed, but not asleep, and heard every word. He smiles his patented Seung-Jo-Is-Secretly-Happy-His-Ha-Ni-Loves-Him-So smile and goes to sleep.
Back to the breakfast table of inedible English breakfast food, Seung Jo tells Ha Ni that he knew everything she wanted to do since she spoke it out loud last night. Isn’t their next move to go watch a movie? And she has to pick out his clothes? Ha Ni jumps up and runs off, telling him to wait a moment. He looks at his darling wifey as she scampers off to pick his clothes, and smiles at her enthusiasm.
They head out to watch the movie, and of course Ha Ni has dressed them in identical couple outfits. As they stroll through their neighborhood, folks turn to stare at their silly couple ways. Seung Jo grumbles, asking what kind of outfit she put him in since everyone is turning around to stare at him. Ha Ni tells him that he looks great.
He suddenly tells her to hold on a minute, and bends down to tie her shoelaces. Ha Ni is utterly in bliss. After Seung Jo finishes and stands up to keep walking, she runs and grabs his arm. She calls him the Korean term for “husband/hubby”, and he responds by asking “what is it, wife”. It was nothing she wanted from him, but something she wanted to give.
Ha Ni gives Seung Jo a quick kiss on the cheeks and runs ahead, giddy as a school girl. She beckons for him to hurry up and catch up, and then she entwines her arm around his again and together they walk off to watch that movie.
The PK Youtube special edition finally arrived, and not a moment too soon. I’d posit that the lag was just the right amount of time to whet everyone’s appetite, but not too long to make people lose interest in this drama and story. We finally get an understanding of what the episodes will be about – all Seung Jo and Ha Ni! I am not complaining here, no sirreee. Happy as a clam.
With such a short length per episode, we get all the good (the adorable little moments between the couple) without the bad (side stories and bad editing). I love how the two major moments in this episode mirrored what happened in the drama itself, but like looking into an alternate universe it has morphed in the most meaningful of ways.
Seung Jo and Ha Ni’s breakfast was just like the night Mom dragged Eun Jo out so that she could leave them alone in the house, and Ha Ni made the ridiculous Hawaiian food for Seung Jo. On that day, he insulted her cooking and then chucked the food away.
Today, he tried to eat something, and was neither saccharine nor indifferent in his response to her. He acknowledged her effort and her heart, but didn’t force himself to pretend the food was good. He remains Seung Jo (no pretending or coddling his Ha Ni), but his love for her shines through in how he allowed her to indulge in her fantasy plans for the day.
The second moment was their walk to the movies, which mirror the walk they took the morning after Ha Ni first moved into the Baek house. Seung Jo’s walk is the same, but his treatment of Ha Ni could not be more different. He still gripes at her for picking out silly couple outfits, but he wears it nonetheless. When he bends down to tie her shoelaces, it’s a million miles apart from when he told her to walk a certain distance from him so people won’t know they are living together.
This is what I love about having these YT episodes – to bridge the gap left by a hurried ending and allow us the satisfaction of watching Seung Jo really treating Ha Ni right. It also allows us to enjoy all the funny interludes between them, because they wouldn’t be Seung Jo and Ha Ni if they didn’t tease, bicker, and annoy each other underneath a canopy of love that stands firm between them.
[Credit: screencaps from Baidu Playful Kiss bar, soompi.com and hyunniespexers.wordpress.com]
When I watched previous incarnations of Itazura na Kiss, I never really felt that Kotoko/Xiang Qin had any distinctive qualities, except for an insane level of obsession with Naoki/Zhi Shu, and a willingness to do anything for/because of him.
Watching Playful Kiss (Mischievous Kiss) episode 10, I finally discovered a deeper understanding of the central relationship in this story. Rather than a pot and lid analogy, what really makes it clear that Seung Jo and Ha Ni are meant for each other is when we see one person as a dreamer and the other as a do-er (i.e. a pragmatist).
Ha Ni can barely tie her shoelaces, but she has a sparkling joie de vivre in the things she loves, a creativity that we’ve seen since the first never-ending unicorn fantasy. Seung Jo can do anything and everything perfectly, but he has no dreams, no impetus to paint his world in anything other than “is”.
Ha Ni’s wishful thinking creates the dreams and goals by which Seung Jo can make come true. Sure, Ha Ni thinks and then acts without ever planning, but that is where Seung Jo creates the reality check for her. And Seung Jo has already conceded that because of Ha Ni, his reality is no longer so drab and predictable.
This is the first ItaKiss couple that feels so complementary of each other, as opposed to the perfect man settling with the imperfect woman because he just fell in love with her, i.e love makes us blind. I can see that Seung Jo is proud of Ha Ni, of any time she succeeds.
I no longer feel guilty that liking the ItaKiss story means that I condone setting feminism back 100 years. Both Ha Ni and Seung Jo are works-in-progress, and the drama is progressing in a cohesive and meaningful way in sculpting their journey into adulthood alongside one another.
Seung Jo is moving out, and Mom reminds him to remember to eat, to take care of himself, etc., which doesn’t seem all that necessary since the person in question is I-Live-By-The-Book Seung Jo. Eun Jo looks increasingly distressed, as does Ha Ni standing further back. Seung Jo says goodbye to Eun Jo, all the while looking at a dejected Ha Ni, clearly with concern that he doesn’t act on. Seung Jo leaves.
After Seung Jo moves out, Ha Ni rarely if ever sees him anymore. She’s like a zombie around her friends. Joon Gu, on the other hand, is in a good mood because he’s still working hard and doing his best in his pursuit of Ha Ni. In Joon Gu’s mind, Seung Jo moving out is like Seung Jo has given up Ha Ni because he cannot compete with Joon Gu’s devotion to her.
Everyone can tell Ha Ni is depressed and listless. Tennis sunbae takes her out to dinner, to the very restaurant where Seung Jo is working as a waiter. Seung Jo is rarely around because the boy has a part-time job. Seung Jo is all professional and strictly taking their dinner order, but Ha Ni can’t help but be affected by his presence.
She starts tearing up after he takes her order and leaves, telling tennis sunbae that it’s been so long since she spoke with Seung Jo. Tennis sunbae doesn’t think she just did that, as it appears Seung Jo took her order and left. Seung Jo brings their food, and tells Ha Ni not to reveal his job to the family. Ha Ni asks if he’s upset to see her, but he says he expected she’d come sooner or later.
She sees a help wanted ad in the restaurant, and immediately wants to apply to work with Seung Jo. When she is applying for the job, she discovers that Hye Ra is also already working there and has filled the wanted position. In terms of stalking Seung Jo goes, Hye Ra pretty much takes second only to Ha Ni, and it’s a pretty darn close second if you ask me.
Hye Ra revels in the change of positions. Now that Seung Jo has moved out, it appears he rarely sees Ha Ni, whereas he sees Hye Ra all the time since they are in the same classes and also work at the same part-time job. Hye Ra says she feels like she’s taking candy from a baby. Oh Hye Ra, you may not be uber-bitchy, but you sure need to throw in a few digs here and there.
Ha Ni wants to save her complimentary iced tea for tomorrow, but is told she can’t do that. Seung Jo warns her again NOT to tell the parents about his situation, which of course Ha Ni immediately fails to do. Both Mom and Eun Jo want to see Seung Jo dressed like a waiter.
Ha Ni brings Mom and Eun Jo (all three are mildly undercover with glasses and caps), and they go back to eat at the restaurant. They witness Seung Jo’s genius brain at work, as he takes a large group’s dinner order once and memorizes the complex order on the spot. Seung Jo spots them immediately and gets annoyed. Hye Ra comes over to say hi to Mom, which alerts Mom to the presence of Ha Ni’s rival so close to Seung Jo.
Mom warns Seung Jo not to be mesmerized by Hye Ra. After Seung Jo goes back to work, Mom reminds Ha Ni that she has to stick to Seung Jo like gum, no matter what Seung Jo says about her being annoying or a bother. Eun Jo, the only sane one in the trio of undercover diners, says that would make Ha Ni no better than a stalker. He ends by saying, in English, “Poor Seung Jo.” Oh Eun Jo, you’ve just redeemed all your previous whiny ways.
Ha Ni goes back to the restaurant, but instead of being served by Seung Jo, her waitress is Hye Ra for the night. Rather than ordering, she tells Hye Ra to just bring her something to eat. Hye Ra shows up with the special of the night, an entire chicken! Mwahahaha, Lee Shi Young, in this scene alone, with the flapping of the hands and the je nais se quoi attitude, you are comic gold. Hye Ra tells Ha Ni to enjoy, and bounces away.
She keeps eating in order to prolong her stay. She waits for Seung Jo to leave work, and she follows him and Hye Ra until she sees them entering into an apartment building together. Ha Ni is crestfallen to discover that Seung Jo and Hye Ra are living together!
She walks home in a daze, making it back to her room only to picture Seung Jo and Hye Ra making out in their apartment. Ha Ni breaks down in tears, utterly heartbroken. She cries all night, which leads her to welcome the morning looking like a wreck. At breakfast, Mom is worried about her, and asks whether she stayed up late studying, to which Eun Jo replies that is not possible. Mom tells Ha Ni to let Seung Jo know if she’s not feeling well, and Eun Jo interjects that if Seung Jo saw the current wraith-like Ha Ni he would faint.
Ha Ni to tell her friends of the latest development, which finally compels her to give up on Seung Jo. She stops going to Seung Jo’s classes and the restaurant. The clueless one actually looks around class and the restaurant, both times wondering why his personal stalker isn’t stalking him suddenly.
Ha Ni tells her friends about her discovery, and they are absolutely devoted to her because they immediately track Seung Jo down to give him a piece of their mind. They tell him to just stop mind-screwing with Ha Ni. Since Seung Jo is living with Hye Ra now, he should have made it clear to Ha Ni first that there can be nothing between them. Her friends want Seung Jo to tell her the truth so that she can move on.
Seung Jo is shocked to hear that Ha Ni thinks he is living with Hye Ra. Afterwards, he smiles in understanding of why Ha Ni is suddenly avoiding him. Ha Ni’s friends, together with darling Joon Gu, have prepared a delicious meal to cheer her up. Ha Ni remains uninterested in being cheered up.
Seung Jo finds Ha Ni at their usual bench. He approaches her first, telling her he doesn’t see her much anymore. Ha Ni tries to leave, and Seung Jo tells her to be more solicitous and keep him company him while he waits for someone. They chat about his life. Seung Jo says that he eat meals at the restaurant or else someone prepares it for him (of course Ha Ni thinks its Hye Ra). He further says that it’s not lonely living by himself since he’s usually with Hye Ra
A young girl comes over, and it turns out she is being tutored by both Seung Jo and Hye Ra. What is she, the dumbest girl in Korea that she needs the double whammy of icy brains? She reveals that her mom cooks food for her tutors Hye Ra and Seung Jo, which is how Seung Jo gets some of his meals and why he spends a lot of time with Hye Ra.
Ha Ni is re-energized by the clarification of the misunderstanding. She makes chocolates for Seung Jo, which leads to the return of her long-dormant daydream tendencies. She fantasizes that Seung Jo will take a look at her chocolates and offer her a glittering diamond ring in response. Well, at least she’s dreaming big, and in concrete terms.
Ha Ni takes a cab to Seung Jo’s restaurant, but the combination of pouring rain and an unexpected cab breakdown leads Ha Ni to arrive soaking wet. Seung Jo actually looks taken aback at this sopping wet girl clinging on to a gift box. Yeah, I would have been totally “it’s raining, oops, I guess this means I’m staying home all warm and cozy and eating my chocolates, next time Seung Jo!”
Hye Ra brings Ha Ni a cup of coffee, and Seung Jo brings her a towel to dry off. Seung Jo tells her she doesn’t look so well and to go home. When Ha Ni gets up she collapses, likely from the stomach pain she’s been experiencing from not eating and drinking coffee on an empty stomach. After Ha Ni awakens in the restaurant office, Seung Jo tries to take her home. They can’t catch a cab in the rain, so Seung Jo takes her back to his place since it’s within walking distance.
Back at his apartment, Seung tells Ha Ni she is the first person to visit his place. He asks whether she’s feeling better, and tells her to stop drinking coffee on an empty stomach. Seung Jo then calls Mom to explain the situation. Rather than coming to pick up Ha Ni, Mom tells Seung Jo it’s raining too hard and she doesn’t feel like coming. She hangs up the phone. LOL, I love you, Mom!
Seung Jo goes to take a shower first (what! Dude, ladies first), and comes out looking all perfectly mussed (lordy, I so want to jump that – oops, did I just say that out loud?). He asks Ha Ni whether she’s going to take a shower, which leads our girl to get all nervous and fidgety. He smirks and asks whether she is nervous, and Ha Ni nervously says no. Heh.
Of course, who else needs to get involved at this moment other than Joon Gu, who finds out Ha Ni’s whereabouts this night when he hears from Ha Ni’s dad that Ha Ni and Seung Jo are spending the night together. Joon Gu frantically rushes off to “save” Ha Ni. Of course, by the time he tracks down Seung Jo’s boss at the restaurant, he’s collapsed from the exertion in the pouring rain.
Ha Ni comes out of the shower and Seung Jo is coolly reading a book in bed. Seung Jo then tells Ha Ni he’s going to bed. Ha Ni says she’ll sleep on the floor, and Seung Jo tells her to grab a coat from his closet if she gets cold. Way to end your chivalrous streak, guy. Ha Ni finally speaks up and says that most guys under these circumstances would offer the girl the bed and sleep on the floor.
Seung Jo doesn’t feel like saying those words to her, and Ha Ni calls him a cold-blooded animal. Clearly her words worked, because Seung Jo ends up sleeping on the floor, giving Ha Ni the bed. Ha Ni then tells Seung Jo that she needs to sleep with the lights on because she’s scared of the dark. After the lights are on, she tells Seung Jo that is must be cold and uncomfortable on the floor, and that maybe she ought to sleep on the floor instead.
Seung Jo gets fed up with her yammering and gets into that darn bed and tells her he’ll sleep on the bed if that’ll get her to stop talking. Not only are they now on the same bed, they are literally pressing against each other because there is only one pillow and they are sharing it.
He asks whether she is feeling nervous, and Ha Ni of course demurs. Seung Jo, being the evil thing he can be, tells Ha Ni that since they are sleeping together tonight, things can happen. Oh, like kissing, and other such stuffs. Seung Jo then bolts upright on the bed, followed by Ha Ni, and they stare at each other.
Contrary to her expectation, Seung Jo tells Ha Ni that nothing will happen. Ha Ni is relieved, but wonders if Seung Jo isn’t interested in women, or she doesn’t have any allure for him. Seung doesn’t just have photographic memory, he also has mind reading skills, because he asks Ha Ni whether she is feeling deficient about herself at the very moment Ha Ni is feeling deficient about her attractiveness.
He states that he won’t let anything happen because he doesn’t want to play into Mom’s hands and allow Mom to hold this over him for the rest of his life. That is the only reason, so Ha Ni should go to sleep now. Ha Ni doesn’t want to fall asleep, for fear this moment of happiness will pass. It’s clear from Seung Jo’s expression that this isn’t a cake walk for him either, this self-control. Ha Ni looks at Seung Jo’s back with a blissful and content expression.
[Bonus: there was no preview for episode 11, but there was a snippet at the end showing Ha Ni practicing hitting a tennis racket in her room at home, yelling out the names of Baek Seung Jo and Yoon Hye Ra. She turns around to see Seung Jo and Eun Jo sitting outside in identical poses watching her. Both brothers clap at her tennis antics, and Seung Jo tells her it’s quite amusing and for her to continue. A totally random scene, but absolutely hilarious.]
I think PK’s failure to connect with the Korean audience has a variety of factors, one of which is that it lacks the overarching dramatic narrative expected of a K-drama. I can safely say that PK is pretty much a J-dorama. For example, each episode of a J-dorama is self-contained, and each episode has its own header. PK totally fits the bill.
Let me create a PK episode title montage:
Episode 1: Where a girl crushes on a boy who thinks she’s dumber than a sack of bricks.
Episode 2: Where living together with your crush has academic and pervert-thwarting benefits.
Episode 3: Where trying hard still can’t overcome losing your mind when your crush smiles at you.
Episode 4: Where a beach vacation and a failed attempt at cooking lead to a heart-pumping moment in bed.
Episode 5: Where a snail gains acceptance, a genius find direction, and boys will always posture in front of a girl.
Episode 6: Where graduating means the end of one crush and the beginning of another one, to the same guy.
Episode 7: Where an ice prince finds that being mean has its consequences.
Episode 8: Where tennis brings everyone together, and a piggyback ride is worth a thousand words.
Episode 9: Where a dip in the lake is the perfect way to end a date, and a hospital turns out to be a romantic setting.
Episode 10: Where a guy can’t do his own thang without being misunderstood, and an inconvenient rain ends with chaste rainbows in bed.
With that said, I can’t fault the K-audience for not loving PK the way I do. I think us international viewers sample more dramas from various countries and have developed a taste for different types of dramas. Perhaps in the wake of the Boys Before Flowers phenomenon, if PK was filmed and released thereafter, it would have likely been better received.
Anyways, back to the story at hand. Episode 10 was a transition episode, paving the way for the next big and final challenge in the pre-marriage lives of Ha Ni and Seung Jo. Those familiar with the story know what I am talking about. It also means that the lack of screen time for Joon Gu in these last two episodes will be rectified shortly. And he’ll break my heart for realz.
And I can’t not discuss the bed scene, right? I mean, c’mon, Seung Jo! Give in to your human boy tendencies and kiss the girl, will ya? Mom is going to make you marry her anyways, you do know that, right? Actually, the entire sequence in Seung Jo’s apartment was lovely in its natural rhythm.
Their conversation was adorably real, and based on totally believable behavior. Their interaction reflected their personalities and their relationship at that moment in time. Frankly, once Ha Ni falls asleep she’ll be out like a log, whereas Seung Jo is not going to be getting a good night sleep regardless of what principles he’s trying to hold on to. Pretending to be all cool and unaffected, pfft, someone needs a cold shower in the morning.
I know I haven’t talk about the acting in PK for a long time now, but that’s because there is nothing further to critique. My initial assessment remain unchanged: Jung So Min is a delight in every scene and a masterful actress for so young an age, Kim Hyun Joong has settled into his character and made it his own, taking huge strides forward from his debut performance and I enjoy watching him onscreen, both Lees (Tae Sung and Shi Young) are excellent character actors that, frankly, deserve leading roles in the near future.
On a very shallow note, as for the fandom preference battle royale between straight-haired vs curly-haired Seung Jo, I’ve made my choice. My choice is wet curly-haired Seung Jo! The Seung Jo that came out of the lake, and the Seung Jo that came out of the shower. Meowr, me wants that!
Finally, I have to take Seung Jo’s side on this episode, in the sense that he was not being purposely cruel, mean, or ignoring Ha Ni the way he did in episode 7. The behavior of Seung Jo in this episode is actually a natural development from episode 9, where he told Ha Ni he didn’t dislike her, and wanted to solve her as a problem.
To Seung Jo, he’s made his feelings clear to Ha Ni, and now he’s off doing his own thing – working, studying, taking steps in shaping his own future. Yes, he could be more sensitive to Ha Ni’s feeling, and explain things to her like you would to a two year old, rather than allow Ha Ni to constantly jump to the wrong conclusions first. But then, that wouldn’t be our Seung Jo, the man with the high I.Q. and the low E.Q. Also, Seung Jo likes to torment Ha Ni like a boy torments the girl he likes, its a thing he cant help doing. Too bad Ha Ni keeps falling for it.
The drama in PK is really in the passing of time and events that bring Ha Ni and Seung Jo closer together emotionally, and the small misunderstandings that stem from their personalities being so starkly different. Too bad it couldn’t be more one of us must die for the other one to live.
(Add on: todays episode hit 7.5%, the highest rated episode for PK since it started its run).
[Credit for screen caps goes to soompi.com PK forum and hyunniespexers.wordpress.com]
For those of you who didn’t know this, the manga source material for Playful Kiss (Mischievous Kiss) is based on the manga writer’s real life love story with her husband. The story has a bittersweet ending, because while manga writer did indeed marry her Naoki, she also died very young, of a sudden illness, leaving behind a husband and young child. Itazura na Kiss the manga remains unfinished to this day because of her sudden passing.
I enjoyed their love story very much when I first watched the TW-drama version. But after reading about her real life story, I wholeheartedly love the story with a passion of a thousand burning suns. Because the story is so very raw and real – how two totally dissimilar people learn to love each other, and that together they complete what is missing about themselves.
Seung Jo is a perfect specimen of a man, I’d contend NOT actually. He’s all brain, no soul. A man who doesn’t even know he has a heart, much less how to use it. If we knew a Seung Jo in our lives, we’d call him an “asshole” despite his handsome looks and exceptional I.Q.
Ha Ni fills the void in his empty accomplishments, makes him human, makes him vulnerable, makes him socialize with the world around him. They are the epitome of the “you complete me” adage. And Ha Ni makes him realize the value in needing to work hard, even if things come easy for some of us.
Ha Ni shows her friends Seung Jo’s house, where she and her dad now live. The friends marvel at the grand lodgings, and run up to the gate to point and gape. Ha Ni wants them to leave quickly, but Mom comes out to get Ha Ni, and invites the friends into the house. She prepares dessert for them all and they proceed to have a girly bonding session.
Seung Jo comes home to find the girly session and is furious at Ha Ni for intruding into his and his family’s life. Joon Gu teleconferences his uncle to get some advice about his love woes pursuing Ha Ni. Seung Jo continues to insult and yell at Ha Ni for causing his trouble at school. Ha Ni cries in the bathroom because she didn’t do anything on purpose to Seung Jo.
Seung Jo overhears Ha Ni on the phone, and finds out the truth that she didn’t released the picture. Both of them sit in their respective rooms and look out the window, as the camera frames them in the same lens. The next day, the family decides to take an overnight beach vacation, and Seung Jo gets dragged along. Also, Ha Ni’s girl friends and the bitchy girl who likes Seung Jo tag along.
Joon Gu finds out when the teacher eagerly tells the class that Ha Ni is absent because she is on an overnight trip with the Baek family, including Seung Jo. Joon Gu freaks out in his usual dramatic way (let me just say that I absolutely adore Joon Gu), and runs off to protect his beloved Ha Ni from the clutches of Seung Jo after borrowing his uncle’s scooter.
During the RV ride to the beach, bitchy girl tries to mack on Seung Jo as well as diss Ha Ni. At the beach, the girls all change into their swim suits. Seung Jo hands Ha Ni some rolled up socks, who totally gets that the socks are a taunt by Seung Jo for her having stuffed socks into her bra earlier in the week (which was in response to Seung Jo teasing her about her flat chest when he was piggybacking her).
She goes to confront him and falls down flat on her face in front of him. When Seung Jo asks her if she’s alright, she screams at him and then chases him around the campground. Are they not the cutest bickering couple? Yes they are! (And you can totally see how Seung Jo seems to enjoy getting chased by Ha Ni).
Joon Gu’s scooter breaks down, and he stupidly ignites his lighter to check out the problem. Predictably for clumsy Joon Gu, his lighter falls into the gas tank and his scooter blows up. Mom calls the kids in to eat watermelon, and Eun Jo takes the moment to taunt Ha Ni. As Ha Ni chases Eun Jo, he runs into the water and starts to drown. Since no one can see Ha Ni waving for help, she runs in after Eun Jo. Finally, Seung Jo sees them both drowning and runs out to save them, which annoys him greatly.
That night, everyone is happy Ha Ni and Eun Jo are alright, and Seung Jo comes by to offer Ha Ni some hot beverage to warm her up. Ha Ni’s dad thanks Seung Jo for saving his daughter’s life. Seung Jo sits down to rail at Ha Ni for stupidly jumping into the water (seriously, every time he doesn’t just ignore her, I’m simply laughing at how oblivious he is to the fact that he seeks her out time and again). Suddenly, a scream tears through the campground, everyone freaks out at seeing a charred and staggering man walk into their midst. It’s post-scooter explosion Joon Gu!
Later, as Seung Jo plays the guitar, Joon Gu sits by his side and tells him that he came all this way for Ha Ni. Seung Jo marvels that Joon Gu will do anything for Ha Ni, and Joon Gu happily agrees. Joon Gu says that he and Ha Ni are the same types of people and are meant to be together, whereas Seung Jo and Ha Ni are from different worlds and clearly not suited. Seung Jo agrees, and Ha Ni sadly overhears this entire conversation.
Back to school, Ha Ni’s friends are dejected at how low they continue to score on tests. As the girls study in Ha Ni’s room that night, they see that Ha Ni’s book is filled with scribbles about Seung Jo, hearts, and doodles of his face. The girls want Ha Ni to get Seung Jo to help them, but Seung Jo initially flat out refuses. He reluctantly gives in and helps her out with one problem. But then all night long Ha Ni continues to bother Seung Jo with one problem after another needing his assistance.
The next day, the entire Class 3-7 shows up in Seung Jo’s house asking him to tutor them, calling him “teacher.” He agrees, but is quite exasperated by Ha Ni and her classmates. That night, Mom fairly drags Eun Jo out (they go eat at Ha Ni’s dad’s sushi restaurant), and tells Ha Ni and Seung Jo they have to make dinner themselves. Ha Ni makes some inedible food (but her meat patty is in the shape of a heart!), and smokes up the kitchen in her attempt. Seung Jo ends up making dinner for them both.
Later in the evening, Ha Ni can’t find her school book that has all her scribbles about Seung Jo in it, and she realizes she left it in Seung Jo’s room. She sneaks inside to get it after Seung Jo is asleep. Of course the almighty Seung Jo is NOT asleep and catches her in the act, calling her a thief. He pulls her down into his bed and he looms over her, teasing and taunting her about whether this is why she came into his room. Then he leans in, and Ha Ni scrunches her eyes closed.
I continue to love Ha Ni so much, which is surprising since I really disliked Xiang Qin in ISWAK (Oh, I love Ariel Lins performance as Xiang Qin, but didnt like her character). But my love for Seung Jo is not surprising at all since I adored Zhi Shu to pieces in ISWAK. What is happening, though, is that quickly my love for Seung Jo is racheting up the charts that it has a high chance of surpassing my eternal adoration of Zhi Shu. Now that I want to see happen.
I continue to love the pace and execution of PK. It’s a series of interactions that string together to form a journey, from point A (strangers) to point Z (OTP). If you are not as invested in the source material as I am, perhaps it might seem plodding or unoriginal. I find myself grinning wildly and laughing out loud when I watch each new episode of PK, even though I know what I am going to see and what will be forthcoming.
I pretty much adore all the major secondary characters, especially everyone’s favorite Mom and Joon Gu, the most steady-hearted bumbling lovesick swain in the history of K-drama. The k-version of Mom is perfection, gorgeous, girly, and caring to the max. And Joon Gu might be a Busan-male-version of Ha Ni, but he is endearing and sincere in everything he says and does. He’s like a giant walking id.
I think the next two episodes will wrap up their high school years and we’re off to college where all sorts of shenanigans will arise. But not before we get the first KISS of the many many kisses in this story. It’s not called It Started With A Kiss for nothing .
In fact, a considerate soul counted all the kisses in the TW version of the original ISWAK and its sequel TKA (They Kiss Again), and counted a whopping 43 kisses! To be sure, most of the kisses are from TKA, after they get married. But my favorite kiss in both dramas happens at the end of ISWAK, and I have faith PK can deliver something as heart-palpitating.
[credit: the few pictures here are culled from various news articles].
I found episode 11 of Playful Kiss (Mischievous Kiss) to be yet another good episode. Riding on the wave where episode 10 left off, it pulls the viewers back into the ebbs and flows of Ha Ni and Seung Jo’s indefinable relationship. This episode had interesting plot developments, some laugh out loud moments, and the arrival of kiss #2.
It’s funny how most viewers tend to mark the development of the lead couple in a drama by the amount of kissing that has taken place. I find the kissing in PK rather like inert milestones. What touches me more are the little interactions between Ha Ni and Seung Jo.
It’s becoming clearer and clearer to anyone with half a brain and functional corneas that Seung Jo likes Ha Ni. I don’t mean he notices her, or pays attention to her, or even tolerates her. No, it’s becoming clear that he has very concrete feelings for her, but he’s not ready to consider what that means or what he’s going to do about it.
Unlike Ha Ni, (1) Seung Jo doesn’t live or die by the person he loves, and (2) he is actively thinking about how to map out the rest of his life. As such, Seung Jo continues to do his own thing in this episode, popping up here and there to tease Ha Ni or to stake his claim.
We rejoin the tableau in the apartment. Ha Ni and Seung Jo are in bed, and it’s still the middle of the night. Ha Ni is not the most pleasant of bed mates – what with her flinging her arms on Seung Jo, hogging all the covers, tossing her leg over him, and throwing her entire body on Seung Jo. She eventually falls off the bed, covers included.
Seung Jo tries valiantly to sleep, and to counter all of Ha Ni’s unconscious night time attacks of discomfort. But he is no match for content and sleeping Ha Ni. Chivalry points to him for NOT kicking Ha Ni off the bed. An additional bonus point for carting her back on the bed when she fell off, since there is no way in hell she woke up and crawled back into bed by herself. Seung Jo sits up with a disgruntled “everything, she really does do everything” with respect to Ha Ni’s non-sexual bed Olympics.
Throughout this ordeal, Ha Ni slumbers blissfully. When she awakens the next morning, she immediately remembers where she is (at Seung Jo’s apartment), what she’s on (Seung Jo’s bed) and who she’s with (Seung Jo!). As her fingers creep across the sheets to feel for her bedmate, with the cutest little “Seung Jo-ya” chirp in her mind, she encounters empty space.
Seung Jo is awake and out of bed, reading a newspaper on the couch. He does not look well-rested in the least. She asks whether he slept well, and he tells her that he was defeated by her terrible sleeping habits. Ha Ni demurs, saying that she sleeps very ladylike. Seung Jo replies that she’s gotta be kidding.
They have breakfast, of course prepared by Seung Jo, and settle into a routine I foresee for this couple for the next fifty years – Seung Jo reads a newspaper and eats, oblivious to Ha Ni, who eats and stares at him in contentment. After breakfast, Ha Ni picks out a shirt for Seung Jo, who shoots down her selection of a red and white checked shirt and grabs his preference. Ha Ni immediately turns towards Seung Jo as he prepares to change, and he has to remind her that she’s staring. She turns around and misses his little grin. You sly monkey, would it kill you to let me the girl get one good look!
As they prepare to leave their little non-love nest, Ha Ni turns Seung Jo’s shoes around, and almost made me want to slap her upside the head. Yo, girlfriend, you can stalk the guy and stare love daggers at him all you want. But you DO NOT act like his personal slave/valet/housemaid. You hear me? Have an iota of pride, will you? (Plus, I really hate the shoe turning gesture, reminds of……sobs, Dae Gil-ahhhh).
At least Seung Jo notices and stares a tad incredulously at Ha Ni for turning his shoes around. She thinks his stare means she turned the wrong shoes around so she grabs another pair for him. He tells her that she’s treating this like her own home, isn’t she?
They leave and go to school together, leading Ha Ni to feel like she’s living together with Seung Jo. When they arrive at school, both of them find they are once again the center of all attention. A sign has been posted, replete with cute facsimiles of Seung Jo and Ha Ni snuggling, announcing that they spent a blissful night together.
The crowd reading the sign is atwitter, especially upon seeing Ha Ni and Seung Jo walk into their midst. Need anyone even ask whose handiwork this sign was? Mom has donned a disguise and is hiding in the crowd, fanning the flames of the rumor. She shouts out for Seung Jo to tell everyone all the details. If Seung Jo didn’t want to play into his Mom’s hands, he sorely underestimated Mom. So. Awesome.
Seung Jo’s eagle eye spots the perpetrator, and drags his Mom off in a huff, lecturing her to stop with this nonsense. He leaves with a trail of annoyance in his wake, but Mom is not to be deterred. She excitedly asks Ha Ni for the low down on what happened. When told by Ha Ni that nothing happened that is worth reporting, Mom is sorely disappointed at her son for not jumping Ha Ni’s bones under such ideal circumstances. Mom’s exact words are “what kind of man is he?” If Mom keeps this up she’ll be a grandmother in 10 months.
Mom further asks Ha Ni about the chocolates, which reminds Ha Ni that she has no clue where the darn chocolates are. Joon Gu goes to see Ha Ni’s beauty salon friend and leaves disappointed, still unable to find out the whereabouts of his Ha Ni. Back in the smarty class, all of Seung Jo’s classmates are gossiping about him as he remains impervious to their stares. Hye Ra meets up with Seung Jo in class, and her spirits are revived upon hearing from Seung Jo that nothing happened.
Joon Gu is still feeling down about not finding Ha Ni last time. He feels further dejected when he finds Ha Ni’s friend and she says that clearly Ha Ni and Seung Jo have progressed from first kiss to first night together. Joon Gu walks away demoralized. Ha Ni is studying for the upcoming exams, and clearly it’s too much for her little brain to handle. She decides to focus all her studying on the English test, since that is her only class with Seung Jo. If she can’t pass that exam, then she’s hopeless.
Joon Gu is waiting by the tennis club, and tennis sunbae comes by. When asked why he seems so glum, Joon Gu says that he is considering letting go of his pursuit of love, because it feels like his heart is being ripped to pieces. Tennis sunbae, from one ardent admirer to another, tells him he cannot give up. Joon Gu bemoans that he has loved her for years and they haven’t even gone out on a date yet. Tennis sunbae teaches Joon Gu the method Ha Ni taught him (as originated from Seung Jo) on how to express his feelings to a girl. That kiss against the wall method sure is getting a lot of use.
At home, Ha Ni studies as diligently as she can. Seung Jo finds her box of chocolates, and smiles upon reading the note and seeing the contents of the box. He takes a bit of a thing that resembles a chocolate and immediately spits it out. It is clearly an inedible disaster. He stares at it and smiles again.
Ha Ni tiredly walks into class. Seung Jo asks her why she doesn’t look so well, and Ha Ni dejectedly notes that both Hye Ra and Seung Jo still look quite hale and hearty even during exam period. Hye Ra does her nice bitch routine, and saying that exams are to test one’s normal learning ability and to cram for an exam is no indicator of achievement.
Hye Ra throws in an additional dig that this English exam is rumored to be extraordinarily hard. Ha Ni should just retake the course. She can be classmates with the high school student Seung Jo and Hye Ra are tutoring, who plans to attend Parang University next year. During the exam, Ha Ni stares at Seung Jo, marveling at how cute he looks solving exam problems and giddy over the opportunity to take the same exam as Seung Jo.
Ha Ni imagines Seung Jo handing her his completed exam, to bail her out of her sticky situation. Too bad it’s just another of her daydreams, and Seung Jo and Hye Ra both finish and walk out with record time to spare. After the exam, Joon Gu is waiting for Ha Ni, and asks to speak to her. He tells her that he almost gave up on his love for her, but it’s too difficult for him. In the middle of this ardent speech, Ha Ni falls asleep from all her efforts to study for the exam catching up to her.
Oblivious to a sleeping Ha Ni, Joon Gu tells her that he doesn’t care about what happened that night between her and Seung Jo, he wants to continue to love her. At that moment, Ha Ni’s friends show up to clear the air, letting Joon Gu know that nothing happened between those two. Joon Gu is ecstatic, remarking that Baek Seung Jo is indeed a gentleman. He is so excited he carries Ha Ni out of there.
Ha Ni is picking up loose balls at tennis practice when a tall handsome guy blocks her path. The first thing this guy says to her is “Oh Ha Ni, will you go out with me?” He’s also an older student at Parang and a friend of tennis sunbae’s. His name is Kim Ki Tae, and he tells Ha Ni that he will be attending school with her next semester. Tennis sunbae tells Ki Tae not to joke around, that Ha Ni already belongs to someone else.
Ki Tae admits that he’s probably being too forward with Ha Ni, and asks her out on a weekend date so that she can get to know him better. Ki Tae leaves, but gives her one lingering look. This boy is cuuuuute. Between Joon Gu with his heart wider than the ocean, and Ki Tae with his pretty boy features and direct approach, Seung Jo has got major competition. Tennis sunbae tells Ha Ni that when he and Ki Tae started school together, all the female sunbaes were gaga over them – Ki Tae because of his good looks, tennis sunbae because of his charisma. Heh.
Her friends tell her to go for it, since this is the first time in Ha Ni’s life where a man is pursuing him instead of the other way around. [What?!? Yet again, poor Joon Gu is forgotten.] They promptly tell Seung Jo about this latest development, and Seung Jo replies that it doesn’t worry him and he could care less. Ha Ni tells the family, and Mom is worried that her worst nightmare has come true – another man has swooped in to snatch away the adorable prize that is her Ha Ni.
She laments Seung Jo’s lack of effort. When hearing that the interloper is a male sunbae, she decrees that male sunbaes are the most dangerous things on earth. Ha Ni’s dad worries that his daughter has become a consummate flirt, smiling at all the guys around her to lure them. Ha Ni shoots down that suggestion, but Mom is already on defcon 1 status.
Ki Tae finds Ha Ni at school and immediately gets right up next to her. The boy clearly has no fear of crossing any invisible boundaries. He tells Ha Ni he wants to make sure she doesn’t forget his face. When asked why he likes her, Ki Tae tells Ha Ni that he paid attention to Seung Jo because here was this junior guy who is better than him at everything, so he was curious and a tad upset.
By paying attention to Seung Jo, he noticed that Ha Ni followed him everywhere. Pretty soon, Ki Tae was paying more attention to Ha Ni than to Seung Jo. He especially was moved by how Ha Ni constantly gets rejected or dismissed, but she never lets that stop her. He tells Ha Ni that she shouldn’t waste her youth on Seung Jo, and should just date Ki Tae now and enjoy life together. Hye Ra sees Ki Tae with his arm around Ha Ni and excitedly assumes they are dating, and that Ha Ni has given up on Seung Jo.
Mom goes on her own stalking outing, taking pictures and making notes about Ki Tae. She rates him an 85 points on looks, finds he has an outgoing personality, and with a major in law is likely to become a lawyer or politician. Ha Ni reassures Mom that she has only eyes for Seung Jo, and that she will go reject Ki Tae sunbae promptly. Mom then tells Ha Ni not to reject the suitor, and use this opportunity to make Seung Jo jealous.
At tennis practice, Hye Ra tells Ha Ni that she should go for it with Ki Tae, who is handsome and smart, with an added barb that he must have a unique taste to like someone like Ha Ni. Seung Jo remarks that a piece of trash thrown away by one person is another person’s treasure. Ouch, Seung Jo, you really are a piece of work sometimes. Ha Ni tells Seung Jo that she is actually quite popular.
In Seung Jo’s estimate, she’s dumb and got a silly personality. Ha Ni retorts that the guy who likes her is as smart and good looking as Seung Jo. Plus, he’s got something Seung Jo doesn’t have, a genuine heart and treats a woman right. Ki Tae overhears this compliment, and he tells Seung Jo to just give him Ha Ni. Seung Jo realizes the guy who likes Ha Ni is Ki Tae (whom he played tennis against during high school), and tells Ki Tae that he is welcome to Ha Ni since she doesn’t belong to him.
Ha Ni agrees to go on a date with Ki Tae, who calls her princess and tells her he’ll take her anywhere she wants to go. Seung Jo walks away without a backward glance, and Ha Ni resolves to go ahead and “cheat” on Seung Jo, consequences be damned.
They got to the restaurant where Seung Jo is working for their date. Ha Ni shows up first and Seung Jo comes over to take her order. He assumes she is there for her usual stalking session, but she tells him she has made other plans. Ki Tae comes running over, and Seung Jo appears slightly taken aback that Ha Ni is really here on a bona fide date.
Ha Ni remembers her date with Seung Jo, the running from thugs, the boat ride. Ki Tae promises to take her more places in the future. Ki Tae puts his arm around Ha Ni and asks her what she wants to do for their date. Ha Ni attempts to move away until she sees Seung Jo coming, at which point she scoots nearer and allows Ki Tae to keep his arms around her. Seung Jo comes over and looks none too happy.
Ki Tae takes Ha Ni to the park, and he is solicitous of her. He moves her out of the way of oncoming bikes, and puts down his handkerchief before she sits. They ride a tandem bike and hang out at the park. You know who this boy reminds me of: a cross-hybrid of Seung Jo’s perfect specimen exterior and smarts, combined with Joon Gu’s attention and affection for Ha Ni. It’s like the best of both worlds.
Ki Tae asks how long Ha Ni has liked Seung Jo. When he’s told that it’s been four years, his answer is beyond sincere and sensible. He tells Ha Ni that he’s prepared to do the long haul as well. He doesn’t expect that his presence will change things in Ha Ni’s heart anytime soon. As long as Ha Ni thinks of him on occasion and hangs out with him, that’s all he wants for now. Ha Ni acknowledges how different Ki Tae’s personality is from Seung Jo, and is resigned to the fact that Seung Jo isn’t going to show up her date.
Ha Ni is in the library, peering through the stacks at a studying Seung Jo. Ki Tae comes over and tells her to stop thinking about Seung Jo. He leans down to kiss her, when Joon Gu comes barreling into the mix. The boys get into a fight, and Seung Jo comes over to inquire as to what the fuss is all about. He tells them that they may be fighting over Ha Ni, but that is all pointless since Ha Ni likes ONLY him. He then grabs her shoulders and hugs her tight, announcing that Mom told them both to go home for dinner tonight. Ha Ni just experienced three men fighting over her, quite a feat to pull off.
As they are walking home, Ha Ni tells Seung Jo that he has such an ego, saying things like “Ha Ni likes only me.” She wonders whether he ever considered that her feelings for him may change. The thought has never crossed Seung Jo’s mind. Ha Ni wonders whether he wasn’t just a teeny bit jealous back there, but Seung Jo deflates her balloon by saying he’s seen through the jealousy trap set by Mom and Ha Ni. He’s not falling for it.
The family has dinner together that night, and it feels just like old times. Everyone notices that Seung Jo’s dad is not looking so well, and is told he’s just been busier than usual at work. Seung Jo’s dad asks him to consider his future, and tells Seung Jo that he would really like to pass the family business on to him. Seung Jo declines, and leaves. In the subsequent days, Seung Jo doesn’t show up at tennis practice and quits his job at the restaurant.
It turns out Seung Jo is working at an outdoor retreat type of resort, and tennis sunbae also works there. Of course, he might has well be a broadcast network, as Seung Jo remarks, because he tells Ha Ni and Hye Ra, who both show up. Ha Ni brings Eun Jo but the parents stay behind because of work. Tennis sunbae decides to use this opportunity to confess his feelings to Hye Ra. Good luck with that dude, hope you brought your tennis racket along.
Tennis sunbae sets up a couples competition between the resort guests. Each team has to go to seven spots designated on a map, and get a stamp from each location. The first time to get all seven stamps and returns wins. Seung Jo doesn’t show up, and tennis sunbae uses a convoluted method to select the partners which pairs him with Hye Ra and Ha Ni with Eun Jo. Joon Gu is stumbling through the woods on his way to the resort.
Tennis sunbae and Hye Ra stumble around, as he pretends to not know where to find the stamps, and then promptly injures himself. Hye Ra remarks that it’s impossible for her to like a guy like that. Ha Ni tries to get Eun Jo to cheer up and enjoy the game, but Eun Jo remains a too-cool-for-this-game. She falls down a small gulch and loses her knit cap. When Joon Gu sees the cap, tries to get to and tumbles into a ditch himself.
Hye Ra helps tennis sunbae back to the resort, and finds Seung Jo tidying the grounds. It’s clear the surrounding area is quite treacherous, which leads Seung Jo to worry about where Ha Ni and Eun Jo are. Ha Ni and Eun Jo are, no big surprise here, lost and waiting for help. Eun Jo has come prepared with a blanket and drapes it over Ha Ni, leading her to remark on how mature he is. Just like spending time with a mini-Seung Jo.
Eun Jo suggests they try to find their way back to a spot on the map and follow the designated routes back to the resort. Ha Ni wants to wait for Seung Jo to come rescue her, and Eun Jo dispels her of that notion. Seung Jo doesn’t even know where they are.
Seung Jo does come looking for them, but he finds a stranded Joon Gu and pulls him to safety. Seung Jo tells Joon Gu that Ha Ni is already safely back at the resort. Seung Jo assists Joon Gu back to the resort, and is told not to let anyone see this humbled and injured version of Joon Gu, tough guy extraordinaire. Joon Gu tells Seung Jo that he owes him one for saving him.
Ha Ni walks through the camp grounds the next morning. She sits down and Seung Jo comes over. He asks her why she doesn’t know how he feels if she professes to like him so much. Then Seung Jo leans down to kiss her. The kiss cuts away to Ha Ni seemingly waking up from nodding off. She laughs at herself for thinking it was real, but she touches her lips and wonders why the feeling is still there. The camera pans over, to a shocked and affected Eun Jo, hidden behind a tree.
For such a fluffy drama, PK is getting increasingly convoluted and the feelings are growing more tangled. Ha Ni alone now has two admirers plus a reluctant beau. It’s really too bad we can’t clone Ha Ni, because the number of awesome guy characters just increased by one, and I would now like to clone a Ha Ni for Joon Gu and a Ha Ni for Ki Tae.
Girlfriend has got some serious eye candy loving her! I love how this episode does ignite Seung Jo’s jealousy again. Sadly it was all stuff we’ve seen before. Seung Jo shows a moment of jealousy, and then it passes because he knows Ha Ni still likes only him and the other guy is not a threat.
The time is coming when Seung Jo has to make a stand, to decide between keeping Ha Ni for himself or letting her go. That is the emotional heavyweight moment I am looking forward to. For now, I content myself with enjoying the continued cuteness of this drama.
Hye Ra is really one of the most enjoyable second female leads I’ve seen in a long long time. She is zero threat to Ha Ni, and it’s like even she knows it. She never does anything to sabotage her, merely throwing out verbal jabs here and there. She also doesn’t cling to Seung Jo anymore than Ha Ni does. I am enjoying Lee Shi Young’s performance immensely, she’s a wickedly great comedic actress, and a treat to watch torment our Ha Ni with her little cat claws that barely graze the surface.
While I enjoy every minute of PK, I do feel my impatience creeping in. I want Seung Jo to finally confront his feelings. I want Ha Ni to finally tell Joon Gu it cannot be so that he may move on. I want more from PK than it is giving me at this point. But that is just my sensibility calling out for more emotional drama that doesn’t fit the essence of the story. To be fair, PK does deliver in each episode, making us smile, laugh, and rail at the screen. And it never fails to leave with me with a warm sweetness in my heart.
The title of episode 11 should be: When a snail is coveted and a genius finds that he has serious competition.
It may be my imagination, but I feel like the pace of this episode was a little off, and the cuts between scenes especially abrupt and jarring. In addition, there was a palpable lethargy in the air, which I think can be attributed to the cast being tired with the around-the-clock live shooting schedule. Both Jung So Min and Kim Hyun Joong appeared especially worn down. Both were lacking their usual spark and crispness in the performance.
All in all, this always happens when a live shoot drama hits the tail end of its filming. I am really looking forward to the next few episodes though, because Ha Ni and Seung Jo’s ephemeral relationship really starts to weigh on both their emotional states, and create the mental and emotional exhaustion that these two actors can definitely pull off. Plus, more angst equals more squee-worthy moments for all of us.
And finally, the ratings are out. Today’s episode garnered a 5.6%.
[Credit: screencaps from soompi.com, official MBC stills, and various online news outlets]