So… I am not sure what to think about this show right now because I feel like it's taken a weird shift from being a super cynical teen show about class and power to being THE IMPOSSIBLE AND UNIRONICALLY MELODRAMATIC LOVE STORY OF CHA EUN SANG AND KIM TAN and as we all know that is literally my least favourite thing about this show, ASK ME HOW.
… In fact, I will tell you how. I genuinely could not anti-ship this harder if I tried. Like, how do I begin to count the ways in which Tan is a controlling af asswipe who does nothing for Eun Sang? In this episode alone he repeatedly dragged her around like a rag doll, invaded and destroyed her personal belongings, ordered Young Do to babysit her as though she wasn't right there
, lectured her about following his wishes, and threatened violence if she didn't comply. And one of the instances of manhandling comprised of him pulling her into a dark closet
in order to initiate a kiss that she literally wouldn't be able to refuse.
Speaking of which, were we actually supposed to find that sexy?
THE MIND, IT BOGGLES.
Even if you disregard the part where Lee Min Ho and Park Shin Hye have negative sexual chemistry. it is really intensely uncomfortable to me that there have been several Eun Sang/Tan kissing scenes now and zero of them have been initiated by Eun Sang. Never mind the fact that she has not been A PARTICIPANT in most.
But of all the things that bother me about this ship, arguably the most worthy of rage is the fact that Eun Sang's story now revolves completely around Kim Tan
. And not in the way that Tan's life revolves around Eun Sang because she is ~all he has, &c. &c. Tan
still gets to have a storyline about his angsty family relations and illegitimacy inferiority, blah blah blah nocurr. Whereas everything about Eun Sang's character that is not directly about Tan, e.g. her goal to get through school and get better opportunities, her relationship with her mother, her other friendships, etc. have all been relegated to the background in favour of the OTP of DOOM.
And now we have hit the part of the drama where melodramatic obstacles have been contrived to tragically separate the star-crossed lovers. Ergo, I've been forced to conclude that this has been meant to be a straight romance all along. Although again, THE MIND, IT BOGGLES, supposedly all of Tan's shitty behaviour has just been a part of THEY DON'T WRITE SONGS ABOUT THE ONES THAT COME EASY and the show has no plans to address how problematic this relationship is. At best, the separation might force both of them to grow up and then maybe reunite in a less fucked up fashion but at this point IDGAF. It is seriously such a shame that the single WORST thing about this show is its central storyline.
Okay, enough about the NOtp.
MOVING ON TO BETTER THINGS:
Myung Soo and Young Do remain the most functional relationship on this show. I have nothing further to say on this matter.
SPEAKING OF BFFS.
God is real tbh. I have been anticipating this surprise friendship since like episode 5 and the show has not let me down. YOU GUYS. HE ORDERED LIKE 200 POUNDS OF SOY MILK WITH WHICH TO VANDALISE THEIR PEERS' LOCKERS AS REVENGE FOR THEM HARASSING HER. THEIR BROMANCE WILL GO ON.
I'm glad too that Tan and Young Do are bros again because my heart is soft in this way. And because it leads to hilar sequences such as Kim Woo Bin acting as Young Do pretending to be Tan pretending to be Young Do in a plot to break Tan out of house arrest. Ah, this show.
On the topic of this show giving me everything I want.
MY ENTIRE LIFE I HAVE WAITED FOR THIS MOMENT. (LIZZIE, WHERE ARE YOU.)
Obviously I ship Rachel/happiness, so even though I will always have a soft spot for Rachel/Young Do for reasons of sex, I am rooting for a Hyo Shin/Rachel endgame at the end of the day. Also, they hit all my kinks super hard. Initiating a first kiss as part of a plot to make other people jealous?? "I HAVE NO FEELINGS TOWARDS YOU"/"I HAVE NO FEELINGS TOWARDS YOU EITHER"??? Show, you know where I am most weak.
Ahem. Speaking of my weaknesses. This [source]
was a motherfucking beautiful scene. Like, you don't understand. After seeing the episode I'd be walking around doing random things, and then I'd suddenly remember this scene, and I'd hunch over and grab my stomach and let out weird moans of anguished ecstasy and my cat would look highly alarmed, THAT IS HOW GOOD THIS SCENE WAS.
I may or may not have let out a particularly embarrassing punched-in-gut sound at "I'm just someone passing by" because goddamn if that doesn't get at the core of life and the world tbh.
... Existential brooding notwithstanding, this scene also encapsulated why this ship has worked so well for me from day one in that it is basically the perfect anti-romance narrative?? imo they've done something that's pretty subversive in light of the Boys Over Flowers
model of romance that is apparently the kdrama ideal, i.e. Mean Boy who reinvents himself with redemption fantasy woman (… which, ironically, also describes Eun Sang/Tan). Because Young Do is not allowed to get what he wants
More than that, the show actually straight up said it is his own fault, which is kind of incredible next to the popularity of "romantic heroes" like Gu Jun Pyo, etc. They straight up said that bad treatment =/= romance. (Don't ask me then why it insists on pushing Tan as a romantic hero.) Young Do literally asking for a do-over and being denied it
was meta in the best way imaginable. There are no do-overs, actions have consequences, and he is a fuck up who has blocked his own shot and his heart is breaking outside a damn convenience store and I just want to smash through a window because IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL
... So, even though there is a thirsty part of me that is secretly hoping that Eun Sang getting all flustered while touching Young Do on his motorcycle means they will fit in some time in the last few eps to ferociously bang (because HOW COULD YOU WASTE THAT CHEMISTRY)… it also just seems right to me that it really was just never going to happen, and that was the point.
ALSO, KIM WOOBIN IS THE BIGGEST DICK THAT EVER DICKED. I HAVE BEEN EXPERIENCING AN EMOTIONAL STOMACHACHE SINCE YESTERDAY BECAUSE OF HIS FACE??? WHAT THE FUCK.
Btw, I've decided that this song
that's always playing during Eun Sang/Young Do scenes is the only tolerable one on this OST. It's called "Growing Pains", which is both DEPRESSING AND PERFECT.
/rolling in the deep
Other things that are gr8:
- Eun Sang's mother/Tan's mother is the true OTP.
- There has been tragically little Bonsang in recent times but nonetheless they also remain the true OTP.
- Bo Na/Chan Young are the most shippable established ship in existence. I'm constantly in shock about how much I enjoy them considering the pulsing mass of hate and rage that lies in place of my heart tbh.
- lol baby!Chan Young.
- Kim Woo Bin is a motherfucking beautiful male specimen. I have said it before and will say it again. I literally don't comprehend how anyone could find Lee Min Ho more attractive in this. But then, I am hilariously biased.
- Won is my enemy and needs to die. Seriously WTAF is wrong with both the Kim brothers and their delusion that their gfs = their property. Hyun Joo/Won is second only to Eun Sang/Tan on the list of violent anti-ships on this show.
- Speaking of which, the writers are clearly paralleling the two relationships but I have no idea what purpose that's supposed to have. Can't Tan's horde of ugly sweaters combine their forces to eat the both of them, I ask you.
There are no words.All screencaps found here.
P.S. Y'all should check out the new comm Eleonore has just put up for the show, known as heirsofsweaters
(indeed). The first post is a hoot. ;)