Random Interesting Moments

Dong Hoon and His Cigarettes

Dong Hoon goes to the convenience store, buys cigarettes, and then throws them away on two different occasions.

The first time takes place in Episode 2 when he’s lost the bribe. He goes to the store, buys it all, throws it all away, and then the next thing he does is visit Yoon Hee in her office and tell her what’s happening.

One thinks nothing of this until Episode 4 when he goes to the store, buys it all, throws it all away again, and then the next thing he does is visit the condo villa owner and force him to bring the fruit basket to Sang Hoon. Smoking supposedly gives Dong Hoon courage to confront the condo villa owner. Which makes me wonder if writernim wanted to convey that smoking was also supposed to give him courage to go to Yoon Hee and share about the bribe.

If this was writernim’s intent, it was an early sign that their marriage wasn’t as strong as it should have been. One would think Dong Hoon would feel comfortable telling Yoon Hee about the missing bribe without needing courage…but perhaps he didn’t.

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Sickness and Heartache

In Episode 6, we see a curious scene where Dong Hoon goes to the pharmacy and seems to take a pill.

When Yoon Hee finds him at home later, she sees a pitcher of tea and a pharmacy packet on a tray:

She says, “Right. You only stop drinking when you are sick.”

The first time I saw this, I thought it was a strange, random scene.

Fast-forward to Episode 13 when Sang Hoon and Ki Hoon learn Yoon Hee has cheated.

Ki Hoon remarks, “Hyeong will get sick. I’ve heard there are a lot of people who’ve been cheated on and gotten sick from the heartache.”

So Dong Hoon actually was sick from heartache and now Ki Hoon gives the narrative of that curious scene! Writernim was ingenious for inserting that scene in Episode 6 without much comment, then bringing it back around in Episode 13 to tell us what had occurred.

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Ki Hoon has the Key

In Episode 10, a seemingly random moment happens. Yoon Hee visits the brothers at the cleaning office for the first time and gives them a plant as a gift. As they go up the stairs Ki Hoon says, “I have the key.”

Inside the office, Sang Hoon and Yoon Hee catch up while Ki Hoon looks for a place to put the plant:

Ki Hoon finally finds a place for it in the corner:

And he likes what he sees:

Knowing that PDnim always has a reason for everything, what does this sequence mean? To me, when Ki Hoon says, “I have the key,” it means we’re supposed to pay attention to him. So we follow him around the office as he tries to find a good place for the plant. We’re happy when he succeeds and we’re content when he’s content with the “framing” of the “scene.”

Going deeper, though, even in this scene Ki Hoon is the “key” to Dong Hoon and Dong Hoon’s inner world. Yoon Hee is beautiful like the plant, as well as accomplished and intelligent. In many respects she’s the ideal wife.

Nevertheless, now that Dong Hoon knows she has cheated, he wonders what to do and where he should “place” her. At this point in the show he has made the decision to keep up the appearance of a happy marriage. Even though he’s dying inside, he’s content with the framing of the scene. (At least, that’s what he tells himself.)

It’s not until the following episode, Episode 11, that Dong Hoon finds out that Yoon Hee knows that he knows about her affair. After that their marriage really shatters open.

But in this moment in the cleaning office, when Ki Hoon tells us he has the key, he’s showing the viewers Dong Hoon’s current emotional situation and plan.

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The Red Cross

Another poster previously mentioned Ji An and the red cross, the juxtaposition of the two symbolizing how she saved Dong Hoon during their months together. I noticed two other scenes when the cross is shown.

In Episode 8 when they’re walking home together, Ji An pauses right underneath the cross, reinforcing her relationship to it:

And in Episode 13 when Ji An stands outside her door at dawn before running away, the camera focuses on the cross and then blurs it out as it pans to Ji An:

Dong Hoon doesn’t know it yet but Ji An is leaving his side. The blurring of the cross (and Ji An) foreshadow the bewilderment and disorientation that he is about to go through. Poor guy.

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Boundaries

When Dong Hoon looks for Ji An in Episode 14, he knocks on her door but doesn’t try to break in:

Compare Dong Hoon to Kwang Il who also looks for Ji An.

In Episode 16, Kwang Il speeds over to her place and bursts in:

The contrast is startling. Even when Dong Hoon is desperate to find her he never violates Ji An’s boundaries. Yet Kwang Il constantly does.

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Alone in a Circle

In Episode 15, when Dong Hoon asks Yoon Hee if she knows Ji An, his chair is set in a circular carpet. I thought it subtly, smartly represented how alone he felt.

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Ladybugs!

Last but not least, after Ji An leaves for Busan and Dong Hoon has his cathartic breakdown, there are several ladybugs on the leaves outside KH’s window!

Ladybugs begin the show, and they begin the time skip. New beginnings indeed.

33 thoughts on “Random Interesting Moments”

  1. So if the cross is a symbol of JA, then maybe the moon is a symbol of halmuhni.
    In EP5, after DH helps JA lift the shopping cart, he sits on the long bench and watches the night sky.
    Then a red cross and the moon show up simultaneously in that scene.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can go on and on and on…

    Adding to your point regarding the boundaries (and the difference btn PDH and LKI), another thing LJA doesn’t like is talking when she eats. PDH only starts talking after she’s done with eating (and starts drinking).

    PKH finally starts screenwriting again, when he writes “first scene/plot”, the last scene (coffee shop encounter) kicks in. (As you said, the ending is the beginning.)

    I also like the brief scene of the close up of the graduation photos of the three brothers at the ending/cast credits…. My take is that the three brothers all “graduate” finally. Up to people to interpret what their respective graduation means.

    LJA and her coffee (two packets means normal while three packets means bad mood).

    Team 3 already knows PDH’s feeling to LJA, but say nothing. When PDH calls the senior care home trying to find LJA, manager song “escapes” to the copier and deputy Kim looks embarrassed, while the fat boy has a glance of PDH and then looks back to his computer. Right after that in the car, both manager song and deputy gave PDH a knowing look.

    When Chairman Jang in the office, he’s always accompanied by exec director Wang, then DJY runs (nervously) to catch up. That tells the different relationship.

    Chairman Jang probably knows a lot more than what he says. In LJA’s boardroom meeting scene, I don’t think he’s merely touched by LJA’s kiss-ass words (the character written as a wise old man)…. Well, I can’t say that for sure: Chairman probably a very loyal spouse. Very successful/wealthy but pretty sad after his wife passed away and has no kid (in contrast, YooRa’s dad has three wives). He ends up a Santa Claus for LJA and PDH, probably because he knows/understands and he’s touched.

    Maybe you can also the mention the hi core (structure) scenes, which represents what LJA means to PDH, if you see fit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To further elaborate why Chairman Jang a Santa Claus (on top of his obvious supports to PDH/LJA like yelling at DJY and the directors ):
      1. When chairman tells PDH to have LJA call him, he further urges one should see the full light/the full bright world (instead of seeing half light). Initially I think he’s only referring to LJA. Later on I realize he’s also referring to PDH.
      2. PDH’s start up: pls note that senior mgt contracts have restrictive terms like non-complete and garden leave etc. The facts that his entire team joins his start up and he still keeps in touch with Chairman Jang indicate that PDH leaves Saman on very good terms. (I had an employment contract like that so this setting/situation jumps out at me and looks very obvious.) Also, some big bosses, like J Robertson, love to seed the start-ups of their star managers.
      3. LJA’s new job in Busan:
      (3.1) LJA does not tell PDH anything about her conversation with the Chairman, and only mentions her new job in Busan (pls note that the HQ of that company actually in Seoul). Why Busan? LJA/PDH, given their very difficult/unconventional situation, need a separation and the time jump/apart to rethink and rebuild their respective life (um… my #one and I fought through a time jump of 4 years. Painful… but, in retrospect, it was a must… so real. Kowtow to the scriptwriter);
      (3.2) A junior clerk with no special/ professional skills transferring to the HQ? And within only a year? … You must be kidding. Don’t even think about that except for those with connections.

      No way all these are just coincidence…. After all, it’s also Chairman Jang who demands Park Dong Un not to go after LJA.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Completely agree with you on Chairman Jang; in fact in the fanfic (The Road Back to You on archiveofourown) these were my thoughts as well! There’s no way Team Three would have been able to go with PDH unless Chairman Jang had given his blessing.

        I’ve been working on an analysis of Chairman Jang to come out in the next few weeks as he’s such a key player in the story even though he doesn’t seem like it at first. I like what you said in point #1 above. May I borrow it for the analysis?

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      2. Hello the sweetroad you still working on the piece on Chairman Jang?

        Two more thoughts regarding PDH probably set up his company with Chairman Jang’s blessing:
        -the phone call in his new office with a client, which is a company previously sent his office flowers to congrat his director promotion. Supposedly a client of Saman.
        -he’s now a CEO (hopefully my English sub accurate), like DJY a CEO. It could be 100% his company (CEO + GM+ Chairman, ie 1 single person taking all the roles like many small firm bosses), or himself a founder with a meaningful equity stake, or merely a CEO. No further info. Just something interesting to think about.

        Previously PDH did the math with KYH that it’s financially very challenging for him to set up a new company. Also, we know that PDH has no saving. The flat for mom still has mortgage largely unsettled. The flat co-owned with KYH probably is his only asset… Do you think a man of his age and financial condition dares to bet his entire nest?

        Chairman Jang has indicated that he does not want to lose PDH, but now really hard for PDH to stay at Saman because everyone knows about the KYH/DJY affair.

        That’s why I tend to think his company was initially supported (seeded) by Chairman Jang: The team, the client(s), and the startup capital. (waiving all senior executive restrictions/agreements like non-solicitation, no-poach, non-compete, garden leave, etc.).

        Just a speculation.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hello UC70s! Yes! I’m still compiling notes on Chairman Jang (though most MM energy is going toward reading everyone’s thoughts on the MM thread on Soompi and finishing up the fanfic/story these days!). Thanks for these insights. Especially the first one – that’s a great connection.

        On the 2nd one, you bring up an interesting point. Kim Dae Ri calls him “daepyo-nim” (like DJY was daepyo-nim) when he transfers the phone call to PDH in the new office…but then PDH calls himself “huijang” when he sees Ji An (“na hui jang i je” from what I can hear of the Korean – though I don’t speak it). “Huijang-nim” is what they called Chairman Jang whenever they addressed him….so that has always made me think PDH is his own President/ Chairman/ founder.

        I saw this article recently: https://www.asiaoptions.org/korean-company-hierarchy-structure-business-titles/ when I was doing some research.

        “회장 HuiJang (Chairman / CEO)

        The big boss, the top of the ladder, the head of the ‘family’. Unless you work for a small Korean company or you are of very high status then it is unlikely that you will ever really get to meet the CEO. That being said, medium-sized companies’ chief executives are likely to at least make an appearance at major company functions and events.

        Note, due to changing structures in Korean companies, you will often see this used interchangeably with 대표 DaePyo nowadays, although the place in the hierarchy is essentially the same.”

        So PDH calls himself huijang and is the top dog there. But like you said, maybe he is a founder with an equity stake, if he did need capital from, say, the Chairman to start up. But I totally agree with you that Chairman Jang encouraged him, gave him permission to take Team Three, and other clients when he started up!

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      4. Thx for the clarification. Icic, my English subtitles not accurate (saying PDH a CEO in both occasions). On a separate matter, I like the setting that PDH has been so broke, and his poor financial position never a concern for LJA (something she never thinks about).* The story tells a story that LJA/PDH loves the very own nature (essence) of each other (ie. “everything (including all your weakness and messed up life)”; or, your being “kind, pretty, brave, and clever”; instead of one’s social aspects like being “excellent/ distinguished” or “a loser).

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I was just watching this scene again on Netflix and Viki, and they both say “CEO” in English, which I guess according to the article is interchangeable with “Chairman” in Korean. BUT! I think I might be wrong when I heard DH say “na hui jang i je”. Today I was listening again and it almost sounds like “na sa jang i je” – which would be “I’m a President/ boss now.” I think we need a native Korean to enlighten us :).

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      6. To clarify, while I say Chairman Jang a Santa Claus I don’t mean seeding a startup an act of charity. It’s a biz decision. I myself have co-invested in startups. Well, E&C biz (not very scaleable and valuation based on backlog and thus) not attractive investments (especially for institutional investors)…. but I am sure Chairman Jang has a different perspective.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. A few more “random” moments… your thoughts?

    LJA’s specialty “running” – probably a skill from her previous profession (as a theft).

    Remember LJA’s sign language class scene (ep 16), a bit before the scene she walks around the Saman building? What does she say in the class? “How baffling” and “Whereabouts unknown”, and then she passes by Saman.

    Her new life includes office work, hanging out with girls (co-workers), teaching sign language class, and walking around Saman E&C. (Maybe just that specific day. Maybe her routines.)

    When LJA on the run she has a new phone number (the one that KB calls from a phone-booth), but later on she reactivates her old number 8804 (see PDH’s incoming call when grandma dies). Any implications? Not that she has many contact persons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All great points; thanks for sharing!

      I was curious about her phone numbers and went back to look at Episode 14 and Episode 16. In Ep 14, when Director Park Dong Un is asking for her number, it’s 010-0568-8804. And in Ep 16, when she calls Dong Hoon when halmeoni dies, it’s 010-0639-8804. So it IS a different number, with the last 4 numbers the same. Curious!

      By the way I liked what you said above about the graduation photos and the three brothers finally graduating.

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      1. Icic that’s a new 8804 number. Also curious if 8804 has any meaning… Um, maybe it’s simply for the sake of convenience. Or, a goodbye with her pass, with “selective” continuity.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. A few more “random” moments (sorry I am still going on and on and on)….

    PSH’s wife yells at the three brothers when they walk out from a pub/restaurant. “Are you dating? Or you would not hang around so much. You are in love, aren’t you?” (You can ask LJA/PDH the same question.)

    In the beginning PDH dares to say something rather ambiguous like “Only a master wakes up his servant with a kick” (other people in the elevator can’t tell it’s in the subway or waking up from a bed) without even thinking about it. A very sharp contrast to later stage he can’t even say thank you to LJA.

    LJA explains to JYH about PDH’s phone calls home (buying things). Many of you have already pointed out it’s (1) the way he loves his family and (2) she understands him (but JYH does not). Perhaps it also shows (3) what she really wants/values: a peaceful/ prosaic life

    Looks like any close up shot of a poster does mean something. The poster shot “Like those trees not moving in the wind” (ep 2, scene before the investigators sit down with PDH): A refection of PDH’s mind at that moment?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re right, Ji An wants stability and a peaceful life. John P from the YouTube (Man v Drama) threads talks about how Ji An was moving from place to place for so long, and Dong Hoon represents stability and grounding for her. I thought that was a great insight.

      And Ae Ryun (Sang Hoon’s wife) speaks so much truth herself. 🙂

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    2. @UnlikelyCouple1970s, Have you been reading the comments on the fangirlverdict.com’s group watch of MM? Please join in if you see fit! 🙂 It’s a wide variety of commenters and it’s been interesting to see everyone’s takes on the show.

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      1. You can’t convince those people who *refuse* to see it because of their own circumstances (pls see my additional notes under your other post). Just like you cannot wake up a person who is only pretending to be asleep.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Park Brothers Misc scenes:

    PSH thinks nobody knows the money he’s hiding. (PDH thinks nobody knows the feeling he’s hiding.)… yet, everybody knows.

    PSH sees the yellow light and knows it’s red light ahead, but simply can’t stop the car. (PDH the same. Can’t stop…)

    PSH kneels down… pls note Park mom’s tearful/sad smiles to him and the way she walks away. (After PDH’s promotion celebration at JH’s, Park mom gives PDH the same tearful/sad smile hugging him, and walks away very much the same way.) *

    PSH’s family event (his daughter’s wedding): PDH helps out financially. (PDH’s [“wedding oh no”] grandma’s funeral… PSH helps out by organising it and paying the bills.)

    PKH, quoting Notting Hill, lets YR go, for her future. PDH lets LJA go, for her full rebirth ie starting a new life in Busan.

    PKH always lashes out his emotions through his anger. The only time he drops a tear is for PDH, because of KYH’s affair.**

    * For years mom feels PDH’s sadness but misreads that a more successful career would fix it (especially his unhappy marriage). Yet, she finally realises PDH still sad in spite of his promotion. And PDH returns an equally sorrowful look when she hugs. But how can she tell what went wrong?
    ** a very subtle tear. (the Park brothers drinking and not knowing what to do with KYH’s affair) then PDH grabs PKH’s collar saying he will go elsewhere to cry, he finds PKH dropping a tear. (PKH has been friendly to KYH. They give high-fives. He always defends her when mom says anything negative. But…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. PSH’s failed career and his very bad financial situation highlights what kind of damages DJY and KYH trying to do to PDH. (That tells you something about KYH, who has witnessed the whole mess/ruin of PSH.)

      Liked by 1 person

    2. How PKH and PSH react to the PDH/LJA relationship:

      PKH wants to avoid the PDH/LJA relationship to be deemed as an affair.
      He has his measures about PDH is “allowed to do that much”, and has reservations whenever PDH seems too close to LJA. Details include:
      -his poker face, when PDH singing the love song and everybody else cheering (btw JH’s knowing look)
      -he’s annoyed, when PDH walks in JH’s bar only staring at LJA (the two staring into the eyes of each other for a few seconds)
      -“you shouldn’t say ‘see you again’, when you know crossing the line” (telling the half drunk Lee Jae Chul, but more like a message to PDH/LJA who are just right next to them);
      -furrowing his brows, while PDH (in front of many people) brings up to PSH that he would repay PSH the funeral bills;
      -stopping PDH from sitting/ chatting with LJA (grabbing PDH to join the (funeral) football game, although they already have enough players)
      -telling PDH to wear sunglasses (when he staring at LJA)

      In contrast, PSH doesn’t seem to care. He:
      -hugs PDH who’s very down because LJA has left (director celebration)
      -says “see you again” to LJA (vs what PKH has just said to Jae Chul)
      -proactively takes care of the funeral very much like it’s a Park family event.
      -arranges all the wreath on behalf of everyone, apparently except PDH (hosts don’t send wreath?). PSH doesn’t care what the Hoogye gang would think about PDH, who acts like a host/family member throughout the entire funeral. (btw I also wonder what the big mouth Deputy Jung would say when she’s back to SamAn office).
      -One exception: when PDH brings up to Omma someone pities him, PSH immediately steps in and diverts the conversation. (But it’s before the funeral.)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Correction: looks like there’s a wreath right at the entrance under the name of SamAn E&C PDH. (My English subtitles only highlight PSH and PKH and a few others.)

        Liked by 1 person

  6. A few more interesting random scenes (hopefully new points not yet discussed):

    KYH and PDH still share a bed? The show never tells.* Pls note there is a room btn the bathroom and the maindoor (on the opposite side of the kitchen/laundry room). That door always closes so we can’t tell if it’s another bedroom.*

    When the money missing PDH asks KYH for a background check of LJA. KYH turns down. When DJY asks for it, KYH gets it done right away.

    PDH in high alert (a hostile look) when deputy Kim invites LJA to dinner (the day after the fight with LKI).

    When LJA tells PDH she will delete the wiretapping app, PDH nods but does not seem to care.

    KYH complains everyone PDH holds dear are all at Jeong Hui’s. The fact that he puts LJA there says it all. (Also, without doubt he feels more like home in JH’s bar than his own flat.)

    Why would PDH knows stuffs like minimum wage and the details of public senior care services? Not like something he should know (unless he really wants to know and then looks up the details).

    PDH asks uncle janitor LJA’s whereabouts when she’s missing. Uncle janitor annoyed and asks PDH “Do you not have a clue where she might be?”… Later he calls PDH to help LJA (wounded but refusing to go to a hospital)… Obviously the janitor, himself an uncle to LJA, does not see PDH merely another uncle.

    PDH, even when not wearing a tie, always closes the top button of his shirt. Two exceptions: (1) In PSH’s fantasy (trip); (2) after the time jump. And LJA’s socks a parallel (her only long sock scene in the poster shots sitting together with PDH and his bros). These subtle details, alongside their new dressing style, symbolise their changes and new life at the end.

    (*) although we have seen KYH resting on the bed in the master bedroom, after getting dumped by DJY.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great points as always. And what you wrote here, “KYH complains everyone PDH holds dear are all at Jeong Hui’s. The fact that he puts LJA there says it all. (Also, without doubt he feels more like home in JH’s bar than his own flat.)” Oh my goodness, yes!! Good insight! DH brought JA into the precious “nest” where everyone else he held dear was. I brought your thought over to the Soompi My Mister thread just now. https://forums.soompi.com/topic/408082-drama-2018-my-mister-%EB%82%98%EC%9D%98-%EC%95%84%EC%A0%80%EC%94%A8-best-drama-at-2019-55th-baeksang-arts-awards/?do=findComment&comment=22299102

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      1. Further to our previous chat on Chairman Jang, pls see my new reply above (two more thoughts about PDH’s new firm: his client and his title).

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  7. Hints foreshadowing the fated encounter:
    -PDH and LJA say they will greet each other happily when bumping into each other in the future. The subject itself a hint of future encounter and I think it has been mentioned three times: #1. PDH asks for new slippers, #2. Farewell call; #3. Farewell drink
    -Grandma says fate/encounter 3 times when she tells LJA the precious fate of meeting people in life. When LJA says farewell to grandma she repeats “we will meet again” (encounter) 3 times. When LJA finally hears his voice in the cafe, it’s her third encounter with PDH (#1. her Saman job, #2. at uncle janitor’s place, #3. the cafe).

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  8. A few more misc scenes/ dialogues that I have no idea about the meanings/implications. Anyone has any insights?

    “What does it sound like when petals fall?” “It sounds good.”
    [No sound at all, right?]

    LJA says she disappears when she runs, but that’s her real self…[meaning?]

    PDH “a different person” when he drives. [meaning?]

    When PDH walking down the stairs after he refuses to hug… I can’t interpret his emotion. I note his heavier steps then lighter steps and finally a tiny sigh…[But apparently no strong feeling showed. he’s getting used to it and feeling nothing unusual?]

    During a dinner with the Park bros and mom, KYH cuts kimchi for everyone. But a few closeup shots of the kimchi (every single time she’s done and hands it over to someone). [She cut it wrong or what?]

    At the funeral what did KB say to PDH? [a normal thank you or a different way of saying thank you?] Then leaves away together with KYH, apparently lowering her head (a shot looking at their backs seems that way).

    JH’s time away in Thailand… [to show a failed attempt of letting go a past love?]

    During Park omma’s birthday, the scene after Park mom making her birthday wishes, the cheerful atmosphere/mood completely gone and no one looks happy any more. Is there a deleted scene in between? (Or just simply because YH playing her phone when mom making wishes, and also when everyone cleaning up the table but she walks away playing her phone?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. UC70s, great questions. I don’t have any answers but come over to the Soompi Forum and bring these! 🙂

      There’s a group of us newer viewers (from 2021) that would LOVE to dive into these details with you! Seriously. I’m amazed at the insights they have and the details these chingus are catching!

      https://forums.soompi.com/topic/408082-drama-2018-my-mister-%EB%82%98%EC%9D%98-%EC%95%84%EC%A0%80%EC%94%A8-best-drama-at-2019-55th-baeksang-arts-awards/page/344/#comment-22304389

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      1. Thank you again the Sweetroad. I rarely watch dramas and have literally *never* posted any comments/writeups on any movies nor dramas. My posting here already way way way out of character (for a very old fashioned man who doesn’t bother to have any social media account).

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