Welcome to the Thirty But Seventeen Drama Club! Things are off to an interesting start so far. In these episodes we are introduced to our main characters, Woo Jin and Seo RI. An unexpected accident happens that changes our main characters life forever. We find Seo Ri waking up from a thirteen year coma, Woo Jin living off grid, We meet a strange but smart maid, and a cute dog who never forgets his owner. Join Kate and I as we discuss these and more topics in this weeks episode of Thirty But Seventeen

DeShonda: Well I must admit, I was not sure what I was getting myself into with this drama, but I will say I like it so far. I really like all of the characters as well. And any drama that will make me cry in the first episode, it going to be a good one in my book. First, I am enjoying our leading characters, Woo Jin and Seo Ri. I like their interaction with each other at the beginning when they were seventeen. They were so cute on the bus. It reminded me of my first crush. I also love that our leading lady is a classically trained musician. I am hoping that by the end of this series she finds her gift of music back.

Kate: I, too, was a little wary. The concept of body-swapping or a character that finds themselves suddenly older our their younger self is a concept that can be done really badly, but when it’s done well it can be really enjoyable. So far I’ve built up some trust for the showrunners. I like that Seo Ri didn’t really know Woo Jin well enough as teens that she would have recognized him or his name easily, and he didn’t immediately learn that she was one of the victims of the bus crash and start to make connections. The crush sweet, and seemed completely natural. I am a little worried about the music storyline, though. We saw how hard it was for Seo Ri to re-learn walking. Playing the violin at a high level is a skill that involves more fine coordination and training and practice. I’m glad she found her violin, though.

DeShonda: I am very happy that she found her violin as well. You mentioned the bus crash, and that was a very tragic accident. Poor Woo Jin blames himself for Seo Ri becoming injured and almost dying. Poor Seo Ri was basically in a coma for thirteen years and I felt so sad for her. But I was happy when she woke up and was able to recover by having lots of physical therapy. I have to admit though, she was a brave soul for escaping the hospital. I was also happy, yet upset that the nurses would not tell her about her best friend, or her family and the reason why the are not visiting her. But I can understand the reason why they would withhold information from Seo Ri.

Kate: That whole situation seems like a mess. Who would be the one that had to tell a patient, who could still be physically and definitely is emotionally vulnerable, that her family had disappeared on her about 11 years ago (which is my guess based on some other things connected to selling the house)? Did they become indebted while trying to care for her and have to run to escape debtors? Did they want to make money off her by selling the house and taking off? I’m sure we’ll learn more as time goes on, but so far I’m more in the camp for the former rather than the latter. Her aunt and uncle really seemed to care deeply about her. And speaking as a dog person, someone who cares for their dog as much as they appeared to wouldn’t just leave Paeng on the street or in their empty house to fend for himself unless that was their only option.

DeShonda: I had the exact same questions as you did about Seo Ri’s family and why they would sell the house and why they would leave so suddenly, I am a dog person too and I can say that it doesn’t matter how long you are away, a dog will never forget its owner. I was very happy that Woo Jin took care of Paeng all those years. Speaking of the house, one character that I find very intriguing is Jennifer. I was not sure what to think about her at first. She is very strange, yet smart and I like that. I have a feeling that she knows more information than she is letting on. I hope to find out more about her.

Kate: Jennifer is an odd one. I’m wondering, too, whether she’s there for something more than comic relief, adding some extra silly situations to the mix with her unusual reactions. We’ll have to wait and see how her vast knowledge of trivia, combat skills, and nutritional know-how help out our gang. I’m hoping that she accidentally smacks down Woo Jin at least one more time. Woo Jin needs to be shaken up a bit. Maybe it will pull him in to open up to people a little more. He’s so incredibly distant, from everyone really, but his nephew. Even literally distant, since it appears that it is not uncommon for him to run off with the dog and live by his lonesome for long blocks of time. He’s terrible at social cues, and his obsessive measuring keeps getting him into trouble. I wonder how much of that is scarring from the guilt he feels concerning the bus accident, how much is personal quirk, and being out of practice in dealing with people because of how little he really does interact with people on a social level. Living with Yoo Chan again, and having to live alongside Jennifer and Seo Ri should provide some good opportunities for him to grow and change, but I think he’s going to be very uncomfortable in the meantime.

DeShonda: I really like Woo Jin’s nephew Yoo Chan. It seems to me that he has a good heart and did not want Seo Ri to be homeless. It was very nice of him to want her to stay in the house because, it is her house technically. I think it’s funny the Yoo Chan hs to translate what Woo Jin is saying. Speaking of which, I agree with you what you are saying about Woo Jin. He is socially awkward and I almost forgot he was living off grid, sort of, for years. So he was not really interacting with the outside world that much. I wondered the same as you about the measuring that he is doing. It has to be some sort of way to deal with whatever is going on with him. I look forward to learning more about the reason why he does that. And as you mentioned, a part of that I think is guilt maybe because of what happened years before. Oh and another question I was wondering about was that someone was paying for Seo Ri’s medical bills. I thought it was Woo Jin at first. But now I think it may be the young man that said he was going to marry her when they were seventeen. He showed up at the hospital looking for Seo Ri and then again at the house just as Woo Jin was leaving. I wonder what role he is going to play in this cast of characters.

Kate: I suppose that Woo Jin still could be the one paying for her bills, though I’m not sure the chances are high. Would he really pay the bills for the woman he thinks was the friend of his great crush, even if he feels guilty about the supposed death of the crush? And what about the mystery man the nurses mentioned? Do you think the Doctor is the mystery man? Do you think that the person paying for her care and the mystery man are different people or the same one? There are so many questions to answer, and I kind of wish that Seo Ri would head back to the hospital-even if not to stay-in order to get a little more information. I’m looking forward to her being able to meet the Doctor too, since at least he was someone who knew her and she knew back when she was seventeen. It will be comforting for her to (knowingly) finally meet with someone from her past, even if he doesn’t have a lot of answers. He’s definitely devoted to her if he’s worked so hard to get her into a good hospital, all these years later.

DeShonda: I am wondering those same questions as well. You just reminded me about the doctor. He could very well be the one that has been paying for Seo Ri’s medical bills. Speaking of Seo Ri, the scene that made me tear up is when Seo Ri finally woke up and looked into the mirror and she did not recognize herself. She thought she was still seventeen and not thirty. Poor girl was unconscious for so long. I could not imagine what she must have been going through when she made that realization.

Kate: Gosh, it was so sad, funny, and recognizable all at once. Sure I’ve never been in a coma. I even have a hard time getting a full eight hours sleep. But how many times have you been going about your day and caught a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and thought “Is that really me?” for a few seconds, or been ma’amed unexpectedly? I thought it was funny how Seo Ri kept correcting people that she wasn’t an ajummah. Or how she had to keep correcting herself when she was talking about how old she was to others. I definitely forget that I’m well and truly a bonafide adult sometimes and wonder where all the time has gone. I do feel sad that Seo Ri missed so much of her growing up years, though some of it isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be. Maybe it can be a benefit to have slept through your twenties. I think it was pretty funny, though, when she sneezed in front of the elevator and it opened to an older woman sneezing as well and Seo Ri thought she might be her for a moment. Her identity is really unstable right now. It’s going to be fun to see her figure out who she is and all that growing up stuff in the next fourteen episodes.


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[Week 1]


Thirty But Seventeen

Starring Yang Se Jong and Shin Hye Sun

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