Hello and welcome back to the Thirty But Seventeen Drama Club! In these episodes our Seo Ri tries to become independent by moving out of her childhood home but and unexpected situation sends her back, Chan continues his crush on Seo Ri to the point that he becomes emotional at her departure, Woo Jin opens up more to Seo Ri, and we get a hint of Jennifer's past. Join Cici, Kate, and I, DeShonda as we discuss these and other topics in this weeks episodes of Thirty But Seventeen.

Cici: It really feels like we were in an intermission this week. How did Seo Ri put it? Half way through the performance, and waiting with keen anticipation to see what happens next. For example, that onion not-kiss was so close! So many near misses took place, from Seo Ri almost moving out to Woo Jin and Chan /almost/ telling her how they felt.

DeShonda: Yes indeed Cici. The definition of an intermission is a pause or break and I felt we did get those this week between Seo Ri and Woo Jin. There were many close calls between the two of them indeed and watching them together made my little K Drama heart skip a beat. I love how close Seo Ri and Woo Jin are getting together and more so, I love how open that Woo Jin is becoming. When he smiles it makes me smile too.

Kate: There were a lot of little pauses this week as storylines stopped short of new revelations, or characters finding out game-changing information. But there was progress, too. Woo Jin progressed at an almost character-breaking speed from being closed off to opening himself up further to those around him--especially Seo Ri. Sure, he hasn’t confessed to her, but he was going to bring up asking her to move to Chan’s apartment with them, he brought her extra supplies when she moved, and is acting more like a true coworker to his colleagues. I wish that a little more of that progress was earned, and was motivated by more than a big flashback montage. I appreciate the changes, and it would have been nice to see a little more stumbling, a little more of that stepping back after moving forward, but this week Woo Jin seemed to be full steam ahead, with little intermissions here and there.

Cici: I think Woo Jin finally realized that he’s been stepping back for thirteen years, and seeing Seo Ri struggling to become more of an adult was the major impetus for him to open up to her and share a little of his past. It wasn’t very specific, so of course she couldn’t make any connections to it, but they are getting closer to realizing the links in their pasts. I’ve got to admit that I was impressed with how Seo Ri forced herself to be cheerful--even if it was through tears--when she talked about the setbacks in her life just being an intermission. Between that and her determination to go forward on her own I kind of fell in love with her a little more.

DeShonda: You took the words right out of my mouth, Cici. I was impressed with Seo Ri as well. I was proud of her for taking steps to want to go out and be independent on her own. Adulting, if you will. But I wondered how she would manage on her own. A part of me would worry about her like Chan did. But then another part of me would think she would be okay. Speaking of Chan, he was so cute how he was worried about Seo Ri if she would move. I felt bad for him when he was crying because Seo Ri was going to move.

Kate: Chan, man. He is crushing hard on Seo Ri. I understand it, but it wasn’t until this week that I saw a bit more of his youth reflected in his actions. Because Seo Ri and Woo Jin were stunted by their various experiences of the bus accident, they had made him look fairly mature in comparison. But he’s really just a young man on the edge of adulthood himself. I know he’ll survive this, but it makes me just a little heartsick to see him suffering. And DeShonda, I do think that Seo Ri could have made it in that women’s apartment building with all her rent and utilities paid for a year, but I’m glad the moving out didn’t work. She could use more time living with Jennifer and Chan, and now Woo Jin looking after her, mentoring her, and giving her support as she figures out that adulting thing.

Cici: I’m relieved that it didn’t work out as well. She has been isolated for so long, the last thing she needs is to live alone in an apartment with only a few carp for company. I was surprised at how often I teared up when she was saying her good-byes, though. Even Jennifer was touched. When she hesitated to return out of sheer embarrassment, I loved it when both Woo Jin and Chan reassured her that she was wanted. The group happy dance that ensued was wonderful.

DeShonda: And I keep forgetting that Chan is on the edge of adulthood. In a way he sees her as he Same age as him. My heart was crushed to see him crying. But I am also happy The the move didn’t work out. Seo Ri really fits in with Woo Jin, Chan, Jennifer and the rest. Speaking of Jennifer I loved that we got some back story with her. It makes me have more questions than answers. For example that mysterious lady with the yellow shoes is connected to her in some way. A long lost daughter perhaps? And I was concerned with the flashback of her walking in the rain with the jewelry box. That box symbolizes something or some trauma in her past. I wonder what it could be?

Kate: Ooooh, oooh, let’s talk about Jennifer. I actually wanted to talk about Jennifer first because it seemed the most tantalizing bit to me, but I knew it wasn’t really the biggest or most significant part of the episode. Jennifer definitely suffered some kind of great loss or trauma in that first flashback scene. And that jewelry box was some sort of focus. It’s also not surprising that yellow shoes was calling her by another name (Hwang Ji??) since Jennifer seems more like an adopted name in South Korea. I thought the short scene of her stumbling into a library was really telling. In a time of tragedy, Jennifer recovered by surrounding herself in facts. It wasn’t apparent at first, but she’s actually a lot like Woo Jin. He focused on small details, shutting out people in favor of his work in miniatures. She’s still working with people, but not fully interacting with them, using facts as a shield and behaving with that robotic affect. The first time in the present we saw Jennifer show emotion was when she almost cried upon Seo Ri’s departure. It looks as if Seo Ri might crack her, too.

Cici: Yes! And Jennifer actually responded to Seo Ri’s hug! Go, Seo Ri! She is the glue that is holding them all together, and she is the energy that is propelling them all forward. Now if she can just regain her violin ability, she’ll be able to move forward, too. By the way, I am so glad that they are not minimizing the difficulty she is having after not playing her violin for thirteen years. That’s not the kind of thing you can just jump back into, no matter how much muscle memory you have. At least Woo Jin heard her play, so maybe he’ll step up and help her get her mother’s violin repaired so she can begin practicing in earnest.

DeShonda: I really hope that Seo Ri will be back to playing the violin in full form at some point. I know it is going to take a long time for her to regain her strength but I believe in her. I was very happy for Woo Jin to see her play the violin. And the beach scene after that...I was an emotional wreck. I loved the conversation that Seo Ri and Woo Jin had on the beach. In addition to the violin, did you ladies notice the man talking with Seo Ri’s rival? He noticed the song she was playing but did not get a glimpse of her. Speaking of emotional, what do you ladies think about the secret shed with all of Woo Jin’s art and awards in there? A part of me wanted Seo Ri to discover something that would make her remember her past, like her crescent moon keychain. But I was nervous for her because I knew she would get caught. And who do you ladies think is continuing to pay her medical bills at the hospital?

Kate: There was progress on Yellow Shoes (even if it is only that she’s connected to Jennifer) and progress on a lot of other things, but all we got is that reminder about her hospital bills. We didn’t even get much of a reminder about Seo Ri’s missing family this week. With eight episodes in the can, it is time to give us more information! It doesn’t seem like Seo Ri’s doctor classmate is the bill payer. Aunt and Uncle sold the house at a low price and ran off without the furniture, but I suppose they could have used that money to pay for her bills. I don’t think that makes a lot of sense, though. Jennifer is a wild guess. Could she have lost someone in that bus crash? Could she be Seo Mi’s mom? I would think Seo Ri would recognize her, since they seemed close, but I suppose they could paper over that easily enough with a flashback saying Seo Mi’s mom is hardly ever home because she works long hours, or something.

Cici: Wait! What if Woo Jin hasn’t made the connection that the person in the hospital was Seo Ri? Maybe he’s the one who has been paying the bills all along out of a sense of generalized guilt. And if he didn’t know she was the one in a coma, he wouldn’t know she had awakened. Ack! So many questions! You’re right, Kate, we need more information!

Kate: There is another storyline that is somewhat minor, but is also intriguing me too. What about Tae Rin, Seo Ri’s violin rival? Although I think that they were only really rivals in Tae Rin’s head. Seo Ri doesn’t seem to recognize her name at all, and with classical music being a somewhat small world, even if she looked different Seo Ri would probably have connected the dots and figured out that Tae Rin was the same Tae Rin that played violin back in the day with her. Why is Tae Rin still so intimidated by Seo Ri? Obviously, Seo Ri didn’t make it. You’d think she wouldn’t feel the need to lie about knowing where she was when the violin master asked Tae Rin about her. It seems like they could be friends if Tae Rin got over her adolescent insecurities. Seo Ri only wants to be like her, she isn’t envious. If Tae Rin could be a friend and a mentor, Seo Ri will be better able to move past intermission in her music life, as well.


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Thirty But Seventeen

Starring Yang Se Jong and Shin Hye Sun

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