Welcome back! This week we start to dig further into both of our leads’ pasts, and see how Seo Ri and Woo Jin’s pasts shape their lives in profounds and almost crippling ways. Yet just as it looks like they will never be able to win, each of them starts to find a little hope and make a little progress as they start to learn how important the elements of time, place, and occasion are to not only work but also in building relationships. Join DeShonda, Cici, and me, Kate, as we discuss episodes three and four of 30 but 17.

Kate: Man, how many feels did you have this week DeShonda and Cici? I couldn’t handle too many more disappointments for poor Seo Ri. Sure, it’s hard to find a job without having graduated high school, but she looked like she would be so good teaching those kids violin! And why is thirty too old to learn to wait tables if that’s what you want or need to do?

Cici: What I love about this drama already is that it elicits so many genuine emotions, from child-like joy to confusion and near despair. Poor Seo Ri. Waking up and finding out that you went from seventeen to thirty without having a single experience or memory would be hard enough, but then being treated like you’re completely lame for not having any work history would be so disheartening. The difficulty she had trying to play the violin after not having used those muscles for so many years felt so real, I almost cried when she lost control of the bow. Yet she managed to be cheerful about it, reassuring herself that she just needed to practice. She still has the naive optimism of a seventeen-year-old, and I have a feeling that she’s going to need it!


DeShonda: The feels were strong this week indeed Kate. I felt so bad for Seo Ri when she was job hunting. I almost forgot that she doesn't have any experience so it will be extra difficult for her to find a job. Our little “Rabbit Teacher” was so cute teaching the children the violin. I was hoping that she would get that job and also it would get her back to music and playing the violin again. But my hopes were instantly taken away with some unfortunate news. But I think there is still hope for Seo Ri working with the music festival that is being planned at Woo Jin’s company. And speaking of Woo Jin, I also felt really bad for him as well. The accident has really affected him and it made me wonder if there was any more trauma that happened in his life to make him behave the way he does. I noticed that he kept missing the email from someone that was trying to contact him, and he got distracted and could not remember messages. I am really concerned about him.

Kate: I was wondering what that email incident may be setting up, too. What do you bet an important email goes to spam at some time in the next couple of weeks? DeShonda, you’re right. It is worrying the lack of social skills and self care Woo Jin exhibits. He needs taking care of, but won’t let people take care of him either and pushes them away. Hopefully his willingness to say thank you to Seo Ri for showing him how to open the skylight window is a nice first step that will allow him to interact with people more, and form some healthy relationships.

Cici: I was confused about the email, though. Usually spam filters don’t send a message to spam unless you have blocked the sender or another similar sender. So, is someone sabotaging his ability to receive important messages? Or is it just something as simple as the fact that he didn’t think to check spam the first couple of times that he didn’t receive the email because he’s been out of touch with society for so long? Either way, I found it interesting that he consistently blamed the sender for the mistake, until he “opened his eyes” and realized that he was the one with the problem.

DeShonda: I was wondering the same thing about the email situation Kate. And I think you have a good theory about the email leading up to the next few weeks. It may have to do with the selling of the house. Woo Jin might miss an email or important message about that. But you are absolutely right as well, Woo Jin very much needs to be taken care of. If it wasn’t for Chan I don’t know how he would keep it together. Chan is such a caring young man. He is one of my favorite characters so far in this series. Chan shows that he really loves and cares for Woo Jin and I love the interaction “Bromance” between the both of them. When Woo Jin moved out of the house and into the office, it was Chan who was calling Woo Jin and checking up on him. Chan even slept in his bed he missed his uncle so much. I can’t forget Jennifer as well. She was nice enough to send some food over to Woo Jin’s office so he would not starve. I thought it was cute when Jennifer had Seo Ri deliver the food to Woo Jin’s office.


Kate: Yes! Jennifer even paid Seo Ri for the labor it took to help her with feeding Woo Jin and getting the food to him. Jennifer in some ways seems like Mary Poppins. She’s taking care of everyone, she has a lot of wisdom, but there’s just something a bit...different about her. Part of it is the flatter affect the actress delivers her lines with which have an almost robotic sound at times. For me, it calls into question some of her motives. How much of this is her caring? Did she pay Seo Ri in part to make sure she had a little money? Dress Seo Ri for her interviews to help her have a better chance at getting a job? Or does she only take her job at caring for the residents of the house so seriously this is all a part of that? So many questions about Jennifer. I did love, however, that Jennifer’s closet is filled with a white tops and black bottoms, all different from one another.

Cici: Mary Poppins! I had the same impression of Jennifer that moment when she was caught smiling watching Seo Ri, Chan, and friends jump in excitement at her job offer. Of course she immediately rearranged her face to look more stern, but we know whe’s not exactly the automaton she tries to appear.

DeShonda: OMG Kate you just described Jennifer PERFECTLY! Jennifer is another one of my favorite characters in this series. She is smart, knowledgeable, and one hell of a chef! I love her strange and quirky ways. I have a feeling that she knows much more than she is letting on. As you mentioned Kate, I think she has a caring heart. She was helpful to Seo Ri by letting her use her phone when Seo Ri was trying to find a job. And Jennifer did give Seo Ri money for the delivery. I thought Jennifer was giving Seo Ri money because she knew she needed it in order to get her violin fixed, plus she needed a job. I loved Jennifer’s closet as well! I think the interaction between Jennifer and Seo Ri is cute. Speaking of Seo Ri, I was afraid when she jumped out of Woo Jin’s car when she thought she saw her uncle. I didn’t think that man was her uncle at all, just someone who looked like him. And once again, poor Woo Jin was blaming himself for that. My heart just melted seeing him like that. And because of that, he moved out of the house. But did you notice the parallel between Seo Ri losing her uncle and Chan losing his uncle? Ugh….I was a crying mess.

Kate: Uncle has me worried, too. That flashback Seo Ri had of when she was about to get on the bus must have meant something. If that wasn’t her uncle she saw, why did the writers need that scene? And if it was her uncle, what clues does it give us about her past and what happened two years into Seo Ri’s coma? I think it was even somewhat worse that Seo Ri’s aunt didn’t think the uncle was back in town yet, either. If he’s back in Korea when claiming to be in Japan on a business trip, that doesn’t bode well. Lying to his wife doesn’t either. Seo Ri’s going to need some friends when she finds out what happened. It’s good she has Chan, and Jennifer, and Woo Jin is starting to open up.

Cici: I’m suspicious of both the uncle and the aunt, although I’m not sure that their motives in deserting Seo Ri were evil. We know that they sold the house after two years, that they were in a hurry to do so, and that they accepted a low price in order to close the sale quickly. Are they linked to the anonymous benefactor that has been paying Seo Ri’s hospital bills? Is the money actually coming from the sale of the house? If not, where has it gone? So many questions!

DeShonda: I am very suspicious of Seo Ri’s uncle as well. I have some of the exact same questions you have about him. I wondered about the flashback scene as well. And something did indeed happen within those two years, but what? I have more questions than answers about that. And if your theory is correct about the Aunt, it makes me suspicious of her as well. Something is off with Seo Ri’s family life. I was thinking the same thing as you were. Our Seo Ri is going to need some caring people around her when she finds out the truth. And I think she is in good hands with Chan and Jennifer. I actually think Woo Jin was trying to open up to her a little bit. It is going to take baby steps for him. One scene that I really loved this week was when Seo Ri taught Woo Jin how to open the skylight window with a plunger. And when she left the room he tried to open it himself. I think that was the small breakthrough of him opening up to her. Just a simple plunger and a open window.

Cici: Ah, I loved that scene, but for a slightly different reason. Do you realize that that was the first time in this drama that Woo Jin has smiled? Seeing them both so happy over such a simple thing just melted my heart.

Cici: And then in a matter of seconds we got a swing from the deep romantic gaze when Woo Jin caught the falling Seo Ri, to great comic relief when the moment was spoiled by a plunger hat. I laughed till I cried.

Kate: What I liked about that interaction even more was that Seo Ri understood that this was progress for Woo Jin. She recognized and appreciated his simple thank you. She may be a little behind in some of her social cues for a thirty year-old, but she’s not dumb. She does have an understanding of people and kindness that will get her far while she’s still trying to figure everything else out. Seo Ri is actually a bit better than Woo Jin in figuring out where she’s crossed a line or hurt someone’s feelings, and she feels sorry and attempts to make amends. She lacks more in the areas of adulting skills. She’s not as sure about how to write a resume, or act or dress in an interview. That’s easy enough to learn with a little mentoring. I’m wondering if old rival Tae Rin might provide any of that? They sure seemed to hit it off over the phone.

DeShonda: OMG! I almost forgot the most important part....when Woo Jin said “Thank You” to Seo Ri. You described our Seo Ri perfectly. She really does have a lot of nice and caring traits. And even though she does lack some social cues, she is not as bad as Woo Jin like you mentioned. I wonder how her rival will act around her too. Will Tae Rin even remember Seo Ri? I did notice that they were friendly in the phone conversation. I am looking forward to see the two of them meeting and interacting with each other. Another thing I am wondering is who is this mysterious lady with the yellow shoes. Why is she lurking around the house and watching Seo Ri? Does this lady know Seo Ri? Could she be a relative or classmate? Before I forget, did you notice that the Doctor is looking for Seo Ri to come back to the hospital? I think what we said last week was correct in that he is the one that was paying Seo Ri’s medical bills perhaps. He does really care about her and is worried about her well being, however Chan’s friends misplaced the business card. Ugh…...so close.

Kate: Seo Ri is worried like a teenager would be who ran away from home, so it makes a kind of sense that she’d be afraid the hospital would try and bring her back. They were lying to her there, too, which compounds her distrust. I wondered if Yellow Shoes was paying her hospital bills. Was it confirmed that the mysterious benefactor was in fact male? I understand that the writers don’t want Seo Ri (and us) to learn too much too soon, but I’m hoping Seo Ri and the Doctor meet up soon so that she’ll have someone from her past in her life. I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened right around the same time that Woo Jin starts to realize he has feelings for Seo Ri. It seems like just the right kind of complication for a k-drama of this genre. Last but not least, I’m really enjoying the competition between Woo Jin and Seo Ri over Paeng. I think only Woo Jin is seeing it as a competition, but I’d feel bad too if the dog I’d taken care of and loved ignored me for someone who was practically a stranger. Paeng has spent most of his life with Woo Jin, and Woo Jin very obviously loves him and has taken good care of him. It’s really the only relationship he’s been able to rely on for over a decade, and Paeng is choosing Seo Ri. No wonder he’s jealous.


Are you predicting any triangles yet? What secrets does Paeng know? What were Uncle and Aunt up to? Who is Yellow Shoes? Does the Doctor have Seo Ri’s answers? Will Woo Jin open himself up further now that he’s starting to show some change? Join us in the comments to share your ideas.

For more from the 30 But 17 Drama Club follow us:

Cici: @cicikdrama | Squad 38 | The K2 | My Shy Boss | My Secret Romance | The Bride of the Water God |

DeShonda: Blog | Twitter |Tumblr | Instagram | You Tube | Facebook | Cheer Up! | Remember | Signal | Come Back, Mister | Mirror Of The Witch | Entertainer | Doctor Crush | Ice Fantasy | Jealousy Incarnate | Let's Drink | Romantic Doctor | Voice | Suspicious Partner | So Young 2: Never Gone | My Sassy Girl | Strongest Deliveryman | Lost Love In Times | The Package | Cross | Sketch | Are You Human, Too

Kate:Go Go Waikiki| Save Me | Duel | Saimdang: Light’s Diary | Let’s Fight Ghost | Answer Me 1988 |Entertainer| Orange Marmalade| Fall in Love Like a Star

Catch up on our past Drama Club posts:

[Week 1]

COMING SOON

Thirty But Seventeen

Starring Yang Se Jong and Shin Hye Sun

Add to Queue Remove from Queue Watch Now