Just Bananas About: Week of 6/19/17

Recently, I’ve been watching Fight My Way, starring Park Seo Joon and Kim Ji Won, as merely another fun, summer drama.  Honestly, I admit that I didn’t really take too much stock in the story as I found the premise a little predictable.  However last week, the drama’s plot took a turn for the better, mainly changing the dynamics of the four main characters.  The drama is about four childhood friends as they try to navigate the complicated world of young adult life while trying to achieve their dreams.

Despite being sibling-like friends for years, there was always an inkling that Ko Dong Man (Park Seo Joon) and Choi Ae Ra (Kim Ji Won) felt more than they were willing to admit.  I happen to believe that despite the best of friends, sometimes it takes that one person that you can’t stand your best friend being with that will let the cat out of the bag.  And that is certainly the case when Park Moo Bin (Choi Woo Shik), Dong Man’s old classmate, decides to start dating Ae Ra.

The truth of the matter is Ae Ra doesn’t have real romantic feelings for Moo Bin.  In fact, Moo Bin’s dating style is taken from what other “couples” do on TV and over-the-top cutesy.  That’s just not Ae Ra.  However, she recognizes Moo Bin as a sweet guy and makes an effort on her part to the ire of Dong Man.

He demands that she shouldn’t stay out late and shows up at their dates.  In fact, Dong Man starts to grate on my nerves in this episode.  There’s nothing attractive about a guy not being able to step up and recognize his own feelings and then being incredibly childish and petty towards the girl he likes.  I’m not a big fan of the pulling the pigtails on the girl you really like thing.

Despite that, Ae Ra tries her best to make the relationship work which includes showing up at a formal company event after being told that Moo Bin typically shows up to them alone.  The thing is that this event isn’t really a company event but Moo Bin’s engagement party.  Ae Ra confronts him and Moo Bin confesses that he is engaged to marry the daughter of big Japanese hospital board member.  However, he reveals that his feelings toward Ae Ra were true and that he can marry his fiancée but be with Ae Ra.  Appalled, Ae Ra tells Moo Bin how she really feels about their relationship.  That she doesn’t need fancy gifts or a guy to sweep her off her feet with amazing dates but rather a guy who just wants her for who she is. While Ae Ra hasn’t been completely honest with Moo Bin about herself, she has never disrespected him.

At the same time, Dong Man meets up with an old classmate who had a crush on him.  She reveals that after high school she ended up dating Moo Bin but she realized that he was only dating her to show himself off to Dong Man, basically what a big, important guy he is compared to Dong Man.  It’s quite pathetic when you think about Moo Bin’s motives.  Though she broke it off with him, she was horrified that he had the gall to send her his engagement invitation.  With that news, it sets Dong Man off who sets out to find and comfort Ae Ra.

Upon seeing her, Dong Man angrily shouts how he is going to take it out on Moo Bin for hurting Ae Ra.  Despite the fact that Ae Ra is crying and upset, she tries to calm him down as she doesn’t want Dong Man to fight.  She explains that she’s taken care of Moo Bin herself.

Dong Man refuses to back down until Ae Ra shouts at him to stop because his actions make her feel nervous.  Shocked, Dong Man finally stops as Ae Ra explains that she becomes confused about her feelings about him every time he comes to her rescue, which is completely understandable.  And then, in a glorious throwback to older dramas, the camera does a 360 turn around the two.  I actually love how this episode ended as it finally sets our main OTP on a different track rather than continue to bicker as a cover for their true feelings.  Sure, the bickering might not end as but at least they’ve gotten one crucial thing off their chest.

After the reveal, Dong Man offers to take Ae Ra home on the motorcycle he borrowed and it is clear that things have gotten awkward between the two.  In true Ae Ra fashion, she handles the situation in the best way she knows how.

Meanwhile, I’ve been completely frustrated with watching Kim Joo Man (Ahn Jae Hong) trying to sidestep Jang Ye Jin’s (Pyo Ye Jin) affections.  To the viewer, if he were only honest, things would be easier, right?  Plus, his girlfriend, Baek Sul Hee (Song Ha Yoon) tends to be the type of person where she doesn’t mind being taken advantage of.  She just wants to support Joo Man and get married to him as soon as possible.  Despite noticing the warning signs with Ye Jin, Sul Hee tries to think the best of her.  After all, she trusts Joo Man but when she hears that Ye Jin planted a kiss on Joo Man at the office, Sul Hee rightfully gets mad.

As frustrating as their situation is, I kinda understand why Joo Man and Sul Hee are secretive about their relationship.  If it becomes known, it sets the wrong precedent as people assume they’re not really working while in the office.  Also, there’s a stigma against women in the Korean workforce as most people assume that they will stop working once they get married and have children.  Therefore, many women aren’t given promotions or given the opportunity to prove their skills.

So Sul Hee aims to get closer to Ye Jin to inadvertently reveal that Joo Man is her boyfriend but doesn’t do a good job in making that clear.  The only thing Ye Jin notices that Sul Hee’s boyfriend her own “boyfriend” seem to have a lot of the same attributes.  The plan backfires as Sul Hee realizes that Ye Jin’s feelings for Joo Man seems earnest.  It just that Ye Jin had failed to recognize Joo Man’s body language towards her.

However, Joo Man and Sul Hee’s relationship is exposed when Ye Jin unexpectedly shows up at the bus stop near their home and sees them getting off the bus together.  It makes me wonder if Ye Jin will stop her advances towards Joo Man or if she has other plans in order to make their life difficult as I think Ye Jin still poses a danger, especially now that she knows that she’s been betrayed.

The truth of the matter is that Ae Ra and Dong Man have always been there through thick and thin.  Ae Ra was there every time his girlfriend, Park Hye Ran (Lee Elliya) dumped him and then gotten back together with him again.

As Dong Man is training to become a UFC fighter, he gets a lot of grief from a senior fighter.  I won’t deny that I love watching Ae Ra bring her crazy side out.  It’s the best part of her personality, especially when it’s used for the greater good like defending Dong Man.

Dong Man goes shopping with Ae Ra so that she can chase her dream of becoming an announcer as he is incredibly supportive of it.  The important thing is that these two always stand by each other when it’s important.

To her dismay, Ae Ra doesn’t do well in the interview just because her resume is light on educational experience.  Ae Ra asks the interviewers to just give her a chance and it’s quite thought-provoking to hear the interviewer reply how their time is precious and they don’t have the time of day for someone like Ae Ra.  What did she do why all the other candidates were going to college and graduate school, getting degrees from around the world?  I love that Ae Ra tells her that she was making money to make ends meet.  It seems unlikely that Ae Ra will move onto the next round of interviews but I like that the drama highlights the sad reality of the hiring process in Korea.

Despite the odds, Dong Man wins his fight.  It’s quite an important moment for him and his athletic career.

Although Ae Ra doesn’t like that Dong Man is competing in a sport that involves fighting, she shows up even though she can’t bear to watch Dong Man get beat up.  When Dong Man wins his fight and it’s clear that the only person he wants to celebrate his win with is Ae Ra.  He even walks by Hye Ran just to show to the world what Ae Ra truly means to him.  I love this part of dramas when the main characters begin to realize their feelings.  A lot of dramas like to drag out this part as it feels like the drama is over when the main OTP get together but the forward progression is essential element for the drama.  I’m glad that these episodes move their story along and I hope that it continues to move along as it goes on.

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