Two Weeks: We have achieved “woobie”

 photo day8_zpsd2f8e1ac.jpgI liked Tae-san from the beginning. He started out in such a low  place and I was totally invested in seeing him rise to the challenge and become a better man. I’m always up for seeing a (relatively) dark-soul redeemed.

Only, with these last two episodes, we see that it’s not that Tae-san had a dark soul. He had a sad and lonely soul, crying sad and lonely tears in its sad and lonely world. And now my heart totally aches for him and I want to wrap him in blankets and feed him that awesome looking chicken soup, with ginseng and an entire chicken, that’s still boiling while you eat it that gets featured in just about every Korean travel show ever. And want him to end with all the happiness! Not just learn a lesson, not just fulfill a purpose — I want him to earn true, complete, soul-satisfying happiness. Or I will be most upset.

Two things tipped me over into this big bucket of sympathy.  photo aride_zps04362efb.jpgFirst, we get a flashback to In-hye’s and Tae-san’s second meeting when she coerces him into speeding her from her ballet studio to her university. (Not that he took that much arm twisting. He was there because he totally had a crush and had taken to driving by her studio. Because he’s that adorable.) After she races off with his helmet still on her head, he laughs at her antics and catches a glimpse of himself laughing.

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Oh hey, I’m laughing.

And it surprises him. Like laughing is unusual and maybe not allowed.

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…I shouldn’t be doing that.

Which gave me a moment of heart-squeeze.

Then there was the conversation with Boss Moon. In one of those twisty scenes that happen in these kind of stories where the amoral gangster talks some surprising sense, Boss Moon chides Tae-san for not fighting for the woman he loved. And I realized how little Tae-san valued himself. moonwisdom photo moonwisdom_zps9faafc09.jpgWhich was why Boss Moon tagged him as a patsy — but also why Tae-san thought In-hye would be better off without him. I’m not sure he realized his absence would hurt her. Because who could be hurt by not having Tae-san around?

I mean, it was kind of cute and sweet that Tae-san ate all that shrimp rather than telling In-hye he was allergic. But she was right that it was also stupidly dangerous. He automatically placed her surface pleasure above his actual health.

Which made me realize that it wasn’t that Tae-san was doing well and then things went downhill. I think he was already in a dark place and In-hye brought him some momentary sunshine. But it was something so unlooked for he didn’t see it as truly his. And that’s why he didn’t fight for it.

Which means! I think it’s doubly good that Tae-san is forced to take care of himself so he’ll be healthy when its time for him to donate his bone-marrow. Even if he’s thinking physically — he’s seeing something of value in himself and that’s got to be a good thing. daddydaughtereight photo daddydaughter_zps4d405f69.jpgIt also adds poignancy to his father-daughter moments with imaginary Su-jin.

Imaginary Su-jin is not real Su-jin — the drama’s very clear that she represents a part of Tae-san. So now I’ve decided that, in interacting with her, speaking kindly to her, he’s being kind to himself — maybe for the first time. Telling himself not to be seen as stupid anymore because he’s not stupid, telling himself to keep going, congratulating himself on thinking through clues. Basically he’s seeing worth in himself for the first time ever.

(Which — oh, my heart! You combine a guy going through hell with a guy who’s finally leaning to value himself? That’s a classic woobie right there. It’s a trope, but boy is it working.)

In other news: The movie-as-inspiration clips are back! This time as a suggestion of what not to do. Which, considering the usual level of “realism” in most action-films, is probably a good thing.

And I love that the good will Tae-san built up with his various “hostages” is finally bearing fruit. goodpress photo breakingnews_zps19ee378d.jpgAnd in an unexpected way! I’d thought it’d be Jae-kyung speaking to them. But that it’s the press is even more awesome. For one, it makes sense that the press would have the time for, and interest in, speaking to the hostages. (It’s a hot news item so they’re going to milk it for all its worth.) For another, I’m betting it’s going to change the nation’s view of Tae-san, from monstrous murderer to wrongly accused folk-hero. He could end up having people lined up to help him.

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Birth of a folk hero?

Also — Jae-kyung is a badass! It seems like I’m seeing more badass women in my k-dramas. Is this a new thing or am I just noticing it now? Either way, I like it and would like the trend to continue please and thank you.

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Those sneakers aren’t just for sneaking.

And I loved that she schooled Seung-woo and basically challenged him to be a detective and figure out for himself why she’s suspecting a frame-up. (Which he’s apparently taken to heart, which surprised me.)

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“I double dog dare you to figure it out for yourself.”

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Dammit! She knows I can’t refuse a double dog dare…

And, oh my gosh that cliff-hanger! Accusation of team work before the team’s even had a chance to form? Diabolical, creator-team, diabolical. (Also — totally working!)

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11 thoughts on “Two Weeks: We have achieved “woobie”

  1. I think we already knew from first 2 episodes that Tae San is not a bad guy when his real reason to leave In Hye was shown…but yeah..he was a lowly gangster who lived a reckless life..

  2. Episode 8 is probably my most favourite episode in the series so far! I like how everything in this drama is shown for a reason, like his strange, clichéd encounters with strangers actually came in useful at this point in time. I also agree with you that kdramas seem to have more badass female characters recently. There have been many comparisons of this show with “Time Between Dog and Wolf”, but I really disliked the latter because the female lead was so annoying! So I’m glad they have improved on the female characters here.

    • “Time Between Dog and Wolf” has been on my to-watch list for a while now. I’ll have to keep in mind to have low expectations for our female lead. Especially after getting used to someone like Jae-kyung! 😀

  3. I ended up giving Two Weeks DasBoot. I tried but just could not warm up to it. When you have to sorta force yourself to watch an epi, it’s time to call it quits. I guess this is one time where I was having false expectations and it played a part. I thought I’d be getting ‘The Fugitive’ but what I got was ‘Dad on the run – Tae San’s journey to self-respect and redemption’. All fine and dandy but the execution just does not work for me. At all. Sigh.

    I’ve always been aware that what people get from these stories differs (doh) but never has it been brought to home as clearly as during this drama season. I just don’t see what others see in Two Weeks. What I saw of the drama made me frustrated, grumpy, nitpicky and very, very aware of each and every flaw. Not a drama-watching experience I want. Then there is B&P – my take on it is so, so different from a lot of viewers. People get snarky and sarcastic at things I love about it. Oftentimes I think they totally miss the point and concentrate on stuff that doesn’t really matter, storywise. The ‘magic and wonder’ I get from B&P just isn’t there for them, they don’t see it. B&P is still the best thing I’ve seen this year, even with the inevitable wobble in quality after the midway point (live shoot+rainy season=not a good combination)….. and some awfully bad acting. Whoever forced TPTB to hire NMW should be shot. ;D

    I love your posts on TW as they give me a chance to ‘watch’ a different version of it. One that is way more palatable than what I actually watched. 🙂 I’m really looking forward to your full review.

    • There are far too many dramas out there to force-watch any of them. I am slowly learning that. 😉 Because every story calls for a certain amount of suspension of disbelief and if the ride’s not enjoyable, it gets harder and harder to suspend.

      I went through a similar experience with “Jang Ok Jung: Live for Love” — similar to your “Blade and Petal” experience, I mean. It’s not fun. Fortunately there was a small band of fellow fans so I could ignore the snark. But I still wished it’d had more love.

      And that’s totally awesome that you’re enjoying my view of “Two Weeks”! That makes me happy. 🙂

    • Oh, I adored that Tae-san got his Busan bike ride!! What made it even better was how much he wasn’t the uber-cool, charismatic bad-boy. 😀 Though he tried. Just, he was too, too excited.

    • Good question, lynette31! 🙂 It’s a slang term used mostly by fans of action/adventure focused stories, in my experience. It refers to a character who’s suffered so much — both physically and emotionally — you’re overcome with sympathetic feelings. You just want to make them feel better (blankets and comfort food) and have them be happy. (A more official online definition is here.)

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