“Plus Nine Boys” Week Four: Fall Is Here

There was a huge time skip at the beginning of this week’s episodes where we leaped through summer and landed on 9/19/2014. I wondered why 9/19 and not 9/9 and deduced that it was simply because it coincided with the broadcast date.

I normally knock this recap out very quickly, and while it’s true that I’ve been busy, I think this one was harder to write because these episodes were slower than normal.

So what happened to our boys this week?

***

As always, nothing much happened with Dong Goo. He’s gotten more gigs but only roles he isn’t required to speak like modeling underwear. With time comes maturity so despite his setbacks, he’s decided to work hard. He’s a good dancer and when he auditions for a dancing competition that with his skills, he was pretty much guaranteed to advance far in, he’s a “Plus Nine” boy which means that his very first dance-off opponent happens to be Little PSY. Le sigh. Poor thing.

Min Goo got the ‘B’ plot this week. To his friends’ surprise, he sticks to his guns and leaves Soo Ah alone after failing the elevator test. It’s all about getting into college on a judo scholarship so he spends most of his hours in practice. Then one day, they cross paths on an overhead bridge. He’s rattled and stops for a moment but while she notices him and is affected, she keeps her cool and walks past him. He notes that even though he’s avoided her, she’s always been on his mind. My only problem with this couple is that they don’t really know much about each other.

He waits for her one evening and when they meet, he confesses that he fell for her the moment he set his eyes on her and that “destiny” was only his excuse to get close to her. He wants to be with her regardless and promises to like her more with each passing day. So will she be his?

Even though Soo Ah doesn’t give him a reply, she still expects him to keep stalking her. He asks her out another time they meet and she rejects him because she doubts they will be a good fit. But how she can know that if they never date?

He then starts sending texts she ignores. And one day, when he forces a date, he takes out one of her earphones, sticks it into his ear and pretends to like indie music but fails the test she gives him about her favorite band, Standing Egg.

In the following days, his incessant texts to her go unanswered and when her friends ask what’s going on, she reminds them that she can’t date a high schooler.

But every cloud has a silver lining and his comes in the form of Uncle Kwang Soo who scores him tickets to a Standing Egg concert she has to miss because she couldn’t get tickets.  On the evening of the concert, he shows up dressed nicely and asks her to go somewhere with him. She naturally refuses but he pulls her on his bike and to her great surprise and delight, takes her to the concert. Then to top off the evening, he gets on stage and serenades her with one of their songs. Teen dramas are notorious for such scenes but I’m yet to witness one in reality. He’s lucky he didn’t get egged by people who wanted to see a Standing Egg encore and not some teenager serenading his crush.

They walk together after the show and when they get to the overhead bridge, he wants to hear her reply. He reiterates that he likes her but when she doesn’t respond, he gives up and leaves. Every man has a limit and he’s reached his. As he walks away, she finally sends a text with a simple “yes.” Oh happy day.

Jin Goo and Se Young’s story takes a back seat this week. The characters got a lot of screen time but there was very little plot progression. A confession always changes things so despite claiming to be friends again, awkwardness always seeps in when they are alone together. They both come up with ideas at work and while she works on her street food tour idea with Jae Bum, he works on his plastic surgery idea with Go Eun, the girl who likes him.

Their lonely boss makes them spend a Friday night at a work party and they end up at karaoke. Jin Goo can’t help but notice how much Se Young enjoys Jae Bum’s performance while she barely notices him when he sings a romantic ballad. He’s very emotional and wound up by the end of the song that he just leaves without saying a word.

Go Eun has marked him as her target and follows him. They talk, and after he confirms that he’s single, she kisses him and promises that he will eventually fall for her.

Jae Bum and Se Young leave together and he confesses that he’s unable to forget her. He understands that he’s got a boring personality and promises to become a better guy for her.

The next day, the two sets of wannabe couples spend more time together. Go Eun confesses that she’d been up all night thinking about Jin Goo while Jae Bum rides back home with Se Young. Se Young can’t hide her surprise when he casually mentions that he hasn’t ridden that bus since Jin Goo moved. Jin Goo Oppa moved?!?!

Our not-so-friendly friends reconnect when Jin Goo fills in for Jae Bum while he’s conveniently in a meeting. It’s a little awkward but they still have fun. However, their time together is cut short when Go Eun calls Jin Goo back to the office. Se Young acts nonchalant when he explains that he has to leave even though we all know that she’s not very happy to see how close he’s getting to another woman. She asks him why he never told her that he’d moved and why he continued to ride a bus that wasn’t heading his way. He tells her what she already knows – he wanted to be with her.

Kwang Soo had the ‘A’ plot this week and I can’t stay it was a good thing. After a bout with depression, he went on a bunch of blind dates he sucked at, including one with a beautiful celebrity with bad taste who calls him one night asking for a second date. Right after he hangs up the phone with her, his sister rushes into the parking lot and asks him to drive Dopey Da In and her daughter to the hospital.

The wait in the ER is long so he uses his connections to help her daughter jump the queue and meet a pediatrician he’d interviewed. As lame as this guy is, he never hesitates to help those he cares about.

When they return home, he tries to talk to Dopey and as always, she cuts him off. Are we really supposed to root for her? The next day, he runs into one of her old friends in the parking lot who assumes they are together and spills about how much Dopey had cried after they broke up.

That gets him obsessed so instead of going to meet the pretty celeb who, luckily for him, has low standards, he rushes off to meet his ex.

Her cafe is already closing but he places an order. Is it just me or is their chemistry practically nonexistent? It’s an emotionally charged scene where they stand and stare at each other – which is like 90% of their scenes – but I can’t feel anything.

She serves him coffee and a piece of cake but when he attempts to talk to her, she walks away. She later uses her child as an excuse to get rid of him but before he does, he begs her to explain why she’d dumped him so that he can finally move on. She doesn’t reply and from that moment on, he becomes even more pathetic and stalks her, doing things like having his work meeting at her cafe so that he can steal glances at her. It gets worse when he waits for her outside her cafe then plays their favorite song. She finally blows up when he corners her in the parking lot of their building. She wants him to quit it already! Is he doing this out of pity because his ex is now a divorced mother? No. He’s doing it because he still likes her and wonders if she’s really over him. Dude, it’s been TEN years and she married someone after you. She points out that their romance is in the past and that she’s now Eun Seo’s mom but he counters that she will always be the Da In he loved to him.

For the past ten years, he’s simply lived as PD Koo but since seeing her, his heart has begun to skip again and he’s back to being the man he used to like. He asks her again if she really doesn’t feel anything for him as her actions suggest otherwise. If she felt nothing, why has she been so mean to him?

***

How weird is it that Min Goo’s story is suddenly the most interesting? The main thing missing from it is any semblance of emotional depth and I hope that changes soon. Jin Goo and Se Young’s story has become quite draggy because they’ve decided to make it a love square to get Se Young to change her mind. Having her realize how serious his feelings are this time without the threat of another woman winning his affections would have been too much, it seems. It should be a crime for someone to be as boring as Da In who remains the worst character on the show. I’d probably be less irritated by her annoying character flaw that keeps her from speaking and how she treats a guy who goes out of his way to help her with what appears to be disdain if she were at least funny or interesting. I don’t even want her to return his feelings – I just need her to not have the personality of soggy cornflakes. As for Kwang Soo, grow the hell up! This isn’t a Bollywood film so just leave the woman alone.

We’ve reached the halfway point and I wonder if Dong Goo will ever get an interesting plot line. Min Goo and Soo Ah are now dating and I wonder how things will turn out for them. He claims to love her but he’s pretty much been pretending to be someone else for her while he doesn’t even know her real age. Will they realize that there’s more to a relationship than attraction and big romantic gestures?

The trajectory of Jin Goo’s romance is extremely predictable so I hope we get some twists. Most of all, though, I just hope that if they can’t kill Kwang Soo’s story line, it could just hang out in the background with Dong Goo’s. But as they say, if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.

Till next week.

2 Comments

  • shinko says:

    Thank you! I feel extremely irritated by the Kwang Soo storyline too. Da In doesn’t bother me that much. Her personality is a little dry, but at least she made her choices and she’s perfectly content to stand by them. Kwang Soo is crossing the line by insisting that their relationship isn’t over. And being kind of insensitive to what’s going on with her like he was the first time around. If only one of the boys’ relationships will work out, I’d rather have the predictable one with Jin Goo, instead of the stuck in the past Kwang Soo loveline.

  • bmore says:

    I am still liking this show. Of course, it’s the Jin Goo relationship I’m most invested in. But I am ‘starting’ to warm up to our 39 year old’s story a bit. If for no other reason that both of them obviously have some very bad unresolved issues and it is deeply affecting both of them personally, they need to resolve what happened between them before and get over it already and move on, or understand and forgive and love one another. They are both pretty messed up. Glad we are not subjected to much on the 9 year old’s ‘love story’. Don’t find it interesting at all. And our 19 year old is SO hyper, I am wondering just how deep that insecurity he seems to be hiding goes? That relationship does not seem to be a very healthy one…as of now. Neither one of them are acting like who they really are and I wonder what will happen when they finally reveal their true selves to each other. It’s an interesting premise for a show. I’m enjoying the difference of it.

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