Just as things appear to be going along swimmingly for the two leads in My Lovely Girl (My Lovable Girl) with some token obstacles thrown their way but nothing they can’t handle, suddenly the shit hits the fans so fast I was definitely blindsided. This development is good and creates much bigger room for the conflict to play out but it upped the intensity a bit too abruptly when most of the episode had been all about Se Na writing a song. Yes, writing ONE song, that was all that was asked of maybe musical genius Se Na while Hyun Wook strapped too much personal investment in her success. Hyun Wook’s management style can be hands off so he doesn’t step on any toes while he’s temporarily running AnA, but he has to understand that his inexplicable and unwavering public support for Se Na will only incur more questions and ire from everyone at the company. He would be better off announcing that she’s the younger sister of his dead love and he’s doing all of this to assuage his guilt and be a good oppa. That actually flies better than the whole cockamamie that she is a songwriter genius whereas Jae Young is a plagiarizing hack.
I actually felt for Jae Young because Hyun Wook has been thwarting him since the moment he returned, not to say Jae Young isn’t an asshole of the first order and deserves to be taken down ten pegs. We like Hyun Wook because his character is conditioned to be the righteous one doing good things, but honestly his interest in Se Na can be interpreted no differently then the shocking revelation he learned at the end of the episode concerning his dad. Shi Woo continues to be my favorite character for actually acting consistent and sympathetic. His interactions with Se Na have already morphed into reluctant consideration which is fast but good for drama watching satisfaction. I loved the scene where she tried to goad into into recording her demo when it was clear he was actually annoyed that she hadn’t come to ask him first to record it. These two, too bad this isn’t a drama about them. For now MLG has tossed the first big twisty wrench into the proceedings and next week I’m looking forward to what Hyun Wook decides to do about this latest conundrum. At least it’s not all about a song battle.
Episode 4 recap:
Hyun Wook encourages Se Na by revealing that her music touches him and it’s been a long time since that has happened with someone else’s songs. The balloon starts to fly away and Hyun Wook grabs it before putting it back in Se Na’s hand. He tells her not to let things go once she has it, including music.
Hae Yoon sits down with Se Na at the company and hears that the song duel is weighing on Se Na. Hae Yoon’s advises Se Na to drop out because Hae Yoon doesn’t want to see either side lose. If Se Na quits not then it won’t hurt either side’s pride. Hae Yoon encourages Se Na to talk with Jae Young and get on his good side so that this will all be behind them and he’ll accept her into his songwriting team.
Jae Young interjects and refuses to back down. He wants Se Na to use her skill to win and not to ask for help from others. He won’t go easy on her just because she has the company president backing her. He wants to teach her a lesson that it’s not that easy to succeed in the music industry. Jae Young storms off and Hae Yoon chides Se Na for letting things get out of hand.
Se Na finds her locker ice-cream cone trashed but tries to keep it from Hyun Wook. He lectures her for not making much progress on her song but she sasses back that she didn’t accept the song challenge and it’s all his doing. Another trainee walks by and gives Se Na the side eye when she sees Hyun Wook talking to Se Na. Hyun Wook reminds Se Na that their contract clearly states that he dictates what she does at the agency.
Se Na watches the trainee walk off before asking Hyun Wook to not talk to her at work. She’s grateful Hyun Wook brought her into AnA but now everyone thinks she’s parachuted in with his backing and it makes her work here difficult. Se Na walks off and Hyun Wook peers into her locker to see the ice-cream cone melting on top of her things.
Hyun Wook walks into his office to find Shi Woo waiting for him while watching TV. He turns it off and chides Shi Woo for being rude when the owner of the office isn’t in. Shi Woo fake apologizes with a deep bow while Hyun Wook warns him that it’s up to him whether Shi Woo stays at AnA or not. Shi Woo isn’t cowed and challenges Hyun Wook on using the title track for the upcoming Infinite Power album for the song duel.
Hyun Wook points out that there might not be the next album what with relations so frayed among the members. He asks if Shi Woo plans to apologize and hears Shi Woo has no intention to. Hyun Wook points out that Shi Woo is showing only his polite side to his fans and it’ll backfire soon. He tells Shi Woo to post something on his SNS to avoid a lawsuit.
Hyun Wook gets a call from his dad to come pick him up at the hospital and pay his bills. Hyun Wook won’t go so his dad orders Hyun Wook to come home tonight since his stepmom made a lot of food. Hyun Wook goes to his dad’s place later that night and sees his dad taking his medication. Dad is worried about the conflict Hyun Wook has created at the agency. He doesn’t care if Hyun Wook wants to take care of a girl but Hyun Wook can’t go bothering Seo Jae Young. Dad knows Jae Young is not to be trifled with, if he’s pissed then he can easily stab someone in the back.
Se Na sits before a bowl of ramyun trying to get inspiration but nothing comes to her. Before she can dig in, three angry school girls confront her and the altercation moves into the alley. The girls accuse Se Na of being a spurned fan and ruining their Shi Woo oppa’s reputation and causing him to lose fans. Se Na defends herself but gets pushed into the trash anyways. She doesn’t back down and grabs one of the school girl’s ponytail.
Shi Woo passes by and takes it all in, stepping forward to stop Se Na from escalating it. The school girls grow all docile in front of Shi Woo who sweetly puts them in a taxi home.
Se Na goes to wash up and Shi Woo follows her and gets yelled at for his unruly fans starting things with her. Se Na thinks he’s being nice to the fans to keep them but Shi Woo says he did it so that they would stop harassing Se Na. If he took Se Na’s side back there, the fans would never let Se Na off the hook. He did it to calm things down. Se Na wonders why Shi Woo is out so late and he admits that the only place he feels comfortable is at work. All other places like clubs and restaurants he can’t feel at ease. Se Na commiserates on the tough life of an entertainer and gets Shi Woo to remind her that she still has to worry about her song duel with Jae Young and hardly has time to feel bad for someone else.
That reminds Se Na and she runs off to keep working on her song. Shi Woo steps in front of her and puts his cap on her before asking that she not show up in front of his fans again, i.e. don’t be recognized. If she gets hurt then things will get complicated. As Shi Woo walks off, Se Na asks “what kind of song do you want to sing?” Shi Woo replies “the kind of song that can win.”
Se Na sits at home strumming her guitar but can’t come up with anything. She goes out to the living room and Joo Hong and her boyfriend try to give her suggestions. The boyfriend says it doesn’t need to be too complicated, it just has to be easy listening since it’s an Infinite Power song.
Hyun Wook is also distracted at home and ask Dalbong for his prediction on who will win. Dalbong barks to indicate that Se Na will win and Hyun Wook leans down to ask if Dalbong is worried about Se Na as well? If so then he’ll take Dalbong to see her.
Hyun Wook walks Dalbong to the nearby market and runs into Se Na outside. She warmly greets Dalbong and ignores Hyun Wook. He follows her to grab an ice-cream from the freezer and they fight over the same one. Hyun Wook says he’s her boss but she goes back to calling him ahjusshi since it’s not at work. He doesn’t like her calling him ahjusshi since he’s not that much older than her. Se Na gives up the ice-cream but after Hyun Wook bites into it he realizes he doesn’t have money on him so asks Se Na to pay.
Hyun Wook and Se Na walk Dalbong and munch on their ice-cream. Talk turns to Se Na living with Joo Hong and Hyun Wook asks if two women living alone is safe? Se Na assures him it’s fine since Joo Hong’s boyfriend lives with them. That worries Hyun Wook now to have a man living there but Se Na says Joo Hong and her boyfriend are very close and she feels bad intruding on them. But Joo Hong is the only friend she has in Seoul and the place may be small but she’s thankful to be able to stay there. Hyun Wook worries she is working too hard and having to song write at night. Se Na sasses back that it’s none of his business but she points out that she calls him her neighborhood ahjusshi. Se Na points out that he just admitted he’s and ahjusshi and says goodnight to Dalbong and heads back to keep songwriting.
Hyun Wook’s stepmom drives her daughter Mina to AnA and keeps trying to lecture her on posture and deportment. She’s distracted and has a small fender bender with Director Kang. In their altercation she gets lightheaded and Director Kang goes to grab her from falling and there’s a random frisson between them. This is so dumb.
Ra Eum meets with Hae Yoon on what she will wear for the upcoming opening ceremony. Ra Eum is told another idol has picked the outfit she wants so she purposes wants it and have the other idol Jenny wear something that won’t flatter her figure. Ugh, she’s so a dumb and petty bitch. Hae Yoon calls out Ra Eum for being too mean but Ra Eum thinks Hae Yoon has no right to talk to her like this.
Hyun Wook arrives and Ra Eum immediately shows her anger at not being treated well here after she broke her contract to switch agencies and is getting flack for it. Hyun Wook asks Hae Yoon to give Ra Eum the new shoes he got for her. Hae Yoon hands over the shows and Ra Eum asks why she didn’t give them to her earlier? She tries it on for Hyun Wook and wants his opinion but he asks Hae Yoon to step outside to talk.
Ra Eum sees Hae Yoon fixing herself up to go talk to Hyun Wook. After Hyun Wook walks off, Ra Eum asks Hae Yoon for the pump she’s wearing before cracking the heel. She can tell Hae Yoon likes Hyun Wook and urges her to take her chance with him. Hae Yoon tries to deny it so Ra Eum decides she wants to make a move for Hyun Wook so Hae Yoon tells her not to dare.
Hae Yoon goes outside to talk with Hyun Wook and he encourages her to be more patient with their idols. They have to put on their best behavior in front of the fans and the rest of the time they spent at the agency with a chance to be themselves. Hae Yoon grouses a bit but promises to be more patient. Her heel buckles so Hyun Wook catches her in his arms. Jae Young happens to see it and is immediately pissy.
Jae Yoon is called in to see Hyun Wook who wants to conduct a blind trial next week with all their artists, including Infinite Power. He wants to use someone on Jae Young’s team but Jae Young refuses since he’s used the last 12 years to build up his brand by experience and connections. Jae Young snarks for Hyun Wook to go back and write songs himself since he used to be so good at it.
Sung Jin has the unenviable task of giving Mina voice training, made all the worse because Mina’s mom is micromanaging the lesson and interjecting her own suggestions. Sung Jin tries to suggest how Mina can sing with more emotion but her mom tells Sung Jin to just teach her technique only and insults why he couldn’t make it as an artist despite his great singing technique.
Jae Young accuses Hyun Wook of doing all of this to get rid of Jae Young, taking the president position and putting him up to the song duel with Se Na. He thinks Hyun Wook has forgotten So Eun already now that he has a new face around. Hyun Wook demands Jae Young never speak So Eun’s name and then pushes him against the wall while raging that So Eun wouldn’t have died if it wasn’t for Jae Young. If it wasn’t for what Jae Young did, none of it would have happened.
Sung Jin comes in and breaks up the fight. After Jae Young storms out, Sung Jin demands that Hyun Wook get ride of Se Na. If she’s around then he’ll never be able to forget So Eun. Hyun Wook refuses because he found Se Na to make her dreams come true. Sung Jin doesn’t think Hyun Wook can simply be her daddy long legs but he insists that is exactly what he’s going to do.
A huffy Jae Young runs into Se Na in the hallway and gets in her face. Hyun Wook is smart so how could he have found such a low trash like Se Na. If she was Berklee trained then he wouldn’t be as pissed. He warns Se Na to be prepared to be thoroughly embarrassed, and Hyun Wook along with her.
Hyun Wook can’t sleep and gets up to take the very much appreciated gratuitous shower of brooding. Rain – still a hot piece of man flesh from the front or the back. Se Na sits in the agency also moping. So Eun’s magical broken cell phone suddenly rings and Hyun Wook gets out of the shower to answer it. Too bad he put on a bathrobe, boo.
Hyun Wook listens to Se Na pouring out her worries to unni So Eun. She really wants to do well and not let Hyun Wook down, it’s the first time someone has expectations of her. She’s trying so hard but losing confidence more and more.
The next day Se Na finds herself outside of Hyun Wook’s house and pacing back and forth unsure of whether to go in. She finally walks up to his house and he comes out to hear that she happened to walk by on her walk. Se Na then admits she came to ask him when he gets inspiration to write songs? Instead of answering, Hyun Wook asks to borrow her for half a day.
Hyun Wook takes Se Na and art gallery and she natters on and one about how busy she is until he holds her head in place to just look at the paintings. Afterwards he asks what she thinks and she teases that her neck hurts but then thanks him for taking her on her first art gallery visit. On the way out Hyun Wook bumps into a locked glass door which makes Se Na tease him and lightens the mood.
Hyun Wook then takes Se Na to an abandoned amusement park and explains that this place used to bring happiness to families when it was still filled with life. Se Na thinks even this place will be gone soon but Hyun Wook points out that the memories will remain forever.
Suddenly the dark and still carousel lights up and Se Na sees families happily riding on it. Hyun Wook sees a smiling So Eun riding past and smiling at him. Hyun Wook says “A person’s memory becomes a song, and that song becomes another person’s memory, round and round it goes.” Se Na admits it’s still hard so Hyun Wook asks her to dig up her personal memories and in those moments write her song. Se Na asks if this place has memories for Hyun Wook and takes in his silence by teasing if he had his first kiss here.
Se Na then shares that she understands what Hyun Wook is saying, when she is writing songs sometimes she remembers memories of being with her unni. Se Na sees a railing and goes to slide down on it and explains that she used to do it with her sister. Hyun Wook sees So Eun sliding down and closes his eyes to the image. Se Na asks again what his answer to her question earlier is about when he gets inspiration to write songs? Hyun Wook says “When I’m in love.”
Se Na sits down in her room and grabs her guitar to start writing. Hyun Wook takes out the box containing So Eun’s cell phone and a necklace. He talks with So Eun about spending a very happy day with her little sister Se Na, but then he thought about her again. Hyun Wook cries as he takes out the necklace and wishes that they three of them could spend the time together. He wishes he didn’t try to keep her by his side back then.
Hae Yoon sits at home trying to figure out how to move her friendship with Hyun Wook to the next level per Ra Eum’s suggestion. She calls Ra Rum to have late night sacks and uses the chance to ask Ra Eum for advice. Ra Eum suggests coffee and then hangs up on Hae Yoon. She then gets called out by Jae Young.
Jae Young happily has champagne on the table when Hae Yoon arrives. She asks if the song is ready and he answers that he always has a song written. Jae Young pushes a ring box over but Hae Yoon refuses to open it since it would be uncomfortable to turn him down if she saw it. Jae Young brings up how she’s bound to end up like him since Hyun Wook clearly likes that girl. Hae Yoon tells Jae Young he’s wrong and leaves him sitting there.
Hyun Wook gets an update from another agency director and urges him to fix the discord within Infinite Power before their next public appearance. He hears that Jae Young’s new song is really good as the demo is done already. Hyun Wook sees Se Na inside the practice room and goes in to ask for an update. Se Na tells him as the company president that she’s done and the song is good.
Hyun Wook grabs the song to look at it and Se Na immediately tries to grab it back and they are tightly pressed against each other. Hyun Wook notices and hands her the song back so she gets off him. He asks her about making the demo and her confusion makes him upset that she didn’t even know she had to do that. Se Na runs off to do it and assures Hyun Wook that she has two more days left.
Se Na stops Rae Heon outside the recording studio and asks him to record the demo. Rae Heon declines since he just recorded and snarks that Se Na should ask Shi Woo for help since they are so close she can slap him. He then insults Shi Woo as being unable to sing so he can’t help her. Ugh, you deserve slaps yourself, Rae Heon. Se Na brings up that having the same person sing both demos makes the test fair but Rae Heon is uninterested and walks off.
Se Na goes into the studio to start arranging and mixing her song. The mixer won’t help her so Se Na tells him to move aside and let her do it. He explains that she can’t do it in two days without experience but Se Na refuses to give up. Se Na starts touching all the buttons and the mixer worries she’ll break the machine so agrees to show her some basics. Hyun Wook peers in from outside and smiles.
Hae Yoon grabs coffee with Sung Jin and reveals she wants Jae Young to win. She’s jealous that Hyun Wook pays special attention to Se Na but Sung Jin assures her that she has nothing to worry about. Hae Yoon takes her coffee and goes to lay in wait for Hyun Wook to walk by so she can dart out and spill the coffee on herself. Too bad the assistant startles Hae Yoon and she spills the coffee on herself. Hyun Wook walks by and clucks at her.
Se Na finishes mixing her song and goes to ask two more idols to record her demo. Neither want to get on Jae Young’s bad side and refuse. Se Na points out that the company president is on her side but the two idols know President Lee is back soon so they need to stay on Jae Young’s good side.
Shi Woo sees Se Na get turned down again and walks over to laugh at her and tell her not to beg him to do it. Se Na wasn’t planning to since Rae Heon said Shi Woo can’t sing. Shi Woo insists he can sing even better than Rae Heon now after he’s put in so much practice. Se Na doesn’t believe him unless he shows her by making the demo.
Shi Woo gets ready to record the demo but reminds Se Na to autotune him afterwards much like models get photoshopped. Se Na hands him the lyrics and tell him to just record it first. Shi Woo goes inside and stares at the lyrics and his demeanor turns solemn and serious. He asks Se Na if this is really her first time writing a legit song before getting ready to sing.
The AnA management meeting is underway and Director Kang wonders why Jae Young missed the meeting. Jae Young arrives after the meeting and Hyun Wook asks him to announce when he’s going to miss meetings. Jae Young doesn’t see the need anymore and hands in his resignation letter. Hyun Wook thinks Jae Young is giving up but Jae Young is simply fed up with this and doesn’t want to stay where there is no faith in him. Since Hyun Wook is a great songwriter, he can stay and run the show along with his protege Se Na.
Infinite Power’s manager runs inside with the shocking news that rumors have spread that Infinite Power is disbanding. Phones start to ring from reporters and Hyun Wook accuses Jae Young of orchestrating this. Jae Young is unapologetic and intends to thoroughly embarrass Hyun Wook. He also plans to take Infinite Power with him but Hyun Wook reminds him that the boys have signed contracts with AnA. Jae Young texts his trump card to Hyun Wook and doesn’t want it to come to a lawsuit to dissolve the contracts.
Hyun Wook takes out his phone and opens the text to see a picture of his dad posing with a woman and a little boy looking like a family.
Hae Yoon chases after Jae Young and demands to know who he can do this. Jae Young can’t compete with Hyun Wook if he works under him so from now on he plans to take everything away from Hyun Wook little by little. He also points out that this is the first time Hae Yoon has made the proactive effort to reach out to him.
After recording the demo, Shi Woo stops Se Na to grab her phone to call his phone to exchange numbers. He wants her to call him first when the results come out. Se Na runs off and Shi Woo gets a call about the Infinite Power break up.
Se Na sees all the trainees discussing the uproar at the agency from Jae Young quitting and taking Infinite Power with him. Another trainee pipes up that he’s taking all the IP members except for Shi Woo. Another trainee glares at Se Na and suggests that she caused all of this. Se Na runs off as the trainees remain furious that President Wook always takes her side.
Se Na finds Hyun Wook and asks if this all happened because of her. He smiles and assures her that not everything revolves around her so she can stop being so self-absorbed. Hae Yoon calls Hyun Wook to tell him that three members of Infinite Power excluding Shi Woo have held a press conference announcing the group has disbanded.
Hyun Wook goes to his father’s place to confront him about the woman in the picture and asking if that girl was one of the company trainees? He calls his dad sleazy and pathetic for touching one of the company trainees. Dad is surprised Jae Young used that as the trump card but assures Hyun Wook that there is nothing to worry about since the girl wasn’t underaged. Ewwwww. Dad has his own trump card against Jae Young, three years ago when he went to India he was caught smoking pot. He wants Hyun Wook to use this now against Jae Young.
Hyun Wook cries about how his father keeps disappointing him. A year after his mom died, his dad married a woman twenty years younger and still Hyun Wook tried to forgive him. After he severed ties with his dad over So Eun, he still worried about his dad. But he can’t believe that his dad really is a man of such low morals. Hyun Wook’s dad sits there saying nothing. Hyun Wook declares that he doesn’t want to see his dad anymore, whether it’s the company or Infinite Power he wants nothing to do with it. He storms off and we see Hyun Wook’s stepmother in the corner having heard this conversation.
Se Na reads on her phone all the latest news about Infinite Power being disbanded. She’s sitting in the dark which startles Joo Hong’s boyfriend when he comes her. He hears she wants to be alone and suggests she go be alone outside. He puts down a big dog suit head on the ground and Se Na stares at it. Se Na takes the dog head and waits outside Hyun Wook’s house and sees him pulling up looking totally torn up. Se Na puts on the dog head and walks into the courtyard where Hyun Wook is sitting there brooding.
Se Na introduces herself as Se Na’s friend Dalbok and is here to pass along what Se Na wants to say. She feels bad about everything that has happened, she worked hard to write a song that she was certain would have beaten Jae Young like a right hand hook. But she’s not sad that she gets to stay at the company now.
Doggie Se Na sits down to keep Hyun Wook company. Hyun Wook asks if Dalbok’s friend Se Na is okay and Doggie Se Na nods her head. Hyun Wook reaches out and takes off her dog head and sees Se Na crying as the two of them quietly stare at each other.
Thoughts of Mine:
MLG is perplexing and random if I stop to think about it, but watching it with a quaint acceptance allows the whole thing to go down smoothly without any recrimination. The entirety of Hyun Wook and his dad’s issues come across as a smorgasbord of whatever the writer wants to cook up in each episode. There is daddy’s disapproval of So Eun, then we learn he remarried a much younger wife and had a talentless half-sister for Hyun Wook to cart around, and now there is the added grossness of Hyun Wook’s dad maybe being the worst kind of music agency president in seducing and knocking up a trainee. If the next episode we learned he covered up a murder it wouldn’t surprise me, but already he’s basically irredeemable unless he didn’t knock up the trainee and Hyun Wook jumped too early to the wrong conclusion. I really don’t care either way because Hyun Wook’s daddy issues hardly hold a candle to his dead ex-girlfriend guilt.
Other than him being handsome, rich, and a talented songwriter, there isn’t much about Hyun Wook that makes him a fully formed character. Rain makes him easy to watch and I like how patient and paternal he is towards guiding Se Na, other than that he remains dull as beans. I’m also hoping the costume designer stops dressing him like a fuddy college professor on his way to a book club. The dull classic suits and cravat are just too much and even Rain can’t hope to make it look anything other than boring. Jae Young at least dressed better but unfortunately his leaving AnA will likely mean less screen time to glare at everyone other than Hae Yoon. Anyone else go “BUH?” when he called out Hae Yoon to slide a ring to her? That’s like me randomly proposing to a coworker at work who I grab lunch with once a week. Forgot Hae Yoon not liking Jae Young because she already likes Hyun Wook, no woman should date Jae Young if he’s prone to proposing to the woman he likes without any regard for whether she actually likes him back!
Even his fights with Jae Young are soooooo brutally inane. It’s like two alpha dogs pawing each other when no one came for that show. I’m thrilled Jae Young left AnA as his place there is fractured beyond repair with Hyun Wook’s retain. Having Infinite Power disband also makes sense and ads the typical contract breach fight coming up to fill in story time. I do feel sorry for Shi Woo who has been tossed aside as collateral damage in a fight that he’s not even involved with. At least Shi Woo and Se Na have called a truce, but one that keeps their bickering nagging of each other. Their interactions are the only fun and young elements in this show, when Se Na is with Hyun Wook the whole thing grinds to a much too serious halt. Art gallery viewings and abandoned amusement park visits does not make for fun outings, especially when Hyun Wook is superimposing So Eun on Se Na half the time.
Hyun Wook continues to function great as a benign daddy long legs but the whole subtext with him falling for Se Na down the road still doesn’t have any traction yet. How can it when he keeps seeing dead So Eun everywhere! Those memories and visuals really need to stop and allow Hyun Wook to have an independent story line outside of the two Yoon sisters. Ra Eum and Rae Heon continue to be complete wastes of airtime and the only consolation is that once Rae Heon leaves AnA then there will be fewer scenes of him interacting with Ra Eum and being a double eye sore. Hae Yoon is also a one-trick pony but clearly she’s just being primed to rise up as the female version of Jae Young once Hyun Wook falls for Se Na and Hae Yoon once again loses out on winning his heart. For four episodes the drama didn’t have any stakes so I welcome the arrive of a genuine problem for Hyun Wook to resolve. Hopefully nothing to come veers too far to the makjang and the whole tone of MLG retains its light touch of ordinary.
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