I don’t hate My Lovely Girl because that’s too strong a feeling for a drama so utterly incompetent. It’s basically handicapped and hating on the weak is not a particularly decent thing to do. At this point I think the screenwriter doesn’t know what the hell she’s writing. As a love story between Se Na and Hyun Wook the entire thing has fallen off a cliff as far as I’m concerned. Sure the narrative can end up with them together at the end of episode 16, but it won’t have gotten there by making the audience root for that pairing. Their relationship is unbalanced and wacked, and both of them act like immature twats when they are together or moping apart.
Only when sane mature characters like Hae Yoon and Shi Woo (adding on Sang Jin and Hyun Wook’s dad as well) push them to stop wallowing in misery does either of them stop acting like extras in Land of the Living Dead. What’s ridiculous is how dire both of them are behaving over what amounts to newly minted love that tanked, stuff that almost everyone experiences. They are acting like their world ended and if it’s that deep their love for each other then they need to fight for it. Instead they mope and then do nothing, the very ingredients to make the most asinine love story ever.
Episode 13 recap:
Se Na finds out that her new boyfriend Hyun Wook was actually her unni So Eun’s former boyfriend, but not by Hyun Wook telling her and instead by Jae Young setting her up to find a picture on the wall outing the previous relationship. Se Na ignores Hyun Wook’s calls from the airport and he smartly deduces the reason and rushes out to find her.
Hyun Wook pounds on Joo Hong’s door looking for Se Na and reveals to confused Joo Hong that Se Na didn’t show up at the airport.
Se Na calls Jae Young and asks to meet. On her way out of the bar she sees Hyun Wook pulling up in a taxi and quickly hides from him. Hyun Wook goes inside the bar and sees the picture on the wall that he took with So Eun back in 2008 which confirms his fears.
Se Na goes to meet Jae Young and reveals that she saw the picture and knows that Jae Young wanted her to see it. Jae Young claims he was good friends with So Eun so he can’t let Se Na continue on with Hyun Wook. He wants Se Na to ask him questions and he’ll tell her what she wants to know but Se Na declines and walks away.
Se Na finds Hyun Wook pacing outside Joo Hong’s apartment when she returns later that night. He immediately asks if she’s alright and wants to know what happened? Se Na cuts straight to the chase and asks if he knew from the very beginning who she was? Hyun Wook admits it so Se Na asks why he didn’t tell her from the beginning! If she knew then she wouldn’t have liked Hyun Wook, nor would she have asked him to like her back? Hyun Wook steps closer to Se Na and she orders him to keep away from her before leaving him standing there.
Joo Hong and her boyfriend are confused when Se Na returns to the apartment but she asks to rest now and will explain things later. Joo Hong tries to talk with Se Na but all she gets is silence in return so she doesn’t press further.
Hyun Wook returns to his dark house which is all packed up for his move to the US with Se Na. He looks around sadly.
Hyun Wook goes to pick up Dal Bong from Sang Jin the next morning and Dal Bong barks happily, clearly the only one who is happy to see Hyun Wook here. Sang Jin wonders why Hyun Wook is here instead of Boston and hears that there is no reason for him to leave now. Sang Jin understands that means Se Na found out the truth. Hyun Wook claims he’s okay with it since he was worried about Dal Bong getting on a plane anyways.
Hyun Wook assures a worried Sang Jin that he’s doing fine but he’s clearly not. He pulls over to the side of the road and starts crying on the drive home. Hyun Wook looks into the backseat and sees Dal Bong which makes him buck up. He says to Dal Bong “it’s just the two of us again.”
Hae Yoon finds out from Sang Jin that Hyun Wook didn’t leave because Se Na knows the truth now. He wishes none of this happened in the first place but Hyun Wook likes Se Na and there is nothing he can do to stop him. Sang Jin asks if Hae Yoon revealed the secret? He can’t believe she did so it must be Jae Young.
Hae Yoon goes to Hyun Wook’s house and he wonders how news spread so fast? Hyun Wook doesn’t want to talk with Hae Yoon about his aborted US trip and offers to get her a drink only to find he has nothing in the fridge. Hae Yoon apologizes to Hyun Wook and explains that the secret came out all because of her. She was the one who told Jae Young and regretted it immediately. She even tried to stop Jae Young from using it against Hyun Wook.
All Hae Yoon wanted was to keep the secret forever and stay around Hyun Wook’s side. Hyun Wook doesn’t blame her because other people know and the secret will come out eventually. He knows that the decision to run away was very immature but he had no choice. He still wishes Se Na didn’t find out. Hae Yoon worries that Hyun Wook will run away again now like when So Eun died. Hyun Wook doesn’t know what he’ll do now.
Se Na lays in bed staring at the polaroid of So Eun and Hyun Wook before tucking it away in her notebook. She gets a call from Shi Woo asking why she didn’t call after she landed? Se Na asks Shi Woo how he’s doing and he sasses back that he’s not doing well since she’s not around. He asks about the weather in Boston and Se Na lies that it’s sunny out. Shi Woo tells her to come pick him up at Logan Airport tomorrow since he’s arriving in Boston to see her. That gets Se Na to admit the truth that she’s still in Seoul.
Se Na goes to meet a happy again Shi Woo at the park and he chastises her for making him upset for no reason if she wasn’t leaving town. He wants to know why she didn’t leave but Se Na doesn’t explain anything to him. Shi Woo will chalk it up to her staying for him and points out that now she can be his music producer for his next album again.
Shi Woo notices that something is really off about Se Na, even if she’s got a smile he can tell something is really bothering her and making her sad.
Se Na walks through the neighborhood back to the apartment and passes by places that makes her remember Hyun Wook. Se Na then runs into a very happy Dal Bong on the street as the furry friend runs up to paw at her. Hyun Wook follows and there is a round of unhappy staring as he doesn’t know what to say to Se Na.
Hyun Wook finally breaks the awkward silence to ask Se Na how she’s doing. Se Na tells him she’s fine and says hello to Dal Bong before walking away.
Director Kang sits down with Hyun Wook’s stepmother to reveal the background on the woman that Hyun Wook’s dad is taking care of. She was a dance trainee at the agency 10 years ago but disappeared after two years with rumors that she had gotten pregnant. Director Kang doesn’t know what to say to Hyun Wook’s stepmother because all signs indicate that Hyun Wook’s dad got her pregnant. Director Kang hates cheaters and suggests this is the right time to take over the agency.
The AnA management team are dealing with a new crisis where their new investor is planning to withdraw his investment after unsubstantiated gossip that the agency is being investigated. Director Kang wonders where Hyun Wook is during this crisis situation but Hae Yoon covers for him and says he’ll taking care of personal matters.
Hyun Wook’s dad is notified about this situation by Hae Yoon and plans to take care of it. He’s upset to hear that Hyun Wook still isn’t back at the company. Hae Yoon takes matters into her own hands and gets Se Na’s address from her trainee file.
Hae Yoon pays Se Na a visit and notes that she looks well so Hae Yoon is less worried. Se Na is upset that Hae Yoon also knew but kept the secret from her. Hae Yoon apologizes but she tried to stop Se Na from going forward. Se Na doesn’t acknowledge her part in the mess and just brushes Hae Yoon aside to leave.
Hae Yoon asks if Se Na knows where Hyun Wook is right now and reveals that he disappeared for three years after So Eun died. He only returned for Se Na, to help her and develop her music talent. Hae Yoon is really worried that Hyun Wook will suddenly disappear again and asks Se Na for her help. Se Na doesn’t know what she can do and hears that Hae Yoon just wants both of them to go back to where they started. Hyun Wook can’t feel at ease unless he knows Se Na is going well, and Hae Yoon asks Se Na to understand Hyun Wook’s sincere concern for her all this time.
Hyun Wook drinks with Sang Jin who is still amazed that he survived two days of dog sitting Dal Bong. Sang Jin is actually grateful to Dal Bong because that’s the only reason Hyun Wook came back, to pick him up. Otherwise he knows Hyun Wook would have left already. Sang Jin missed Hyun Wook when he was gone for those three years and doesn’t want him to leave again. Sang Jin urges Hyun Wook not to feel bad because there is nothing wrong in a man liking a woman.
A drunken Hyun Wook sits outside the steps of Se Na’s apartment to wallow in his misery some more. Se Na finds him sitting there with his head in his arms and goes up to ask him why he’s here? Is he hurting? How can he be hurting more than she’s hurting? She’s only here because of the chance he gave her and she doesn’t plan to stop now after two songs. If he’s planning to keep helping her then he can’t give up now as she plans to one day surpass Jae Young as a producer.
Hyun Wook smiles and compliments Se Na as being very courageous. Se Na doesn’t plan to have any expectations of Hyun Wook and also won’t be disappointed in him again. But he can’t just give up like this, ignoring the agency and drinking his life away. No shit. Se Na calls him out as acting so mature and responsible but he’s not really like that in the end. Hyun Wook sighs and admits that he was never cut out to be the daddy long legs type. Se Na orders Hyun Wook to return to being the cool guy he was before because she’s doing just fine. Hyun Wook wipes the tears from his eyes and gets his ass off the steps to walk home.
Se Na goes home and calls Shi Woo to accept the task of being his music producer. Shi Woo is happy she’s back to being the Se Na he knows and orders her to only think of him from now on. Se Na tells him to dream on but will meet him tomorrow at the agency.
Good friend Joo Hong comes in to chat with Se Na and lays eyes on the picture of Hyun Wook with So Eun. Joo Hong makes the connection that the doggie flower boy was So Eun unni’s former boyfriend and she’s also upset that Hyun Wook knew who Se Na was from the very beginning. Joo Hong can’t believe Se Na fell for Hyun Wook and asks what she plans to do with Hyun Wook going forward? Se Na assures Joo Hong that she’s going to stop it.
Shi Woo goes to Hae Yoon’s office after hearing Hyun Wook hasn’t been to work lately. He informs her that Se Na will be doing his album and asks if she has any problem with it? Hae Yoon is actually pleased with this decision.
Se Na walks into the recording studio and imagines Hyun Wook sitting there waiting for her. She blinks and realizes that it’s Shi Woo sitting there. He welcomes her inside and is ready to get back to work. Shi Woo is listening the first song Se Na wrote for him that he didn’t sing. He realizes she was probably thinking of Hyun Wook when she wrote that song which upsets him. He wants her to only think of him when she’s writing songs for his new album.
Hyun Wook’s dad places a call from home ready to meet with the investor when he arrives in Seoul this weekend. He then gets a piercing headache and goes to the hospital where the doctor chides him for working when he should be taking it easy. Any stress and he can have a stroke again.
Hyun Wook’s dad pays him a visit at home urging him to go back to work since the agency can’t be left without a leader. Hyun Wook wants his dad to go back but his dad is ready to hand over the reins completely to Hyun Wook. He hands over wine and asks Hyun Wook to drink with him.
Hyun Wook’s dad takes a drink of wine and asks what Hyun Wook would do if today was his last day alive? He would drink, go fishing, and climb a mountain, but what he wants the most is to have Hyun Wook by his side. Too bad that can’t happen anymore. Hyun Wook’s dad launches into a recollection of the first time he took 7 year old Hyun Wook fishing and how cute he was back then.
Hyun Wook asks directly what’s going on with his dad? All dad says is that he’s sorry to Hyun Wook for not taking better care of Hyun Wook’s mom when she was alive. He’s also sorry for how So Eun ended up. He knows Hyun Wook has lots of anger towards him and he wishes he could be a better father like he succeeded at building the agency. He feels bad having Hyun Wook run the agency when it’s in trouble.
Hyun Wook returns to work at AnA and his wardrobe has changed from stuffy to sleeker suits. He walks into the management meeting to hear that their investor wants to withdraw the investment and move it over to Jae Young’s agency. Their trainees are also being scouted by other agencies as are the various directors. Hyun Wook calms everyone down to focus on the trainees and get Shi Woo’s new album ready.
Hae Yoon thanks Hyun Wook privately for coming back to work and he thanks her for handling things well while he was away.
Hyun Wook meets with all the trainees and assures them that all their progress will continue without any disruption. All that matters is their hard work and talent and whether they want it or not. If they trust in him and have been with AnA for years, he knows their hard work and will make sure they get on stage.
Hyun Wook walks back to his office and finds Shi Woo and Se Na walking out of the recording studio. He asks how things are going and hears it’s going well. Shi Woo tells Hyun Wook not to worry about them before walking away with Se Na.
Hyun Wook and Hae Yoon find their investor meeting with Jae Young first. The investor claims he doesn’t trust AnA anymore and wants to move his money to a more profitable company. The investor isn’t certain if he wants to move his investment to Jae Young’s agency so Hyun Wook asks for some time. He will need time to get the money back so if the investor can wait and see if AnA can show progress during this time then there is no need for him to take the investment back. The investor agrees to give AnA one month to show him results.
Se Na is up at the rooftop brooding and remembering her time spent up there with Hyun Wook. She gets a call from Shi Woo to come down to Hyun Wook’s office.
Se Na walks into a meeting with Shi Woo and Hyun Wook to discuss Shi Woo’s next album. Hyun Wook points out how important it is to the future of the agency. He asks if Se Na can produce the songs within the month and she promises to try. Shi Woo also promises to work hard and will work in sync with Se Na. Hyun Wook offers whatever help and resources they need to make it happen.
Shi Woo wonders why Se Na looks so down and doesn’t buy her excuse that she’s stressed because the new album has so much on the line. Se Na asks what Shi Woo wants in his new songs? Shi Woo wants the feeling of someone thinking of only him and having her mind on only him. He sees that Se Na is still down and suggests they go somewhere to cheer her out of this funk.
Shi Woo takes Se Na drinking but he doesn’t touch his alcohol since he needs to watch his figure for his next album since his concept is choco abs. He then asks why Se Na isn’t laughing at his joke. Se Na takes a drink while Shi Woo offers to listen to what is bothering her. Se Na admits she’s not able to think of songs right now even when she really wants to write.
Shi Woo asks why, is the reason Hyun Wook? What is Se Na’s relationship with Hyun Wook? Se Na claims their relationship is one that can’t be any relationship. Shi Woo asks directly if she dated Hyun Wook and then they broke up? Se Na just drinks some more and doesn’t answer his question.
Shi Woo drives a drunk Se Na home and Joo Hong helps her back to the bedroom to rest. Joo Hong’s boyfriend wonders what happened and thinks he needs to take matters into his own hands to get the couple back together. Joo Hong puts Se Na to bed and suggests she not work at AnA anymore otherwise she’ll have to see him. Se Na cries that she still wants to see him and she still misses him.
Joo Hong’s boyfriend goes to Hyun Wook’s place and reveals that Se Na is a mess lately and even came back drunk together. He wants the couple to make up soon and suggests that Hyun Wook apologize first since a guy should always apologize. He hands Hyun Wook his resume as an aspiring actor claiming that Hyun Wook can call him if he can’t reach Se Na to apologize.
Se Na stares at her picture of Dal Bong and Hyun Wook in her phone but can’t bring herself to delete it.
Shi Woo pays Hyun Wook a visit the next day to update that it might be longer than expected to produce the songs. He wants Hyun Wook not to worry as he’ll make sure the songs are written. Right now Se Na isn’t in the best songwriting mood and it’s because of Hyun Wook clearly. Shi Woo wants Hyun Wook not to change songwriters if it takes Se Na longer to write the songs. Shi Woo trusts Se Na and will wait until she produces all the songs.
Hyun Wook goes up to the roof and finds Se Na brooding up there. Hyun Wook hands Se Na tickets to a concert for her to go clear her mind. Se Na declines the offer and claims she can do it. Hyun Wook is worried about her but Se Na yells at him to stop it. Stop being so concerned about her because that’s how it all started between them. Hyun Wook claims he’s doing this as the agency president and because he’s worried about her.
Se Na tells Hyun Wook not to pay her any attention because it’s already so hard for her to hold it in. Shi Woo walks up to Se Na and takes her hand before telling Hyun Wook “it’s time for you to let go.”
Thoughts of Mine:
MLG was never that good, and plenty of viewers can make a persuasive argument that it sucked from the get go. I didn’t think so, hence my decision to recap it. The early episodes were breezy fun, nothing extraordinary but the ordinary felt warm and inviting somehow. If the drama hewed to the basic concept of Hyun Wook and Se Na falling in love and healing each other’s wounds, then the writing has to substantiate what makes their connection with each other both meaningful in a positive way and so consuming that it has to be each other and no one else. At 13 episodes in, the writing has failed spectacularly at both elements. I think Hyun Wook and Se Na are better off with others, or even better off alone. Their relationship isn’t toxic as much as it’s stagnant, the type of seeking comfort through reassurance rather than forward momentum drive. They also haven’t shown how much they love each other, aside from the anemic hugs and one kiss it’s been so banal I’m embarrassed for Rain to be acting like he was just out of short pants when it comes to romancing a girl.
After dipping a toe in lame spurned second lead waters, Hae Yoon has emerged from the pit of woe as the best female characters in the drama. She’s sincere and forthright, able to admit her actions like how she told Jae Young the secret, but also move on from her crush with Hyun Wook to help him stand up again without asking for more. The only reason this drama even needs three more episodes of story is to change up the OTPs with Hyun Wook and Hae Yoon and Se Na and Shi Woo. Otherwise all that moping and forced distance in this episode is just pointless if eventually Se Na will come around. I don’t want to spend 3 episodes with her becoming okay with dating her unni’s former boyfriend, either be okay with it now or never be okay with it and not change her mind down the road. Shi Woo is still that cute combination of persistent and thoughtful, which works because he never oversteps his bounds with Se Na and his actions are of the positive sort in pushing Se Na to write songs for him and get out of her funk. I have no hopes for the finale week and simply ask for stamina to get through the remainder of this mind-numbing waste of time.
Click here to watch My Lovely Girl.