Split Screen: Power Couples 101

Thanks for tuning in to Split Screen! I’m your trailblazing intro host Madelyn. We started this Off-Topic Corner series as a bit of a joke, but I am now deeply invested in the characters of both of these shows! As one of the former curators of a literal Trashy Novel Book Club, perhaps this should come as no surprise. But in a time of year where many of us (myself included, oh so included) as incredibly busy, isn’t it nice to pull up a cozy armchair, grab some snacks, and watch some improbably engaging anime and k-drama? It sure is, reader, it sure is.

(New to Split Screen? There’s always more room in the viewing party! Check out our past blogs here.)

Boys Over Flowers Episode 9 (from minute 34)

Boys Over Flowers episode 9

M: Obviously we watched it in two parts, but I think taken as a whole, this was a well-crafted episode.

E: Yeah, everything seemed to fit together pretty well. It told like an actual self-contained story which I guess previous episodes have sort of done, but not as well as they did it this time.

M: It limited its scope to one, maybe two stories per character, when usually it’s five minimum.

E: A lot less Ji-hoo this episode too.

M: That’s probably the real reason I liked it.

E: In this episode, F2 Minor is Ji-hoo and Woo-bin. Yi-jung has ascended.

M: Let’s keep it that way from now on.

E: We’ll get to it a little later, but I am not entirely sure what was happening with Yi-jung.

M: I think that was intentional. Jumping back to our starting point, it’s always fun when Jan-di invades the man-cave, except that this time, Jun-pyo raised the important question of how she got there.

E: And then we realized that we have no idea where “there” is.

M: I had assumed it was at Jun-pyo’s house. He treats everything like he owns it, so maybe that’s a bad assumption.

E: For the first few episodes though, they had like this room and another room. And I thought this room was one of their houses and the other room was at school. But now it’s just this room.

Boys Over Flowers Episode 9 discussion

TFW you realize you don’t even know how you got in here

M: The school has become much less central the past few episodes.

E: I don’t think that’s a bad thing though.

M: Is it supposed to be the winter holidays?

E: That does seem plausible. Jan-di was talking about Christmas.

M: I was waiting for the requisite Thanksgiving episode to orient me. Except…nope!

E: Is there any sort of Korean Thanksgiving equivalent?

M: There is! It’s also in November, it’s called Chuseok, it’s a harvest festival! To be clear, I googled this, I didn’t just know it off the top of my head. But, it must not be a sitcom trope the way Thanksgiving is.

E: Yeah. Not that Western TV shows don’t have Christmas episodes too, but Christmas is super secular in the East, I’m pretty sure. The holiday episode might just be…Christmas. I mean, particularly in a romance.

M: I think the next episode is going to be the Christmas episode, based on Jun-pyo’s request in the last scene.

E: Where did we start this episode though?

M: What a great question to ask, because it means this felt like a coherent episode for once. We started with Jan-di fighting about apologies with Jun-pyo at the man-cave.

E: Oh right. Dragging Woo-bin into their fight by being their messenger even though they were literally inches apart.

M: Best use of Woo-bin in the series to date.

E: He literally did it for like five sentences before complaining.

Boys Over Flowers Woo-bin

Woo-bin, you never had to START DOING IT IN THE FIRST PLACE

M: Scratch that, second-best. First-best was crying in the hospital.

E: God, just what is Woo-bin? Why is he there? What purpose does his character serve to the plot?

M: He is the only member of F4 who doesn’t have a personality or a narrative arc of his own. For  a while, Yi-jung had no real storyline, but he did a personality. I could have chalked that up to better acting, if I was feeling generous. But now Yi-Jung has a full b-story and the writers have given Woo-bin absolutely nothing to work with.

E: Yeah, I don’t think it’s fault of the actor in this case. Like, how do you make a compelling character out of nothing? He’s doing his best.

M: One point to Woo-bin: I learned his surname before Yi-jung’s. I’m pretty sure this episode was the first time that stuck for me. We had the Song Woo Bin cheer a little while back, so I’ve got that one.

E: A little while back? That was like two weeks ago.

M: It’s been a long two weeks, okay? Speaking of Yi-jung, what an arc for him this episode. I really thought this B-romance was going to take a little while longer to develop.

E: I feel like there will be some problems because Yi-jung is clearly trying to distract himself a bit from whatever is going on in his life. Whatever that is.

M: Let’s talk about that art conservatory scene. We’ve never seen this professor before, and normally I would doubt my memory, but the show went out of its way to show us his name placard.

E: Oh, what was his name?

M: It took me months to learn Woo-bins name, who appears in every single half of every episode. If you think I know the professor’s name, ya wrong.

E: Because I was thinking about it a bit, since we took a short break in between BOF and MHA today, and I was kind of thinking that maybe the professor is his father? And that’s why he was upset? And then the person on the phone was his mother? And they’re like separated? That seems to make sense, right?

SEEMS RIGHT CAUSE IT IS RIGHT

M: Sort of? I’m willing to buy that the professor is his father, and please, go back for screenshot receipts. But that story plays out pretty similarly if this guy is just his sculpting mentor, right? The phone call, on the other hand, is very difficult to decipher for me. What was the deal with the medicine?

E: Ji-hoo gave drugs to Jan-di. That doesn’t have anything to do with Yi-jung, at least that we know of. Also, why did Ji-hoo give drugs to Jan-di?

M: It seems like she caught a cold from walking around with wet hair, which incidentally, explains my current health, but you don’t take medicine for colds. That’s bad. Antibiotic resistance is real.

E: Especially not medicine that comes in a suspicious bag labeled “Medicine” from a suspicious violin-playing individual. Hey, that sound like a great fantasy novel set-up.

M: Weird scripting to put that right before a scene where Yi-jung is like “you’re not gonna punish us with medicine…?”

E: We went back to look at it so I remember. It was…uh, crap, I think it was: “Is it now my turn after my father’s to be threatened by you taking medicine?” or something to that effect.

M: So… is his mom suicidal?

E: That’s what I’m guessing? Somebody in his family, because it started with his father and now it’s him and it seems more personal than a business partner.

M: I’m sure we’ll hear more in the coming episodes.

Boys over Flowers episode 9 review

Nothing sketchy about this at all

E: Ga-eul was also having a bad day. I actually cringed out of sympathy when they confronted the bad boyfriend. Those were some savage words he spat her way.

M: I’m confused about why he dated her at all.

E: It appeared to be some sort of game? I don’t know. The girl he was actually dating seemed cool with it. So.

M: I feel like it had to be connected to his club. He said he was “working hard” on the phone call.

E: Speaking of the phone call, I feel like that was a good explanation for what happened with the whole punchy shenanigans

M: Yeah, it didn’t veer too far into the ridiculous. I really thought for a few minutes there that Soon-Pyo was trying to traffic Ga-Eul. I should have given the writers more credit.

E: Just enough credit that they would know that they couldn’t handle writing about human trafficking. Good job.

M: And we got a nice instance of non-intentional stalking, which is cool.

E: It says something about this show that we have to give characters props for just being unintentionally creepy to other characters as opposed to intentionally creepy.

M: Whatever. If it makes Ga-Jung happen, I don’t care.

E: Yi-eul. Yeeul. Yule. No?

M: No, I’m down. We can make lots of Christmas themed fan-art.

E: Yes, with our incredible artistic skillzzzzz. Just look at the header for an example of Emma’s amazing portraiture.

M: Draw one for the blog please. Yule fan-art.

E: I will try Madelyn. I will sure try. (EDITOR E: I did not try, because I respect myself)

M: Noice. Poor Yi-jung getting stuck with the crying lady in what was apparently the lady district.

E: He made her cry. He can say ”it wasn’t me.” But he just got out of the car to literally roast her into sobbing.

Boys Over Flowers episode 9 recap

Behold, a liar

M: You look ugly.

E: That’s basically what he said!

M: He made up for it with the whole kiln metaphor and then smashing the bowl.

E: Madelyn was jumpscared by him smashing the bowl.

M: I thought the point was that it wasn’t going to break! That it was strong, even though it didn’t look strong!

E: That would be funnier. He’s trying to demonstrate how this fragile looking thing is strong and he hits with the hammer, and it breaks. Not the kind of comedy this show usually strives for though. 

M: We both thought it was kind of weird that Yi-jung was like “we’re both having a bad day, let’s give you a makeover.”

E: I thought we’d left the requisite makeover montages behind in this show. But alas.

M: One: it became obvious it was for a good cause. But two: Clickbait Boyfriend confirms that this would be a fun thing. He literally cited picking out clothes, make-up, and fancy hair. So spot on, Boys Over Flowers team.

E: That’s weird.

M: Not as weird as Yi-jung waltzing into this seedy club, romancing the trashy owner and then serenading Ga-Eul, maybe, on the saxophone that was waiting there for him.

E: WHY DID THEY HAVE A SAXOPHONE?

M: Maybe he had it planted there.

E: But she handed it to him. It was. It was there.

M: We already knew he played saxophone, right?

Boys Over Flowers music

He’s on SAXY boy! Eh? Eh?

E: Yeah, he and Woo-bin when they were playing detective tried to run a club down by being super entertaining or something. I don’t quite remember how that went down honestly.

M: That sounds right. What do you think are the odds the actor plays for real?

E: He’s better at faking saxophone than Ji-hoo is at faking violin, I’ll give him that at least. And he appeared to be playing the song that was playing even if it wasn’t live and didn’t quite line up right. So it’s possible.

M: it seems like an odd talent to give to a character if the actor isn’t semi-proficient.

E: Yeah, that’s true. It seems like something an actor would put on their resume.

M: And it’s like, you played in like fifth grade.

E: Yeah, just like that.

M: Missed opportunity for a sax cover of Almost Paradise or, in my dreams, Bang Bang Boom.

E: We instead had the slow piano cover of Almost Paradise. Which, props to Madelyn the musical genius for picking up on. I definitely did not hear it until she pointed it out.

M: Thanks. Props accepted.

E: So, finally in this episode, we got Jan-di and Jun-pyo apologizing to each other in their own way. Jan-di with an apple and Jun-pyo with a recreation of the Champs Elysee. You know. Equivalent exchange.

M: I also asked Clickbait Boyfiiend if he would make that for me, and he did not know what it looked like, and sensed my disappointment. (Edit: I showed him a picture and he said “Oh yeah, I’ve been there. I just didn’t know the name. Good save, CBB.”)

E: It’s just a walkway that’s lit up and night and the Arc de Triumphe is at the end

M: This is obviously setting up an episode where the gang goes to Paris and Ji-hoo and what’s-her-face reunite.

E: Yes, that’s what I’ve been saying since she went back to Paris. Albeit I thought there would also be lesbians at the time.

M: It’s not too late. Woo-bin could identify as a woman and I wouldn’t know.

E: You know what, I’d be on board with that. That’s the last thing. Jun-pyo and Jan-di are getting married. And Jun-pyo’s like “be my groomsman, because not best man but groomsman.”

And he’s like “oh, actually I’m one of Jan-di’s bridemaids.”

And then there’s one last Looney Tunes sound effect.

M: Noooooo. I want to be clear, we do not think this should be the punchline of a joke, we just have no faith in the show to handle that sort of topic respectfully.

Boys over Flowers episode 9 reaction

Real footage of Madelyn

E: I’m just saying, they could replace Woo-bin with a female actor and I wouldn’t tell the difference. (EDITOR E: On a tangential subject because we’ve got to acknowledge the sucky world sometimes, here’s how you can support the trans community during this time via Out Magazine)

M: Okay, let’s chat romance tracker, so we can talk about…their names don’t mash very well.

E: Janpyo. Japyo. Jun-di. Jundi. June-dy

M: It’s too similar.

E: I tried.

M: They’re definitely going to have a romantic and second-hand embarrassing (for me) Christmas with the Geums.

E: Will they eat the kimchi and the deboned fish though?

M: Nah, but fried fish for sure.

E: On a stick.

M: So like, that’s settled now, right? Unless Ji-hoo does something really drastic.

E: It feels settled. They both called each other their significant other while beating up the same guy, so that’s symbolism?

M: Ah, I remember those days.

E: I’ve heard that’s a rite of passage for any relationship. Is that true?

M: I’ll let the show speak for itself. But yes.

Boys Over Flowers episode 9 review

Real footage of Emma

E: I’ll be glad if it’s mostly settled. Again, as we’ve said before, I think the Gu family is gonna cause problems eventually. And their creepy Christmas traditions.

M: Yeah, Korean Lady Catherine de Bourgh also hasn’t weighed in yet. But again, unless Ji-hoo is really playing to win here, I don’t think those two will be interpersonally on the outs too much more. Except in their usual cute way.

E: It would feel like a giant step back for the show if they just started having deep issues again.

M: Romance on this show always moves a lot faster than I expect. Jan-di was dating Ji-hoo last episode! So maybe Ga-Eul and Yi-jung are going to get together, but my prediction is that they’re gonna try to keep it on the DL.

E: Will Woo-bin call out Yi-jung to a hockey battle though?

M: You know, I would hate that love triangle, but I would also welcome it.

E: Non-romantic predictions? I already made mine.

M: Okay, bridesmaids aside, I predict that Butler Lee is going to be sad not to spend Christmas with Jun-pyo this year.

E: He dressed up as Santa in the flashback! It almost made the creepy maids singing worth it.

M: And he will try to be stoic about it, but you’ll be able to see the disappointment on his face.

E: We gotta find Butler Lee a love interest.

My Hero Academia S2E6: The Boy Born with Everything

My Hero Academia Todoroki backstory

M: Emma is making off-the-record roasts about me.

E: I was just seeing if I could predict your opening line.

M: I thought this one actually had some coherent interpersonal storylines! Granted, they progressed by like an inch, but each individual scene at least contained something new.

E: We started with a little glimpse into Todoroki’s not so happy sunshine life.

M: I called that his mom had ice powers. I did not call that this was a Pokemon breeding situation, but the ice powers, I got that.

E: Yeah, it gets more messed up the more you think about it. I want to actually have a small Localization Corner. When Endeavor is talking to All-Might about Todoroki, in the dub he says: “that’s why I created that boy” right? But in the Japanese, he literally says. “That’s why I made that” as in an object.

M: Ooof.

E: Pretty brutal. Todoroki, I would say, is a bit of a fan favorite character. And, while I think he’s a good character, I just…every time I see this point in the anime, I just- it’s just a different take on Zuko.

M: Right, I was gonna say, writers, have you seen Avatar: The Last Airbender?

E: I mean, there’s a lot of intentional references in MHA, and I think Todoroki is purposefully meant to be a play on Zuko. There’s enough alteration to his backstory, personality, and powers to make it okay: homage rather than plagiarism. But still. I think Zuko is a stronger character overall, so I like Todoroki less in comparison.

M: Zuko has way more episodes as a central character, not to mention just way more episodes in general, so of course he’s going to be more developed. My real question from that scene, and it’s a two-parter, is that how is Endeavor a hero and not a villain? And how do we calculate “number one hero?”

E: The first question gets explored as the series goes on. And the second one, I’m not really sure? But there’s rankings besides number one, so I figure there must be some sort of official system for it. It’s not just like a title.

“Damn, All-Might looking thick though” -Madelyn probably

M: What a bizarre system to implement. It seems like it could only encourage bad behavior. I knew it had to be some kind of internal Heroes Union ranking system, because Endeavor is not literally trying to take down All-Might. This seems like a morale booster/productivity innovation gone very very wrong.

E: Actually, you know, I think the series goes into that idea later too. So look forward to both those things.

M: They should hire me as a consultant.

E: Yes, so after Todoroki and Midoriya have their conversation (with Bakugo trapped listening after going to the bathroom or whatever), we get to the side games and discover the match-ups for the next part of the tournament.

M: Another solid use of Mineta. Actually funny, goofy high school prank Mineta.

E: I don’t know who would ever believe a word he said, but you know, sure.

M: He had another guy as back-up, which I think gave it just enough credibility. They’re all freaked out enough to chance it.

E: Yes, that was a fun little breather from the action in my opinion.

TFW anyone says anything positive about Mineta

M: Another surprise: a nice use of montage when Deku was talking about his friends. Proof that we don’t have to see the whole scene for context.

E: I like the montages where all the memories are up against each other. There was one in the second episode of the first season when he was trying to claw Kacchan out of the slime monster which I’ve always felt was super effective. I feel like when they’re shoving flashbacks on top of each other it says more about how the person is experiencing them. So it feels more relevant.

M: And speaking of memory, yikes, Appendage Man, just take what you’re given.

E: Tail Man is a honorable dude, okay. He doesn’t feel like he deserves it.

M: He doesn’t understand what it means to be on a team. Sometimes, I mean, I’ve never done this, but sometimes you let someone else do the entire group project and you take your A.

E: See, sure, but it wasn’t a matter of him deciding to go that route, it’s more a matter of he literally has no memory of the group project.

M: I like to believe that about my collaborators sometimes.

E: If you’ve been paying any attention to the brief shots of Shinso we’ve gotten, you might have been able to guess his quirk before this point.

M: You forget that my recognition powers are those of Bakugo.

E: Uraraka? Who’s that? A question Madelyn has literally asked.

My Hero Academia season 2 episode 6 discussion

We are all Bakugo, deep down

M: I’m not ashamed.

E: No, I didn’t guess it either before this point, but there’s one shot in the obstacle course of him literally being carried by several people with swirly eyes. So. There’s that.

M: I don’t understand how Deku fell into his trap, when he seems to have spent his break talking to Appendage Boy about this exact quirk.

E: Yeah, it doesn’t feel like a super Deku move. He’s supposed to be a smart protagonist who notices other people’s quirks and utilizes them and learns them…so as soon as Tail Man told him not to talk to Shinso, you’d think he’d take that to heart. But I guess it’s meant to demonstrate that he’s easily riled up when it comes to people he likes?

M: I would have had Tape Man seal my mouth.

E: Alas, Tape Man will be going against Todoroki, so how will that go?

M: If I was Tape Man, I definitely want to face No-Quirk-Deku over Scary Brainwash Man, but that’s just me. I thought all of next episode was just going to be Shinso playing mind games with Deku, but apparently no.

E: Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm…

My Hero Academia season 2 episode 6 discussion

Deku, I think your good friend Tailman is trying to help you out here

M: That means it’s time for Lawsuit Watch!

E: I mean, somebody needs to sue Endeavor.

M: There’s some legit eugenics going on there.

E: I’m not sure who would sue him? I guess you can sue for emancipation, right? That seems like it would be a wise move on Todoroki’s part.

M: This was the future that was awaiting Ga-Eul if she’d stuck with Soon Pyo.

E: That’s dark.

M: Is it darker than hero breeding?

E: At least nobody poured boiling water on her face. Hey-o.

M: She had to eat intestine though, same thing.

E: Okay, yeah, true. Somebody could sue for having to eat intestine.

M: I think someone at UA has a case again like, Date Rape Man Shinso.

E: Wow, that’s making a lot of assumptions.

M: I don’t mean to say he’s actually done that. I’m just saying that he made a bunch of people do a lot of non-consensual fighting for him, which does not suggest a strong sense of boundaries.

My Hero Academia Shinso

He seems perfectly nice………….

E: Is there a word for that? Like, gladiators, I guess.

M: Slaves. Slavery is the word.

E: Yes, yes, sure, but I meant specifically for the fighting aspect not just the non-consensual aspect.

M: I think that’s probably closest, except that gladiators are cool. Anyway, I give the title to UA, now give me the title of the next episode.

E: You know, I just want to say that this competition has not been super fair ever since Shinhwa totally disappeared from the narrative.

M: Life isn’t fair.

E: The title is “Victory or Defeat”

M: Useless. Prediction One: Victory.

E: For who though?

M:Prediction two: Defeat

E: FOR WHO THOUGH?

M: For whom, actually.

Madelyn, predicting

E: Oh whatever. I just want to let you know that the next like five episode titles are super useless. Just some forewarning.

M: Between that and the loss of the Boys Over Flowers next on montage, this is gonna get real rough real fast.

E: Yeah, we can’t watch the My Hero next on because they just tell you what’s going to happen.

M: I notice you broke your emoji rule.

E: Oh sorry. Let me give you emojis.  

M: Much better. Prediction 1A (haha): I think Deku has to win. I’ve considered the possibility that the show will throw me a curveball where he loses early, but like, Ash Ketchum doesn’t fail on the first member of the Elite Four, you know?

E:

M: I think he’s probably going to have to like, break an arm to do it, but Healing Girl is on site, so that’s fine.

E:

M: Uh…okay.

E: Remember? Her weird extendy mouth that sucks the life force out of people?

M: Did not remember and will not be sleeping tonight. Prediction three.

E: *Silence* Prediction three?

M: That I won’t sleep. That is prediction three.

E: Ah, I see. The anticipation.

M: It’s meta.

E:

M: Prediction four: Endeavor and All-Might trade some more sick burns (haha)

E:

M: And finally prediction five: Iida and Goggle Girl fall in love.

E:

Hello, hello, Emma here! Thanks so much for following along with us on this journey, as usual. We’re watching My Hero Academia dubbed on Hulu (you can also see it on Funimation) and Boys Over Flowers on Netflix!

Next time! Deku reaches deep into the power of BS and the episode reaches deep into the power of the backstory. Also! On Boys Over Flowers…I guess some stuff happens. Goddammit, where are my next ons, I can’t work like this! I quit!

Look forward to it

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