followed me around, was attentive and fast when i got injured, but then…

why do they show so much care only to turn around and show interest in other people?

why do they do that?

why do they do that…

the dreams reminded me that there are things which, no matter how much time passes, will remain constant

like the desire to be loved

and the wish to not be left behind.

So I sent out the email.

Whether it will bring good news, I don’t know.

But I tried hard, that I know. And I could try harder and make a real difference, if given the chance.

Shake things up and live to the fullest, to really feel alive. Keep the innocent and childlike side, and at the same time have a good head on my shoulder. Goal: bring more positiveness, warmth, light to this world. I want to live my life like that.

[10/∞] The Producers – Cindy’s heart (ep 9)

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Recap and comment from girlfriday (dramabeans)

❝people’s words about you are like poison-covered arrows. They can’t pierce your heart if they’re spoken in hiding, but the most immature thing to do is to pick up those arrows that are lying on the ground and pierce your own heart with them, getting shot by arrows you needn’t be shot with, getting wounds you needn’t get. I hope you don’t do that to yourself.❞

— Seung-chan to Cindy
————
❝And finally, to the person who held up an umbrella when I was standing alone in the rain—thank you. I wanted to say that it was really warm.❞

— Cindy to Seung-chan

What really moved me in this episode was Cindy’s storyline, because her fear of being replaced was a different level entirely compared to Joon-mo’s timeslot worries. She would actually be replaced and cease to exist on some level—CEO Byun goes so far as to claim Cindy’s name and identity as her own creation. It’s no wonder that she feels so unsure of who she is. Cindy killed me with her moments of vulnerability today, first when she was actually jealous of Seung-chan being so easily caught in his crush (more jealous that he’s a terrible liar whose sincerity can’t be misread, not that his feelings aren’t for her), and then when she finally let her true feelings show through in her speech.

It was a beautiful breakthrough for her character, and I was really moved by how much she’d grown and how much our three other characters had influenced that change in her. Those are the moments that really get me in the heart, and Cindy has grown on me so much that now I’m angrier at Seung-chan for not noticing Cindy’s feelings than I was at Joon-mo for ignoring Ye-jin’s feelings. C’mon, Baek Seung-chan. Is a serenade on live television not enough to open your eyes?

Ep 9 achieved highest rating (18.5%) at Cindy's heartfelt speech.

Ep 9 achieved highest rating (18.5%) at Cindy’s heartfelt speech.

Comment from Stardust (dramabeans)

I really applaud Cindy for not being a clingy or jealous person, and was totally sincere and mature about how she handled her feelings for BSC… She is even so gracious to thank Yejin ( her love ‘rival’) on Live TV… She is not just doing it as a noble, goody goody character, but feels like a very real, believable person who didn’t force her feelings onto another person…

Comment from youcallitwinter (soompi) aka Zoe (dramabeans)

Seems like my ship was the only one that sailed throughout today- Ye-jin/Cindy, haha. I loved Ye-jin’s “drive faster, Cindy’s waiting!” and Cindy thanking her first from among the leads. They’re just so adorable!

Also, I’m surprised that so many people are mourning Cindy/Seung-chan and think we’re moving towards their burial, when, in my opinion, this was literally the first episode we saw Seung-chan’s tunnel vision expand to include her. He was not only hyper-aware of her feelings in all their scenes together, but also unusually considerate of them (he definitely showed more consideration this episode than he did while singing “Noona Is My Woman” after she kissed him.) And to complete the trifecta, he also took one of his pretty revenges on her behalf. Further, in the scene when Ye-jin and he return home from the movie, we may have had our first scene where Seung-chan was not only aware of Cindy’s feelings, but actively trying to gauge them which made him awkward, as was obvious through his expression when she apologised and was about to leave. Which is what I meant by his tunnel vision expanding, since, before this, in each scene that T/S/C had together, he was far too focused on Ye-jin to either notice or care about what Cindy was feeling, even after her confession-kiss. Their fight clearly affected him, because it seems he most believed her sincerity when she was declaring herself insincere, and that is why there’s such a marked difference in their interactions this episode.

Not to mention that this may also have been the first episode where Cindy/Seung-chan scenes were shot from Seung-chan’s perspective. Right down from the scene in the rain in the beginning, to when she’s singing in the end. Till now, we’ve only been in Cindy’s head, but this time round, he was the one looking at her. I don’t mean that in a romantic way, but literally, as a framing device. This episode, we don’t even know, since he doesn’t, whether she’s given up, moved on, whether her feelings have changed at all, as the POV is his throughout. For instance, when he enters her waiting room, she’s sitting with her eyes closed. In a regular Cindy/Seung-chan scene, the perspective would have been hers; we’d get to see how excited/nervous his nearness makes her, even with her eyes closed, and how hard she has to work to pretend it doesn’t. While he, in marked contrast, would be going about his regular work, completely oblivious, like in the wiring scene. This time though, we can’t tell at all what she’s thinking or feeling, she’s completely unreadable, because the perspective is not hers. Instead, we see Seung-chan waiting for a reaction to his name, and looking semi-disappointed when he doesn’t get one. We see him visibly reacting to the way CEO Byun is treating her and suggesting and taking action in her favour. When she’s singing too, the gaze is his, the camera pans on him for a long moment, while the last time she sang, at the norebang, the gaze was hers. There’s a perceptible difference in the matter of who is looking at whom in the scenes.

That’s not to say that they’ll be together (although tbh I don’t think anyone will be together except RJM/TYJ), and he was still completely focused on Ye-jin in the episode, and even ran to her after the performance (and indeed it would have been weird for him to change track at that stage in the episode), and well, who knows, this may have been a farewell episode for C/SC. But just by changing perspectives, there was definitely narrative movement forward for them, which makes it much easier for me to see it move even further in the future. So, sure, he isn’t madly in love with her or in love with her at all at this stage, but that wasn’t my point anyway. My point is that there was a shift in the direction and scene frames for this ship, which definitely signals more than the stasis of the past few episodes has, where every ship has been stuck in the same framing rut since ages. Honestly? This is the last episode I’d pick to declare them sunk.

[9/∞] The Producers – The real Cindy

Author: youcallitwinter (soompi) aka Zoe (dramabeans)

(I should have brought it here earlier but I was occupied with other things. I suppose now is still a good time – before ep 9 airs and before I lose track of her early posts on soompi.)

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I actually discussed this back in the day in the episode 4 thread on Dramabeans, when Cindy tried to sweet-talk Joon-mo into being nice to her on the 1N2D set and he told her to just be her real self. I had no idea that they would pick up that exact scene to discuss ” real ” for Cindy (although I was very glad that they did!) This is what I’d said then:

I LOVED the motif of “real” running through the episode. That Cindy doesn’t have any idea who the “real” Cindy is. It’s obvious that to her the “real” Cindy is the cold, rude one, and so she has to “pretend” to be nice, and playact at being the version of herself that she wants the audience to see. But it’s equally clear that the “real” Cindy is the girl who joins her own anti-fan cafe, who asks strangers on the internet to deconstruct if umbrella boy is interested in her, who eats fishcakes in secret, who smiles to herself and prolongs the anticipation when the boy she’s (totally, completely, utterly, REALLY has not) fallen for is looking for her. I love IU in this because she’s essentially playing three roles and doing a damn good job of it- Cindy as she thinks she is, Cindy as she thinks she should be, and Cindy as she actually is, and it’s so easy to see all the three and how they overlap and how difficult ‘reality’ is for someone like her who’s been playing a part so long that she thinks ‘reality’ is her playing herself as a part. Maybe that’s why it seems like IU’s acting is different in different scenes because it’s contingent on how Cindy’s acting, and I think that’s wonderful. And I love that as yet it’s only with Seung-chan that we’ve seen Cindy utterly fail at playing a role. I love that she’s acting like she has a grand plan, like she has this sorted, and that everything is going exactly how she wants it to, and that she’s going to make Seung-chan fall for her, while it couldn’t be more clear that she’s the one who’s already fallen. I love that there’s such a disjunct between what she says to people like her manager, and what her non-verbal cues and expressions reveal so obviously to anyone who bothers looking.

I think that’s what Seung-chan was saying this episode. That because Cindy is so convinced she’s not a good person, anytime she is portrayed as a good person on-screen- as someone who is happy, who has friends and people who love her, she feels the need to act. Because the only way she can see someone liking her or being her friend is if she’s not who she is, because she sees herself as a terrible person. What he essentially meant was not that she’s fake, but that there’s no reason for her to think she needs to be. I don’t think he meant it as her confession being insincere, but she took it that way, because that’s been on her mind all day, compounded by his indifference, so she takes his words to mean that he thinks she, and by extension, her feelings, are insincere. And since he doesn’t clarify when she misunderstands, it hurts her.

I think there’s a tendency in fandom to take Seung-chan as the touchstone for other characters, in that because of his lack of social graces he cuts past the social facades and bs and understands the people beneath them, people as they don’t want to be seen, so his viewpoint as regards them must necessarily be correct. But I don’t think that’s completely true- I don’t, for instance, think that he understands Cindy completely, and believe that his POV is limited to what she accidentally allows him to see- her past, her lack of friends, etc. But there are small moments that Seung-chan is not privy to, like her spending time on her anti-cafe, or endlessly waiting for his message, so he can’t factor that in in his assessment of her, which means that he doesn’t completely know the real Cindy either, and his POV on her isn’t the extent of her character, as it’s often taken to be. Her confession may have come out of the blue to him, but it’s not true for the audience, because we’ve been privy to the development and progression of her feelings, to every moment that her world paused or she found it hard to breathe because he was too close. So then, despite that, to judge Cindy by the meter that Seung-chan, who is after all not privy to her interiority, uses, is to not allow Cindy the full extent of her characterisation and growth. She’s not only the girl with a sad past and a sob story and the dead parents, she’s also the girl who joins her own anti-cafe and posts so much that she’s made administrator, and the girl who over-identifies with lines in books that resonated with the boy she likes. Cindy is more than just the sum of the parts that Baek Seung-chan has seen.

Also, I feel like Seung-chan can’t really understand that feeling of making yourself vulnerable to someone and opening yourself to outright rejection, which makes his comments about sincerity ironic. Seung-chan, Ye-jin and Joon-mo are happier with status quo, and not putting themselves and their feelings out there so they can maintain the illusion of a possibility. Seung-chan did so much for Hae-joo without her knowing, left a bright legal career for her, cried when he found out she may be dating someone else, and yet he started and ended that love on his own, without so much as telling her that he liked her. And now he’s doing the same with Ye-jin, he’s trying to be close to her, invite her on dates she doesn’t know are dates, stop her from meeting potential matches, all the while not telling her that he likes her as much more than just his sunbae. He may have no feelings for Cindy, so if he doesn’t favourably reply, it’s understandable, but he does have feelings for Ye-jin and he still hasn’t made any attempts to actively tell her, except covertly by singing Seunggi’s Noona anthem or in the “Of course” game. And without taking that chance, that leap of faith, there’s no real possibility of forward momentum, as Ye-jin learned the hard way with Joon-mo. It’s possible to spend twenty years in stasis and comfort, and avoid uncomfortable truths, but it’s also giving up a part of yourself, it’s not being honest with yourself, let alone the world. It’s as much a performance.

Seung-chan has done incredibly excessive things like change careers for the woman he was attracted to, and other not excessive things like risk being hated by his team just because Ye-jin was cheering him on, but still hasn’t managed an actual confession. And I think it’s a brilliant showcase of how much courage a confession requires, to actually break status quo and step into the unknown, to not only give up on the reality of love, but also the possibility of love. To risk not something concrete, but hope itself, as Cindy did. Which is why I don’t think he understands her fully, because he has never made himself consciously vulnerable in love. He can understand self-preservation and not wanting to be vulnerable and hiding behind bluster to hide your true feelings as Ye-jin does, but he can’t understand actually wanting to be vulnerable, to open up to someone, even at the risk of getting rejected, as Cindy did. It’s such an interesting dynamic because of the different explorations of love for different people.

On the other hand, because Cindy has been the only one who is upfront about her feelings, we’ve explicitly seen what being in love has done for her- how she’s breaking away from her shell, from endless nightmares about the death of her parents, standing up to CEO Byun and her control, moving away from her public image and escaping from her narrow confines, questioning her static existence, wanting more from life, allowing people in. She has an actual narrative arc. But the most frustrating thing is that because the other three refuse to enter that danger-zone, we literally have no idea how love has shaped them. How is Seung-chan growing through his love for Ye-jin?  How is that love helping him navigate other aspects of his life, like being a PD? How is he different from when he first met her? How is Ye-jin different from when she started out, with Seung-chan’s love for her and her love for Joon-mo? She has someone else to lean on too, sure, but what about her character can be considered a growth arc? How has she moved on or attempted to? How has Joon-mo gained strength or courage through Ye-jin’s confession to start taking responsibility? Or even become a better PD? Or is willing to risk more because of Seung-chan’s affection for Ye-jin? Considering that lovelines are such a significant aspect of the show, and, by now, practically all that the show is about, I’m baffled by the fact that they make so little actual significant difference to the growth arc of these characters. I literally sometimes can’t even tell what the arcs are, apart from love itself as the end, rather than the beginning. It’s not that I believe that love should necessarily be life altering, but when there’s no other arc that the show is exploring except romance, that is the only catalyst for character movement, especially since the professional angle is pretty much dead and buried and a part of nobody’s arc as it could have been, especially since the show is called “Producers”. Which is why I love that Cindy, at least, is growing in love, even though unrequited, even through the heartbreak. It reminds me of a Toni Morrison quote: Don’t ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it.

[8/∞] Cindy character development, Seung Chan for Cindy, & comments on ep 7 + 8

Author: youcallitwinter (soompi) aka Zoe (dramabeans)

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I can’t believe I watched this episode till seven in the morning, and still haven’t fallen asleep at eight now! But I have to say this- why have you been keeping the gloriousness that is the lead four interaction from us for 7 episodes, PD-nim?! This was practically a bottle episode and it’s my most favourite yet, because the four characters play off each other so incredibly well.

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And CINDY, queen of my heart, I love, LOVE that she’s such a mass of contradictions; that she’s super demanding about food and has such starlet-like tastes, and yet spends her time cleaning bathrooms and organising the refrigerator and separating the trash. It really shows that she hasn’t had much screen-time before this because I can’t believe we’re only now learning that she has a full-blown OCD about cleaning, which was only hinted at before with the mirror scene in the fourth episode, and is now her most dominant character-trait. I also, apart from the shipping angle, love how carefully Cindy notices Seung-chan’s movements and actions and catalogues them, a manifestation of her OCD, to the extent that what is strange about him for most people is just normal for her now (like his statement about the parking meter and extra charge), because she’s already categorised his actions, just the way that she arranged Joon-mo’s entire house, or the way she, without being told or having observed 95% of the interactions between Ye-jin and Seung-chan, knows immediately that he means what he’s saying when they’re playing the “of course” game. She can read between his lines as he can with Ye-jin.

I believe this aspect ties in so well with his own thorough, meticulous personality, and I love that the same character-trait can manifest so differently in two different characters. Her statement about him being “easy” makes complete sense now, because she, with all her penchant for organisation, thought he was predictable, she had him categorised, thought she’d figure out exactly what made him tick, arranged him neatly in her head, and then, ironically enough, it was her feelings for him that threw a wrench in all her color-coded analyses. That made him unpredictable, because it made her reaction to him unpredictable, and it was a mess, because when are emotions and attraction or love anything less than infuriatingly messy.

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And that’s what was so gorgeous about today, that Cindy literally threw caution to the winds and did things she hasn’t done in ten years, even though it breaks order, even though it’s messy, and she can’t stand messes. She took so many chances and put faith in people which she hasn’t ever done before- not only Seung-chan, but Ye-jin and Joon-mo too. She made herself vulnerable to someone who she knows doesn’t like her right now, she revealed her insecurities and resentment, clearly the first step to the “breaking away” from this world to a better one. I’m not sure how the pain and sacrifice motif is going to play out, but it’s clearly a part of her development arc now. I absolutely adored how the kiss played out, in that she’s so clearly anxiously hopeful, and gearing for disappointment when she looks at him next. There’s none of the after-kiss euphoria, she kissed him expecting rejection, which is fairly clear by her expression when she’s scanning his face after, like she wants to convince herself that she knows how this goes, but she can’t help that tiny, ridiculously hopeful, teenage part of her that’s hoping she’s wrong, that she doesn’t have this figured out.

I don’t think the kiss necessarily means that Cindy and Seung-chan are endgame, as this show has showcased an immense proclivity for emotional manipulation (who knows, by next episode Seung-chan/Ye-jin may have gotten married in Vegas.) But at this point, the only ship I truly see potentially working out is Joon-mo/Ye-jin. In Seung-chan/Ye-jin’s case, I wouldn’t be worried about Seung-chan’s response to the kiss, but the fact that Ye-jin, despite so many romantic set-ups, continues to show absolutely no romantic interest in him. It’s getting far too late to convincingly show that Ye-jin is into Seung-chan romantically. I think Seung-chan’s reaction or lack thereof to Cindy’s kiss is possibly the lowest common denominator for the ship working out. But this episode has really showcased how great the character-interactions are regardless of shipping preferences, at this point I’d willingly take a Ye-jin/Cindy endgame, I adored them together so much!

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Cindy’s narrative these past two episodes just reminded me so strikingly of a dialogue from Nobuta wo Produce.

You’re in love, aren’t you. Earlier it didn’t matter if you were alone, but now being alone is too lonely.

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I think one of my favourite aspects of Cindy’s development in the past two episodes was that it showcased just how trapped she was. We knew she was trapped in her life- by her idol life, by her image, by her schedule, by the company, but this episode showed that she was also trapped in her head- replaying the death of her parents over and over and unable to fall asleep. Which manifests as her OCD and obsessive need to control the smallest things, because she views the death of her parents as the direct outcome of her powerlessness.

I love that Cindy’s development arc is built around her feelings for Seung-chan, not Seung-chan himself, but her feelings, where he’s the catalyst for her actions, but not the direct cause of them. I love the number of motifs employed to show that little things related to him become symbols of freedom for her; the umbrella which helps her eat what she wants to out in the street, the book which finally helps her fall asleep, the headphones which help her tune out the incessant clicking of cameras, a car to escape in. I adore that being in love is making her engage and anticipate, even though anticipation implies she doesn’t know what happens next, which is antithetical to her neuroses about control.

I found it ironic, and I’m sure the drama meant to play it that way, that Seung-chan questioned Cindy’s sincerity of feeling and action. Because, out of the four leads, she has been the most upfront about them. She made herself vulnerable without any safety nets or covers- unlike Ye-jin’s confession only possible when being a drunken accident or Joon-mo pretending he hadn’t heard her confession to avoid the fall-out, or Seung-chan using the unpaid debt as an excuse to practically date Ye-jin without actually confessing his feelings for her. Cindy did not backtrack or say she was carried away by the moment and his concern for her, as she could well have done to save face when he took a step back. She was honest to her feelings, without any sense of self-preservation, without first trying to feel him out and gauge his reaction before making herself vulnerable and opening herself to rejection. I love this disjunct, that Cindy, the most closed-off, the most at disconnect with herself, was the first to take the plunge and break out of the protective shell into the unknown in this aspect. Or that she literally went into free-fall and gave up all control and created a messed-up situation, which is the hardest thing for her to do, because that is true sincerity, since her sincerity isn’t contingent on its reception. I love that and hope it’s explored more.

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[7/∞] The Producers – IU’s acting & Cindy/Seung-chan’s chemistry

Author: youcallitwinter (soompi) aka Zoe (dramabeans)

Posted on 4 June, before ep 7 aired.

(Found her on soompi today heh. Need to bring her wonderful insights here to avoid reading shipping war posts.)

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latigreblue: We all know that IU’s extremely popular. Whether nothing happened, her fans would still want her to end up in a happily ever after with the handsome sexy Kim Soo Hyundai.

youcallitwinter: That, I would’ve believed to be true before, but considering that IU’s been getting so many negative comments (most unwarranted imo, I don’t agree with them at all) and so many comments bashing her have been upvoted, I’m not really convinced that this is the work of IU fans alone, since there is no way that the dominant media narrative would then have been “Is IU a terrible actress and should stick to singing” etc. etc. I adore Cindy, and I am thoroughly invested in Cindy/Seung-chan because of her, so I find it easy to imagine that other people do too. Besides, I’ve felt their chemistry to be surprisingly intense. There is no way in hell I’d have imagined that Pilsukie and Sam-dongie could have actual, intense chemistry. I’d have imagine them to be wholesome and sweet and low-key, but every time they’re together, the screen is on fire for me.

(I’m not sure how I feel about the idea that Cindy/Seung-chan’s popularity must be because of IU’s fans though, because I feel like Cindy and Cindy-Seung-chan has definitely been romanticized by the direction to the extent that people would want to ship them because of the show, and not because of factors outside the show. I mean, I’m sure her fans are involved, but that would be true for all the ships and characters. All of these actors have huge fanbases. In fact IU has the biggest disadvantage in that netizens just do not like idols as a rule, and it’s been perfectly clear through most comments about her. It doesn’t make the Cindy/Seung-chan popularity any less valid, especially since the narrative has actually actively catered to it by all the slow-motion romanticism in Cindy’s POV, while Seung-chan’s shown no romantic interest in her, just like it’s catered to the one-sided Ye-jin/Seung-chan through Seung-chan’s POV, while Ye-jin has showed zero romantic interest in him till now. I don’t think there’s anything completely unbelievable in that people may like Cindy and Cindy/Seung-chan instead of IU and IU/Soo-hyun. I think that’s sort of discrediting how invested people are in Cindy for Cindy’s sake. Saying that Ye-jin/Seung-chan is popular because of the characters and Cindy/Seung-chan is popular because of IU doesn’t gel with my reading of the narrative at all.)

What I find genuinely hard to understand is why people need a cover of objectivity, why it’s so hard to say “I prefer this thing, and it’s my preference, you’re free to disagree with what I feel, but this is my reading of it”. But usually it comes down to “no, my ship is OBJECTIVELY better than yours and here’s why–” I do not in my life go around liking things because they are OBJECTIVELY BETTER than everything else, and I’d presume most other people don’t either. I have liked a lot of terrible dramas over a lot of objectively better ones. I’m enjoying Cindy the MOST out of all the characters, even though she’s apparently played by the worst actor of the lot. Which also I don’t personally agree with, because if Cindy’s making me want to defend her, to want a good narrative for her, or just adore her in general, then IU is doing something right. I’ve just recently realized that Cindy actually has very few dialogues, she doesn’t communicate well, and yet, in every scene, I know exactly what Cindy’s feeling, not only on the surface, but viscerally, palpably almost, just through minimal facial expressions, and I dislike having to constantly premise all comments with- “I know IU is not a great actor” because for me, she’s doing a great job, she’s getting the character down EXACTLY for me. And yet even I feel the need to be defensive about it, and bow down to the dominant narrative of ‘yes, everyone’s so much better, but she’s not bad.” and frame my comments like that, as if I’ll be less credible if I say that IU’s Cindy is working the most for me. She may not be “objectively better”, but in my subjective opinion, she’s my favorite, so the best in her role.

Misogyny in dramaland is nothing new. In fact many female characters of the kind that Seung-chan is playing right now have been thoroughly hated on for being the type of character he is; slow on the uptake, single-minded, etc. After all, the clumsy-oblivious-but-adorable character is nothing new for dramaland females. Not only that but the pitting of one female character against another is always so blatant. Gong Hyo-jin is too old for Kim Soo-hyun, Cindy is too much of a richard simmons and needs to grow up before being worthy of Seung-chan. I’m not saying that people don’t actually feel this, but I feel like there’s nothing wrong with saying, “I prefer X/Y because it works for me and here’s why it works for me–” rather than attempting to establish that all other options must necessarily be the worst thing to ever happen. Currently Tak Ye-jin/Seung-chan do nothing for me, in that I don’t particularly feel anything when they’re on my screen together, and I have no great love for the narrative itself, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t understand why other people might like them.

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The sheer idea that Cindy/BSC is literally neck-to-neck with BSC/TYJ is a revelation, considering the extreme disparity in screen-time, and the one-lane direction in which the show seems to be going. It’s crazy that the two or three significant Cindy/Seung-chan scenes have garnered as much support as literally episode after episode of Seung-chan/Ye-jin. And that’s not because there are a lot of IU supporters watching the show, because by the comments or the generally negative reviews (which is truly baffling to me) which she’s been getting in such articles would suggest that there aren’t many of those. So something about Seung-chan/Cindy is really clicking with the audience.

I love this because I’ve often felt that a general trend in dramaland is rooting for the male lead to “get” whomsoever he wants to be with, while it’s very rare that female characters are accorded the same treatment (in that I’ve heard a LOT more ‘BSC doesn’t like Cindy that way so can’t see this happening’ than ‘TYJ doesn’t like BSC that way so can’t see this happening’). I love Cindy, so I love that there are other people who adore her as much as I do and want her to be happy, to the extent of prioritizing what she wants over what Seung-chan currently wants. I love that people want her to be happy as an endgame, i.e. regardless of whether the Umbrella ship sails or not. I like that a female character who is so prickly, so awkward, so closed-off, so emotionally unavailable as Cindy is, has managed to draw in the audience, without having to be manifestly bitchy-but-endearing or sassy-but-adorable and have lovable “quirks” to be liked, as is so often the case. I think that speaks volumes about the character and the way that IU plays her.

The love for a particular character or ship is always going to be a personal choice. The added ‘this is so cliche’, by now, clearly is just gloss to add credibility and objectivity to an opinion which is not objective, since it’s been used for every single ship (TYJ/BSC “noona romances are so cliche and overdone”) (RJM/TYJ “BFF romances are so cliche and overdone”) (Cindy/BSC “putting them together because there need to be two couples is so cliche and overdone”). I like Seung-chan’s puppy love and I find his constantly rushing to save TYJ, as in the preview, endearing, but for me, personally, it doesn’t hold a candle to how much I love the first-love narrative in the way it’s played through Cindy- that feeling of the world stopping when Seung-chan’s close, how she has to clench her fist to contain herself, the way she looks at him, the excitement and the anxiety that is palpable when he looks at her, the way that every interaction pushes her to the highest highs and the lowest lows. So much so, that I feel everything she’s feeling in the moment, even though Seung-chan isn’t even really involved in the scene. It feels so universal and teenage (compounded by the fact that she’s NOT a teenager, and yet she’s been so alone that this is probably her first love, which is why there’s so much vulnerability and excitement.)

Also, I feel like there’s nothing wrong about being defensive on Cindy’s behalf or Seung-chan’s treatment or obliviousness to her. Of course he doesn’t owe her anything, but if we’re allowed to feel angry on Seung-chan’s behalf about the way he’s treated by various other characters, then I don’t see why that can’t be extended to other characters, especially since your investment is contingent on who you’re most rooting for, so it doesn’t necessarily need to be “logically” reasoned, since the investment is largely emotional.

i couldn’t sleep last night. don’t think ever in my life i was like that.

my heart was heavy. my head was full of stress and worries, bubbling nonstop like a volcano.

silence was scary, too.

this world of possibilities… will i be able to make it?

in my dream, i said i’m an introvert and a person told me it isn’t a thing.

she asked how could i abandon my obligation for my own selfishness when i didn’t want to meet people i don’t know about and tend to them.

i tried to talk but it felt suffocating, the other person didn’t want to listen to me anyway and kept talking to overwhelm me.

it was like a hit to my identity, as if i would be refused of my existence just like the existence of ‘introvert’.

people every now and then would ask what would be so difficult to go back to that place, adjust myself for a little while and i should be fine.

no, no, and no.

i knew instinctively without quite understand why back then, but the more i think about it the clearer it becomes.

since forever i was scarred to the core for being myself. i was suffocated by all the judgement that was put on me, nobody listened. they firmly believed in what they wanted to believe, in what they thought was right, in the standard of majority.

i followed it through, questioning and doubting my self-worth all along. if i had had chance to go back in time, i would have told my little scared and insecure self, “you are fine the way you are. come here, let me hug you.”, every single time.

just let me be. why do you want to force a fish to live like human. you take it out of the water and it will die. you can’t ask it to climb a tree and judge its ability base on that. it just has different kind of strength.

if you don’t understand, don’t judge.

let me be.

[6/∞] The Producers – Cindy/IU and lovelines

I admire people’s insights into this drama. It’s eye-opener.

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Zoe:

It makes no sense to me why Ye-jin should fall for Seung-chan, because till now, it has only been Seung-chan feeling in the moments between them. She’s starting to see him as comfortable, sure, but nothing beyond as yet. Not to mention, her feelings for Joon-mo run too deep.

From what we know and the show has explicitly told us, it’s not that she’s never seen anyone as a ~man before. She’s even dated other guys (so obviously we have to presume she was attracted to them), and from their interviews it seemed like they were nice guys. So her falling for Seung-chan wouldn’t suddenly…elevate him over those other guys. There’s nothing to say that he still won’t be second in her heart despite all his love/affection for her, even if she does indeed fall for him. In fact, it seems a bit of a stretch to suggest that Seung-chan can’t fall for Cindy because he hasn’t in the few weeks he’s known her, but it’s possible for Ye-jin to entirely give up her decades long love and fall for Seung-chan instead, because he’s there for her. The other guys all suggested that they WERE there for her, they wanted to do things that she wanted to do, like see the cherry blossoms, and yet ALL OF THEM, without exception, could tell that she was in love with Joon-mo, so Seung-chan’s knowledge of that isn’t anything special or distinguishing either.

I feel like this drama is writing itself into a relationship hole because it wants to keep its endgame the talk of the town, and due to that, they’re unable to convincingly develop their OTPs. To have so much focus on Ye-jin’s feelings for Joon-mo in practically every scene she’s in and stress how far back it goes and how much history they have, to turn around and say ‘gotcha’ seems strange. It would make sense if moving on was her arc, as it could well have been- that she finally gives up on her unrequited love and sees that she’s not been fully letting anyone else in etc., but it’s too late in the drama to convincingly do that. Because I don’t feel that if Joon-mo were to be honest with Ye-jin and choose her, she wouldn’t leave everyone else instantly, considering how much, and how deeply she loves him.

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This is a show dealing in so many relationships, but this one [Seung-chan – Cindy] alone has been highlighted in a positively sexy light. It’s all one-sided, and yet the sexual tension is so visceral because of Cindy’s POV, and how she’s feeling in the moment. Enough that you can feel exactly what she’s feeling to the point where it’s almost easy to forget that Seung-chan is a non-participant in the scene. As much as I love the friendship-comfort-warmth etc. dynamics between the other three, I’m much more unused to seeing this particular dynamic in dramaland, so I’m definitely very invested in it.

I think it really speaks of IU’s acting that there ARE so many Seung-chan/Cindy fans and that people are angry that she doesn’t get enough screen-time. Very rarely have I ever seen a relationship that is almost entirely one-sided on the girl’s part (and probably not endgame) which has people rooting for her. There are always far more supporters for male second leads than female second leads, no matter how nice. And while IU isn’t second lead according to what the producers have said, there’s no denying her screen-time is much lesser than the others’, and we know very little of her background, which definitely sets her in almost-second lead territory. But IU’s been doing extremely well in the few scenes that she does have, and in just that much time, she has me completely aboard her unrequited love.

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I’ve thought this for a long time, that the comments regarding how mean and bitchy and rude Cindy is (even if they clarify that she’s supposed to be that way) are a bit exaggerated, because while I do get the sense of her being in a bubble and rude on occasion, I’ve never yet felt the diva-for-being-a-diva’s sake attitude. She stands up when challenged, but she doesn’t seem to ever initiate a confrontation or be unreasonably demanding.

Like I found it very interesting that she, even when she wasn’t very interested in Seung-chan, was semi polite to him- slightly annoyed about his long-winded explanation about how she should return the umbrella immediately, but gave him her personal number nonetheless, which is fairly incredible for a celebrity. And every time that he goofs up- getting her lost to the location, leaving her to get drenched in the rain, etc., not giving her any food for a day, we’ve never seen her actually chew him out for it, as she well could has considering the top star/rookie PD angle. Even without the camera on her, she just took all his mess ups with minimal protest, I think that’s a fairly good indicator that she’s not a brat per se, even as she has her share of left-over teenage rebellion.

I found the Seung-gi cameo super interesting also because Cindy was clearly the only person that he was truthful with in all his scenes. With every single other character he had this hyper-exaggerated ‘nice’ image to hold up, but he felt free to tell her that he was dying because of it. I think her blunt nature brings that out in people.

That feeling of falling in love is just so amazingly projected that even when IU’s alone in the scene- in that KSH isn’t supposed to be feeling anything- it’s so fraught with tension and romance, like we can see her overanalyzing the moment as it happens. She’s doing such adorably teenage things to be closer to the boy she likes- asking strangers on the internet to deconstruct his actions, reading his book, listening to his music, angling to have him around. I do love that so much, but on the other hand, it’s difficult for me to imagine her doing this with any other character than Seung-chan because of who she is, and who Seung-chan is, so in my head those two things- her crush, and her crush being Seung-chan are inextricably tied.

The Producers – Chuyện bốn người

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Đầu tiên, phải nói trước là điều khiến mình bị cuốn hút ở “Producers” không phải là tuyến tình cảm của các nhân vật, mà là câu chuyện về đời, về nghề của họ. Qua mỗi tập phim, được khám phá công việc thường ngày của ban giải trí, quá trình làm nên một chương trình, và cả mặt trái cuộc sống của các nghệ sĩ, v.v… Những điều này cuốn hút mình hơn là chuyện tình yêu, ai về với ai, ai phải lòng ai. Đối với mình mà nói, nếu ví một bộ phim là một món ăn, thì tuyến tình cảm cũng giống như phần rau củ trang trí cho món ăn thêm đẹp mắt vậy, không ảnh hưởng đến mùi vị. “Producers” trong mình chính là như thế. Tuy là có thêm tuyến tình cảm thì sẽ làm cho món ăn này bắt mắt hơn, nhưng nếu không có thì mùi vị chính của phim – chuyện về các PD – vẫn rất hấp dẫn. Cho nên, mình xem phim với tâm trạng rất thoải mái, thích thú.

Nhưng cũng không phủ nhận, món trang trí – tuyến tình cảm của “Producers” cũng được thêm vào rất hiệu quả, tăng cảm giác thú vị cho phim.

Và khi nói về tuyến tình cảm, đầu tiên phải nói rõ quan điểm, theo mình, kết cục sẽ là đôi bạn 20 năm Ra Joon Mo – Tak Ye Jin về với nhau, và hoặc sẽ có kết mở cho đôi Cà – Băng (Baek Seung Chan và Cindy) hoặc Chan Cà không đến với ai mà trở thành một PD xuất sắc ;))

Thấy rất nhiều bạn ship đôi Gà – Cà (Tak Ye Jin và Baek Seung Chan). Mình thừa nhận, cặp chị em này rất dễ thương, rất có “chemistry”. Nhưng, chỉ là “cặp chị em, tiền hậu bối” dễ thương mà thôi. Ở hai người, mình không nhìn ra khả năng thành một đôi người yêu. Ít nhất là từ phía Tak Ye Jin.

Cho đến tập 6, tình cảm của Ye Jin vẫn hướng về duy nhất 1 Ra Joon Mo. Kể cả khi đã có bạn trai, Ye Jin vẫn chỉ muốn đi ngắm hoa anh đào với Joon Mo. Khi cô say, Joon Mo luôn là người đưa cô về. Cô có chuyện gì, cũng đều tâm sự với Joon Mo. Chỉ có lần này, vì nhận ra cô thích Joon Mo, nên Ye Jin mới bối rối, mới bất an, vì không biết phải tâm sự với ai, vì sợ sẽ phá vỡ tình bạn lâu năm đó, nhưng đồng thời trái tim lại cứ thổn thức trước người đó, cho nên cô mới khổ sở. Joon Mo và Ye Jin biết nhau đã hơn 20 năm rồi. Trong 20 năm tình bạn đó, liệu hai người có biết từ khi nào nó đã chuyển thành tình yêu? Có lẽ họ cũng mơ hồ nhận ra, nhưng lại không muốn thừa nhận, vì sợ. Nói đến đây, mình đặc biệt thích cách biên kịch ẩn dụ câu chuyện của hai người bằng những thuật ngữ “biên tập”. Ye Jin đã nói, “Khi có một cảnh mà người này nói nhưng người khác không phản hồi, thì tức là phải biên tập cảnh đó đi.” Cô thích Joon Mo, cô cũng mong Joon Mo biết, nhưng cô lại sợ khi biết, Joon Mo lại không phản hồi, lại “biên tập” chuyện đó ra khỏi ký ức. Như vậy, cô sẽ càng khổ sở hơn. Phía Joon Mo cũng vậy. “Khi đứng giữa cái tốt và cái tốt hơn, bạn sẽ phải chọn cái tốt hơn và từ bỏ cái tốt. Vì nếu tham lam, có thể sẽ mất hết tất cả.” Trong mối quan hệ giữa anh và Ye Jin, tình yêu là cái tốt và tình bạn là cái tốt hơn. Anh thà hy sinh tình yêu để duy trì tình bạn hơn 20 năm giữa hai người – điều anh cho là cái tốt hơn, còn hơn là mất cả hai. Chung quy lại, hai người họ rõ ràng là hướng về nhau, nhưng cả hai đều lo sợ nếu phạm sai lầm thì tình bạn của họ sẽ tan vỡ, sẽ mất tất cả. Cho nên, vấn đề của họ bây giờ là phải dũng cảm bước tới. Và mình tin rằng họ sẽ bước tới.

Và mình tin, cậu bạn Baek Seung Chan sẽ là một chất xúc tác giúp Ye Jin và Joon Mo dũng cảm đến với nhau. Mình cho là, không phải tình cờ mà Seung Chan là người chứng kiến và bị kẹt giữa câu chuyện của Ye Jin và Joon Mo. Ở Seung Chan và Ye Jin, mình cảm thấy nhiều hơn là sự đồng cảm. Sự đồng cảm của những con người cùng yêu đơn phương và cùng nắm giữ “bí mật” của nhau. Không ít thì nhiều, Seung Chan cũng đã yêu thầm tiền bối Hae Joo suốt mấy năm đại học. Cậu ấy hiểu hơn ai hết cái cảm giác “Khi thích một người mà không thể nói cho người đó biết. Và dù không thể thổ lộ, nhưng lại thích người đó nhiều tới mức không thể buông tay. Nếu thổ lộ, chỉ sợ sẽ mất hết mọi thứ.” Chính vậy đấy, những cảm xúc Seung Chan dành cho Hae Joo lúc trước, giờ lại nhìn thấy ở Ye Jin. Đặc biệt là sau khi nghe Ye Jin nói trên sân thượng, về việc cô sợ người đó đã “biên tập” tình cảm của cô ra khỏi ký ức, mình cho là, tình cảm Seung Chan dành cho Ye Jin chính là sự đồng cảm đó. Seung Chan tuy nhìn có vẻ “ngơ”, vụng về, nhưng thực chất cũng là một chàng trai rất sâu sắc. Khi biết có người cũng nếm trải cảm giác khổ sở của “yêu đơn phương” như mình, mình tin là Seung Chan bị thu hút bởi yếu tố đó, và thay vì giành giật níu kéo một tình cảm vốn không thuộc về mình (tình cảm của Ye Jin), mình cho là Seung Chan sẽ giúp để tác thành Ye Jin và Joon Mo. Không gì thì, cậu ấy cũng từng nói, “Khi thấy mọi chuyện không đi đến đâu, tôi có thể chuyển hướng khá nhanh.” Và thực tế là cậu chàng đã buông bỏ được tình cảm dành cho Hae Joo, sau khi để lại hai bịch rác kỷ niệm cho tình địch =)) Đúng là bây giờ cậu ấy bị cuốn hút, đồng cảm và có cảm tình với Ye Jin đấy, nhưng mình tin rằng, cậu trẻ sẽ sớm nhận ra cái gì không thuộc về cậu, và buông bỏ, chuyển hướng nhanh thôi.

Về phần sự phát triển tình cảm Ye Jin Seung Chan, điều mình quý nhất ở Ye Jin đến bây giờ, là dù hoàn cảnh đẩy đưa đến những tình huống khiến Seung Chan trông có vẻ trở thành thế thân của Joon Mo, từ việc ngắm hoa đào, đến việc Seung Chan là người lắng nghe cô tâm sự khi không thể nói với Joon Mo, và là người chứng kiến những lúc cô yếu đuối nhất, nhưng Ye Jin không xem Seung Chan như người thay thế Joon Mo, mà chỉ là một cậu em trai, một hậu bối dễ thương, và bây giờ, có lẽ là một người bạn để cô có thể chia sẻ tâm sự. Cách Ye Jin đối đãi với Seung Chan, từ đầu tới cuối không nhìn thấy tình cảm yêu đương nam nữ, mà chỉ thấy tình chị em (có phần giống Ye Jin xem Seung Chan như cún con nhà cô nữa =)) ). Từ cách cô xoa đầu Seung Chan, cho cậu chàng tiền tiêu vặt để bảo cậu ta điều tra Joon Mo giúp cô,… hoàn toàn có thể thấy Ye Jin không xem Seung Chan là đối tượng để nói chuyện yêu đương. Hai người họ có “chemistry” tung tóe thật đấy, nhưng không phải là chemistry tình yêu trai gái, mà là một thứ chemistry rất dễ thương giữa một bà chị tưởng rất lão luyện nhưng thực ra cũng khá gà mờ trong lĩnh vực yêu đơn phương, và một cậu em trông có vẻ gà mờ nhưng thật ra lại rất thâm nho, và là một chuyên gia trong giới yêu đơn phương =)) Như Ye Jin từng nói, giữa nam và nữ đâu phải chỉ có thể nói chuyện yêu đương. Giữa Ye Jin và Seung Chan, thật lòng mà nói cái chất “chemistry chị em” nó dễ thương, hấp dẫn hơn rất nhiều so với chemistry người yêu. Nếu Ye Jin dễ dàng buông bỏ tình cảm 20 năm với Joon Mo và quay ngoắt qua yêu chàng “phi công trẻ” Seung Chan, và Seung Chan biết rõ tình cảm Ye Jin dành cho Joon Mo, biết bản thân chỉ là thế thân mà vẫn xông ra giành giật, thì có phải là biên kịch quá củ chuối, cốt truyện quá “cẩu huyết” rồi không? :3 Mình tin là sẽ không như vậy và mình đang rất hài lòng với chemistry chị em rất dễ thương của đôi Gà – Cà ^_^

Nói tiếp đến Cindy. Thật lòng mà nói, trong bốn nhân vật chính, người mình mong có được hạnh phúc nhất chính là Cindy. 23 tuổi, top star, nhìn có vẻ thành đạt, lạnh lùng, kiêu ngạo, v.v… nhưng thực tế vẫn chỉ là một cô bé cô đơn, vẫy vùng tự bảo vệ mình trong cái thế giới showbiz xô bồ khắt nghiệt. Không có gia đình, gọi đại diện Byun là mẹ, nhưng người mẹ này chỉ xem cô như một thứ sở hữu, một công cụ kiếm tiền. Ở cái tuổi mà con gái nhà người ta có thể nũng nịu làm nũng với mẹ, có bạn bè để chia sẻ vui buồn, có người để dựa vào mỗi khi yếu đuối, thì Cindy vẫn chỉ có một mình. Người xung quanh đến với cô không vì mục đích này cũng vì mục đích khác, không ai thật lòng quan tâm cô, không ai không muốn tìm lợi ích gì khi tiếp cận cô. Cô cô đơn và cứ khép mình trong vỏ ốc lạnh lẽo, để tự bảo vệ mình, để bản thân không bị tổn thương. Vẻ bất cần, uể oải như chán chường mọi thứ của cô, cũng chỉ để che đậy một cô gái nhỏ mong manh cũng khao khát được hưởng những niềm vui bình thường, có ai đó thật lòng quan tâm đến cô. Cho đến khi cô gặp người đó. Vâng, chính là chàng PD Ô dù Baek Seung Chan. Vốn tưởng anh cũng tiếp cận cô vì mục đích nào đó như bao người, nhưng càng tiếp xúc cô lại càng thấy, anh chàng này khác biệt. Anh ta đơn giản, thật thà, và đối đãi với cô chân thành. Dù với anh ta cho đến thời điểm này thì tất cả là vì công việc. Anh chăm sóc cô vì nhiệm vụ của PD chăm sóc nghệ sĩ, nhưng anh làm nhiệm vụ một cách thật lòng, vô tư, không vụ lợi. Và trên hết, anh không có ý lợi dụng cô. Với cô gái nhỏ Cindy, từ một chút hiếu kỳ với anh chàng ngô nghê này, đến bị cái sự khác người của anh ta cuốn hút, đến rung động trước sự dịu dàng không cố ý của anh ta, đến vô thức lắng nghe, tiếp thu những lời anh ta nói rồi quyết tâm thay đổi hình tượng… Mình đồng tình với một bình luận của dân mạng, rằng Seung Chan đã mang cô gái dễ thương ẩn giấu trong người Cindy ra ngoài. Và mình thật lòng mong, Cindy có thể tìm được sức mạnh và hạnh phúc nơi anh chàng thật thà ba ngơ này.

Thêm một lý do mình muốn Cindy và Seung Chan đến với nhau, là vì họ bổ khuyết cho nhau. Cindy cô đơn không có gia đình còn Seung Chan có cả một đại gia đình đông vui náo nhiệt. Mình nghĩ, sẽ rất ấm áp khi mỗi tối đi làm về, đón chờ Cindy không phải là căn phòng xa hoa trống rỗng, mà là một gia đình ấm cúng, một bà “mẹ chồng” sẽ càm ràm chuyện hôm nay cô mặc thế này thế nọ trên sân khấu, một ông “bố chồng” sẽ gạ hỏi xem con dâu mình có quen biết các bậc cán bộ nào không? =)) Cô “em chồng” nhờ chị dâu xin chữ ký thần tượng, và một ông chồng khù khờ nhưng rất vững chãi và có thể bảo vệ cô ^_^

Về phần Baek Seung Chan, cho đến giờ cậu ta vẫn chưa có nhiều cơ hội tiếp xúc với Cindy, để hiểu cô hơn, mà chủ yếu xoay quanh chị già, nên việc cậu ta có tình cảm với chị già và có vẻ hờ hững, đối đãi với Cindy chỉ vì công việc, mình thấy diễn tiến như vậy rất logic. Hiện giờ tuy Cindy có tình cảm với Seung Chan, nhưng cô vẫn chưa thực sự mở lòng, vẫn còn chút “phòng thủ”. Nếu trong nửa sau phim, hai người có thêm cơ hội tiếp xúc để hiểu nhau hơn, để Seung Chan biết được cô gái nhỏ kia có tình cảm với mình, mình tin rằng cậu chàng sẽ không phũ phàng với cô ấy như vụ án che dù nữa đâu :3 =)) Dù sao thì, cậu ta cũng là người hiểu rõ nhất nỗi khổ của người yêu đơn phương :3 =))

Nói chốt lại, với mình, kết cục viên mãn nhất là Ye Jin – Joon Mo nhận ra tình cảm của nhau và dũng cảm đối mặt. Là Seung Chan trở thành một PD tài giỏi, vững vàng, và Cindy thoát khỏi thế giới cô đơn lạnh lẽo của cô.

Lời cuối cùng, ước gì mình cũng tìm được một Baek Seung Chan cho riêng mình nhỉ :’( =))

Only Soo Hyun