Before I start, I want to introduce a guest writer, a co-author if you will. Hey, if Thundie can do it, why can’t I? Seriously, C.J. Park is my favorite cousin. Yes, I say that to all my cousins, but she really is the one. She and I grew up together, so she embodies what Korea means to me, namely gim-bap (rice wrapped in seaweed), jjim-jil-bang (Korean public sauna), and no-rah-bang (public karaoke place), you know all the things in life worth living for. I left out so-ju (Korean liquor), I know, but still I think it sounds better than baseball, apple pie, and Chevrolet. I absolutely couldn’t have written this without her. The vast majority of the asterisks in this work are from her, not to mention her indispensable help with many conversations that I’ve had a devil of time catching. So, please give a warm welcome to a new addition to the Thundie’s family, CJ!
Oh, and only because I’ve always wanted to say this: With collaboration of C.J. Park, Michael and Thundie Incorporated is proud to present the world premier of…
The Gentlemen’s Dignity
[I'm sure you're just as thrilled as I am to see a new post from Michael. Whether you have watched Dong Yi or not, this is one review that's going to have you smacking your lips in delight. Happy reading! —thundie]
I initially wrote about 90% of this almost 2 years ago, but as much as I loved Dong-Yi, I couldn’t help but drag, procrastinate, and rationalize to delay the inevitable because I generally don’t feel as comfortable watching or translating sah-guk (사극, historical drama). Why? Because it feels like writing about a foreign film when I don’t quite understand the foreign language fully. So what, you say, because that’s how most of you feel watching Korean dramas? Well, that’s because you don’t have to decipher old Korean language into English. I was, and still am, suffering from lack of confidence as to whether I’m correctly translating the old Korean into English. So do cut me some slack and let me down gently when you (you know who you are – a few of you out there who are sah-guk virtuoso – yes, dramaok, that means you, too) see any glaring mistakes.
Doc: Shouldn’t it be “The Doctor is JIN”?
Ha-eung: Sure, sure. There’s a 100-nyang bounty on your head, but we’re not at all worried about that, are we? Why don’t you just march to the police bureau and give yourself up? Save the officers there the trouble of hunting for you. In fact, I might as well take you there myself now.
Doc: All right, no need to flap; it was just an innocent question. Back where I come from, it’s basic courtesy to tell people your name.
Ha-eung: I don’t know what backward village you hail from, but over here you lie low and stay out of trouble, you hear? You treat the people who come, I collect the payment, and together we…
Doc: But I’m not a psychiatrist, I’m neurosurgeon Dr. Jin Hyuk!
[This hug makes me cry. Here’s a woman who has just received the biggest blow from the two persons she least expects to hurt her. Yet she reaches out with warmth and affection. Her hug is genuine, as are her words. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to be in her shoes at that moment, and to respond the way she does, with so much grace and class. To read more of my and Softy’s thoughts on our Teacher Hong, scroll down to the end of the recap. Thanks for watching this amazing drama with us! —thundie]
Sit tight. Because what you’re about to read is a tale so fantastical it’ll leave you alternately reeling and hooting. If owls (and diaper-clad chickens) are your thing, and if you enjoy intrigue and romance (and also a spot of comedy, intentioned or not), you’ve come to the right place.
But first, a disclaimer. Any resemblance in this story to old or current TV fare is purely coincidental and should not be misconstrued as mischief (punishable by hard labor on a treeless and TV-less island). If there’s any mischief at all, you’ll find it in this extremely tall tale, all eighty-two episodes of it. And now we begin with Episode 1.
[Witty, whimsical, and also wicked (oh yes, how I giggled at the double and triple entendres, the innuendos and irony), this episode was a blast. I can’t believe how fast things are moving for my two favorite couples: Seo-rae and her dentist, Seo-rae and her Yudo master… Wait a minute. Seo-rae and who? Yup, you read that correctly. ‘Tis a beautiful friendship that’s blossoming right before our eyes between Seo-rae and Hong Ji-seon; they are even spilling beans and all. Uh oh.
For translating this drama with so much love, Softy, even with a cut finger and four blood-soaked bandaids, thank you! —thundie]
[After this episode, I can never look at tugboats in the same way again. Neither can Seo-rae and Tae-oh. Perhaps Softy, too. This whole episode left me breathless and then a little teary. Not tears of sadness, no, but tears of gratitude. Often when I watch a drama, I just want things to speed along. Not so for A Wife's Credentials. I want to bottle each moment; I want to pour out the exquisite storytelling, drop by drop, and gaze upon it as it shimmers on my palm. There is such courage in this drama, and also such foolhardiness, and for all of it I'm humbled and grateful. Thank you for your labor of love, Softy dear! —thundie]