Counting the squees: I Live in Cheongdam Dong 1

It’s been nearly 5 months.

Any mention of ILICDD still gives me a rush of happy emotions and warm feelings that can only explained by pheromones of LOVE.  Even in my current state of mind, ie I’m no longer in a daze and complete shock at every turn how !#$%^&*^&%$%!##$$^%#!$^%@&$*%&#%^^$ perfect it is because I know that for a fact now.   I’m rewatching properly this time most rationally (yes I’ve rewatched some eps here and there pimping it to peeps around me) and it still hits me where it delivers spectacularly.

I’m picking the one and only drama as my fav of 2012 to go batshitcrazy.

This has been sitting in my draft for a month and I’ve tried to attempt serious, avoid spoilers…no avail.  I’ve deleted 3 drafts completely and this is what I’ve decided to post.  A 5 year old can quite possibly write something more eloquent and sensible.

Oh, well.  This is for my merriment anyway.

**There will be lots of spoilers. I’m trying to keep them from spoiling the fun.  Trying……but failing.**

A shipwreck, a list of missing victims, soju and bbq porkbelly feasted on newspaper lined floor, couple $10000 won bills stuffed into the hands of a soju-fied ahjumma.  Said ahjumma was running in her flouncy tulle skirt, chasing a taxi the scene prior.  She’s grudgingly let on the ride, the family unit is all together in the cab, brimming with excitement of the big move to the city while we have our character intro:

A possibly alcoholic washed up middle aged starlet/younger sis/Aunt Lee Bo Hee (54) once married briefly to a chaebol;

A mangaka so fug he can scare grown men to tears, he’s the younger bro Kim Woo Hyun (46) of Matron, who looks older than his bigsis. With only one lukewarm published work under his belt, to say he’s awaiting his next break is an understatement;

The eyes of 26 yo Daughter Oh Ji Eun sparkle while on the phone the second there’s talk of dazzling status symbols and meeting chaebols;

Our matron, a 62 yo ahjumma Kim Hye Ja who has never been to Seoul all her life, she will slur with earnest and emphasize words like CheongD-ammm-D-oo-nn-gg


All of it by the deadpan delivery of Kim HyeJa in the beginning minutes.  This is the moment I take first notice, the whimsical wackiness in her voice: what’s up with these oddballs?  I wanna know.  In no time we arrive at the Tony neighborhood of Seoul, exactly at the front facade of the shabbiest hole in the wall in the middle of all the bling.

Three months later, we join the family ‘comfortably’ settled in, bbqing pork belly on the rooftop, where we meet a jobless renter Oh Sang Hoon (38) who looks like a mafia hitman (but of course a sweet softy) and Dogpoo, a Cotie, the veteran resident of the lot.  It’s a fine first scene of our family under one CDD roof, instead of warm and fuzzies, pork belly allocation is proportional to allowance/rent paid.  There are bills, lots of them.  Matron needs new means to make ends meet: sneaking out one of youngsis’ designer handbag for pawning?  Half jokingly poke her if she’s got the never happening alimony from her ex.

[We also met the 5 dwellers in the dingy basement, the boybanders Cheong Dam Bu Bai (Cheong Dam Won’t Fail) at some point, but I don’t care about the storyline at all. ]

Another luxury handbag catches JiEun’s eye,  investment for that 3 seconds’ narrow window of impressing the chaebol prince charming to the big Fall.

We then see the main source of income for our Matron, the Manhwabang.  She’s keeping a list, patrons owing her manhwa loans.  And at 8:30 mark we heard:

DBSK!!!!!’  *SQUEE*

And there’s YunHo on the screen.  Even I know just enough where this is heading!  *SQUEE*

Over 18000 won ($20 USD, not even?) haha Matron goes all loan shark on our miserly cheapskate idolboy ‘Huh, you’ll have nobody calling you no more, asking back the loans!’ with the help of the resourceful ‘in the gossiping biz’ Aunt, HyeJa calls BoHee, ‘He said he has a gf.’ MAYHEM!  Next on the list are some hitmen, the ‘so fug they are scarier looking than mafia’ duo ahjusshis do the trick.

JiEun is also having a new confident smile on her face, strutting her new shiny Khanel and uttering her new zip code, ‘CheongDamDong!’

Next up, HyeJa takes up a part-time job as a tourguide to J hallyu fanladies with so much gusto.  She took them to a famous Hallyu prince’s residency, and acted out his famous line with so much aplomb. *SQUEE*

JiEun’s 30 min blind date is not a love at first sight. Bumped, she’s bumped by a rich little boy who is the rudest prick and his insufferable sillytwat Mom, and next to her, witnessing the bumping, we have Lee Sang Yeob, *SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE* clearly a rich boy himself, feeding the exact medicine/insult to the brats.  He gives JiEun a warm smile even when she’s not looking at him, ‘Too nice, can’t even fight a good fight.’ *SQUEEEEE*

First exchange of the twosome:

JiEun: ‘I wanna split the world in two.  Half of it resides people like me, the rest who aren’t like me (can rot in their half).’

SangYeob: *chuckles* ‘When you said people like you, I’m one of them, right?’

And at 14:13 ‘btw a common cheesy texticon 1314 is for the very auspicious, 一生一世 ‘one lifetime (together) in Chinese’  They share their first eye to eye. *SQUEEEEE*

Our JiEun goes steal a blushing chuckle, while SY went on with his life as a rich catch. ‘Oh YES, you are so my type.’3 seconds too late.

Meanwhile, the Jfanladies nudges HyeJa for RL meeting of Hallyu stars.  That mischievous wide grin on HJ’s face at her lightbulb moment.  GOLD. *SQUEEEEEEEE*


For 10 seconds, JE fangirls the pretty instantaneously, making note he doesn’t belong to this shabby dig.  However, her forever chaebol radar is giving her warnings this is not a time for a chaebol to be spotted, esp not at a Manhwabang.  While sel-caing, she spotted him reaching for some possibly smutty manhwa from the mirror.

I. AM. LOOKING. AT. U. !!! Indeed our gf JiEun, indeed. *kekeke*

*selcaselcaselca* and this time it’s HW (OMG SOOO CUTEEE! *SQUEEEEEE*) spotting her from the other end of the mirror.
I. AM. LOOKING. AT. U.!!!!!! Gestured our gf.  And HW just gives her a cold shoulder and a loopsided smirk (the CUTEST KIND *SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE*) and turns around to read his manhwa without a care.

16:30 There’s YunHo again. Signing autographs.  Taking pictures with fans.  One guess who’s organizer?!

An I. AM. LOOKING. AT. U. !!! Madam HyeJa, coffee in hand so cool. *SQUEE* So adorbs. And one more *SQUEE* for her affectionate kekeke chuckle at YunHo being the good (scared) boy.

At the last stop of the tour, it’s shopping time.  Tourguide HyeJa takes a moment to rest her legs and count her earnings for the day, just like the months prior, not a cent more, just making ends meet.

‘It’s like someone is always by my side, looking over my shoulder, when I earn just enough, the money will stop coming.’

A poster on the wall catches her attention. ‘Poet’s Society (for VVVVVIP)’

‘Poems, have been always by my side.   It must be hungry now.’  *SQUEE* First waxing of poetry of HyeJa.

The other poster quickly picks up her mood, ‘#$@^#@ in spending = KRW50,000 gift card.’  Off she goes gathering all the receipts from her clients, but she misplaces them  in the rich lady’s bag next to hers.  She follows the rich lady in hope of getting back the receipts.

To the Poet’s Society, she goes!

Walking by a coffee shop on the way to her nth blind date, JiEun sees Rich Catch SangYeob.  ‘It must be fate!’  She calls her friend asking about the car and the parents of her blind date and calls it off.  Richer Catch is 10 feet away.

And lolz *SQUEE* Oh our JiEun, let me hug you~!

At the poet’s society, the rich accomplished ladies are introducing themselves, HyeJa is trying to get the heck out when Professor asks, ‘Are you this disappointed with me?’  Can’t say yes to that, it’s her turn.

‘I have a…coffee shop.  People who are passionate about…books…gather there to have heated discussions.’ And we cut to HJ arguing with a patron on how many manhwa books he’s to pay for.

She goes on gushing about ‘why put expensive scallions in ramyun?!’  when she’s visualizing her daily life of a manhwabang boy asking her to put scallions in.  She fakes her booboo as it’s the new title of the poem she’s working on! *SQUEE*

And by more random luck, just when she’s trying to escape AGAIN she’s given the sparkling VVVVVVVVIP card at the door, no question asked as she seems to be in a hurry, just her name and addy.  To which our HyeJa gloated, ‘……..CHEONG DAMMM DONG~! :D’

Her biggrin at the end of ep, showing off the sparkling card to her fam.  Priceless. *SQUEE*

SQUEE count: 17.

20 thoughts on “Counting the squees: I Live in Cheongdam Dong 1

  1. if you’re watching the show w/ chinese subs, are they accurate? 😡 I’m tempted to watch the show but can’t find english subs,haha.

    1. *sweetie I went ahead and deleted your extra comments.*

      I have no point of reference 😉 I don’t speak Korean. It’s more frustratING during the poet society’s scenes where I know for sure I’m not getting a good grasp, but it’s ok by me.

      I usu prefer Chinsubs to Engsubs anyway, I like the flow better, esp when a lot of words in Korean are pronounced very close to my mother tongue.

    2. I can only understand 60% of the “simplified” chinese characters (i.e. prefer the “traditional” chinese sub), but it’s butter than no subs at all. What a wonderful, heart-warming, at times strange, but always funny show. The good looking leads sure are easy on the eyes. I cheated and skipped parts, because I get interrupted, and there’s only so many hours in a day. Maybe one day I’ll have to opportunity to properly savour this gem.

      1. I’m sosoooo used to simp. CN characters now, I can’t write it still, but have to admit reading CN subs all these years help.

        In a rewatch, this is even more amazing, there are all these charming witty details EVERY turn.

    3. I was very lucky, and found the dvd set (6 discs), but the resolution is not the best since so many episodes are cramped into each disc.
      Thank you mookie for your posts on this drama. Love to read them; keep them coming.

      1. Thank you for reading! It’s rreally me being silly and spazzy. XD

        I can stream it on my tv box thingy on my big scrn, but it’s also bad quality. and I have no luck bting HQ CN subs…so I’ve been just watching it on youku in HD, that’s the best quality I can find with not too much hassle feeding my addiction.

  2. Oh my my, 1 seems so long ago yet so near to heart. I’m near the 100th ep mark now, and drama still continues to rawk my world! 😀

    Last night was 3 stooges’ nite for me, cannot imagine a world without one of them missing in the trio. Perfection!

    1. I know I keep saying this ad nauseum, but you aint see nth yet! When we have bowed down to its perfection and never thought it’ll get any better. It just does it again and again from 100 on.

      e101. I’ve watched that ep alone 3, 4 times.

  3. Did not read your post after the cut
    Everytime someone spazzes about this drama I feel like a diabetic being goaded with Girl Scout cookies. Spare us the pain!!
    le sigh

    1. SOWWY haha, if you want it that bad, why not heck it, watch along raw and see? I did watch the last stretch live…I have Csubs handy and we can always ask around K dramafans at sticky parts.

      This is too good a perfection to be missed. Really I don’t even bother with my top whatever list in 2012 in my head, no point.

  4. Squee! It’s amazing how one 30 minute episode can be so chock full of awesome, mostly due to Kim Hye-ja and her “poetic” heart.

    1. Oh how far we’ve come!! Really ep1 was fantastic and hilarious already if measuring by the standard of sitcom dailies, and it’s like at first sight for me….but the PERFECTION BEYOND ANY IMAGINATION!?!??! No one saw that coming, did we?!?! Even when we heard say, Dahel harping this was/is the BEST THING EVER everyday at tt and we totally got it, and trusted her, and STILL. This has to be seen to believe the Awesome.

  5. Honestly, I really don’t care any 2012 drama list, polls or whatever. Why bother when we have ILICDD which is not just perfection on first viewing. Repeat viewing does not diminish anything but only intensifies my love for and appreciation of how wonderful and magical it is. I am afraid the CDD clan will stay with me forever.

    Someone has made this series of ILICDD cuts that I’d watch almost everynight before going to bed:

    1. OMG that OTP cut is so awesome! Thanks epyc!

      So…I’m not alone! ^^ Gosh and knowing these characters and the development inside out ACTUALLY makes rewatch sweeter, just take the first meeting btn HyeJa and mdm Park. IT’S ALL LAID DOWN ALREADY!!!! PERFECTION!!!

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