I may still be pining for Lee Soo-kyung, but…but…Dae-young + Soo-ji pairing are giving Eat 2 a refreshing vibe. Soo-ji is as different from Soo-kyung as fire is from water, but she is starting to grow on me, and I can’t wait for her + Dae-young’s romance to blossom.
The biggest difference between Soo-kyung and Soo-ji is of course, their age. In Eat, we have the noona romance as the centre stage, and part of the meat in the romance is Soo-kyung’s reluctance to admit she likes Dae-young — a reflection on how society views an older girl-younger man pairing. In Eat 2, Soo-ji is clearly the same age as Dae-young, so the meat has to go elsewhere.
The “elsewhere” is likely the frenemy-turn-lover situation between Dae-young and Soo-ji. And in ep2, we learn that Soo-ji’s dislike of Dae-young isn’t exactly misplaced. Since elementary school, she has been rather heavyset. And during a class gathering (which Dae-young attended, but Soo-ji refused to…cos she says seeing her classmates brings back bad memories), we learn that one of the guys used to love teasing Soo-ji. As Soo-ji matured (physically) faster than girls her age, she had to wear a trainer bra…which becomes a target for the boys to pull, snap and unhook. (if they are older, this is tantamount to sexual harrassment) One day, Soo-ji loses control and hurls a flower pot towards that guy classmate…and she gets punished instead. For being “needlessly” violent.
Another lady in the class gathering also recounts how after Dae-young leaves the school, Soo-ji falls into depression (as the bullying got worse, and she has zero friends) and attempted suicide. In fact, while recounting this, that lady is rather bitchy about it — in her words “oh, you mean she’s not dead?!” (duhz) Hearing these, Dae-young finally feels the first twinge of guilt. Cos he had made use of Soo-ji (and her pocket money + appetite) to increase his family’s ddeokbokki business.
In contrast, Soo-kyung’s background is totally different. She is the belle of the school, popular, pretty and well liked. Unlike Soo-ji, eating tonnes of food can’t seem to add any ounce on Soo-kyung’s slender frame. Soo-ji has to control her diet and exercise like mad to shed a gram. Thus, although both ladies love food, Soo-ji has it worse. She may have the same limitless appetite as Soo-kyung, but is unable to let herself go and enjoy the eating process (cos of the dire consequences).
However, in terms of who is the gourmand, Soo-ji beats Soo-kyung hands down. Remember how Soo-kyung will scarf the food down, not waiting for Dae-young to finish his intro + mode of eating, blahblah? Soo-ji is like Dae-young, they both have strict protocols when it comes to how their food should be prepared and eaten. Only thing is their food bibles are different.
Juz as Soo-kyung is one suspicious noona, Soo-ji is one who takes things at face value. I think this is cos Soo-ji doesn’t really have that many real human connections as Soo-kyung. Due to her depression and her low self-esteem, Soo-ji lives like a hermit. Whereas we know Soo-kyung has loads of friends and was married once. So training Soo-ji’s EQ towards dating is a steep uphill climb — as Dae-young juz finds out in ep3. Soo-ji totally flunks the coquettish-ness test — when Dae-young poses a hypothetical question and asks how will she answer if Sang-woo is concerned over her having to fix a lightbulb alone…Soo-ji’s immediate response is “no worries, I’ve lived alone for so long, I’m as good as a qualified electrician!” (duh) The “correct” response would be to hand the bulb over and invite Sang-woo home to help fix it!
Even though I still miss Soo-kyung + Dae-young pairing, Eat 2‘s Soo-ji + Dae-young are giving me happy vibes with their constant bickerings. So yes, I am on board with our new OTP!