Time Between Dog and Wolf

Time of Dog and Wolf

Had been waiting a long time for this to air since this drama was decided. Caught my attention because it had Nam Sang Mi in it plus added attraction of Lee Jun Ki and Jung Kyung Ho (MISA). Thought initially that the story would be boring and only Sang Mi could keep me watching it. And I was kind of proven right as the first episode kind of dragged for me. Perhaps filming in Thailand and the editing had something to do with it. But the story picked up and the pace of the story just kept on sprinting along like it was in a 100m race. And I was hooked when the adult versions came into place in episode 2.

The story really kicked off when Soo Hyun lost his memory and became an official ass-kicking Cheon Bang member. Things really got interesting then and there would be heart stopping intense meaningful cliffhangers at the end of every episode. I have really been highly impressed by this production. It was really different from the typical lovey-dovey Korean dramas and had lots of action and the many twists and surprises was a bonus.

This was probably the first time that I waited so anxiously for the days to go by for the next two episodes weekly. The drama is so fast-paced and full of twists right till the end. The music from the soundtrack raised the suspense level of certain scenes and also complemented it very well. The attention to detail was top-notch and the directors have revealed that certain scenes came about because of movies like Bourne Identity and Infernal Affairs.

Most of the actors & the actresses portrayed their roles very well. Good actors/actress, coupled with a good story-line have made ‘Time of Dog & Wolf’ an awesome drama in 2007. A round of applause to a job well done.

Lee Jun Ki as Soo Hyun/Kay

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This isn’t the first drama that I have watched with Lee Jun Ki starring in it and I thought he wasn’t that well into the role in “My Girl.” But he has really blown me away in ‘Time of Dog & Wolf’. He could portray the goody-boy Soo Hyun, the undercover Kay, the anaemic Kay & finally the vindictive Soo Hyun with ease.

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There are 3 different characters of Soo Hyun. The first is the normal NIS agent where he was calm, collected, kept his head but seem to have lots of things on his mind, in particular his childhood tragedy. You can see it clearly through his interaction with Ji Woo when he was keeping everything to himself, choosing to go it all alone.

Then when he lost his memory, a complete change came about which I really liked. He became haughty, obnoxious, and seems to be more out in the open, because he had nothing to hide. He was carefree and showed loyalty to Mao who treated him like a son. It was like all the anger that was suppressed inside of him has been unleashed.

Finally, the one with all his past memories filtering back which makes him into a hybrid of some sort. But now, he is more in control of the circumstances and situation and knows how to act accordingly. Been really impressed with his acting as his body language and emotions were very well executed and he is a great professional for doing all those stunts himself. This has been a huge breakout role for him. Pity about the ratings though.

Nam Sang Mi as Suh Ji Woo

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As for Nam Sang Mi, she is awesome! I have always liked her because she is such a chameleon in acting and style. She portrayed the role of a daughter who is caught in between her real and foster father and choosing the later. She never really forgets her love for Soo Hyun even long after his “death” and seeing how she keeps seeking the truth as to whether Kay is Soo Hyun was heart-wrenching. Loveed her acting during the part where she finally lays down the watch that Soo Hyun gave her at his tombstone. You really feel sorry for her that because there was so much going on behind her back, but she didn’t really know any thing until very much later. Can’t blame her because she is just a normal civilian.

Jung Kyung Ho as Kang Min Gi

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Jung Kyung Ho was amazing in the scenes where Min Gi is grieving for his dad. Superb acting by him and he has clearly improved from his pop star role in MISA! His eyes really looked like that of a person who had been crying for a long time. The scene where he took the drugs and acted out the side-effects after taking them was immense. He was the perfect foil for Soo Hyun and in some way was like “looking after” Ji Woo for him. The many confrontations with Soo Hyun/Kay where he showed tremendous intensity really heightened the adrenaline stakes.

And we can see clearly how his character grown from being a happy-go-lucky chap into a mature young man. At least, he was the one that ended up happily ever after with a pretty wife and son after all that has happened to him.

Park Hye Won as Myung Jae

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Not sure what her name was at first but this was her first acting role in a drama. While she look kind of off in some scenes, she did a credible job and was believable in her role. Glad to see that she did ended up getting married to Min Gi and forming a family.

The following are a series of pictures and animated gifs that I collected over the viewing of this series, it contain spoilers:

Found this funny as Mao’s mistress kicks her heels off..

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Soo Hyun flings Ji Woo away after saving her from being kidnapped at the wharf before losing his memory in ep 7…

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Pivotal moment at the end of ep 8 as Ji Woo sees Soo Hyun who only remembers himself as Kay now…

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Face-off between Director Kang and Kay in ep 9 as the earlier tries to convince him that he is an undercover not a triad member…

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The way Kay turns around to face Director Kang after the latter fires a gunshot into the ceiling reminds me of Andy Lau in Infernal Affairs, kinda cool…

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Director Kang on the threshold of death after being fatally stabbed by Bae Sang Shik, a heart-broken Min Gi can only stare helplessly at his father…

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Min Gi and his mother in grief as Director Kang succumbs to the stabbing…a pretty sombre and sad moment. Good people die early…

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Min Gi swears revenge on Kay for causing his father’s death while Kay doesn’t care about defending himself nor feel grief since he doesn’t remember anything about Director Kay being his foster father…

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Min Gi and Kay/Soo Hyun turning from best buddies into foes without them knowing the true story behind it…

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Kay after being released from detention in ep 10 stares at the sky awash with red, is it the dog that he rears or the wolf that bites him?

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Loss of memory can’t hide that Soo Hyun/Kay likes the painting…first in ep 5 then in ep 10

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Painting used is called ‘Natural Being’ painted by Kim Gun Jung

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Mao and Giraffe gets ambushed in a lift but the assassins are all killed with ease. Pretty cool scene…

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Min Gi and Kay facing off again at Thailand restaurant at the end of ep 10 with Ji Woo being caught in the middle of them…

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Ji Woo spends the day at the turf club with Kay in ep 11, feeling sort of comfortable around him not knowing he is really Soo Hyun…

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Kay being fed with information about his past by NIS head, Mr. Jung in ep 12 as his memory comes back to him bit-by-bit which mortifies him…

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As he drives off, his memory finally comes back to him as he can’t believed the things he had done since he lost his memory and ep 12 ends with him pointing a gun to his temple…

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Mr. Jung telling Kay that his real identity is Soo Hyun, an undercover just like what his father was as well before he was killed in the line of duty…

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Ep 13 opens with Soo Hyun pointing a gun to his head but he doesn’t die but is instead filled with guilt for what he has done…

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Soo Hyun living in pain as he wallows in guilt and suffering…

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He thinks of what his dead mother might have say to him now and decides to leaves his guilt and everything else behind…

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He makes a visit back to his old home, wanting to say goodbye to his foster mother but he restrains himself, a most regrettable scene since we never ever saw his foster mother reuniting with Soo Hyun again…

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Soo Hyun gives his identity away during a conversation with Ji Woo but he salvages the situation and forces a kiss on her, causing Ji Woo to forget about acknowledging Kay as Soo Hyun ever again…

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Min Gi gets busted by Cheon Bang lackeys while spying on Soo Hyun and is forced to swallow Balloon drug pills by Bae Sang Shik which mades him go high…

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Ep 14 opens with Min Gi feeling drowsy from the effects of the drug pills and Soo Hyun deliberating over whether to divulge his identity to him…

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Soo Hyun eventually tells Min Gi about his real identity and Min Gi is furious at first but slowly comes to forgive him and they become comrades once again…

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Mr. Jung meets Soo Hyun at the roof top where the latter tells him about a mole being planted in NIS by Mao, a scene reminiscent of Tony Leung and Anthony Wong in Infernal Affairs…

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Mr. Jung is perplexed about Soo Hyun for picking up the habit of chewing gum…

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Soo Hyun takes on Mao in unarmed combat again having lost twice earlier, he loses again this time…his time will come though…

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The mole at NIS is finally exposed by Min Gi with the help of Soo Hyun and the intelligence head who had done some investigation earlier on…

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Ep 14 ends with another cliffhanger as Bae Sang Shik fires away at Soo Hyun and Ji Woo after hearing the name Soo Hyun one too many times…

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Ep 15 starts off with Min Gi saving Soo Hyun and Ji Woo from Bae Sang Shik and his henchmen…

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Meeting between two wily foxes at the painting/charity/drug auction, who will have the last laugh?

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Bae Sang Shik gets killed by Min Gi who has his revenge…

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But Mr. Byun meets with a sorry death as he was shot by Bae just moments earlier, bad karma I would guess, but it was still pretty sad…

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Another cliffhanger moment as Soo Hyun points his gun at Mao, wanting to end this once and for all. But Ji Woo appears suddenly and starts shouting “DAD!” alerting Mao who looks back looking shocked…

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I just can’t believe I can smile face to face with you.
Soo Hyun is sitting on the same seat he used to sit 2 years ago. Ji Woo cooked Thai food for Soo Hyun, even though he didn’t eat much…

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Soo Hyun decides to forgo revenge and gets cosy with Ji Woo but a chilling phone call from Mao leads to a final confrontation…

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Mao and Soo Hyun finally faces off as they grapple with each other. Mao gets the upper hand initially as Soo Hyun takes a few gun shots. But Mao loses concentration after finding the watch on Soo Hyun kind of familiar. Was anybody else freaked out when you hear Soo Hyun laugh like a crazy person? Mao eventually takes Soo Hyun hand and opens the gun on himself, commiting half-suicide.

The reason was that watch was given by him to Soo Hyun’s dad. They were the best of friends in Cheon Bang but he was ordered to plant a car bomb one day by Cheon Bang’s head who had found out that he was a undercover. He did it without knowing Soo Hyun’s dad was the target. He only realised it later but it was too late, he had killed his best friend.

Soo Hyun didn’t believed it initially but as he went through Mao’s pockets and saw the photos of him and his dad together, he finally realises that it was the truth. He was overcome with grief once again at “killing” a good man who was like a father to him.

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That final ‘duel’ between Soo Hyun and Mao was just… AWESOME. I will never tire of watching that scene and hearing what they said to each other. How significant that Soo Hyun’s hand was resting on Mao’s when they both fell. Soo Hyun said he wanted to cut their evil bond with his bare hands. But that scene showed how their bond (evil or otherwise) could never be severed. And the gunshot wound on Soo Hyun’s hand would forever remind him of Mao.

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Director Oh takes over Mr. Jung position while the former intelligence head takes her position. Min Gi meanwhile gets promoted and becomes the intelligence head. Min Gi with glasses looks like his dead father.

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Mr. Jung wasn’t blown to pieces after getting bombed by a fake usb drive but only gets his face half scarred. We see him at the end being escorted by NIS personnel, presumbably to answer charges for not following SOP in Soo Hyun’s father undercover mission. Kind of inadequate ending for him but living is more torturous than dying, I suppose that’s what the PD wants us to believe….

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Min Gi gets married to Myung Jae and names their son Jae Woo…

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The PD have casted Ah-Hwa as someone who loves Mickey Mouse, his tatoo and his job after Cheon-bang is all Mickey Mouse related…

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Loved how the PD wrote into the script about the fatherly love that Soo Hyun experienced even though he never had his real biological father to call upon, Director Kang and later Mao did more than an adequate job.

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Soo Hyun never resumes his original NIS role but continues to be an undercover agent which sees him in Japan. He meets Min Gi for a rendevouz and hands him a elephant plush for his daughter and tells him that he is going to Paris next. Ji Woo is also going to Paris next for her art exhibition. We are led to believe that the ill-fated lovers will re-unite eventually in the city of love, Paris.

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Ji Woo’s monologue

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From that time, the young boy began his long journey.
Jumping from this wish to another wish
until the boy finally figured out the true meaning of himself

That passage was from the book, The Neverending Story by Michael Ende.

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In the drama, Ji Woo was reading this book at the park next to the baby. This book is about a boy, who explores his own fantasy world, fulfilling his wishes one by one. But as he accomplishes his wishes, he loses memories about his real life, he can’t go back to reality. At the end, he manages to comes back with the help of his friend. And he lives hoping that the world be more affluent with his memories of his adventures.

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Thanks to saturn@soompi about how the writers referenced this scene from Neverending Story. When Ji Woo was reading the book at the park, and later in her closing voice over. It seems like she was talking about the little boy in the book but she was really referring to Soo Hyun instead. Her words showed that she understood Soo Hyun completely. And the look on her face implied acceptance, contentment and most of all, hope that fate will eventually bring the both of them together in the City of Love, Paris.

Soo Hyun’s monologue

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Nightfall…All things become stained red.
There beyond that hill approaches a silhouette…
of a dog that I raised or a wolf ready to harm me.
A time which is indistinguishable.
It is the time when both good and evil can only be red.

Conversation with the two writers for TODAW from “Dramatique” 2007.Oct.03 edition (Translated by saturn.@soompi)
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This drama was designed as 16 episodes from the first. Actually these two writers wrote a novel-like synopsis, 2 years ago (I read it, it’s also a masterpiece!)! That synopsis was long enough to make 20 or more episodes. It has more stories, their highschool days, love between JiWoo and KAY (not SH!)… etc. But as the planning of the drama became more detailed, it was determined as 16 episodes finally. Maybe writers thought some scenes are not necessary… to make the story more tight…(In my opinion, the completed 16 ep drama is much better than the original synopsis.) It was decided before the broadcasting station was fixed as MBC, thus before the time slot was fixed. So it has nothing to do with ‘The Legend’ showing after that.

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Ambigious ending that leaves a lot of room for imagination but at least it was one that ended happily. Not the usual linear ending which was good. The series wasn’t suppose to be just 16 episodes. Great editing by the PD to make it look more snappy and fast-paced drama and not appear draggy which is a rarity for korean dramas.

Heavenly Kimchi: Top rated drama, amazing in every sense. 5/5 stars.

kimchi-cover1.gif picture by tokieda

If you are interested in the series, visit Cococrust Repository to get your fix, certainly worth re-watching for all the intensity…

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Many thanks to all the folks that filled the TODAW thread at Soompi forums daily for updated information which made following the drama a joy.

20 thoughts on “Time Between Dog and Wolf

  1. i totally agree that TBDAW is a kickass series. so very like internal affairs & bourne series just that this director & its crew has successfully injected their own flavour into this tried & tested (sometimes worn out) genre. especially for someone like me who’ s seen so so many police-thief kind of stories from hong kong, TBDAW is great :)

    totally take my hats of the editor man…the guy should get a pay rise for letting me sit on the edge of my chair while waiting for the next episode to be uploaded….

    bwahaha….everybody go watch it NOW!!!

  2. hi coolsmurf. i was interested in the drama but couldn’t bring myself to watch it because of the title. yeah, silly i know. after reading your review i decided to watch it but when i tried downloading the english subbed version from cococrust repository there was some sort of error. do you know where else i can download it from? thanks.

  3. i was skeptical about this seriously and like you said, the first ep kinda killed it for me so i eventually gave it up until i saw your reviews the other day….

    dang….HEAVENLY KIMCHI??
    alright alright, you convinced me. lol
    maybe i’ll give it another shot.
    thanks for all the great info posted! :):)

  4. Reading your extended review really made me nostalgic. Time of Dog and Wolf was such an intense show, but I don’t know if I would consider it ‘Heavenly’…only because the beginning episodes of their childhood was so slow and boring. But after that, like you said, if became really fast-paced and filled with action and suspense and drama.

  5. i really love this drama ^^ as a fan of Junki, actually i didn’t expect that this drama will be this great. I just want to watch him on screen but then later…. i’m addicted to TBDAW. i’m just a fangirl who wanted to watch romantic comedy drama but TBDAW change me!!! after the this drama ends, i easily bored of other Kdramas. why it’s so slow draggy and not exciting like that? haha TBDAW becomes my most memorable drama…

    i also went to see the shooting in Thailand to see Junki. He’s so nice and playful to fans but worked really hard. Whole team were so tired and the PD was so serious haha.

    although Iljimae has ended and it’s also great drama and gain popularity than TBDAW. i’m still never forget this drama ^^

    i’m surprised that you give 5/5 !! WOW i’m so happy you like this show coolsmurf ^^

  6. hellow thanks to the writer and director of this heart stoping drama for selecting lee jun ki as the main character, he is very suitable in this drama because of his mysterious eyes.keep it up lee jun ki you will have amazing future in your acting but please always keep your feet on the ground and love your fans without them you will not have the things you have now. take care always.hope you understand what i mean,i am your ever loyal fan,hope to see you in person when you come here in hongkong.

  7. such a great review!

    owh..im watching Tv on this show airing in Malaysia and i have known about the ending from here..

    anyway,does anyone know where can i watch this show online with eg sub?

    cause i have been searching on alot of websites..Chinese sub online were too slow,not moving at all.
    youtube doesn’t provide Eng or Chinese sub.

  8. Thanks for the review! I watched this right before Iljimae – watched both series in less than a month when I still have to work! (I know… it’s like a Lee Jun Ki marathon :P).

    I was hooked by his acting in TODAW (LJK has already got my attention in The King and The Clown and as the pretty boy from My Girl), but in TODAW, he was so much more improved. And seeing the screen shots that you posted in your review, wow I just realised that his expressions were just right for his character in each of the different stages he was (the NIS agent, losing his memory, and the hybrid).

    Good acting for the rest of the cast, too. I didn’t really like Jung Kyung Ho in MISA, but here, he was great. His happy-go-lucky character didn’t make the series so dark. Likewise with Mr. Byun’s character.

    One of the best series I watched this year. I like Iljimae, too although the first few episodes were too draggy for me :).

    Once again, thanks for the good summary and review of TODAW. Keep it up!

  9. great drama! one of my favorite.. I liked all the cast especially Jun Ki & Nam Sang Mi wonderful team-up, I wish they could have dramas or movies again :)

  10. LOL i am so late in discovering this series! :) men this is one heck of a AWESOME drama! good plot, outstanding characters, scenes are well presented!, the action just keeps me watching this series non-stop! :)) I LOVE THIS DRAMA! Now I’m a LEE JUNKI FAN! :) haha too bad he’s in the military now but anyways he’ll be coming back soon! =)

  11. Unlike others who gave up on my boy Lee Jun-Ki with the first episode, I went and found this on Amazon after watching the first 3!! I was absolutely blown away! I was already a lifetime fan of LJK but now, I am convinced that I liked TBDAW more than City Hunter. Not saying CH was not good, it was great, I just liked TBDAW better. The fight scenes were AMAZING! WHen LJK did that 360 kick during one of his Muai Thai fight scenes, I must have replayed that 5 times!! I liked the story more; the ending is my only complaint but then look at IRIS! How many times have we KDrama fans complained about the ending! I so so glad that I bought this! I guarantee I will be watching this over and over again. I hope LJK next project is another action movie or drama! He is a phenomenal actor and I so glad that I have practically seen everything he has made! Can’t wait for his service requirements to end!! FIGHTING!!

  12. TIME BETWEEN DOG & WOLF is ABSOLUTELY the BEST Korean drama! Years have passed since I watched this drama and since then I never watched any drama that is so great and wonderful as TBDW! ( like I been watching City Hunter but still found TBDW is better) THIS DRAMA IS VERY AMAZING! I love everything in this drama, all are great; the story and acting are great & wonderful too! though the ENDING IS SAD and INSUFFICIENT because it end with an ending that we never expected and it let us (the viewers) imagines what should be like a happy ending story, and though IT SEEMS THAT THERE SHOULD BE A PART 2 and it makes us to be hopeful and imaginable.. BRILLIANT ACTING OF LEE JOON GI (Lee Jun Ki) and he is absolutely a great actor. NAM SANG MI had proven that she’s a GREAT ACTRESS too!
    THANKS TO TBDW! I starts to like LEE JUN KI and NAM SANG MI and now still LOVING THEM BOTH! :) I really missed them together. I wish they can have more movies & dramas together.
    I NEVER TIRED OUT to watch this drama & surely WATCH THIS OVER AND OVER AGAIN!
    I really hope for their best! More projects to them together and God Bless!
    I LOVE TIME BETWEEN DOG & WOLF FOREVER and EVER!^^

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