Warning: This Article May Contain Spoilers For Episodes 1-6
If you dislike spoilers with a fiery passion, please avoid this article
Note: I am not a professional writer (my synopsis’ are really bad, very sorry!) nor am I a psychologist. This article and what is stated are only from my experiences with mysophobia as well as my views on the drama when watching.
I’m here again (this is my second article, the first was: The Hymn Of Death)! 안녕 (Annyeong)! I wanted to write an article on Clean With Passion For Now for various reasons and one of them being that when it had been first announced, I felt over the moon in knowing a drama would be covering something I have dealt with for years: Mysophobia.
Although there are different variations of this issue, the one depicted in the drama is a really good example of the more difficult ones (which are not only hard to live with but also -- as shown in the drama -- puts an unexpected weight to those around the person with it). The washing and washing until the skin is chapped or bleeds is actually something that happens with this (which is no fun in the winter, especially) and I was surprised when they actually covered it.
When I began the first episode, I wondered to myself “Are they going to make fun of this?”. But I had a pleasant surprise when everything they did had me more like “Yes! That!” because I do relate (either the me now or a relation to a more severe version of the issue in the past) and it felt nice to be able to actually laugh about it. It also helps because I can tell how much time and research went into making this drama.
I feel before we get into this though that I must admit to the fact that I have not read the webtoon that this is based on. If you have, I would love to know your thoughts on it vs the drama version!
Here we go!
Clean With Passion For Now centers around Jang Sun Gyeol, a CEO of a cleaning company, who has mysophobia (a fear of contamination and germs) and Gil Oh Sol, who puts her all in to her work to help provide for her family, believes showering is a luxury with so little time and so she often skips washing her hair in order to sleep at least a few more minutes in the morning. Sun Gyeol, with his phobia, he keeps everyone at a distance physically (and unknowingly emotionally) as to not get hurt or sick. But their worlds are shaken up when these two opposites begin to fall for one another.
Yoon Gyun Sang stars as Jang Sun Gyeol, one of our male leads, and his performance is not only memorable but enjoyable. It seems he takes special care to perfect every second he is seen in the frame by paying close attention to detail of how someone with mysophobia would act/react as well as his character's intentions/etc. He uses his acting abilities to both allow the audience to feel sympathetic to his character as well as intrigued with his cool, collected, and upfront CEO demeanor. His tendency to showcase the soft side to the CEO also shines through in many scenes.
Kim Yoo Jung stars as Gil Oh Sol, our female lead, and her performance will keep you entertained with her fiery personality and determination. In this drama, she showcases many charms to her character and different sides to what emotions she can portray very well on screen. Her character faces many obstacles at the beginning with trying to maintain many part-time jobs before finding a permanent position. You will find yourself rooting for her and her family throughout each episode.
Song Jae Rim stars as Choi Gun, our secondary male lead, and he will not only make you laugh as much as the previous two but also keep you curious as to the mystery that surrounds this character in the first few episodes continues to build. Although his character keeps a mysterious aura, that doesn't stop you from experiencing Second Lead Syndrome every time his charms shine through as he builds a closeness to our female lead and her family.
Our Supporting/Guest Roles
Our supporting/guest characters do not get AS much screentime as the leads but they do have plenty to make you feel emotional towards. From the hilarity and bonding between the cleaning fairies to the hilarity and heartfelt moments between Gil Oh Sol's family members. Each character has a very distinct personality and all the actors involved are such a delight!
The images above are the following Kim Min Kyu (I’m Not a Robot) as Jeon Yeong Shik, Yang Hak Jin (My Father is Strange) as Lee Dong Hyun, Do Hee (My ID is Gangnam Beauty) as Min Joo Yeon, Cha In Ha (Wok of Love) as Hwang Jae Min, Lee Do Hyun (Thirty But Seventeen) as Gil Oh Dol, Kim Won Hae (Player) as Gil Gong Tae, Yoo Sun (Criminal Minds) as Secretary Gwon, and Kim Hye Eun (The Guest) as Cha Mae Hwa.
I thought this would be a great addition to the article since I believe the writers really took their time and looked into this before starting the drama. And not only that, the ML actor, Yoon Gyun Sang does such a spectacular job at portraying it as well.
This is a lot of just my own thinking of the insight of where I imagine his mind could be going with his mysophobia -- it could be different than how I see it. Additionally, I will not be going through every scene from episodes 1-6, I will only be noting a few to better help those who might not understand - grasp it a little bit.
The first time we see the adult, Sun Gyeol, he wakes up and starts his morning routine. In this scene, we see he has two different types of soap. One where he can scrub really good, especially beneath his nail beds and one that he doesn’t have to touch the dispenser to use. (anything that doesn't need to be touched to use is a good thing, one less thing to stress over).
He washes his hands repeatedly in this scene. There could be multiple reasons for this but from what I gathered when watching and how my mind wrapped around what he was doing is... first, he has to disinfect his hands and nail beds. Once he’s dried them, he’s not satisfied because the dirt left over on his hands from his nail beds could either be on his mind or he could have thought he touched the edge of the sink or the towel wasn’t clean enough or once wasn’t enough. He continues on until we actually see the note on how he gets a little upset, his expression changes as he holds his hands out to his side (not touching anything because he feels they need to be washed again) -- then he proceeds to wash them regardless of how upset he is becoming. We also see him wincing, meaning his skin is already getting sensitive to the fact that he has washed his hands so many times. (this gets really frustrating for those of us with mysophobia because we don’t technically want to continue but our minds are telling us we have to). After he’s sure to clean the sink handle, he cleans his hands once more and he’s done. It’s either complete and he feels at ease or he’s just needing to move on or he’ll never get to work.
This scene not only covered the repeated washing of hands but also the frustration and discomfort that comes with it. This scene absolutely sold me on this drama because of just how much attention they are paying to this issue.
Why didn’t he eat? Doesn’t he need energy for the day? The utensil he would need to use wasn’t cleaned correctly; therefore it seems to me to have ruined his appetite. The minute I see something on a utensil, my brain goes towards all of the gross things it could be. Like it wasn’t washed well enough, is it leftover food? How long has it been like this? This is what happens regardless of how many times it has been washed, if there's a spot on it.. ruined.
Therefore his appetite = no longer there. His stomach would probably be churning by then.
His closet. Again with the attention to detail. None of his clothing is touching the floor or even coming close to it. Things are on shelves, not only separated but placed in such a way that it makes the mind automatically feel at ease because everything is where it belongs and nothing is where it can be contaminated. Even shoes (which walk on floors, even after cleaned relentlessly doesn’t feel clean) are separated from one another and from the clothing/items themselves. They even further note on it by letting us see the view of Geum Ja, which gives us a fish eye view of its surroundings.
THIS TRICK! Using a napkin, handkerchief, any type of material that can be discarded quickly is the best thing for us mysophobia sufferers. He uses this trick for the car door handle (works on doorknobs too or door handles to rooms as we see him use this technique later in episode one) and to wipe down his steering wheel (regardless if he’s not used it since the last time he’s cleaned it) and the spray. It is always handy to have anything you can take with you to help disinfect/etc at a moments notice because it does help soothe and ease the mind.
Although it is a second by the second issue to deal with and we may come off as strange or distant, we truly do try our best to adapt and not hinder others with our issues. Which is why this scene meant a lot to me.
Everyone is looking at him and judging him for going all out in order to clean the area he intends to spend some time in. He’s not doing this to make the person who works really hard at their job feel bad, he is doing this to make the area safe for him. I love how they had HIM take care of this and not want the worker (who shouldn’t be made to clean anything to his specifications) to help.
Also, the spray after he sits down is used once again to keep his panic at a tolerable level. He uses it as an instant ease of tension after cleaning to his best ability to sort of help the mind feel more at ease. (this is also shown in episode 3 when he states he needs to calm down and uses the spray twice)
As for the handkerchief he sits on. Imagine sitting down on something you believe is the most filthy thing you can sit on. Your clothes would feel dirty, you would feel uncomfortable and there would be no ease to that notion. It is like that for him. If he sits on that chair without having something put down before he does, his clothes are automatically contaminated and his thoughts will only consist of how he can quickly fix that.
Sitting, I have watched him so intently to see how he handles this role and I have yet to find a moment where he slips up. The way he holds himself, where he stands and even down to how he sits. Not wanting to put your back to the chair that is in a public place is a very good example. He does this every time he’s sitting at the character and it is astonishing how in depth he has taken this.
Even in a dining scene with his grandfather, his back doesn’t touch the chair and when he stands the wide shot showcases how his mother is not minding touching the tablecloth with her skirt, but our ML avoids touching the tablecloth at all with his clothes.
Although I could go on and on about more things they get right, like freaking out over face oil papers, dirty washcloths getting anywhere near you, blowing at the oil sheet to get it off of his head instead of touching it with his hands, bringing his own utensils when eating elsewhere, not wanting to eat out of the same bowl/plate others will be putting their chopsticks/spoons in -- I’ll end the captures/scenes here.
For a direct explanation, see wikipedia. I included an excerpt from the wiki page below:
Mysophobia, also known as verminophobia, germophobia, germaphobia, bacillophobia and bacteriophobia, is a pathological fear of contamination and germs. The term was coined by William A. Hammond in 1879 when describing a case of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) exhibited in repeatedly washing one's hands
The OCD part is where we with mysophobia not only obsess over washing our hands repeatedly but also worrying constantly, obsessing over falling ill or getting dirty or sick or contaminating our safe space.
These are just a few of my favorite moments from the drama so far. It was so difficult narrowing it down to just 5 due to how many wonderful scenes this drama has. Please let me know your favorites in the comments! I'm going to try not to give too much away or go into detail about the scenes in case it makes some who haven't seen them want to see them find out what exactly happens.
5. Fifth favorite moment is when Oh Sol visits Sun Gyeol at home and they have a heartwarming moment where she admits how she used to see him compared to how she sees him now.
4. Fourth favorite moment is when Choi Gun carries Oh Sol home on his back. He's kind and sweet and it truly shows in this scene of how much he actually cares for her.
3. Third favorite moment is when Sun Gyeol catches a falling Oh Sol. It's something he does without thinking, a slight slip up and insight into how much he truly is starting to warm up to her.
2. My second favorite moment is when he is in a race to get to Oh Sol as fast as he can. In his hurry, the dropping of his guard starts with him throwing his bandaging just wherever in his car... then we see him physically grab a filthy railing (TWICE), he went through a dirty alleyway, down questionable stairs (and up another set), put his hand on a wall, grab a doorknob (without a handkerchief!!), touch a door that has not been disinfected and then not worry about germs once again by hitting someone right in the face. My heart hurtsss it's so sweet.
1. My favorite moment of all is when they literally break a barrier in dramas. They are both talking about each other supposedly behind their backs but then they both begin to interact and so much so that Sun Gyeol heads on over to our Oh Sol's scene, right in the middle of it. It’s not only hilarious but absolutely genius!
The OST is so much fun! The soundtrack includes three songs so far … "Sweet Heart" by Oh My Girl Banhana, "Oh Lady Go Lady" by GWSN, "I Luv U Luv" by Yoo Seung-woo. You can click the thumbnails to go to the youtube videos.
Please note this has been added in for a little quick attempt at humor for the end of this article. (If these sections aren’t fun or anything I can stop adding them in, so sorry!)
All serious reasons to watch have been the aforementioned (synopsis, cast, what they did right, scenes, ost - bonus reason would be the humor and romance, it really is something amazing).
You really love to laugh until you cry.
You’re interested in seeing how the character deals with mysophobia
Someone told you the rooftop guy is up to something.
You LOVE and I mean really LOVE to clean and watch others clean.
There’s this light inside of you that is really rooting to see the FL clean up. (but will she!?)
You want to see the ML become more comfortable about germs (but will he?!)
You’re just really interested in finding out what rooftop guy is up to now.
WAIT “For Now”??
Does that mean that sometime he will
not clean with passion?!
You just need to see this rooftop guy now to see if you can figure out what he is up to.
The cleaning fairies are interesting...really interesting and you just want to see them clean.
You really just want to see them clean.
You’re absolutely here for this plot
The leads are adorable and cute and you just want to see how things turn out for them
The secondary characters are adorable and cute and you just want to see how things turn out for them.
If you have agreed to at least three of these, you’re ready! Go press play on episode one and make sure no one is sleeping (because you WILL wake them laughing this much, trust me). If you’ve already watched it, you must be planning a rewatch to see if you can tempt the neighbors to watch with you because who wouldn’t want to join in when someone is laughing this much?
Sound off in the comments! Give your heart a voice and rant, rave, discuss! Some ideas to get the discussion flowing:
If are watching this drama: Are you enjoying it? If not or if so; Why? What were your top 5 scenes? Who is your favourite character? Do you have a favourite song from the OST? If you could name 5 reasons someone should watch, what would they be?
If you have not watched this drama: Will you watch it? If not or if so, Why? Have you started it but not completed it due to any reason in particular? If you could give someone reasons not to watch this drama, what would they be and why?
Let’s talk about this drama, whether we like, love or hate it or if you’re neutral.
Until the next time when we give our heart a voice again, thank you for reading my fellow drama lovers and enthusiasts! 화이팅 (hwaiting)!