I just might be crushing hard on this drama right now. I had high hopes going into the show after the wonderful trailers, but episode one has gone above and beyond those expectations. Come join me as I follow my new OTP crush as they travel the hazards of developing a Kdrama relationship.
For those of you just discovering our awesome blog, I am Kmuse, one of the main bloggers at “Dramas with a Side of Kimchi”…many of you know me from my previous blog “The Crazy Ahjummas”. A little about me: I am a mother of three and an avid kdrama watcher, in that I love to watch literally everything. There are very few currently airing dramas that I am not watching so if you have any questions about them (or really any drama since I have seen an insane amount) feel free to ask me in the comments. Or better yet come like our facebook page and ask me there. FB PAGE LINK For those of you who have not read my past recaps, I am one of those bloggers that really likes to just discuss my opinions on certain scenes or concepts of the drama. I don’t go step by step through the whole thing. So if you are looking for a complete recap you might have to look elsewhere (and then come back and read ours of course).
Now that we have the introductions all done, let’s jump right into reviewing episode one and discussing how our cute couple hit all the kdrama OTP rules.
RULE # 10 You have to set the stage for hijinks and conflict.
Before we can get to the proper start of an OTP (one true pairing) we must first look into the background of a story.
We start our show with the realization that often there is not a happily ever after following the Cinderella fairy tale. The prince ends up being a cheating louse, the woman is left poor with kids to raise and the bitter seed of disillusionment planted in her heart. What is a girl to do ….. but go to a matchmaker, one who focuses on 2nd marriages, and find a better prince to throw in the old prince’s stupid face.
Quick shout out for the awesome cameo of Kim So Yeon (Jung Kyung Ho’s last co-star) and her We Got Married husband Kwak Si Yang for playing the divorced fantasy couple. They rock!
When you need that new re-start you go to the 2nd chance matchmaker Han Mi Mo (Jang NaRa) to help you find the next “one”. And right off the bat, we see that our leading lady is a bit brutal as well as a realist. At least, to the outside world, she doesn’t see things like love being the solution, but being realistic and having everything firmly detailed before the marriage is how you stay married. For example, a prenup is a must to avoid messy money issues in case the marriage doesn’t work. The client asks if Mi Mo also plans on getting remarried and we see a slight glitch in our leading lady’s expression. She simply states, “I am planning on it, just getting everything perfect”.
As soon as the client leaves we see the facade drop and Mi Mo get giddy at the thought that her boyfriend is going to propose. A friend who works for the big BF is calling to give her a heads up that tonight is the night. The boyfriend has reserved a hotel suite and is filling it with candlelight and 3,000 roses. That, of course, means proposal right? Just judging from the synopsis I am guessing that this is a huge NO. I foresee embarrassment and hijinks in our leading lady’s immediate future.
Reminding Mi Mo not to count her marriage proposals before they hatch is her partner and friend Baek Da Jung. It seems that they have been together since their idol years when they were part of the girl group “Angel”. A group that Mi Mo declares ruined her twenties. Begin flashback to the Angel years where four of the five members were forced to live under the shadow of the witchy “it” girl cameoed by Sandra Park.
I cracked up at the fight for the spotlight during their performance which was full of shoving and the sticking out of tongues when they were not facing the audience. You have to assume that this happens more often than you would think behind the scenes with girl idol groups.
Because of the fight “Angel” was disbanded and Sandra Park’s character went on to fame and fortune while Mi Mo went on to a divorce and shattered dreams.
While the group had disbanded, the four members who were not the witch diva, have remained friends. We get a brief intro to the two other members that are not Mi Mo and Da Jung who run the matchmaking service. There is a severely frizzy haired Go Dong-Mi (Kudos to Yoo In Na for playing against type for once) teaching school. And the fourth, Hong Ae Ran, is a model for an internet shopping mall who is screaming for bigger boob inserts (laugh).
RULE # 3 You must have an epic first meeting
Nothing sets the tone of a kdrama more than the OTP’s first meeting. Is it funny? Is it tragic? Most importantly, is it memorable? I have to say that this OTP’s meeting is truly one for the record books.
Enter Song Soo Hyuk (Jung Kyung Ho) the cutest baby faced paparazzi reporter ever. Even dressed in pregnant drag he is adorkable. Especially when he calmly tries to pretend he is not dressed as a woman while dealing with the fender bender involving Mi Mo’s car.
What was even better is that when confronted about the car damage, what really set Mi Mo off was being Ajummoni’d by our leading man. Which turns the fight from her car to his lack of sense in thinking she is an ahjumma. I am laughing because I always said I wanted Jang Nara to be a bit more of a mean girl. For those unaware of her past work, she mostly plays the sweet girl next door type of characters, so this change is one I can 100% get behind. Let’s hear it for self-absorbed and slightly snarky Jang NaRa. But I digress, let’s get back to the plot.
In an effort to explain just how wrong Soo Hyuk is, Mi Mo pulls out the “I was famous and you should remember me” card. When she claims she was an “Angel” he just stares at her blankly and repeats, Angel? Hahahaha she even does the cheesy dance to try and jog his memory. All to no avail since Soo Hyuk was actually in America during her brief reign of fame. Who knew that Soo Hyuk’s cross-dressing would be the least awkward part of their whole first meet and greet.
We learn exactly why Soo Hyuk is dressed as a pregnant women as he and his buddy follow an actress (Sandra Park) who had just entered a fertility clinic. The things you do for your job. They get the photo of her coming from the Doctor’s office and are then on the hunt to get a pic of the baby daddy. Who is none other than Mi Mo’s playboy boyfriend.
RULE #42 Getting rid of romantic obstacles is a must.
In order for an OTP to truly work in a drama, one must first make them available. Which means that Mi Mo’s loser boyfriend has got to go. Poor Mi Mo is on the way to his hotel where he is meeting Mi Mo’s nemesis. Playboy finds out she is coming and freaks out, eventually hanging up on her and sending Mi Mo a text breaking up. WOW. Now that is truly a horrible boyfriend. At least, he dumped her before she goes and finds him sleeping with her ex-idolmate, but still. By text?
Incensed Mi Mo stomps into the hotel restaurant to confront her cheating ex only to find that he is cheating with “the witch”. All things considering, she handles it pretty classy and mostly just chews him out for not breaking up before starting a new relationship. Mi Mo then stomps away, stomach growling (remember she thought she was going to get dinner with her BF) and stares out at the ocean.
RULE #7 One Member of an OTP must at some point save the other.
Deciding to throw away anything to do with her crap ex, she flings the $3,000 pearls he had bought into the ocean….and then instantly regrets it. Rushing into the waves, Mi Mo searches for her tainted, but expensive gift.
Soo Hyuk was busy writing his article on The Witch’s love triangle/baby scoop when he spies Mi Mo rushing into the surf. Thinking she is trying to kill herself, Soo Hyuk rushes to the rescue. Which might be one of the funniest things I have ever witnessed. These two actors expressions are priceless so much so that pictures do not do this scene justice so feel free to check out the clip below.
RULE # 6 An OTP must be thrown together in an infinite amount of ways in the first episode.
Somehow our OTP end up in a car together and Mi Mo realizes he is the cross dressing pervert from earlier. Not only that, but Kdrama fate is working overtime and it turns out they live across the hall from each other.
Both go into their respective houses muttering about weird fate. Being the awesome and sweet guy that he is, Soo Hyuk comes over with a thank you sandwich. Awww. I love a guy who cooks. Even if he is just asking fate to strike his heart with an insta-love arrow. Everyone knows that if you see the same person over and over it is required that you marry that person ASAP. It is almost written into the kdrama bylaws.
Rule # 65 Drinking to excess is required for love to develop. Because everyone loves a
puking cute drunk.
And if you do decide to be a fate dummy, never ever ever, under any circumstances, have a drink with the person you keep running into. Needless to say, our crazy couple ignore all basic rules to Korean relationships and get hammered.
RULE # 18 Fall in love from the womb….. or at least by elementary school because otherwise it doesn’t count.
Now everyone knows that if you are in a kdrama and are fated you will have some kind of tragic love backstory that happened when you were around ten. Because really who doesn’t know what they want in a soul mate by the age of 10? Our OTP is no different as they discover that they knew each other in elementary school where Soo Hyuk and Mi Mo played opposite each other in Romeo and Juliet. But their love was not meant to be when Soo Hyuk got sick to his stomach right before the kiss scene and ran offstage. (I don’t mean to be a stickler or anything, but why are elementary students doing kiss scenes in the first place? Oh well, at least, it makes for an amusing back story). And in retaliation Mi Mo pulled down his pants during recess. Childhood trauma abounds.
#RULE 1 When your lady is crying, cheer her up with a huge over the top gesture.
Poor Mi Mo declares that the elementary school play is where she developed a first kiss phobia and look where it got her, dumped again. She begins to sob at which point Soo Hyuk is lost. He somehow drunkenly confuses Mi Mo with his ex and decides that the only thing to do is go for the gold of all grand gestures. First Soo Hyuk goes in for the sweet kiss and says let’s go for it.
Then cut to the next morning where our cute OTP are hungover and on the phones with their respective besties. The events of the previous night slowly begin to trickle into their conscious. The giant fake ring and the photo of the marriage certificate of course help.
RULE # 101 If all other kdrama rules apply just accept fate and get married.
It looks like our OTP is achieving the speedy fated version of a kdrama relationship by getting married to a stranger on day 1. It makes you wonder what is in store for day 2. I for one can’t wait to find out.
Cute Moments With the Side Characters
While the majority of the first episode revolved around Soo Hyuk and Mi Mo, there were a few other moments I wanted to give a quick shout out to. I look forward to watching these characters stories progress in the future.
#1 Soo Hyuk’s son lamenting his father’s lack of game with the ladies.
#2 Go Dong-Mi’s praying for a man who is hot in jeans, retains his six pack regardless of his eating habits, and has a sexy look when wearing Calvin Kline underwear. She’s not asking for much at all.
I am loving this drama. Everything is clicking with me from the quirky characters to the feisty leading lady, and the sweet leading man. It almost feels like a reversal where the female is the alpha character and the leading man is more a submissive sensitive guy. It is a nice change of pace.
Also, as I said earlier, I am thrilled that Jang Na Ra is finally playing a character that isn’t all nice and sugary. She can be selfish, cranky, a little bit of a snot, yet still likable. It is a change that I all out support. It really works well for the meta tone of the drama.
Talking about meta, ….. it is so rare that it is done properly in a drama. The writer decided to go all out and really added meta concepts into most of the scenes, but with a quirky tone that really made it work. Sure all the tropes were tried and true kdrama tropes, but every scene felt fresh and entertaining. This is a first-time scriptwriter so there is no past work to compare to which is always refreshing. I look forward to going in with no expectations and hopefully the drama will continue to provide me with more literal laugh out loud moments.
Til next time,