The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

Flash Review: The Reason I’m Getting Married [Drama Special]

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I hafta admit that I was rather sad after watching Hong Jong Hyun’s and Yu Ra’s goodbye episode this week on We Got Married. *sniffle*

Partly coz they were just getting so cute together, before their virtual marriage came to an abrupt end. And also very much because I liked getting a fresh dose of Hong Jong Hyun on my screen every week.

Which is why I’m grateful to reader rock bottom, who recommended that I check out drama special, The Reason I’m Getting Married. I am so pleased that I took the time to check it out!

Not only did Show give me a nice dose of Hong Jong Hyun on my screen (so handsome!), it turned out to be a very solid drama short. One of the best I’ve seen yet; no lie.

THE FOCUS

One grouse that I’ve sometimes heard about kdramas, is that when it comes to dealing with relationships, most of the drama offerings focus on the fresh, dizzying, fizzy courtship feels, and don’t really deal with what it takes to keep a relationship going; a statement that I can’t deny, particularly when it comes to the prime-time mini-series.

With family dramas, we do quite often get a taste of what it takes to maintain relationships and family, but for viewers who shy away from long family dramas, a drama that delves into the post-courtship phase is admittedly quite rare.

Yes, there are mini-series that deal with that relatively heavier and therefore “less exciting” topic (One Warm Word comes to mind), but they are definitely in the minority.

What a lovely suprise, then, to find that this little drama special, at just over an hour long, manages to build its context, engage its audience with its characters, and deal with that very topic. Not only that, it even does so in a manner that feels meaningful and true to life. Wow. Commendable indeed.

THE MAIN COUPLE

Park Hee Bon and Song Jong Ho are natural and very believable as our main couple, Ji Won and Seung Wook, who’ve been together so long that they’ve lost that Romancin’ Lovin’ Feelin’, and end up being annoyed with each other and bickering almost all the time.

As the wedding draws near and stress builds up and leads to even more arguments, Ji Won’s pensive dissatisfaction feels familiar and realistic.

After all, isn’t this what so many modern couples go through? In the search for romance and the elusive butterflies (also probably brought on by being overly influenced by watching rom-coms, perhaps), so many women and men question their choice of life partner.

This is the precise window of time into which our drama special thrusts us, in Ji Won’s and Seung Wook’s relationship.

It genuinely feels like we’re flies on the wall, just watching them bicker and get frustrated with each other, as they try to figure out their relationship. There is no overly elaborate set-up, but we get the idea real quick, and the story develops at an admirably natural-feeling pace too.

THE DISTRACTION

It feels like we just happen to be there, to witness the moment when life introduces A Butterfly-Inducing Distraction in their relationship:

Eee!! So handsome! ^.~

Although this isn’t one of Hong Jong Hyun’s best outings (I think he did better in Mama), he’s pretty decent as the handsome Joon Ki who’s still nursing a crush on Ji Won after years and years.

As an aside, you know that I didn’t hesitate to admire the Handsome, right?

So here’s a quick screenshot spasm of that Handsome, before I say more about the show. Gaze with me:

Sigh. Isn’t he a distractingly handsome specimen of a man?

THE CRUX

It’s a believable scenario that occurs often in Real Life: What do you do, when you seem to feel unendingly frustrated with your partner, and someone else who’s new, thrilling and exciting shows up?

What do you choose? Who do you choose? And how do you arrive at that decision? How do you stay true to yourself? How do you know that you’re doing the right thing?

We get to witness how Ji Won deals with all these questions, in order to make arguably the biggest decision of her life.

And Show handles it all with deft confidence, managing to feel like a bona fide glimpse at Real Life, in spite of a touch of whimsy.

Very, very nicely done.

THE FINAL VERDICT:

Realistic, yet sweet. A rare beast in dramaland indeed.

FINAL GRADE: B+

TRAILER:

Check out the quick trailer here:

WHERE TO WATCH:

You can watch the whole drama special, subbed, here:

Author: kfangurl

Proud to be a k-fangirl since 2007. Main diet of kdramas with movies and kpop on the side.

18 thoughts on “Flash Review: The Reason I’m Getting Married [Drama Special]

  1. I remember watching this to myself and having to say to myself (over and over) “I know she made the right decision. I know she made the right decision. I know she made the right decision,” but it was hard to break out of the Hong Jong Hyun spell.

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    • OMG trotwood, you have me in a total giggling fit! XD Hahaha! Yes, the fangirl in me was swooning all over Hong Jong Hyun’s very handsome face and his swoony love declarations. Still, I thought the show did a great job of being realistic and down-to-earth, yet sweet. Major brownie points for that! 🙂

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  2. i’ve just watched this on your recommendation and i’d only comment this:

    if you feel you’re loved, then it’s best to make your mind find out why you feel that way … not letting your mind come up (and thus take control) with “tests” that supposedly confirm/negate what you’re feeling. this is also/especially valid in all those years that follow a wedding. after all,we all know: love is “blind”

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    • I hope you enjoyed the watch, INTJ! 🙂 And yes, you’re absolutely right! That “testing” isn’t the way to confirm/negate what we’re feeling. At the same time, that “testing” is something that many women do, even against our better judgment. Which is why I found the portrayal of it in the show realistic. It’s exactly what a couple in a long relationship might go through.

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      • hm … i enjoyed it on a rational, not on the emotional level. the “entitled princess” was annoying and i started hoping for a bolder outcome. therefore, emotionally, it was a rather disappointing watch. but the final evaluation started changing after rationally analyzing what i just saw a bit deeper. for example the “dream” was imo a pretty clever choice to solve the existing dilemma since partly dreams are the results of our mind processing residual (a.k.a. initially not deemed important enough to be processed at the moment of occurrence) information. without going into further details (spoilers for potential viewers): thank you, it was a good recommendation. 🙂

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        • I’m glad you ended up enjoying it, INTJ, even if it was more on a rational level. I find it interesting and fascinating to read your opinions, because it gives me a peek into how a male mind might process the same show. And while I definitely found the female lead’s behavior realistic, in that I’ve seen many women turn to such “tests” when feeling uncertain and insecure of their partner’s love and commitment, it’s definitely interesting to see how that behavior is processed in a male mind as “entitled princess” type behavior. Great food for thought indeed. And if/when I find myself in a similar type of situation in the future, this might even help me to avoid behaving like an entitled princess. (Well, I hope that I’ve matured beyond that, but, y’know. Just in case!) Talking to you is always enlightening in that way, INTJ. Thanks! 🙂

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        • I did like it a lot, it felt very real and – for those of you who have come to fear Drama Specials, it had an immensely sweet and satisfying ending.
          I also hated the female lead in the beginning. So superficial and unreasonable, an entitled princess indeed! Wanting a big flashy wedding, wanting to change all the furniture, even if new, the most expensive dress and marriage hall. I was so annoyed that I wanted to slap her, really! And I’m a woman. I was happy that she understood the wrong in her ways. On the other hand, it IS frustrating when your man is not the type to externalize his feelings. The leading lady changed her ways, but the leading man didn’t… Oh well!

          I didn’t get any second lead syndrome here, partly because the poor Hong Jong Hyun cannot act to save his life. He was as wooden and expressionless as in Alice: The Boy from Wonderland. There one could say that he was dead, but here he’s alive, and still the same non-acting. When an actor is so boring and uninteresting, he gradually becomes less handsome too, and I don’t enjoy seeing him so much. Moreover, reading the long list of his dramas and films one can see that he had a lot of opportunities to practice his acting.

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  3. Ah, thank you for this recap! This is the first Hong jong hyun drama that I encountered and I have to admit that I have a love at the first sight with him since then. I guess I just got this second male lead syndrome (isn’t it so cruel? when will I be able to meet this man? better yet, when will I be able to meet his clone? my poor heart TT”). I love this guy. Wait, I love him in his tux. Wait, no, I think I just mesmerized by his smiles and his rather mysterious charm. Wait, I think I just love him. Wait, did I just mainly talk about him instead of this drama? I think I was watching this for the wrongly possible reasons out there ><"

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    • Lol. Your comment made me giggle, jjang_g! XD It’s ok, I perfectly understand the urge and the need to spazz about the object of one’s affections, and I can understand how Hong Jong Hyun’s very particular brand of handsome might’ve swept you off your feet! Plus, he plays quite the swoony sweet second lead in this too. While watching this, I couldn’t help taking an extra moment (or twenty!) to admire him whenever he appeared on my screen! XD

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  4. I watched this last month (I think) and liked it enough to recap it. But I didn’t find it objectively that good. To me the ending (which finally had some cuteness between the OTP) was what saved it for me.

    It did have great feels though. I think it’s strength is the emotional pull. So overall I liked it subjectively way more than I should have.

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    • Hi there, Elle. Pleased to meet you! To be honest, I think that if one were to approach this show expecting the same kind of romantic feels we typically get in our favorite rom-coms, the mismatch between expectation and what the show serves up is bound to result in disappointment. Because, as we both know by now, this show really isn’t about the romantic feels, despite Show delivering The Butterflies via Hong Jong Hyun’s character.

      I really liked this one, because of the realism it managed to serve up, about long-term relationships, and what it all feels like, when the dizzy infatuation of early courtship gives way to the banalities of real life. Given its short running time, I thought the show did a great job of making us feel like we just happened to peek into this particular window in these characters’ lives. No need for a whole lot of exposition or explanation, and I got the emotional crux of the situation loud and clear. I really liked how the show treated the entire situation, and resolved it in a way that rings true to Real Love in Real Life.

      Having said all of that, though, I do concede that this show isn’t for everyone. Particularly not for those more in the mood for the romance of early courtship 🙂

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  5. Song Jong Ho scares me. He’s one pf those actors that seem creepy to me no matter what he does. And I remembered watching this drama because I wanted to stop being “afraid” of him lol. It didn’t work? I like the realistic aspect of this 1-hour special. It showed that you need to work to keep a relationship alive… but in the meantime, I’m not quite sure how their relationship was different from a deep reliable friendship. I mean it can be one vision of love, yes. Idk exactly how to express it, but it felt like they’re not together because they love each other as a man and a woman. It’s like they’re focused on creating a relationship without taking into consideration what the other actually wants to be happy. Like they’re trying their best not be unhappy. They (especially him) don’t communicate at all about what they need, so… yeah I don’t know. Is the reason she’s getting married is because she knows this man has stayed by her side in her darkest days and will probably stay by her side until death do them apart? I can understand that, but it’s not always about the destination, it’s also about the journey. So she doesn’t “see” everything he does for her… but in the meantime, I felt like he was making decisions for them because he assumed he knew what she wanted without letting her having a say in it, which made her look ungrateful in the end and led to the the big breakdown because his decisions were thoughtful indeed, but was it what she needed from him? … And what does he need from her? And in the end, she’s the one who gives up on communicating and tells him he doesn’t have to answer because she “knows~~” why he wants to marry her. That’s why the last scene seemed a bit out of place to me. We get to see them happy, yay, but it’s in a (silly) conflictual situation to look cute like in a typical rom-com,… But I still didn’t get the feeling that I saw them in a healthy and good relationship… Okay i’m rambling. All-nighter, so my thoughts aren’t very cleared.

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    • Omo. I’m SO sorry for this terribly delayed reply, Sunny!! 😛 Real Life demanded my undivided attention a while ago, and it’s taken me a while to get back into the blogging swing of things. Comments suffered along with the lack of posts, eep.

      As for SJH, he doesn’t scare me or creep me out, but we all have our own viewing peeves & quirks! Props to you, for deciding to give this drama special a chance, just to try to get over your SJH creeps! ^^

      I think I responded to the show quite differently than what you experienced. I felt that the show was trying to show us that there are many ways in which love is expressed, and that Butterflies aren’t the only sign of True Love; that Seung Wook’s more practical and muted behaviors can also be expressions of love. I felt like the show was trying to help us learn to identify and appreciate the less exciting expressions of love, in service of living happier, more grateful lives.

      In that sense, I felt like Show did a nice job in contrasting the two different love experiences. I also felt like the situation presented, is so true of many modern relationships. So many people fail to appreciate the everyday expressions of love – patience, acts of service, loyalty – and get distracted by someone new and apparently more exciting. I’ve seen relationships fail and marriages fall apart because of this dynamic, and so I found it refreshing to have it tackled by a drama, coz so many of us learn our life lessons from our drama screens, after all. ^^

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      • it’s okay. i know what it is when real life gets in the way xD maybe my fear of song jong ho is also getting too much in the way, but while I agree the show was trying to show “the everyday expression of love” and how it wasn’t always about the great gestures, I fail to see how the way he shows his love is “good”. Seung Wook is practical and takes care of her quietly, but I wasn’t sold on the fact he does things for their relationship without her asking for it or without even consulting her. I don’t know, maybe I’m projecting too because I saw this kind of relationships around me twice and that did not end well because there was no balance between what she truly wanted, and what he gave her according to what he thought she wanted… At some point, they couldn’t even appreciate what the other gave them, no matter how thoughtful it was, b/c it wasn’t what they wanted. It created frustration and a feeling of entitlement on both sides… and the relationships failed without even adding the new exciting factor coming from the outside * sigh * is my comment too long already? ^^” I will stop now. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts once again 😀

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        • You make a great point, Sunny.. It’s true that communication is key to a successful relationship, and the show didn’t really give us examples of how Seung Wook and Ji Won communicated. That’s definitely something that would’ve made the show more robust. Maybe if the show was a full-length drama instead of a short, there’d have been more room to explore the actual nuts and bolts of Seung Wook’s and Ji Won’s relationship. That would be a pretty good premise for a drama, I think! 🙂

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