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.
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.
It feels like we just happen to be there, to witness the moment when life introduces A Butterfly-Inducing Distraction in their relationship:
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?
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+
Check out the quick trailer here:
WHERE TO WATCH:
You can watch the whole drama special, subbed, here: