Marriage not dating (2014) #Kdrama initial impressions.


Hello. This is a Korean in America and I am stuck in Manhattan because of bad weather.  So, I'm sitting down to write this preview of "Marriage not dating" (2014). This is done after watching the first 2 episodes.


If I were to describe this show, I would not have much to say. It is a rather typical "rich guy finds a poor girl to fake being his girl friend in order to get his parents off his back" story. There are a ton of Korean dramas with this setup. And , on the surface, "Marriage not dating" (2014) is not unique.

However, what about underneath the surface?
Is this show something special for this type of Korean drama subgenre?

Well... at the moment, it is difficult to say.

Except for some little things, the show is very "buy the numbers" for a show in this subgenre. Let's talk about these exceptions.

First, the main female lead is the former girl friend of the male lead's friend. This is not the case in most Korean dramas as it is usually the  second lead's mindset to covet his friend's girl.   Even if this happens, the  lead will suffer anguish regarding his betrayal and weakness toward temptation.

I mean, it is Korean drama law that the male lead has  to come out as a good guy at the end even though he may be an ass in the beginning.

You shall not covet your neighbour's house. You shall not covet your neighbour's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.

— Exodus 20:17

However, while it  is too  early  to see how  the male lead will deal  with  this,  it would not be a serious issue since his friend is such an insignificant ass in the story.

Second, the show seems to be  self conscious about  how ridiculous the basic plot of this type of show is even  though it is only mentioned in one scene. I do like this but it does not change the fact that the show couldn't do better with the writing. The process of getting the girl to act as a fake girlfriend is more convoluted than required. In a way, the show is trying to be more clever than it can handle.

Third, the character dynamic seems to be more complex as there are at least 3 men and 2 women in play. However, I do not think the show is doing a good job with juggling these characters.  The ex boyfriend of the female lead is already insignificant. I do not know how the other guy fits into the whole thing yet. The second female is just functional.


Fourth, the show is extremely plasitc~y with a capital P. I mean this in both the literal and figurative ways. It seems rather obvious that all of the cast members had considerable plastic surgery done. The female lead looks so much like a famous Korean drama actress that it Is not even funny. The fact that this is a tvN show does not help as they tend to be color corrected the video to be very white. In this show, it seems like the color correction got stuck on extreme. Everyone looks like a barbie doll.


Leaving this stuff aside, the question is whether I would keep watching this show. I would have to say yes.

Yes, there is nothing new for this type of show.  However, the main leads  do  chemistry  and can at least
engrave on their business cards that they are actors compared to other actors in some other  shows.


Remember the  brick of wood  in "Trot lovers" (2014)?


 I  have  to  confess  that  chemistry  is  the most  important  factor in this type of show.  It should be able to cover  the  fact that the show is  ridiculous  in  nature.  And the couple in "Marriage not dating" (2014) is good enough at the moment. I'll have to wait if this is still so in later episodes.

While I am hopeful, even in the second episode,  the lack of the shows ability to create interesting stories are showing. So, like most of the recent tvN shows like "I  need romance 3", the show may implode...


I give  the first  two  episodes a C+.

1 comment:

  1. I think I caught a bit of this - there was a big splatter of blood across the doctor's face? - and that freaked me out immediately. Ick. Switched to watching Fated to Love You instead. That may be an ick of a different kind, though!

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