Mother…Source of My Pain ~Problem One!
Keywords: Korean Drama, Marriage Contract, Kdrama recap, K-drama, #Kdrama #MarriageContract


Faux-K-stories are intended for the purpose of satire, parody, and criticism. None of the depictions of characters and events are true. While the specific show “Marriage Contract” is used as the basis, many elements of other Korean dramas are used as reference. Read at your own peril. 

Click for Part 7-2 “Destiny? Part 2/2” 

Thanks to the shenanigans of the “Fates,” a man and a woman are in place to collide in a cold white heat. On one corner, there is the rich bachelor and literal “bastard” Han Ji-hoon just waiting for a poor woman to come in to his life so that he can save her. She is a surrogate for his mother after all. It addition, throw all his money away to defy his figurative “bastard” father, the chairman. That is the way Korean men deal with “Daddy Issues.” 

On the other corner, you have a the “candy” single mother Kang Hye-Soo who is put on this earth to suffer,  sacrifice for her family, and ultimately be used by a man as a device to deal with his personal issues. However, just putting these two people together is not enough for the ignition of the “cold” heat required for this type of collision of rich and poor. It is called “cold” heat is because it is an innocent and impotent passion in which no one actually “gets it on” and can only exist in the mind of teenage girls or cloistered nuns. In order for this to happen, there is a need for the Fates to arrange something drastic!  

In the case of the couple in the center of our story, the Fates will need to put in for over time since they’ll need to work double than usual as it is a two pronged game plan they have for themselves. The first leg of this plan is where Oh Mi-Ran, mother of Han Ji-hoon, comes into the picture.

Oh Mi-Ran is 59 years old but is known to be 56 by everyone around her. She had lied about her age when she applied to be a poster model for a snack company’s advertisement campaign in the early 80s. She was 19. Even now, she is very insistent about her age. Born into a poor fishing family and far away from the lights of the capital Seoul, Oh Mi-Ran always dreamt of getting out of the seaport backwater her father sailed out of every day. When the first opportunity becomes visible, she was determined to grab it at any cost. And she did it!

Young Oh Mi-Ran

She applied to an open call audition for an advertisement model and won. The details regarding the audition “process” is unknown but… let’s just say it was a different time then. Once she got her break in the world of entertainment, she worked consistently in TV shows and even did a movie.

--- Kim Yong-woo, veteran actor of TV , movies, and the stage
Oh Mi-Ran. I remember the first time I met her.
It was on the set of a TV show I did in the mid-80s called “Our daughter-in-Law.” In that show, my character was arranged to marry Oh Mi-Ran’s character but hadn’t seen her beforehand. Personally, I had seen her posters before but not in real life. The day we were shooting the scene in which my character is first introduced to his seen-to-be wife was the first time I laid eyes on her real face and smile. I was instantly mesmerized by her beauty. She had a combination of innocence and fiery passion that reminded me of a Hollywood black and white era heroine. Her acting skills was still undeveloped at the time but you could feel she had raw talent.

It is a shame she never became the actress she was meant to be. After the show, we became friends and I tried to help her through the business as best I could. However, the business is not easy. Even now, while it is better, it is still a crap shoot. It was worse for women. Much worse. They had to endure much and many don’t make it. Sadly Oh Mi-Ran was one of those many lost to the craft.

“Family and love”
I remember that movie. It was the only one she ever made.

 I never got to work with her again. Once she got pregnant, she never came back. I tried to keep in touch but her situation did not allow it. I heard that she was thinking of making a comeback in the 90s as the TV drama market exploded. However, nothing really came of it.
It is all in the past. But I sometimes wonder what kind of actress she would have been if she kept with it. She could have had the career actress Lee Whee-Hyang had. They come up in the same year and Lee Whee-Hyang has been working consistently over the last 30 odd years.
Do we keep in touch? You mean with Oh Mi-Ran? The last time I saw her was 5 or 6 years ago. She came to a play I was in. Afterwards, we talked a bit about the old days but she seemed sad somehow…
What a waste!

---End of Interview

A year after she did the show Our daughter-in-Law,” a meeting happened that changed the future of a promising new actress. Oh Mi-Ran met Han Sung-Kook who was in his early 30s at the time. While Han Sung-Kook is now founder and chairman of Han-nam Foods, he was born into a poor family like many business tycoons of his generation. In his 20s, he started out as a Tofu vender but soon built the foundation of what would become Han-nam Foods Inc. When he was first introduced to Oh Mi-Ran in a darkly lit room, he was a young promising entrepreneur who was on his way to make it big and needed a place to spend his money and left over passion.

So, what happened on this encounter of destiny?..(To be Continued)

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