Marriage, Not Dating - Series Review
Calling all Contract Dating/Marriage KDrama lovers. After quite a while comes a funny rom-com about contract marriage that doesn't make you want to roll your eyes. Instead you can look forward to a series with well cast actors having amazing comic timing that leaves you laughing out loud.
Before we go ahead, I should warn you that this drama has all possible cliches from Contract dramas
Rich guy who loves his independence and freedom - Check
Poor, cute and sassy girl - Check
Contract/Fake relationship to throw off all marriage prospects - Check
Glamorous ex-girlfriend - Check
Super cute and loveable Second lead - Check
Mother who has issues with the girl. - Check
I have a weakness for fake/contract relationship dramas. However, this genre of dramas is so easy to get wrong. And I am glad to say that 'Marriage, Not Dating' has not been a disappointment even with all the drama cliche's involved.
The story starts off with plastic surgeon Gong Ki-Tae (Yeon Woo Jin) who is yet again on a blind date set up by his mother. Meanwhile our heroine, Joo Jang-mi (Han Grou) is waiting in an apartment all ready to propose to her boyfriend, Lee Hong Dong who happens to be Ki Tae's best friend. All is fine, till he realises that his girlfriend is planning on proposing marriage. He takes the cowardly way out and speed dials his pal to save him. After much dodging and evading Jang Mi, Hong Dong decides to let his mom take matters into her hands. Jang Mi ends up with a court summons for stalking. In the whole mess of stalking, Ki Tae's mom mistakens Jang Mi as her son's girlfriend. This whole misunderstanding requires Ki Tae and Jang Mi to pretend to be dating. Obviously, pretending to be a couple makes them realize they actually want to be one. This is the simple version of the story.
We have other complications like a Second lead who wont back down. Lee Hong Dong who has realized his erroneous ways and wants to get back together. Into this mix is thrown Jang Mi's besty who wants to be with Lee Hong Dong. Ki Tae additionally has to deal with his ex-fiance, Kang Se-ah who wants him to father her children. As if all this were not enough, Ki Tae also has to deal with his cheating father and a mother who wont let cracks in the family facade ever be revealed to outsiders, whatever the cost.
In a few ways this reminds me of Kim Sam Soon. Not just in story line, but Yeon Woo Jin reminds me of Hyun Bin. But unlike Hyun Bin's character from Kim Sam Soon, Gi Tae is a more likeable character. He has his moments of confusion. But that is forgivable since that tends to be all KDrama male leads issue. "Do I want her? No! But I can`t see her with him.
I was hooked from the get go. All episodes start off at a cliffhanger and during the whole episode you are left wondering and anxiously waiting for the events that lead up to it. And all Cliffhangers have so much of drama and hilarity to it that in no way would you want to skip any scene.
The whole family drama could have been portrayed more maturely. Not sure if the character of Gi Tae's dad was intentionally meant to be a weakling. But that is how he came across. It's heartbreaking to see Gi Tae's mom stay in the loveless relationship and be portrayed as the interfering mom by her jackass husband. But there are times when instead of feeling sorry for her, I was more annoyed at her and everyone else who pretended not to know.
However, the most appealing part of the drama was Jang Mi. I have to say that Han Groo played her to perfection. We laughed with her, cried with her and cringed along with her. If not for her strong and well written character, this show would have been just another run of the mill contract dating dramas.
If you haven't seen this drama yet, watch it this weekend and you won't regret it.