The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

매리는 외박중 / Maerineun Oebakjoong

Marry Me, Mary!

That's right!
FIVE stars for this one :-)

Beyond awesome, interesting, believable, and entertaining was this 16-episode, Nov through Dec of 2010, Korean drama.

Loved it to BITS!

Especially ...

Jang Geun suk as Kang Moo kyul

An added bonus, and the reason I tuned in to begin with ...

Kim Jae wook as Byun Jung in

But, believe it or not, that isn't even HALF the story this time!

I went into this one with just, one eye open and expected for it to be mildly sappy at the least - horrifically mundane at most.


Oh, so wrong on both counts and THANK THE HEAVENS for that, too.

The second that I saw the leading man beside MY leading man, Jae wook, and that they were both interested in the leading lady (Moon Geun young as Wi Mae ri), I thought to myself, "Aw no! Not another of them stupid, unrealistic Cinderella stories like the ones from Taiwan that they crank out every, other month?"

WRONG again!

Well, let's just say it wasn't EXACTLY like the far-fetched, worn-out, boring and lame 'ugly girl meets prince charming and he falls in love with her' scenario I am fed up with watching.

(I'm seriously going to re-read all my blogs and then make a new blog that lists every, single drama from Japan, China, and Korea that has that theme as a basis for the story - there have GOT to be at least ten I can list, I'm sure, considering I can already think of five right off the top of my head!)

Anyway, MMM is about a poor, unattractive girl with a dead-beat father and no mother who starts off the story by hiding from creditors AND the goons chasing down her old man in order to 'extract' the money he owes them.

It was hard NOT to like Wi Mae ri from the get-go, and her childish antics could not be misconstrued regardless of their ... well, childishness!

Take, for example, the scene where she is trying to get our sex-laden god of a musician, Kang Moo kyul, to sign a release form that assures he won't turn around and sue her for hitting him with her friend's car.

When he said she resembled the cat from Shrek II, he was dead-on!

omg ... I just realized something!

Now I can put a name to this guy's heavenly face!

I saw this dude in a video last year, and I melted in my chair!

Then, and after stealing this image from the video and using it as a profile pic for EVER, I begged my Korean friend to help me find out who he is, and she didn't have a clue.

IT'S HIM! Yay!

Okay, back to the show ...

Mu kyul is a street musician (I think they toss about the Indie label a bit, too freely in Asia, and its gotten to the point where one can't distinguish between that and POP anymore, so I won't do that here) who shuffles around town with his guitar strapped to his back looking oh, so fly in the latest, trendy attire, and our leading lady, Mae ri, drives her two, intoxicated friends to a happening area of Seoul when Mu kyul, headphones attached and bobbing his head to the sound, steps out, in front of traffic, scaring the girls half to death in the process.

When Mu kyul opens his eyes and he sees the wide-eyed girl with thick, fluffy hair staring at him with concern for his health, I KNOW FOR SURE he is instantly taken by her, but that isn't revealed until way, later in the game.

He says he's fine and saunters off, but her goofy friends convince her that he'll return to haunt her with a lawsuit for damages - so the already wary-of-creditors Mae ri scampers around the bustling streets in search of the 'omg' musician with amazingly AMAZING hair, long, limber legs, and a face that could stop a clock, it's that gorgeous.

She ends up inside an underground club filled with bobbing heads and loud music, but she soon recognizes the electrifying presence on stage and sticks around for the show.

By INDIEs, I guess you could say its true this time, since Mu kyul is against pop music of any kind, and he even has the wherewithal to know when his 'agent' is trying to rope him into a 'pop boy band' deal and ends up telling her to hit the road, displaying a wonderful sense of integrity.

After the show, Mae ri is mortified (in an obvious, Asian sense) to see the handsome musician physically hugging his fans - and then she proceeds to follow him to a nearby bar, where he meets up with his band buddies to get drunk.

Mae ri interrupts the party to beg him to sign the release form, and she ends up having to knock back a few instead, which leads to their both getting shloshed, which in turn leads to some funny dialogue and 'drunk' antics.

Mu kyul doesn't sign the paper, but he does end up spending the night at her apartment - which Mae ri can't remember letting happen since she isn't one to handle the spirits all that well.

MEANWHILE, her old man is running from creditors when he ends up at his wife's grave, where he also just happens to bump into his old Sunbae from college, who has been in Japan for years but has returned to Korea on business - with his adult son who is in the drama-producing business and wants to make it big in his native country.

Byun Jung in is the 'typical' tortured soul in search of an identity as well as a purpose in life while also dutifully fulfilling the demanded-of-him obligations of his father - an overbearing, heartless man with just, one thing on his mind - to marry off his only child to the daughter of the woman of his dreams.

Yea ... that'd be our Wi Mae ri-shi.

Her father and Sunbae (Jung in's father) become fast-friends again and almost instantly discuss plans to follow through with their twenty + years' agreement to have their children wed.

When Mae ri gets wind of the news, panic ensues and she decides on something stupid since its spur-of-the-moment stuff - like asking Mu kyul to 'stand in' as a fake husband so her father will back off.

They and their friends go to a photography studio and dress up in wedding attire, take a bunch of pictures, and then Mae ri proceeds to show them to her appahji in the hopes that he will forget about the 'arranged' thing.

It doesn't work - but the relationship between Mae ri and Mu kyul has nowhere else to go but UP since they must continue to pretend they are hitched as her father still insists that she marry money instead of looks - I mean for love.

The two, old men arrange to have Mae ri and Jung in meet, and since this is modern-day Korea with pre-historic notions about love & marriage, the fathers want Mae ri and Jung in to live together.

I had no idea that just 'saying' you are engaged makes you legally married.

It's as if the engagement ceremony is bigger and more important than the actual wedding - and this, obviously, doesn't sit too well with a westerner like me.

Another thing I can't wrap my head around is the fact that the woman takes the man with her to buy her dress, and that they take pictures PRIOR to the big day (BIG no-no jinxy thing from a Western perspective, eh?) - which I guess isn't such a big day after all, if all the pomp & circumstance occurs months BEFORE the big day ... I mean wedding.

OUCH, my head hurts.

Okay, so for the next, ten episodes we watch as Mae ri and Mu kyul play house without the benefit of sex or lovey-dovey stuff, and she also has to divide her time between him and Jung in, whom she just, doesn't like for whatever reason, even though he's the sweetest, most considerate man on the PLANET for crying out loud!

She ends up getting a job at the studio where Jung in works, and the more that they are together, the more jealous and suspicious of Mae ri that Mu kyul becomes until the fireworks erupt.

Ah yes, there is the unrequited love thing in this one - where Mu kyul's old flame returns to agitate and annoy until the bitter end, when she has to relinquish everything for the sake of her love.

She first takes a job as an actress for Jung in's drama, and then Mu kyul is asked to record the music for the OST - so all, four players must converge every now and again - to add spice to the drama.

Right - so, Jung in AND Mu kyul end up falling in love with Mae ri, and Mae ri remains Asian good-girl faithful to her heart: sticking to Mu kyul like glue.

I'll have to end the explanations here so as not to give anything away for the few of you out there who have yet to watch this awesome drama.

Here are the rest of my pictures - but, before I go, I must insist that you WATCH THIS ONE!

Marry Me, Mary - Mary Stayed Out All Night is a definite winner.

LOVE this song to death ... enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I have not seen the series as I heard many bad reviews for this.

    Jang Geun suk looks a bit girly here even more so than in You're Beautiful. But I do like him as an actor and he's very appealing. I'll probably see the series because of him.


Please Be Nice