Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bride: I've heard this story, no wait I haven't

Clichés aplenty. But how about we turn them on their ear? We’ve laughed at the ridiculous amount of recycled setups in Bride of the Century like evil twins, arranged marriages, accidental kisses, and more. But this week took the same old-same old and twisted it in some unexpected and delightful ways. This show barrels along like a Walmart shopper on Black Friday, but never leaves me confused or out of breath. I like it. I really, really do.

It's the same old song
Was anyone else worried here? It looked like our kitten couple would follow the K-drama playbook to the bitter, noble end. Kang-joo tries one more time to convince Doo-rim to run away with him. She refuses, for his own good, of course. And talks about how she’ll be cheering him on from the sidelines. Reminds me of the speech the older brother’s girlfriend gave him in Heirs. (No, I don’t remember either of their names. That’s how much I didn’t care.) You could just see the grim future unfolding: Kang-joo marries Yi-kyung to save his family’s fortune and good name, time jump to the future, they have a child, Doo-rim runs into them on the street one day, the sad music plays while the heartrending flashback sequence runs. What is true love compared to a multi-million dollar conglomerate, right?

But what about THE COMPANY?????
This is my favorite part!!! It deserves three exclamation points. Maybe more, because Kang-joo takes the same hopeless situation we’ve seen how many times and does exactly what we’re always clamoring for. Chucks everything out the window. How many dramas have gone down the tubes because the main couple had to save THE COMPANY? (I’m looking at you Golden Rainbow. I pretty much stopped watching it after the hero revamped his hair, not to mention his personality, and subsequently sucked all the sunshine out of the show.) So often the scheming second lead runs circles around the good guys, because they can tank their reputation and strip them of their fortune with one call to the media. Meanwhile, all of us ordinary 9-5ers sit in front of our computers and think, “What’s so bad about that? I’m doing alright without a million dollars.” When Kang-joo started reminiscing about the girl he fell in love with and then gave that delicious pause after, “Her name is . . .” You know we were all holding our breaths, right? Begging him to do the right thing, but not really expecting it because Noble Idiocy is always the route they take. And then he says it, “Na Doo-rim”. Laaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh. Cue the angel choirs. There is finally a K-drama hero that won’t be swayed by family honor or the threat of financial ruin. He sticks it to Vicious Vixens Sr. and Jr. in front of a room full of reporters and then walks out with that adorable smirk on his face. I wish I had a video of my reaction, it probably included clappy hands and a little chair dance.

Makjang Mama and a surprise reveal
Madame Ma dropped by the restaurant for a little side trip to Loonyville, and it looked like our heroine once again forgot her secret, ninja fighting skills. I understood when Na Doo-rim screamed and cried while Oppa was flattened by the hired thugs. I didn’t like it, but I could give her a pass because she was already beaten up, herself. But when she crawled backwards on the floor in a weeping mess while a middle-aged woman in high heels threatened her. . . (insert eye roll here). How many of us were thinking, “Why is she crying like a big baby? Why isn’t she drop kicking that psycho instead of meekly allowing herself to be strangled? Why is she glowing? Wait . . . glowing!” When the supposed Na Doo-rim morphed into our sassy ghost, I did not see that coming. What a great reveal. Slow clap for the writer.

If I recommended Bride to someone and they asked me what it was about, I think I’d feel embarrassed to explain. Well, there’s this ordinary girl from a fishing village who takes the place of a rich, wealthy look-a-like and proceeds to fall in love with her uber-rich, snotty fiancé. She marries him. He finds out she’s a counterfeit but forgives her. The scheming fake mother-in-law blackmails the groom’s family with information about his murderous grandma, who just happens to be on her deathbed. The fake brother is also in love with fishing-girl. Oh, and there’s a ghost! It all sounds so ridiculous. I think this show must be experienced firsthand, to be appreciated. Even with all its over-the-top melodrama and wall-to-wall clichés, it works. I don’t know why, but I’m not complaining.


  1. You always say what I am thinking. I also was totally cheering when he just gave it all up. Not to mention where he actual went to the press and admitted to his families mistakes first. Such a good drama.

  2. I second Kmuse you always write just what I am thinking - at least when it comes to BoC. Thanks!

  3. yah....I was also amused at the dissolution of fighting skills for Na Doo-rim. especially after she kicked the # out of a coupala guys in an earlier episode...oh well. I was more concerned about the ethics of depriving the little boy of his dad for a few years for what??? Also, with all his money, couldn't Kang-joo find her earlier by bribing someone to disclose her address from a tax return or something?...just saying. At any rate, I didn't think he was the one who needed to apologize for not finding her sooner...come on people! He was amazingly forgiving, in my opinion. In spite of all that, we creaked to a happy ending, if a little sloppily...

    1. I agree that Kangjoo was NOT the one who needed to be apologizing. Apparently time was the magic potion that made everyone's hard feelings dissapear.