Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bride: Weird to the very end

Like a windmill on a Korean hillside, this show is weird and unexpected. My main feeling while watching the wrap-up was, "WHAT is going on?" I do love my happy endings. But even after the writer crafts a finale with a pot of gold at the end of everyone’s rainbow (and I do mean EVERYONE), I still have one question left. Where are my kisses?!!!!!

Those aren't the kisses I wanted
Did the director take some Artsy Pills before shooting the ghost backstory? The stolen kiss among the freshly washed laundry. The origin of the bead bracelet. The falling petals from the surrounding trees. It was all so beautiful and tragic as we watched the somber, wealthy man fall in love with his mute, caring servant. Until someone mentioned his wife. Hold up! He’s MARRIED! So our sassy ghost lady isn’t the first bride, but the first mistress? I fervently hoped Dramafever subbed it wrong. (It wouldn’t be the first time.) But no, Ghostie had an affair with a married man while his wife stood by and watched. This wasn’t Sageuk times where he could collect as many concubines as he wanted. The show specifically pointed out it was a hundred years ago. 1914. The guy came home in a suit, not a fancy beaded top hat. It made the whole thing so sordid to me. A cheater knocking up his servant girl then abandoning her is never romantic. I don’t care how many cherry blossoms you throw at them.

My favorite line in the whole finale
You know what is romantic. THIS GUY. Kang-joo got better and better as the show progressed. He forgave Doo-rim for her deception waaaaay quicker than expected. He publicly admitted everything to the public in two separate press conferences. And he takes his vows seriously, even if there’s no legal piece of paper to back them up. The writer can draft as many poetic speeches as they want about how finding love is like a blind turtle looking for a piece of driftwood in the ocean. When an attractive model gets in a guy’s face and he doesn’t even hesitate to throw the ring up and say, “You must not have heard, I’m married.” Now THAT’S sexy times a hundred.
Someone get the padded cell ready
Who else enjoyed Makjang Ma’s total descent into Looneyville? The sight of her choking Doo-rim, choking the ghost, choking her own daughter, and then ripping into a piece of rare meat with her bare fingers before earning a bed in the Psych ward. It seemed like a fitting end for this horrible excuse for a human being. Why couldn’t the writer leave it that way! That must be some therapy program at that hospital, because two years later she’s hugging Doo-rim and begging for forgiveness. It may sound twisted, but I would have preferred her to say the line about waiting for her to show up, and then reaching out to choke her again. It would have been such a fitting piece of macabre humor. I'm all for love and forgiveness in real life. But fictionally speaking, some villains just shouldn’t be redeemed.
Boy, did I read that wrong
Am I the only one that got the wrong idea from this scene? I assumed it was Yi-kyung and Oppa sitting together at first. So when a medical looking professional started lecturing about removing the biological problems, I got this crazy idea they were trying not to be blood related so they could be together. I know it sounds insane, but we’re talking about a show with Bride Curses and Look-a-like Strangers. And then it turns out it was just a commercial for hand treatments. How dare they waste any part of the finale on product placement! Less side characters. More smooches. Or ANY smooches for that matter.

Look at that face!
Dramas must have brainwashed me, because I don’t get super upset over time jumps any more. Now my reaction is more, “Oh good, it’s only been a year or two.” That’s almost nothing in K-time. Some viewers probably knew the moment they saw the red yarn, but this scene came as a surprise to me. A lovely, sentimental surprise. Kang-joo spends all day tracking down another fruitless lead to Doo-rim’s whereabouts and it looks like he’s just going to walk away, when a ball of fate rolls by his feet. Lee Hong-ki deserves major props for this moment. I thought both actors sold it, but the way his face just crumpled with joy hit me right in the heart. No cheesy slo-mo rush to embrace each other as the camera swirled around them. It meant so much more to have the two just stand and quietly smile at each other, relieved that the long separation is finally over.

Bride of the Century started out weird, and finished the same way. The finale meandered on and on, and it wrapped up every loose end imaginable, except the ones we really cared about. Where was the moment when Na Doo-rim first tells Kang-joo he’s a father?  Where was the first kiss between the long parted lovers? Or any kiss for that matter? They jumped straight from the reunion to “old married couple.” One of the most awesome things about this show’s beginning was the ridiculous amount of skinship. Did they blow their wad in the first half and the censor shut them down? Did Hong-ki have the flu and not want to pass it on to Yang Jin-sung? Did the director think wandering around planting trees was more romantic than a few cuddle sessions? I confess it was disappointing. But the show stayed true to its weird self to the very end and provided some nice moments along the way. Ghostie playing with baby Kang-nim in the sunlight. Choi Mama turning into a Go-Stop cardshark. Kang-joo finally admitting the moment his heart fluttered for Doo-rim was the first night they met. I guess we can re-watch the first few episodes for the skinship stuff. And I’m glad we can fade out of this wacky ride of a show on a happy note.

1 comment:

  1. What is funny is I did not even notice the lack of skinship til you said something. LOL You are right a reunion kiss would have been nice. I think I was distracted at how sweet the whole red string thing was.