Friday, April 4, 2014
WGM Global: Fake, but Funny
Who knew faux marriage could be so fun? The new We Got Married: Global Edition airs tomorrow and, in honor of Season 2, I dug out an old recap of last year’s premiere, starring Ok Taecyeon and Lee Hongki. (All the Bride of the Century fans should excuse me for my obvious bias towards the Taec/Gui Gui pairing. This was long before our scratchy-voiced Hongki played the charming, crankypants Kangjoo.) For those unfamiliar with the setup, two celebrities are paired up in a pretend marriage, complete with bogus ceremony and honeymoon. (No, I don't think they take the honeymoon THAT literally.) It's like getting a front row seat to the ultimate blind date, as we indulge our voyeuristic tendencies and secretly hope that one of these couples will fall in love for reals.
Episode 1 Recap
They speak almost entirely in English which adds a whole other layer of cuteness. Taec lived in Boston for seven years, and his American is perfect, but hers is endearing. She communicates very well, but makes the little, grammatical errors here and there that lead to unintentional hilarity. She asks how she should address him and he says in no uncertain terms, "You will call me, Oppa." Gui Gui balks a little, protesting that there's only a year's difference in their ages, but Taec reiterates that he is Oppa.
Then he asks a stupid question. "Do you like shoes?" Proving she's a girl, she says yes, and for some inexplicable reason, she's drawn to a pair of shiny, gold, grandpa loafers, complete with tassels. A hilarious sequence follows where he tries to put the shoes on for her and she freaks out, crying: "What are you doing? I don't the like the boy touching my . . . I can do myself." Taec collapses on the couch already worn out from his first thirty minutes of marriage. He later tells the interviewer he thought it would be this great Cinderella moment. Um, Fail! But in the best possible way for the viewers at home.
Yes! My wife is hot!
Uhhhh . . . what do I do now?
Their conversation is painfully polite, in that forced setup kind of way. She likes books. He doesn't. She knows his work. He doesn't know hers.
He gives her an envelope that has puzzle pieces in it and, when you put them together, it forms a letter he's written her. Okay, I must admit I dig that. So does the bride as she starts fitting the puzzle together so fast it actually intimidates the groom.
She likes books AND she's good at puzzles.
Definitely have to up my game.
I don't get romantic vibes from either couple, but the show is definitely entertaining. The hook is in the mutual culture shock going on in the already awkward context of a fake marriage. If it were only Hongki and Mina, I probably wouldn't stick around. They have their own brand of cuteness, but it's very well-behaved and low-key.
The star of the show is undoubtedly Gui Gui. Her charge-ahead cheerfulness, coupled with Taecyeon's bewildered good humor is a winning combination. It's a hilarious kind of slapstick comedy. Taec is obviously the straight man, standing around giving reaction shots as Gui Gui stumbles around building one-foot snowmen and running head first into igloos. You can tell that the crew finds her hilarious, as well, from how often you hear the PDs laughing in the background during her interviews.
I admit after watching all 15 episodes, the Taec/Gui Gui interactions got a little repetitive, while Hongki/Mina’s relationship grew into something more natural and sweet. Season 1 must have been a hit, because the show is back for more with two new couples. You can watch it on the official Youtube channel or Dramafever. Come back next week for my initial reactions.