November 7, 2012

Can We Get Married? First Impression

by Lazy Goose  Wednesday, November 07, 2012  No comments

I checked out the first 2 episodes of Can We Get Married? because of the cast. The leading man is Sung Joon from White Christmas and Shut Up Flower Boy Band. I really liked Sung Joon's genius character in White Christmas and was impressed with his portrayal of the stoic character despite it being his first role ever. I haven't finished Shut Up yet but from the 4 episodes I've seen, he is also very good in there. I saw Jung So Min in Bad Guy and Playful Kiss and I think she's a very promising up-and-coming actress. I find it amusing that Kim Young Kwang is also in this drama with a supporting role. Sung Joon, Kim Young Kwang, Kim Woo Bin, and Lee Soo Hyuk were all in White Christmas together and I like all of their characters. Kim Young Kwang, Kim Woo Bin, and Lee Soo Hyuk reunited in Vampire Idol as, what else?, hot vampire idols. Sung Joon starred with his first leading role in the well-received Shut Up and Kim Woo Bin went on to do the screechy A Gentleman's Dignity. I heard his talent was wasted there. As Kim Woo Bin is gearing up for his first leading role in School 2013, Sung Joon and Kim Young Kwang reunite in Can We. I say White Christmas is a new-stars potpourri.

Main Couple Jung Hoon and Hye Yoon

The drama opens with Jung Hoon (Sung Joon) proposing to Hye Yoon (Jung So Mi) and Hye Yoon says yes. Hye Yoon is a temperamental, straight-talker teacher while Jung Hoon is gentle and soft-spoken. Jung Hoon is almost always the first one to try to make up when they fight. Hye Yoon is a bit of an annoying character in that, while while she is honest and stands up for herself, she can also be too straightforward and assume the worst in a situation. She is frequently the one who who starts a couple fight. All of these are fine but there is one scene that makes her truly unlikable for me.

In episode 2, when the couple are fighting, Hye Yoon was all like "If you love me, you will kneel in front of me to prove it to me." I really really dislike these kinds of "if you love me, you'll do blah blah blah" or "to prove your love for me, you'll have to do blah blah blah" talk. I don't these kinds of relationships are healthy. You don't have to follow the orders of your love to prove you love him or her. Making your beloved one do something to prove his or her love is even more despicable.

Poor puppy Jung Hoon kneeling.

Ki Joong and Dong Bi

Ki Joong (Kim Young Kwang) is a confirmed bachelor and opposes to traditional institutions such as marriage. Ki Joong and Dong Bi (Han Groo) have been dating for 5 years and they have consummated relationship a long time ago: The viewers are introduced to this couple while they are engaging in foreplay but Dong Bi's breaking a lamp ruins the mood for Ki Joong. In the beginning of their relationship, both were okay with just being lovers but things changed. Dong Bi now wants marriage.

This couple is the most exciting to watch for me. Sung Joon and Jung So Mi have chemistry, but I don't think it's as much as Kim Young Kwang and Han Groo's. I am also sometimes turned off by Jung So Mi's character so it's harder to get invested in their relationship. Dong Bi is not a better character than Hye Yoon though. She was so heartbroken after the break-up that she was absent from work for days without any notice and so she was fired. Now, she was really sick so I guess she did have an excuse, but it's not much because it's not that she can't physically make the call, she's just completely forgotten about her job. That's Dong Bi's problem; she can be too absorbed into love and it makes her to drop everything else in her life.

Ki Joong has his share of character pitfalls. While his desire to live outside the norm is understandable, and maybe even commendable in that it represents individuality-a thing not emphasized enough in Asian cultures, his attacks of the people who do not do the same or fall back to the traditional (like Dong Bi) deserve criticism. He says that people who neeed things like marriage are weak, which is simply not true. Individual strength is not only evident in solitary; you can give a part of yourself to someone and still retain your individuality. As soon as Dong Bi reveals her wish for stability and a family, Ki Joong drops her like a hot potato, claiming he doesn't need such a dependent girlfriend. Independence is essential in a relationship, so are understanding and emotional support. He doesn't try to understand or be considerate of Dong Bi's wishes.

I hope Ki Joong and Dong Bi will get more fleshed out and their story will realize the potential as we go on. They have an interesting and awesome set up. I hope the production team will emphasize character growth and chemistry greatly in this couple's story. As you can tell from the length of what I've written for this couple, they are the couple I'm most invested in.

Above is a scene that I really like: Dong Bi sneaks back to Ki Joong's house to irritate him by messing up his incredibly ordered house. Her plan gets interrupted in the middle by his return though. She hid but he noticed and so commenced a cute chase. And did I mention how tall Kim Young Kwang and Sung Joon are? The images of them standing across from their ladies are very precious and evoke a certain feeling for me. I don't know, I find tall guys and average-height girls to be hot. (I was slayed by the chemistry and the visual of the couple in Queen In-Hyun's Man too.)

Some Side Characters

Oldest daughter
There's some more storylines running through this drama. I don't really care for them so I'll just go over them briefly.
-Hye Yoon's older sister is experiencing some problems in her marriage. She married an already-married plastic surgeon and now karma is coming back to get her because she found out her always-straying husband has been cheating on her with a car model.

Cheating bastard
-There's a love line connecting Hye Yoon's single, middle-aged aunt with another middle-aged man.

The Crazy Mother
Who else?
Just thinking about her makes me act up. The mother in this show disapproves of the relationship of the main couple because she wants her daughter to marry rich (and apparently well-off Ki Joong is not rich enough for her :roll eyes:) She, and what she represents, is the biggest flaw in this drama. This show is breezy, fun, and and sometimes cute, but it is so (let me emphasize this again, sooooo) sexist! This is the inherent problem with shows that has a theme around a strict mother who wants her daughters to marry rich. There's not a big problem with wanting to marry rich for me. It's the reason behind that desire that is very offensive, and I have noticed this in all (yes, ALL) of the shows like this. What the show is essentially saying is that girls are so helpless and there's no use in education besides getting a rich man. Marrying rich is the ultimate end goal.

Even though her oldest daughter married such a bastard, she's all proud of the "accomplishment" and pretty much reminds her daughter what a great mother she is for pushing their marriage forward. Whenever Hye Yoon talks about individualism and her happiness, the mother brushes all of that aside and tells Hye Yoon happiness doesn't matter and money will cover everything! It doesn't matter if you don't love the guy or the guy is a cheating jerk who disrespects you, as long as he's wealthy, that's okay. Given the history of Asian countries's gender inequality and the fact that even modern Korea doesn't have gender equality, this show is very backward and fosters existing stereotypes and subjugation of women. Now, I know that the show is only in its beginning so it might change, but I wouldn't bet on that. The premise of this show is can the main couple get married in spite of a greedy, meddling mother: you can count on the mother to be like this through most, if not all, of the show.

If you consider yourself a feminist or you just simply cannot forgive this kind of offense, then it'd be best for you to avoid this show. Despite this big turn-off, I'm still going to continue to watch Can We for the secondary couple and Sung Joon. I have started to fast forward all the scenes with the mother. I'm here to see the cute. There's some good kissings in both couples: Jung Hoon and Hye Yoon - sweet and gentle, Ki Joong and Dong Bi - hot and intense. What? I can enjoy this and ignore the rest you know!


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