K-Drama Rewind: Marriage, Not Dating

Have you ever asked yourself why would you get married when dating seems like the same thing? Settling down may be the ultimate form of commitment. It’s like declaring your love to the world, and inking it on paper. You will spend the rest of your life with one person through thick and thin. Yes, you can also face tough times while you’re dating, but it’s still a different thing.

Our first Grumpy Flashback this 2018 is a rom-com favorite, describing the highs and lows of both marriage and dating. It was a sleeper hit that earned Yeon Woo-jin and Han Groo their credentials of leading a well-loved romantic comedy. Marriage, Not Dating was a 2014 tvN series which aired from July to August 2014 for 16 episodes.

Gong Gi-tae (Yeon Woo-jin) is a 33-year-old plastic surgeon who enjoys solitude too much to settle down, much to the dismay of his parents, while heroine Joo Jang-mi is 29-year-old luxury brand store employee who wears her heart on her sleeve. She firmly believes in marriage because her greatest fear is being left alone. Sounds like opposites do attract, right?

Jang-mi used to date Gi-tae’s best friend Lee Hoon-dong (Heo Jung-min), a restaurant owner who accused her of being a stalker. In an effort to stop his parents from asking him to go on blind dates, Gi-tae offered Jang-mi to pose as his girlfriend, certain that they will never approve of her. Jang-mi agrees with the proposal in order to avenge her broken heart. I know you may be thinking that this is yet another contract relationship-turned-into-real love kind of story, but I promise all the hilarious moments are worth the binge-watching!

GRUMPY FIX

Jang-mi was yet another victim of K-dramaland’s penchant for toilet humor 😂 But this poop incident immediately became one of the drama’s best scenes after Gi-tae’s mom saved our heroine from further humiliation. And the drama’s use of the poop metaphor was really powerful and on point!

My favorite character in this series aside from Jang-mi was undoubtedly Gi-tae’s mom Shin Bong-hyang (Kim Hae-sook)! She was the gem of this series. I firmly believed that her story line with Jang-mi was also the strongest one as it did not only change her view of our heroine as her potential daughter-in-law, but also learned to accept her as a person. And because of this, she also learned to free herself of her own burden.

Probably the most satisfying scene for me was when Gi-tae’s mom finally grabbed the hair of her husband’s mistress!

Not convinced yet? This drama was also oozing with sexual tension between the main couple!

Gosh… even this drama’s OST was sexy!

Marriage, Not Dating was also in the running for K-dramaland’s most chaotic wedding ever… And as Jang-mi described it, their wedding was very “them.” LOL

Indeed, life is full of surprises. The worst comes with the best, but we can get through life because sometimes the best comes with the worst.” – Joo Jang-mi 💖

Relationships will come and go while you are still in the dating scene, but once you are married, you will be determined to work through any problem. Like Jang-mi’s parents who never talked for the last decade or more, in the end, you will always be willing to risk everything just to make sure that the marriage stays together. Gi-tae’s parents may be a different case, but remember that his mom fought for it until the end. She survived the strongest storm, and now that it’s over, she deserves her own happiness. And this best explains how marriage is always worth fighting for.

[Credit: All photos and GIFs used in this blog post belong to tvN]

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