K-dramaland never runs out of colorful friendships. There’s always a new squad every drama season to root for. As drama fans, we are always well-fed when it comes to beautiful relationships, romantic or not. And for our latest Flashback Session, I like to feature a youth sageuk that’s uncomplicated and fun, yet isn’t short of colorful characters.
Based on the 2014 novel by Kim Yi-rang, “Flower Crew: Joseon Marriage Agency” was a 2019 jtbc historical romantic comedy starring Kim Min-jae, Gong Seung-yeon, Seo Ji-hoon, Park Ji-hoon and Byeon Woo-seok.
The drama started off as a fun intro to the cutest flower-boy trio – Ma Hoon (Kim Min-jae), Do Joon (Byun Woo-seok), and Go Young-soo (Park Ji-hoon) – as the owners of Joseon’s most famous matchmaking agency.
On the other side of the Joseon spectrum was the orphaned country blacksmith Lee Soo (Seo Ji-hoon) and Gaeddong (Gong Seung-yeon). Poor as they may be, they make ends meet by doing all sorts of jobs in the central market. Lee Soo has loved Gaeddong for the longest time, but our heroine was too preoccupied by her search for her long lost brother. One day, he asked for the services of the Flower Crew to set up his marriage with Gaeddong, which isn’t an easy feat. Soo was constantly rejected by Ma Hoon, and after several attempts, he was able to hire them.
Things were initially going his way, but moments before their union, Lee Soo was revealed to be Joseon’s new young king and he had to leave his previous life (and Gaeddong) for good. Long story short, Lee Soo, now a king, hardly adapts to palace restrictions and secretly asks Ma Hoon to take care of his grieving bride. He asks Ma Hoon to turn Gaeddong into a noblewoman so that she could be qualified for the search for Joseon’s new Queen.
The fun starts during Gaeddong’s transformation from a peasant to a noble, but it’s also where the conflict picks up. As the Flower Crew now adapts Gaeddong, she slowly developed her feelings for Ma Hoon, instead.
To be honest, I rooted for Lee Soo when I watched the drama because I felt bad for him. All he had was Gaeddong and that was taken away from him without a fight. Well, he fought, but the battle was already lost from the very start. Gaeddong never really had romantic feelings for him, and the arrival of Ma Hoon into their lives was as if it was destiny’s work.
Different faces of friendship featured in the drama:
🌸 Flower Trio – Ma Hoon, Do Joon, Ko Young-soo
One of the most good-looking trios in K-dramaland, I must say. Ma Hoon was the best hyung for Joon and Young-soo. He treated them like family. No wonder their teamwork always produced happy couples. One of my favorite highlights of the drama was watching them work their magic in matchmaking. It’s so fun to see couples getting entangled in a scripted, yet charming way.
🌸 Gaeddong and Lee Soo
Probably my favorite friendship in the drama. Lee Soo cared for Gaeddong with all his might. His love for her was pure, with or without the crown. I was so annoyed with the twist in his family heritage at first because he was unjustly separated from his bride on the day of his wedding. It’s just so unfair for Soo. Gaeddong cared for Soo, but the romantic connection between them is just not there, you know? I like them better off as friends.
🌸 Gaeddong and Ko Young-soo
Cutest pairing in the drama! Their friendship started off as a cat and mouse set-up with Young-soo wanting to eliminate Gaeddong as part of the Flower Crew. He could not accept that a lowly girl could be just like them but he eventually learned to care for her. The evolution of their friendship is one of the most thoughtful parts of the series.
🌸 Ma Hoon and Ko Young-soo
Wow, I didn’t expect Young-soo to be coming from a very dark past. He was portrayed as very sophisticated and high maintenance, so when the revelation about how he ended up as part of the Flower Crew amused me. I think it was well-executed thanks to the acting of Park Ji-hoon. His brotherly relationship with Ma Hoon was also very touching and admirable.
🌸 Ma Hoon and Gaeddong
To be honest, the drama’s plot seemed to be lacking in the overall substance. It was dependent on the individual characters that would cohesively bind the story altogether, but it somehow didn’t work. Don’t get me wrong I love everyone in the drama, but it felt like it was forced, specifically the love line. I would like for Gaeddong to be part of the crew only and not become Ma Hoon’s woman. I couldn’t understand how they have to fall in love with each other when they can rely on each other without being romantically linked.