Monday, April 7, 2014

Drama Review: Emergency Couple

Rekindled divorced couple rom-com is a thing, and Emergency Couple is the first of at least two dramas with the theme this year. (The other is Sly and Single Again which I'm also watching.) Set in the emergency room of a hospital, a divorced couple unexpectedly find their way together again as interns. Hilarity and hijinx, and plenty of mama drama, ensues.

If you remember earlier this year, I did a post about tvN's new year drama offerings. One of them kind of failed on me and I don't think I'll finish it. This one, the underdog I suppose, came out a lot better. There's a lot that goes on to making the "perfect". While Emergency Couple isn't necessarily perfect, it sure made me squee more often than I thought I would. And that, my friends, is not a bad thing.

The story of Emergency Couple isn't anything new. A divorced couple who clearly did not separate amicably find themselves interning in the same emergency room. Fate brought them together, but they themselves are fully responsible of the mending of hearts department. I do enjoy this type of setting somewhat. It's the rekindling of love, with juicy back story that we get to discover each and every step. Becoming a couple again also means they learn the mistakes they did in the past to become a better person and a better couple. And who doesn't love positive emotional growth? I know I do.

I think the biggest winners of this drama is our OTP: Oh Chang-min and Oh Jin-hee, played by Choi Jin-hyuk and Song Ji-hyo respectively. They were so good together. They also make a very cute couple, if I say so myself. Without them, I don't think this drama could be as charming as it currently sits. Choi Jin-hyuk shows us once again that he is indeed a capable actor, and Song Ji-hyo should always do comedy because she is good in them. Aside from the actors themselves, Jin-hee was a great character and the best in this drama. She was a tenacious and kind. She was willing to learn, which is always a good attribute. She puts others before herself. Basically a great character to strive towards.

Honorable mention to evil ex-mother-in-law played by Park Jun-geum who always perform so great as the most hate-able character who can and will pull your heartstrings. I find these three characters are the one that were given the most dynamic character arc out of all of them. Chang-min and Jin-hee isn't a surprise as they are the main focus of this drama. But ex-mother-in-law too, since I personally feel like she is a big part of the initial demise of Chang-min and Jin-hee's relationship. Rather than being straight up mean, she came off as pitiful which is even worse, but at the same time, even better. The death of her husband gave us new light to the person she has become, and it was great she turned around in the end.

The hospital setting adds an added layer of conflict and drama, but like most medical dramas, it isn't super necessary. I mean, basically any workplace setting can interchange with each other and it'll be fine. This goes for Emergency Couple. I can see this working in high pressure jobs like advertising or sports perhaps? Or even a digital corporation like Sly and Single Again? It will work just fine.

That being said, Emergency Couple does have its down sides. First of all the pacing was too slow in some parts (specifically in the latter half once they get in the "real" stuff, which happens to most dramas). The ER setting gives an illusion of urgency. All these patients requiring immediate care makes for a lot of running scenes. But once the focus goes back to the characters, we realize that they're not going anywhere anytime soon. A family member's death flipped the table and changed everything, but it's rather sad that the writers have to literally kill off a character for the engine to pick up again. Oddly enough, this strategy was also used by Sly. In the same week. Which made me, a viewer of both dramas, in an emotional state of doom basically. And that wasn't fun at all.

Secondly, aside from the main lead, I didn't feel attached to the other characters all too much. I wanted to, I really did, but the writers didn't give me anything. For instance Chief Gook (Lee Pil-mo), the bumbling resident who fell head over heels with Jin-hee. But he didn't really. He was more passively in love with her. Which can be a fault to his character. But dang it, I want things to happen between you two! And all I got were fumbling encounters and missed opportunities.

Also Shim Ji-hye (Choi Yeo-jin) is one poor character. She's not bad, she's great. But a lot of times she's only there to give wisdom to the less wiser characters she has to deal with. Her whole situation with Chief Gook could've been more fleshed out. But in the end she was there to help heal the pain of others, not necessary her own. The one time she did things for herself turned out to be only a figment of her imagination. What the hell, writers? You did that with Chief Gook too! Not cool.

Emergency Couple is by no means a groundbreaking drama in any way. But it's a fun, light drama about relationships with your lover, friends, family, co-workers, and most importantly, yourself. It's not the fluffiest of its genre, but it does the job well. Choi Jin-hyuk and Song Ji-hyo are the glue of the drama and without them, it wouldn't be great. Not necessarily a recommended drama, but watching those two together is worth it.

Photos courtesy of tvN

No comments:

Post a Comment