[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 40 Final 2014/03/30,
And so, it all comes down to a final negotiation. Eun-soo with Joon-goo's family, over the fate of the baby. Don't expect any emotional fireworks here- the same as all along throughout this drama, Eun-soo refuses to indicate any sign of weakness. She represses all her emotions, and it's only in one final flourish that she lets the pain out. And after that, it's all over. The misery of the past forty episodes has finally come to an end as Eun-soo finds her answer.
I liked the answer actually. It's a bit of a weaselly way of dealing with the mystery of the title,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 39 2014/03/29,
It bears repeating- for a drama that received an eight episode extension, "She Gets Married Thrice" is hurrying to the ending awfully fast. There have been some massive character shifts over the course of the several month timeskip. It's nice that Chae Rin can soak with her sister-in-law in a preposterously opulent bathtub but it would be nice if we'd actually seen them getting closer and bonding instead of just skipping over all that stuff. This drama's put so much effort into crushing hope that it's rather rude to just skip over a bunch of happy bonding to get to sad stuff again,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 38 2014/03/23,
In one sense the drama's sudden shift to Chae Rin's dark subplot is a bit of a cheat. It's not like we've been clear up until this point that there was an actual reason for her bad behavior. By and large it's been much easier to chalk up her poor attitude to Chae Rin's own sense of entitled selfishness. The woman hasn't done much to endear herself to the viewer. A significant portion of this drama has just been Chae Rin abusing Seul-gi, however well-intentioned that may have been at points.
But just because that's how Chae Rin has seemed on camera doesn't make her a bad person,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 37 2014/03/22,
We get to see some of the ways the story of this drama has done long-term damage to Seul-gi's impressionable mind. In the first place, her philosophy on life has gotten horribly cynical for a child. The entire sequence where she gives a full emotional reaction to the news that Eun-soo is pregnant is pretty cringe-worthy. Unfortunately from Seul-gi's point of view this is a perfectly valid response. Even more worrisome, Seul-gi's actually coming from a pretty good position of authority when making this announcement,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 36 2014/03/16,
Eun-soo is in a bit of an odd spot here. Most of the runtime to "She Gets Married Thrice" has been devoted to the woman's suffering, yet she's never really come off as a martyr. A large part of this has been because the breakdown in her relationships has at least partially been her fault. While Eun-soo's failures have not been as dramatic or alarming as Tae-won's or Joon-goo's, there's still the feeling that she's reaping what she's sown.
So it's all too appropriate that here, when Eun-soo is forced into a face-to-face confrontation with Chae Rin, that the woman simply refuses to engage,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 35 2014/03/15,
The focus this time is almost entirely on Chae Rin, and her continued self-degredation as a woman who insists on staying in a marriage that has pretty obviously failed. I tend to be patient with "She Gets Married Thrice" most of the time, recognizing that these kinds of breakdowns take time to finalize, but watching Chae Rin futilely struggle against her inevitable fate has just gotten really tiresome. We've seen all this before, and there's really no good reason for the drama to continue dragging the point,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 34 2014/03/09,
Here we see "She Gets Married Thrice" take a vacation from itself. I really can't think of a better way to describe it. For the first time in a really, really long time, Seul-gi spends the entire episode smiling. There's no sense of fear or panic. She's just cute and happy being able to spend time with people who clearly appreciate having her around. Poor Seul-gi really needed this so bad, and it's wonderful that she's able to enjoy herself around people who aren't so pretentious and obsessed with manipulating each other.
Like Gwang-mo. I love the way this drama has rehabilitated his character from the impulsive, generally obnoxious guy he was at the beginning to man who here is really just heavily focused on the needs of other people,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 33 2014/03/08,
It's another typical day in the "She Gets Married Thrice" universe. More stony silent dinners contrasted with bright and cheerful ones. At least for the first few minutes. Then Eun-soo is tossed into crisis mode and, with more energy than I can ever remember her seeing to date, rushes to her daughter and demands an explanation for everything that's been going on in her ex-husband's household since the matter of child custody was resolved.
I like Tae-won's resigned reaction to the whole situation. He reacts to Eun-soo the same way that he used to react to his family. Just a resigned sort of acceptance of whatever she's saying,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 32 2014/03/02,
And it looks like the drama is right back to moving at a crawl. On one end it's nice that these marriages are slowly disintegrating, as opposed to just remaining stagnant. And given the personalities of the characters involved, it's not like any of them would just give up altogether anyway. But still. There's only so much slow storyline movement a viewer can take. The pacing is consistent, genuine, and terribly frustrating.
There's a bit more to chew on outside of the married couples,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 31 2014/03/01,
The dam breaks. We appear to have finally gotten to the point where the marriages which make up the dramatic thrust of "She Gets Married Thrice" have fully disintegrated. There's no degree of apology that can make up for the mistakes Joon-goo and Chae Rin have committed at this point. They just continuously fail to learn from their errors, however many second chances they get. So with that, enough is enough.
Part of what makes the situation so frustrating to watch is that at any point in the last several episodes, indeed, even in this one, Joon-goo and Chae Rin could have made amends and reintegrated into the family unit,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 30 2014/02/23,
It would seem that Eun-soo has found yet another largely ineffective way of dealing with her problems- making no effort to emote at all. I'd find this latest development depressing except that it's just what we have to expect from these characters at this point. The ending in particular is a strong statement on the direction Eun-soo seems to keep moving in life. The poor woman's just running around in circles, accomplishing nothing, incapable of really opening up to anyone aside from family,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 29 2014/02/22,
Poor Tae-won. He goes to work for one day, just one day, and comes back to find the entire household in crisis. It's a pretty ridiculous crisis too- the terrible secret of what Seul-gi's been doing behind locked doors. Although in all fairness Seul-gi's door really shouldn't be locked in the first place. What if there was a fire? How would anybody be able to get her out if she's conked out asleep behind a locked door?
That's the question a sensible responsible parent would be asking,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 28 2014/02/16,
We get a much needed dose of levity here as the drama takes a moment to focus on Eun-soo's problems. In a less depressing drama there might actually be serious conflict about this development. The thing is, however we cut it, Gwang-mo's mom is a lot more reasonable than any other in-law on this drama. Yeah she's mean and hostile but at least the woman has the courtesy to clearly telegraph her intentions ahead of time.
The positive movement this episode overall is actually pretty good relatively speaking,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 27 2014/02/15,
And so the cycle begins anew. Yes, something happened this time. But Joon-goo, as usual chooses to just pretend like it never happened and who knows when we're finally going to hit the crisis point on his latest bad decision. Home life with Eun-soo is even more depressing than usual here- she doesn't know what's going to happen, but it's so clearly telegraphed that the relationship with Joon-goo isn't working out that a lack of a communication is the only thing keeping this marriage alive.
I have to admit I almost, almost, managed to feel sorry for Da-mi this time,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 26 2014/02/09,
Well, we find out this time that apparently Chae Rin's in-laws are aware of the fact that she's incapable of connecting with her stepdaughter. It's just that they're choosing not to do anything about it. I'd be angry but this is so in keeping with the self-centered self-absorbed world of Tae-won and his relatives that it barely even registers as a surprise. I continue to just feel sorry for Chae Rin- it's unclear what possible positive direction this could go for her.
There's an interesting flashback this time that goes over the moment when Eun-soo and Tae-won first started discussing the prospect of marriage- and the parallels with Chae Rin's situation are too eerie,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 25 2014/02/02,
The storyline between Hyeon-soo and Gwang-mo is now in full focus, and the comparison between this couple and the other two is a fascinating one. Hyeon-soo and Gwang-mo just spend half their time screaming at each other over the question of whether or not to get married. At one point it's even acknowledged that they sound, you know, kind of crazy, especially when it happens in public spaces.
But look at Eun-soo and Joon-goo. Look at Tae-won and Chae Rin. They don't yell,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 24 2014/02/01,
In this episode we get confirmation that Gwang-mo is, in fact, much more childish than he is genuinely romantic. Granted, the fact that he ditched his fiance at the altar was probably a pretty good clue of that. But that was an eternity ago and lately he's seemed almost like a passable romantic lead for Hyeon-soo. Well it's much more difficult to keep that impression seriously when we see the man at home, with his mom, arguing, while we can clearly see superhero masks hanging in the background of his room.
I like how none of the men in this drama are perfect- they all have pretty glaring flaws that they might or might not be able to fix, regardless of how handsome they are. Take Joon-goo,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 23 2014/01/26,
Joon-goo spends most of this episode trying to be considerate of Eun-soo in really unhelpful ways. He still doesn't grasp the fact that Eun-soo doesn't trust him. More problematically, he's not really giving her any reason to trust him. Joon-goo is very aggressive in the way he shows affection- he does almost no long term thinking of the way Eun-soo actually feels. Their relationship remains horribly stalled- this pregnancy looking more worrisome all the time.
Chae Rin isn't doing much better. She's continuously isolated in her new home, not really having made much of a connection with anyone. The progress she makes toward decent familial relationships is slow and mixed,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 22 2014/01/25,
I have to give this episode credit for one thing- I honestly can't remember the last time I saw a fictional pregnancy portrayed with such...ambivalency. Oh sure, there's countless stories where a woman gets pregnant unexpectedly, but these almost always turn into relatively cheerful upbeat narratives with inevitable happy endings. The prospect of abortion is rarely ever even mentioned, let alone seriously discussed.
Well, "She Gets Married Thrice" isn't exactly that much more amibitious when it comes to that last particular issue,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 21 2014/01/19,
This episode establishes beyond all reasonable doubt that the problems in the Eun-Soo / Joon-Goo relationship are still there, and unlikely to leave anytime soon. Even though he's been sick, and even though he's been victimized by Da-Mi, Eun-Soo simply doesn't trust Joon-Goo yet. There's good reason for this- honestly, I'd probably recoil at the sense of his touch, too. He's been lying for a long time and so far the efforts Joon-Goo has been making toward redemption haven't been that convincing.
Take his entire scene with Da-Mi. Yes, in a technical sense he does make the right decision and act in the correct way,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 20 2014/01/18,
The drama appears to have realized where its current strong storyline lies, and has shifted gears appropriately. This episode largely deals with Tae-won's fatherly relationship with Seul-gi, and it involves lots of parenting. The cliffhanger from last time is resolved in a fairly humdrum way- unsurprising, really, given that there's only so many places Seul-gi can run away to. But Tae-won correctly realizes that the crisis isn't resolved just because Seul-gi's back home.
As a parent there's a lot to admire in Tae-won, and I love Song Chang-ee's performance,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 19 2014/01/12,
I get now why this whole storyline with Da-mi feels so awkward. It's because, inadvertently and rather unjustifiably, Da-mi's being unreasonable has apparently solved all the emotional problems in the Hyeon-soo / Joon-goo relationship. Remember how Hyeon-soo was so frustrated she left Joon-goo's home, and had to do a lot of soul-searching before she could be persuaded into coming back? Remember the marital rape? "She Gets Married Thrice" seems to have decided these were lightweight events that mean little in light of the current Da-mi crisis.
The charitable explanation is that these issues do still exist, these characters just aren't going to deal with them seriously until after the issues with Da-mi are resolved,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 18 2014/01/12,
This episode falls into a weird kind of limbo where even though lots of important stuff is happening...it somehow feels like nothing is happening at all. Almost the entire conflict here is about Da-mi and her unwillingness to sever with Joon-goo. And for one hour she just repeatedly refuses to do that, to the increasing agitation of every character around her. Such would seem to be the wages of carrying on with a married man.
Unfortunately, we just don't know all that much about Da-mi. Yes, she's had a few times to explain her position, but just because I know where the woman's coming from doesn't mean that I particularly care,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 17 2014/01/05,
This drama is, surprisingly enough, still a pretty sad one. It's not like anything particularly depressing has been happening lately. Some of it is just unambiguously good comedy. We get to look at 3 date nights, all completely different in tone, and the comparison is quite humorous. The entire sequence comes off as an instructional guide as to why the kind of thing you choose to watch on a date is really important in terms of the feelings it inspires.
One of those feelings, though, is regret. And I think this is where the emphasis of the previous episodes is seeping in,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 16 2014/01/04,
The focus here is on dinnertime, as all four of the households we've seen prepare, then eat, and then clean up after having had their supper. In other words, it's an episode for baselines and comparisons. The most immediate obvious one is that the only household to strictly follow rules of etiquette and make a point of eating together no matter what...is Hyeon-soo's. This is the only home with no children or parents. Although it does have a love interest.
The sense of intimacy and cheer, and particularly its absence anywhere else, is striking,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 15 2013/12/28,
It looks like Eun-soo has a stronger sense of pride and self-respect than her constant crying lets on. Rather than let herself be bullied into a bad situation again, she forcefully moves against Joon-goo and manages to reverse the power dynamic. I like the way the storyline is moving into deliberate action and reaction territory here. There's been plenty of mopiness to establish how the characters feel, so it's refreshing to see these emotions finally take center stage,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 14 2013/12/22,
The drama continues with its tale of two families and the moral distinctions are getting increasingly troublesome and ambiguous. The happy points are, by far, the moments Tae-won spends with his daughter. He's a kind loving father- which only makes it all the more problematic to consider that he's also a newlywed with relatively little interest in his wife. While their relationship is basically mended for now, the long term prospects yet remain murky.
As to our actual main character Eun-soo...this episode for the most part seems determined to explain why the weepy blend of conservatism she's demonstrated up until this point might actually have been the best option,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 13 2013/12/21,
For awhile the only thing I could really get interested in was the furniture. I know that's a bit of a weird thing to praise but honestly the furniture in this drama is pretty great. These look like homes people could actually live in and there's all sorts of fun details that reflect the attitudes of the presumed decorators. For the mean wealthy family there's excessive opulence, for the nice wealthy family there's plain functionality, and for Hyeon-soo there are pictures of her dogs everywhere. These sets themselves tell quite a story if you pay attention,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 12 2013/12/15,
I keep forgetting that Eun-soo is married. It's pretty easy to do that, given that Joon-goo has been such a non-entity when it comes to the emotional situation of his wife. We've spent several episodes now that have basically just resolved around Eun-soo crying about the various plot stuff involving her daughter and ex-husband, but it's only this episode that Joon-goo offers her any meaningful comfort in these times of crisis. I'm not even totally sure he's ever had a scene in the same room as Seul-gi yet.
This is problematic, naturally, but only in past context,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 11 2013/12/14,
It's rather telling that, in the midst of an obvious crisis when any emotionally well-adjusted family would be in a panic, the people in Lady Choi's seem to have trouble summoning up any kind of emotion at all when their matriarch appears to suffer a severe collapse. The apathy is almost comical. The fact that the first we see of this woman is not in a hospital, but her own bedroom only adds to how problematic the situation is.
This could be easily labelled all of this as part of a deliberate performance designed to indicate the general unhealthiness of this family's psychological well-being,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 10 2013/12/08,
Well, lots of stuff happened this episode. As to what any of this managed to accomplish, well...I'm not really sure. The plotting of the narrative moves at a really glacial place. Pretty much every significant storyline event in the drama is referenced here, including the last episode's cliffhanger, but once all these facts are clearly established, we just get into more of the grind of daily life. Nothing much is really done with these storyline developments except character reactions we probably could have guessed.
None of this is necessarily bad, exactly,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 9 2013/12/07,
The storyline this time around reads like an ineffective beer advertisement. Characters constantly search out and consume liquor here, all while while entering into the recesses of memory to figure out where it all went wrong. It's a pretty gloomy pit of distraughtness and despair, from which only the sweet taste of alcohol offers the slightest reprieve. Oh sure, there were good times- punctuated by those same awful moments which we now understand in retrospect to have ruined everything.
So, in case you couldn't guess, yeah, this episode is pretty depressing,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 8 2013/12/01,
The main conflict this episode is the emotional handwringing that ensues as possession of Seul-gi passes from her mother's family to her father's family. Strangely, even though most of the drama up until this point has done a fairly good job of explaining why the wealthy in-laws are bad people who are unlikely to be a good influence on the little girl, I found the emotion here heavy-handed. It's not like Seul-gi's being sent off to a boarding school in Switzerland. They'll still be able to see her.
A single tearful goodbye would have been more appropriate, and would have given the drama some badly needed time to focus on other more interesting storylines,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 7 2013/11/30,
It turns out that in addition to all her other flaws the matriarch of the wealthy family is also an astonishingly bad mother. I don't mean that in terms of general abusiveness (that's already been well established) but how this woman manages to infatilize even the people she's supposed to like. It is, as is often the case with this drama, depressing to watch because it's hard to imagine this scenario could go anywhere good.
Fortunately, we're able to spend some time with the parents of our lead characters, and it's quite clear that they have much more sensible heads on their shoulders,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 6 2013/11/24,
This episode clearly resolves the mystery burning about why, exactly, the marriage between Eun-soo and Tae-won broke up in the first place. Part of the reason why the flashbacks of this drama are so confusing is because they always seem to be about as intimate with each other regardless of whether or not they're actually married. Even in the present day Tae-won still calls her "yeobo", which is weird even when everyone is being a good sport about it.
The reason for this, unsurprisingly, is Tae-won's relatives. That much has already been implied, of course- they remain, as always, insufferable in nearly every scene they're in,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 5 2013/11/23,
It occurs to me that if you take "The Heirs" and strip it of all the genre trappings necessitated by plots involving romances and corporate takeovers, you basically end up with "She Gets Married Thrice". The way this drama shows off the sheer wealth of some of its characters is impossible to ignore. Even in their most casual moments the wealthy characters are in this environment of sheer opulence that feels almost entirely disconnected from reality.
The main emotional event this episode is Eun-soo asking for permission to see her daughter, and this turning into some sort of bizarre legal negotiation,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 4 2013/11/17,
Up until now I haven't really been paying much attention to the house of the rich in-laws, mostly because it's been difficult relating anything the rich in-laws do with the rest of the story. This episode gives us an interesting few scenes in this house, that goes a long way to explaining why this drama features so many dramatic communication breakdowns. Class plays a subtle but unmistakable role here in damaging efforts at conversation.
Take a look at the chairs in those house, the ones the rich in-laws are always sitting in,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 3 2013/11/16,
The main conflict this time is that Seul-gi just has a sudden freakout about her indefinite, undefined living situation. As far as I can tell nothing actually provokes this- which is exactly what kids can do. There's not necessarily a reason for them to suddenly turn grumpy. It's just a thing that happens when, for whatever reason, they started thinking long-term and get apprehensive.
What makes this more interesting in terms of the drama's broader plot is the way characters react to this. Seul-gi's scared because she doesn't know what's going on- in fact, none of the characters have any idea what's going on,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 2 2013/11/10,
I am genuinely extremely unsure how much of this drama is supposed to take place in the present day versus flashbacks. It's difficult to connect how events and character reactions are supposed to relate from one scene to the next. All I'm positive about is that the scenes in the apartment take place in the present, and feature remarkably little forward progress in the storyline. Characters are generally angry- justifiably maybe, but not in an especially interesting way,...More
[HanCinema's Drama Review] "She Gets Married Thrice" Episode 1 2013/11/09,
There's a cynical bite to "She Gets Married Thrice" that's rather surprising. Normally characters start out the story at least somewhat happy or satisfied and are only forced into chaos by the encroaching conflict. But the ones in this drama are just really crabby. Much ado is made over the big wedding scene that shows up in the middle of the episode- but lead character Hyeon-soo (played by Eom Ji-won) won't acknowledge any joy or happiness in these moments, choosing instead to behave rather indifferently.
Unfolding events seem to bear out Hyeon-soo's cynicism rather well,...More
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