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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Orange Marmalade" Episode 10

2015/07/10 | 1440 views | Permalink

The completion of the Joseon storyline appears to have added some necessary perspective to Jae-min and Ma-ri in the present day. Sure, the premature dissolution of their teen romance is disappointing, but at least they didn't fall victims to a murderous war between vampires and humans. Be that as it may, Ma-ri has now been outed as a vampire. So now she has to suffer from the prejudice of her classmates.

The shift in Ma-ri's attitude is an interesting one. At the beginning of "Orange Marmalade" she was completely terrified of being discovered, yet here the young woman for the most part puts up a good front of not caring. Jae-min already knows. Lately the fear of Jae-min discovering her true identity was the only thing really bothering Ma-ri, and now that that's out of the way, well, nothing any of the other students can do is really all that bad. Although it does beg the question- why doesn't Ma-ri just transfer to a new school?

As is noted in the script, the answer to this question is so painfully obvious it's a little embarassing that anyone felt the need to ask it. Really it's all a matter of tonal transition. Again this isn't a transition that necessarily makes a whole lot of sense. While Jae-min has plenty of mysterious flashbacks it's much easier to just interpret his character being in numb shock at discovering that his girlfriend is a vampire. Jae-min has sort of but not completely returned to his former jerk-like self, which reflects how this is no longer an identity he feels comfortable with.

The irony is palpable- even though Ma-ri is the one who's suffering from bullying, her self-esteem is mostly healthy. It's Jae-min that's struggling with what to think. Take a look at Jae-min's classmates in particular. He doesn't actually like any of them that much. Back when Jae-min was just a surly popular teenager their behavior seemed passable. But given that Jae-min was the only person really seriously betrayed by Ma-ri their behavior just comes off as, well, kind of mean.

Overall this episode more-or-less marks a return to form to the original "Orange Marmalade" story- for better or worse. The story is fairly strong whenever it's dealing directly with the emotions of either Jae-min or Ma-ri, but then there's parts that make me bristle, like the implication of a conspiracy among the organization working to keep the vampires under control. Really, I just hope we get to see more of the band. I really like the music in this drama.

Review by William Schwartz

"Orange Marmalade" is directed by Choi Seong-beom, Lee Hyeong-min, written by Moon So-san and features Yeo Jin-goo, Seolhyun, Lee Jong-hyun and Gil Eun-hye.


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