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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 6

2015/09/01 | 504 views | Permalink

Never mind what I've written about Choon-ja so far. Her character, too, moves beyond any reasonable point of redemption this episode with a bizarrely conservative spiel about how it's impossible to be a wife, mother, cookery assistant, and teacher all at the same time. I might have found this speech sympathetic except that as far as we've seen Se-mi has had zero logistical trouble juggling these various tasks- the end of the last episode was really more Dong-seok's fault. It's not like he does anything important during the day after all.

This episode in general marks a rather dramatic downturn for the likability of the characters, really. The In-yeong / Myeong-seok romance is entirely caught up in an elaborate and pointless lie which In-yeong insists on perpetuating long after it's necessary. The obviously fraudulent nature of In-yeong's phone conversations is kind of funny, but the goodwill garnered by these jokes is torpedoed by the overall mean-spiritedness of the proceedings.

There are relationship-destroying level betrayals going on here that make "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" nearly impossible to tolerate. There's just way too much dysfunctional backbiting going on here. That people could stay in familial relationships like this, that I can understand. We don't choose our families. But we can choose our romantic partners and so far no compelling reason or justification has been presented for why the non nlood relatives put up with each other.

"The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" has quickly morphed into an extremely plotted early timeslot drama, except without any of the goofy charm. The production team barely even seems interested in remembering their own premise- why was In-yeong given a vote when she's not a real member of the family and isn't going to have to deal with the long-term consequences of the decision? Why was that decision even put to a family vote in the first place? Is that some weird Korean thing or just bad writing?

Right now I'm very strongly trending toward the latter explanation. There's almost nothing of merit in "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" right now. I cannot think of a single plot point which I care to see resolved at this point, because no single character is clearly enough fleshed out or likable enough for me to want to see a happy ending. Given the sheer size of the cast of this drama, and the potential interest offered by the early episodes, this is a very, very bad sign going into the halfway point.

Review by William Schwartz

"The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" is directed by Lee Deok-geon & Park Man-yeong, written by Moon Seon-hee & Yoo Nam-kyeong and features Kim Dasom, Go Doo-shim, Ryu Soo-young, Kwak Hee-sung, Kim Yoon-seo, Kim Sung-hwan and more.

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