What comes after the tried-and-true drama trope of reluctant cohabitation, you ask? Why, contract marriages in fact!
While the final concept between the 2 tropes are comparable — pushing two individuals into shut proximity till they fall for one another — the addition of marriage simply elevates the stakes. It additionally makes their real “I do,” which occurs later within the drama, all of the extra touching and heart-fluttering. (Because let’s face it, most of those contract marriage dramas have the three-part act: contract marriage – divorce – actual marriage.) And watching them fake to be an precise couple whereas making an attempt their finest to bury any blossoming emotions (and jealousy) is all the time a hoot!
So listed here are eight suggestions it’s best to try for K-dramas with contract marriages:
1% of Anything (2003)
“1% of Anything” is taken into account one of many earliest K-dramas that employed the “contract marriage” trope, and relies on a well-liked novel a few form trainer named Kim Da Hyun (Kim Jung Hwa) who saves an aged man that seems to be a multimillionaire and proprietor of one of many largest conglomerates within the nation. Thankful for her good deed, he writes her into his will, naming her the beneficiary to all his inheritance, whereas additionally writing out his personal boastful grandson. His grandson, Lee Jae In (Kang Dong Won), in a bid to not lose the whole lot, decides to enter right into a contract marriage with Da Hyun to placate his grandfather.
It’s been 15 years for the reason that drama first aired, so among the plot strains within the story might really feel fairly clichéd, however throughout its run, it was a enjoyable and endearing watch that featured a younger, type of foolish, however candy, Kang Dong Won. If you’re in search of one thing extra up to date, you can additionally try the 2016 remake, starring Ha Seok Jin and Jeon So Min. The chemistry within the latter one is scorching, to say the least!
Sweet 18 (2004)
In “Sweet 18,” two clans organize a wedding between their future offsprings in hopes for sustaining good relations. As these two offsprings carry the burden and popularity of their respective clans, they haven’t any selection however to observe their elders’ needs. The downside, nevertheless, is Yoon Jung Sook (Han Ji Hye) is an 18-year-old highschool recent graduate, and Kwon Hyuk Joon (Lee Dong Gun) is 10 years older and is targeted on his profession. Being at differing levels in life, they determine to have a contract marriage as an alternative, the place they promise to maintain their lives as separate as potential. This, in fact, doesn’t go based on plan, and so they quickly develop actual emotions for one another.
The better part about this drama is watching the primary couple making an attempt to maneuver their relationship whereas tip-toeing round their emotions. It’s lovable and heart-fluttering, and the chemistry between the leads is so simple, that the 2 even ended up relationship in actual life for a number of years.
Sassy Girl, Chun Hyang (2005)
This is the debut drama written by the Hong sisters, and stays their most extremely rated drama. A unfastened interpretation of Korean folklore, this drama focuses on the connection between Chun Hyang (Han Chae Young) and Mong Ryong (Jae Hee). When phrase will get out that the 2 of them are discovered (actually) sleeping in the identical room (accidentally), the college threatens to expel them each. Trying to forestall this, the dad and mom declare that the 2 are literally betrothed. After some pressuring, Chun Hyang and Mong Ryong agree to really marry one another.
While the 2 always bicker, additionally they study to lean on one another for assist, in addition to assist one another develop into the higher variations of themselves. This is a superb drama that does effectively in balancing its tone — not going overboard in both the sweetness or the slapstick. It additionally withstands the take a look at of time, and it’s a drama I rewatch as soon as each few years.
This is one other drama that has grandparents arranging marriage between their future offspring, however the distinction right here is that the wedding is between a typical highschool girl and a Crown Prince. (The drama is about in a fictional timeline, the place Korea nonetheless has a monarchy). There’s additionally a fish-out-of-water side to it, as Shin Chae Kyeong (Yoon Eun Hye) has to learn to adapt to her new standing, each as a princess and as a spouse to Crown Prince Lee Shin (Joo Ji Hoon). This drama is styled superbly, with intricate costumes and set designs, and has plausible character development for its central characters. And did I point out how a lot of a success this drama was?
Catch the primary episode of “Goong”:
Prime Minister and I (2013)
In “Prime Minister and I,” Nam Da Jung (Im Yoona) is an avid reporter who doggedly follows round Kwon Yul (Lee Beom Soo), Korea’s youngest Prime Minister, hoping to attain the following large scoop. When they’re caught up in a scandal and it threatens Kwon Yul’s political profession, they determine to enter right into a contract marriage to keep away from additional harm. While this can be a fairly customary drama with “marriage contracts,” full with the hijinks of convincing everybody round them they’re certainly an precise couple, it’s nonetheless a enjoyable watch with simply the correct quantity of bubbly rom-com!
Catch the primary episode of “Prime Minister and I”:
Fated To Love You (2014)
“Fated To Love You” is a remake of the favored Taiwanese drama of the identical title (which I completely love), and reunites stars Jang Hyuk and Jang Nara after 12 years since their final drama. Jang Nara performs Kim Mi Young, a timid lady who is commonly unable to say “No,” and Jang Hyuk stars as Lee Gun, a self-absorbed inheritor. After an unintended one-night stand, Mi Young turns into pregnant with their youngster, and the elders organize a shotgun wedding ceremony for them.
Even earlier than we get to the half the place they really fall for one another, it’s straightforward to see that the 2 characters convey out one of the best in one another, and that makes the journey all of the extra value it. This is a really satisfying drama, with numerous laughs and much more coronary heart, with easy portrayals from each stars.
Catch the primary episode of “Fated to Love You”:
Marriage Contract (2016)
With its title actually being “Marriage Contract,” we couldn’t dream of leaving this drama off the checklist. Kang Hye Soo (Uee) and Han Ji Hoon (Lee Seo Jin) enter right into a contract marriage to meet their respective wants. Ji Hoon’s mom is in pressing want of a liver transplant, and Hye Soo, a single mom with an inoperable mind tumor, hopes to save lots of sufficient cash for her younger daughter.
The premise itself is extra plausible than most on this checklist, and actually, the entire tone of the drama is bathed in genuineness and authenticity. It’s a quiet type of present, and permits the viewers to understand the moments and interactions between the characters, which is in essence what the drama is eager to painting. Lee Seo Jin and Uee ship robust and understated performances, and Shin Lin Ah, who performs Hye Soo’s younger daughter, is simply too lovable!
Catch the primary episode of “Marriage Contract”:
If you ever ask for essentially the most relatable drama in 2017, likelihood is, individuals will let you know that it’s “Because This Is My First Life.” After assembly for just a few days, Nam Se Hee (Lee Min Ki) and Yoon Ji Ho (Jung So Min), determine to get married for very sensible causes — needing a rent-paying tenant and to appease meddling relations. When a drama is ready to make a trope as cliché as “contract marriage” relatable, you recognize you’ve received a winner in your arms. Not solely do the leads have unbelievable chemistry, the remainder of the ensemble is simply as implausible! All in all, it’s a should watch from 2017!
Catch the primary episode of “Because This Is My First Life”:
Which of those dramas have you ever watched? And which different dramas with this “contract marriage” trope would you advocate? Pop over to the feedback part and tell us!
Belinda_C all the time finally ends up rewatching the older dramas after compiling these lists. Also, Shinhwa is on “Idol Room” immediately! Best! Day! Ever!
Currently (re-)watching: “Sassy Girl, Chun-hyang”
All-time favourite: “Kill Me, Heal Me”
Looking ahead to: “Dear Husband For 100 Days” (D.O.!)