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Weekend Binge: “Marry My Husband”

Park Min-young has another hit under her belt in Marry My Husband. Smart, intriguing, and entertaining, the show enjoyed high ratings throughout its whole run. What made it so bingeable? Read our spoiler-free review below. 

The Plot

King Ji-won (Park Min-young, Forecasting Love and Weather) is a cancer patient who is slowly deteriorating. She is constantly visited and cared for by her loyal best friend Jung Soo-min (Song Ha-yoon). One day, she comes home from the hospital to find her husband Park Min-hwan (Lee Yi-kyung) and her best friend in bed together plotting to collect her life insurance when she dies. A scuffle ensues and she dies when her husband pushes her towards a glass table. 

She then gains consciousness and finds out she has returned ten years to the past through some mysterious circumstance. Thinking to change her fate with her second shot at life, Ji-won soon discovers that fate is not so easy to control. Whenever she attempts to evade a painful event, she notices that it is passed on to someone else around her, making those close to her, including her boss Yoo Ji-hyuk (Na In-woo), victims of her fate. Armed with this knowledge, she plots to transfer her fate to the very people who destroyed her life in the future— her best friend, whom she now hopes will marry her husband. 

The Review

Revenge dramas have been flooding the Korean market for so long now that time-bending revenge genres are their own sub-genre. Reborn Rich (2022) and Again, My Life (2022) saw their heroes go back in time to exact revenge on those who sought them harm. While the premise was interesting at first, the endings left much to be desired. Perfect Marriage Revenge, released in late 2023 fared much better. As a revenge k-drama fain, I was bit wary while watching Marry My Husband. I hoped that it would be good but tried not to be too excited about it. 

Thankfully, the show had me hooked early on and didn’t let up until the last episode. Park Min-young was her usual charming self, masterfully playing the vulnerable doormat that later on finds her voice and strength as the story progresses. Na In-woo was a happy discovery. As the stoic and brooding chaebol Yoo Ji-hyuk, he cuts a dashing figure as a man ladies swoon over but villains fear. I foresee a lot more juicy roles for this actor who switches between his naive, goofy persona in variety shows, and the debonair leading man on the small screen. 

The linchpin to a great revenge k-drama, however, is in how completely and believably hatable but real their villains are—and the two villains in this show deliver excellent performances. Lee Yi-kyung’s character is a difficult one to pull off. On one hand, he has to be charming enough so that the audiences understand why women would fight over him and sleazy enough that they would eventually want to kill him. And yet as Lee smiled, whimpered, raged, and clawed his way out of every situation, audiences couldn’t help but be drawn to him and repulsed by him at the same time.

But it was really Song Ha-yoon’s performance that everybody was talking about. Song is already a k-drama veteran and has starred in several shows as a lead actress (Devilish Joy, 2018; Oh Youngshim, 2023) but audiences get to the full range of her skills in this role. Manipulative, petty and saccharinely sweet, Song brought nuances to her performance that we don’t often see in cookie-cutter k-drama villains. She plays Jung Soo-min as someone who is always just one good decision away from redemption. 

Based on a novel with a webtoon adaptation, Marry My Husband is well-written and features three-dimensional characters brought to life by a talented ensemble. The plot moves along quickly and has its audience on tenterhooks. Half the time, you’re rooting for the love story between Kang Ji-won and Yoo Ji-hyuk and the other half you want to kimchi slap  Jung Soo-min and Park Min-hwan. It’s a wonderful show all around, the kind that k-drama fans live for. 

Stream if you have 16 hours to spare. You won't want to stop.

Skip if you want to miss out on the drama everyone is talking about.

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