“Greatest Marriage” – First Impressions

CSTV’s new Sat/Sun drama “Greatest Marriage” began this past weekend and I finally got a chance to watch it. I’m not quite sure what to make of it yet, to be honest. It wasn’t that I was bored or fast-forwarded through anything but when it was over, I did wonder what the hell I just watched. (LOL)

Cha Gi-Young (Park Si-Yeon) is a thirtysomething single woman who climbed the ladder to become the top anchorwoman. Her on-air stories are hilarious as most of them center around the Korean patriarchal society, which she hates. (LOL) She hates that men have control over any woman’s life or career. Men view marriage as responsibility while women view it as sacrifice and she’s not willing to make that sacrifice for anyone. She has no interest in men, dating or marriage.

She’s very prickly with male co-workers, reminding them she is their sunbae and they should lower their gaze when she’s speaking. In flashback, we see when she worked with Jo Eun-Cha (Bae Soo Bin) this is the way he treated her. Is she paying it forward? *hehehe* She’s hiding her true desire from everyone though – she desperately wants a child, just not a husband. Ahaha, I love her.

Myung-Yi (Uhm Hyun-Kyung) is a rookie at the station, basically assigned odd jobs or shuffled from team to team. When she learns the uppers want to approach Park Tae-Yeon (No Min-Woo) for a cooking program, she offers to help get him to sign a contract. What she doesn’t know is that Tae-Yeon appears to have a huge crush on Gi-Young and is only too willing to work at the same station.

Their first meeting doesn’t go well. Gi-Young is annoyed at the smells coming from his studio and demands they change their schedule so it doesn’t coincide with her news taping. Tae-yeon learns she doesn’t eat 2 hours before taping, which gives him an idea. He knows she’s probably starving (and in fact, she does a story about a single woman who starved herself to death – LOL) so he makes a plan.

Myung-Yi is transferred to the news division, telling Gi-Young the cooking program was cancelled since Park Tae-Yeon couldn’t do it anymore. Gi-Young calls him irresponsible. After a quick doctors visit to find out why she’s so achy, she visits a friend who tells her it’s her body’s way of letting her know she needs sex. What? ROFL, it can’t be just a crappy mattress? *snort*

The subject of sex makes her laugh since she can’t even remember the last time. Listing other symptoms, her friend wonders if it’s time to have a baby instead? We learn she has a psycho stalking her, he’s sent flowers and a creepy package full of bras with a note that she can’t live without him. She gets a text from Tae-Yeon, he wants to talk about a business proposition.

He wants to write a book together, he’ll do all the work (locations, menus, etc.) so all she has to do is eat and evaluate. Ahhh…so his plan was to cook his way into her life by feeding her? Interesting strategy. He’s a bit of an odd duck, it’s obvious he’s interested but I find it hard to believe he’s in his 30’s too. They begin spending a lot of time together but it’s always centered around food.

The scene shifts suddenly to a court room where ex-anchor and wanna-be congressman Jo Eun-Cha is being charged with sexually assaulting a college girl. The woman who is trying to ruin him is Sun-Nyeo, a magazine editor who he slept with once and then dumped. She’s determined to destroy him since that was her first time. He thinks she should be grateful he deigned to turn her into a woman and offers one last chance for her to get on her knees to apologize. Okay, this guy is a slimeball.

Tae-Yeon gets a text from Gi-Young one evening and his mind immediately jumps to the idea that she wants to sleep with him. LMAO, are these men for real? She learns he lives one floor above her when he invites her over for drinks. For some reason, I’m thinking his living there is not a coincidence. He excitedly heads to his closet for just the right clothes, even down to his underwear (which I totally thought were little boys Superman undies for a second). Sorry to say he ends up looking like a dorky, schoolboy and I’m wondering who the hell his stylist is. It’s horrifying.

They meet at the elevator and once at her place, he learns she didn’t want to enter her apartment alone because of the stalker. But it’s over since she fought with the guy, beat him up and took him to the Police station herself. LMAO! That’s a good thing since Tae-Yeon’s a coward. He’s also not willing to lift a finger to help her clean up. When he discovers her empty refrigerator, he heads up to his place and brings down supplies to cook for her.

She learns he’s single and suggests they should date, she doesn’t want a husband but thinks she needs a boyfriend. Plus she likes him. She wants to meet for drinks or to eat together, like a friend. He asks about sex but when she’s hesitant, he yells: Does she want a friend or a boyfriend? And why would he date a woman he wasn’t sleeping with? He suggests they try kissing first.

They brush their teeth (hilariously cute scene) but nothing happens until they smash into each other and it splits his lip. Once he gets close enough, he kisses her anyway – blood and all. She screeches at first but then they both get into it. *eyes glaze over* Sorry, I got lost for a few minutes in No Min Woo’s kissing ability. *heh* They enter the hot and heavy stage, when he compares her to soft crab meat inside an outer hard shell, they practically rip each others clothes off once they get back home. ROFL with the food metaphor.

Things go downhill pretty quickly when he starts showing up unannounced and won’t give her any space. Yah, idiot – a girl needs her alone time. Making matters worse, he buys her a dress she considers hideous but he says she dresses too old. Did he totally just diss her for being older than he is? Bad move, jerk. She tries to explain space and boundaries but he just thinks she wants to break up.

Eun-Cha fails in his bid for congress due to the sex-scandal and ends up begging for his anchor position back. The network uppers toss the idea around of having him anchor with Gi-Young. She’s been a solo-anchor for 3 years and isn’t willing to work with that guy again so she threatens to quit. She’s invited to play golf with the stations #1 sponsor – Chairman Park Kang Rok. No way, is this guy Tae-Yeon’s Father? She’s furious to learn Eun-Cha was invited along too.

Chairman Park is a typical old-fashioned male who firmly believes in the patriarchal system. He offers a scholarship for Gi-Young to study in return for co-anchoring with Eun-Cha. He also demands Eun-Cha drop his counter-suit but snarls that he doesn’t see anything wrong with a politician who fools around. The woman who sued him should know her place and just get married. *silence* I have no words for this ass.

Tae-Yeon gets excited every time he gets a text but they all turn out to be from Myung-Yi who apparently hasn’t given up. I hate it when clueless girls chase guys who are not interested. Gi-Young finally speaks up to the Chairman: the idea that it’s okay for men to cheat is a problem with their society. Why are women burned at the stake for divorcing a cheating spouse but it’s okay for men to drink in salons with girls or visit massage parlors? Ahahaha!

Tae-Yeon speaks with his Mother but refuses to visit, he’s busy and doesn’t want to run into his Father. Why is he dressed like a boy-scout? Seriously, the stylist sucks unless they want him to look like a child.  He acts like one so maybe that’s it. Gi-Young has what she thinks is heartburn but ends up almost vomiting on air for everyone to see. Rumors that she’s pregnant start and she remembers back to a day she slept with Tae-Yeon while ovulating. Ermmm, birth control?

Tae-Yeon sees news that Gi-Young collapsed and rushes to the hospital. Eun-Cha discusses Chairman Park wanting Gi-Young fired, he’s not happy about that because he wants to torture and bury her himself. Yeesh, what a nice guy. When he hears she collapsed, he snarks “She’s dead?” LMAO! Tae-Yeon follows Gi-Young home but only to verify she’s not pregnant. He thought she might force him to take responsiblity.

We see he’s probably lying since he heads to a drugstore for a pregnancy test and some supplements. So is he really a huge jerk or is he pretending to be one? I can’t completely tell. She ignores him and sneaks out to buy her own pregnancy test. Once home, it’s confirmed: she’s pregnant.She talks to her friend but isn’t sure if she’s going to keep it or not.

A hospital sonogram confirms it more solidly, she listens to the baby’s heartbeat. The doctor also tells her she has a cyst and though it’s benign, it would make it almost impossible for her to get pregnant. She should consider this pregnancy a miracle. She arranges to meet Tae-Yeon, he thinks she sounds happy because she’s not pregnant so decides to throw a party, just for the two of them.

Sun-Hyeo is determined that Eun-Cha is not going to rise as anchor again, she continues to try destroying any avenue that opens to him. He finally gets the idea to give her a fake apology along with making her believe he loved her. He’s truly vile but strangely hilarious, it’s over-exaggerated. Tae-Yeon is preparing a luxurious feast for Gi-Young when Myung-Yi shows up to get cooking lessons from him. The desperation in this girl is frightening.

Gi-Young arrives, thinking he prepared everything because he knows she’s pregnant and is touched. She even shows him the sonogram picture. He finally explains he prepared this because he wanted to celebrate that she wasn’t pregnant. She thought he would be happy (huh?) but he clearly states he doesn’t want kids or marriage. He comes up with a ridiculous idea – she should abort the baby and they’ll try again once they get married. WTF?

She tells him to get lost, it’s her decision alone. The next morning, he apologizes (something he’s never done before) and insists she marry him. He’ll take care of everything and pick her up on Sunday. But once outside, he throws a fit and wonders what he should do now. Her friend tells her she has to get married if she’s going to raise a child.

Sun-Hyeo learns Eun-Cha will be at a premier she’s also attending and arranges an “Emergency Husband”. She meets with baby brother, Ta-Yeon and learns he’s getting married. She mentions another woman’s name (Yoon Ju), did he get back with her? She reminds him he’s the one who cancelled that engagement but since that was set up by his parents, we can guess why.

Ta-Yeon visits Mom, who babies him so much that it makes me sick to my stomach. He’s getting married and wants her help to soften up Dad. Eun-Cha shows up at the preview and is knocked on his bum by the Emergency Husband Sun-Hyeo paid for (she had to pay extra for that). Eun-Cha also learns Gi-Young was spotted at a maternity clinic and wonders if she’s pregnant?

Gi-Young starts to put on a nice, conservative dress to meet Tae-Yeon’s parents but changes her mind. She doesn’t want to rush into this, she doesn’t have any idea what kind of father or husband Tae-Yeon will be. She asks for more time. He refuses since his parents are waiting. Then he doesn’t like the mini-skirt she’s wearing so he takes her to be fitted for a traditional gown. She snaps that she’ll meet his parents just as she is.

They fight all the way to his parents home, she wants to call it off and he accuses her of being selfish. His family is filthy rich which surprises Gi-Young (don’t think she was expecting that). His Mother greets them but looks Gi-Young up and down with her nose curled up. They finally meet his Father and yep, it’s Chairman Park. Both he and Gi-Young gasp in shock, staring at each other.

Mom asks how old she is, the parents are shocked to learn Gi-Young is two years older than their son. Chairman Park not only snaps at her for saying Tae-Yeon’s name so casually but then insults her parents by saying people who run restaurants smell bad. Mom tells Gi-Young it’s not proper for her to glare at an elder like that. Chairman Park demands she quit her anchor job.

Tae-Yeon starts to tell them she’s pregnant when Gi-Young smacks him, stopping him. Chairman Park is offended by this and throws a book at his son, reprimanding him for the way this woman is treating him in front of his parents. He yells that she shows no respect and has no class or manners. Gi-Young finally says she doesn’t want to get married and storms out. Chairman Park starts hitting Tae-Yeon, telling him to get out too.

Tae-Yeon runs after Gi-Young to stop her. She turns around to tell him she finally understands why he’s violent every now and then, he got it from his Father. She wants to end it, here and now. She’ll have this baby on her own. He yells at her to abort that baby.


Well, this turned out to be nothing like I expected. I enjoyed the beginning but somewhere in episode 2 it went into crazyville. I don’t like either male character in Gi-Young’s life at all. One is a chauvinist pig who seems to hate women and the other is a childish weirdo with possible violent tendencies. Ugh, she needs to stay away from both of them!

We also have Eun-Cha sleeping with and then dumping Tae-Yeon’s sister, Sun-Hyeo – which makes for too many strange connections. Is there supposed to be an eventual romantic connection between Eun-Cha and Gi-Young? I’m kinda hoping not because that would mean they’ve both slept with the brother or sister of the Park family. I tend to hate dramas with physical violence and particularly parents beating on their kids – no matter how old they are.

I’m seeing glimpses of the character Park Si-Yeon played in the 2008 drama, “Bittersweet Life” which is disturbing to me – she was horrible in that drama. I have no idea how No Min-Woo is interpreting his character but I’m not impressed with him at all either. That leaves Bae Soo Bin but sadly, he seems to be over-acting and all over the place. *sigh* I was really hoping this would be good but I’m not connecting with it at all.

If this drama turns out to be about one woman’s struggle to either try changing the patriarchal society she hates or even learning how to live within that society despite how she feels by becoming a successful single mother, then I’m all for it. But if it turns out to be about another rich, snobbish family who uses their power and money to shove her into the ground, then I’m out. Let’s cross our fingers that everyone calms down and things get better.


  • bacom says:

    LMAO reading your comment because that’s exactly what I think after watching this drama. I try to like it but seriously, it gives me nothing to feel excited or look forward to the next episode. Besides, NMW really turns me off because he looks so much like a girl and his acting/plot just doesn’t appeal to me. Well, I’m going to shelf it and check your recap (if you decide to do it) or your next impression to see if I should pick it up again.

    • tessieroo says:

      LOL, didya notice in that above picture that he’s wearing more makeup than she is? O_O What the…so creepy! I hope it gets better, I’m bummed it wasn’t that great. 🙁

      • bmore says:

        He really needs to tone down the gender bending makeup and mannerisms if he wants to play roles that expect him to appear manly and hetero. Flaunting it in a role like this where he is supposed to be very hetero doesn’t work for me. It doesn’t mean he is gay, but it’s going to be a turn off if he keeps this up. I’m still in it to see where they are taking this. It is so oddball I am intrigued. There is no reason he cannot play it straight and convince us all. Gay actors have been doing it for generations and we are watching tons of them today playing hetero, unbeknownst to most of us. It’s all about convincing us of the character. Pretty hard to do if you are wearing more lipstick and eyeliner than the girl and prancing around in kiddie underwear and outfits. AND JUST BECAUSE HE DOES DOESN’T MEAN HE IS GAY! I don’t care if he is anyway…he’s just gorgeous and I think he’s a good actor and musician! I love looking at him! 😉

        • tessieroo says:

          I gotta admit, during the toothbrush and kissing scene I found him hilariously adorable. And that kiss was HOT. But yea, the stylist isn’t doing him any favors. In that pic right before the thoughts – his lip gloss is shinier and more red than hers and he has more blush on too. Why would the makeup person do that? UGH!

          So I don’t think it’s him at all, I think it’s the stylist/makeup people. I remember how much gloss they put on Siwon (in both Moon Embracing and in Triangle) and I don’t get why they do that.

  • bmore says:

    I’m in. With Fingers Crossed! I found the first 2 episodes so insane I felt like I had whiplash when they were over. Need to go watch again. But. I think everyone will settle down and we will have back stories that explain some of the behavior. Tae-Yeon’s attitude is pretty understandable already given his family history that we’ve seen so far. BSB??? As a strictly comedic role where he is going to get the crap beat out of him every episode until he changes his attitude, it will be okay and a huge departure from his previous roles. I like him so much, and think he is a terrific dramatic actor, so I hope he will do well and that he can enjoy having fun with the role. I’m betting he ends up married to a woman who keeps him in line pretty well by the end of this. Maybe the sister.

    It’s pretty OTT, but I wonder if it wasn’t for shock value to get the audience interested and talking. I also wonder if NMW is using the same stylist he had for Full House 2…the most disastrous styling and hair of any drama EVER imo! 😛

    • tessieroo says:

      OMG, Full House 2 was such an incredible fashion disaster! O_O I still have no idea why they did that, it was horrid. The perms they gave Hwang Jung-Eum and No Min-Woo both looked really bad.

  • cynkdf says:

    Hi tess, thanks for your great recap. Sad to hear that you don’t quite like the drama, hope you’ll give it a chance. BSB did say in an interview his character has pathos, humour and humanity (humanity hidden for now, obviously :)) I love seeing him in a comedic role despite his overacting just a teeny-weeny bit … getting warmed up, so to speak.

    Hope you’ll stay on for a few more episodes, the writer (co-wrote a movie) did win a writing award or two, so I am hopeful she”ll deliver a thought-provoking drama, even though at first viewing it might not seem impressive. Fingers crossed 🙂

    • tessieroo says:

      Hey Cyn!

      I’m gonna be watching, even if I don’t recap! (you know I will – hehehe) I’ve seen more than one drama that starts off a bit crazy but the actors eventually settle into their roles so that’s what I’m expecting here. I’m just praying it’s not another rich family trying to bury the poor girl into trash. *sigh* Really tired of those.

      I AM intrigued by the possibility of an incredible story about a single Mother so keeping fingers crossed!

  • tasha says:

    @Tess, exactly my thoughts. Find it so strange that they selected NMW for this, it actually turned me off. He acts too much of a younger brother, like a school boy actually (he is suppose to be only 2 years younger) and his make up, gestures, ugggh. This is no HOT male lead. For Park, i watched her in Innocent Man, she was pretty good so i thought it wld be a good idea to watch her again. I watched through Ep 1 but ff a bit in Ep 2, so will drop this. Will check your reviews though and may go back to it again.

  • il23 says:

    I actually loved the first 2 episodes. The drama is definitely different. I am drawn to NMW’s quirky character. He is effeminate but also believably sexy and romantic with Park’s character. I love the lead actress, a no holds barred feminist. It is so over the top that it works for me!! What I like most about the drama is the dialogue. It is clear, with no nuances or pretenses. All of the characters are interesting with definite strengths and weaknesses. I love, love, love your recaps. Please stay with it.

    • tessieroo says:

      Oh, absolutely no worries there – I’m a HUGE Soo-Bin fan so there’s no way I wouldn’t be watching. *hee*

  • nekoi says:

    Actually I remember in a very old interview, Noh Min Woo mentioned his lips are naturally reddish/pinkish. He hates it himself, but can’t do anything about it. So maybe his stylist should lay off putting stuff on them lips. Also I think they dressed him to show how childish the character is in front of love, which I believe is unnecessary and is just too ‘over’. I think the problem lies in the script writing and directioning. They should tone it down a bit, but it kinda works for me. It’s easy to watch, funny at times, while I go over it during my dinner.

    • tessieroo says:

      Seriously? Wow, I didn’t know that – thanks for that tid-bit! I have a friend like that, she never has to wear lipstick! 🙂

      I do think things will be toned down eventually or as I said, the actors will settle in more. I’m not ready to give it up.

  • mskololia1 says:

    Confession: I have NO idea how it happened, but the TY character wormed his way into my heart. He better be in the child’s life until the bitter end….This drama is screwball and madcap so I enjoyed it along with your one-off FI, Tessieroo.

    • tessieroo says:

      *kekeke* I love confessions.

      I loved the dinner, toothbrush and kiss scene – that’s when I was on his side. But when he screamed at her to get an abortion, I was like oh, hell no! O_O I’m expecting he’ll eventually want this child very much. (or hoping?)

  • maimymlt says:

    I was all settled in thinking this would be a really good show, then the friend told her she needed to be married to raise a child, (um, no you really don’t), the dad got physically violent (no, no, no, no, no, I’m with you on this, if it’s not toned down, I’m outta here) and we have yet another wealthy mom looking down her nose at her son’s love interest (been there, done that, it’s gotten old).

    My high hopes haven’t quite crashed to the floor, but it’s close. I totally agree with everything you stated in your recap. Keep up the good work!!!

  • keisha james says:

    i absolutely love this drama, it definitely caught my attention. i think the female leads acting has improved greatly, thats since the last time i saw her in coffee house. guys let give this drama a chance. i think it kinda different from some of the dramas around.

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