“Orange Marmalade” – Surprisingly Cute!

Like Angie, I truly thought I was all over the whole vampire thing, just done with it. But after watching the first two episodes of Orange Marmalade, I find myself captivated and eager for more. I’m not all caught up in the romance yet nor am I finding Yeo Jin Goo‘s performance stellar (so far) but I am interested enough to see where this is going.

Since this is all about vampires and high-school kids, it’s not gonna be everyone’s cup of tea. And if you haven’t taken a peek at the original web-toon by writer Seok-Woo, you might want to check that out, it’s a fun read. But there are some differences.

The lead male, Jae-Min (Yeo Jin Goo) is handsome, athletic and all the girls in school are crazy about him. But in the web-toon, Jae-Min hates women…or hates women touching him. So far, there’s not been anything like that mentioned in the drama. Jae-Min seems depressed and closed off but we do learn he used to play the guitar. He’s also the class president. So it appears his only appeal is his handsome face since he has the personality of a log.

His meeting with leading lady, Ma-Ri (Seol Hyun) started off a bit dramatic and different too but we eventually got to the scene where she falls asleep on the train and tries to bite him on the neck. (LOL) Correction, she kisses him (several times) on the neck, probably dreaming that she’s biting him. There seems to be something extremely enticing about the way his blood smells but we’re not told why. Nor are we told why Ma-Ri only seems to notice his blood and not other humans around her.

She runs away, leaving behind her music composition notebook. Jae-Min looks through it later that night, discovers guitar cords and a song. He opens a trunk in his room and pulls out a guitar, with a bow on it. The card attached to it looks old, he reads the message from his Mother, wishing him a happy 14th birthday. So…the reason he no longer plays guitar has something to do with Mom.

Ma-Ri lives with her vampire parents and younger brother, Joseph and is just trying to lay as low as possible to make it through high-school. We learn she was bullied in the past, called a monster when her vampire identity became known. She’s determined to keep that a secret and even joins in when her classmates express their disgust and hatred of vampires. She goes so far as to eat garlic during lunch to prove she’s not but then rushes to the bathroom after to throw up.

Indignant that Ma-Ri had her way with him on the train, Jae-Min follows her and demands she apologize. The only problem is: she has no idea who he is or what she needs to apologize for. He’s angry she doesn’t know he’s the class president, she’s snarky in her reply that she can’t be expected to learn everyone’s names since she just transferred two days ago. *heh*

When he gets to close, she pinches her nose to avoid smelling his blood and tells him to shower more often. ROFL! He thinks she must have mysophobia (fear of germs), he showers every day! He again demands an apology and announces his plans to follow her around until she remembers what she needs to apologize for. Quickly changing the subject, he brings up music but when she doesn’t express any interest, he whips out her notebook. Why did she write a song using guitar cords if she doesn’t like music? She grabs the notebook away from him and rushes off.

The best scene was when Jae-Min arrives home and starts smelling his clothes. Does he stink? *snicker* He showers (hilarious porcupine hair), still angry that she didn’t know who he was. Looking at himself in the mirror, he wonders how she can’t see that his face isn’t common. How could she see his face and then just forget it? ROFL!

Ma-Ri heads to her singing gig at a cafe, the same cafe Jae-Min goes to meet Teacher Han Yoon-Jae (Song Jong-Ho). It’s clear Jae-Min doesn’t like this guy but I’m not sure if it’s because he’s a vampire or if it’s because he married Jae-Min’s Mother, who he now refuses to see or speak to. Teacher Han tries to talk Jae-Min into joining the school band but he’s not interested and tells Teacher Han to transfer to another school. He gets up to leave but stops when he hears a girl singing. It’s Ma-Ri.

We have the usual assortment of high-school kids, nothing new here. I do wish they had kept the female character of Su-Ri more of a tomboy like in the web-toon but I guess it’s more important to have a bunch of nasty, mean girls, which is REALLY not my thing. A-Ra (Gil Eun-Hye) has a crush on Jae-Min and is already playing dirty tricks on Ma-Ri, which I find predictable and boring. I’m even more done with mean girls than I am vampires.

The character I find most intriguing so far is Han Shi-Hoo (Lee Jong-Hyun), a vampire with a huge chip on his shoulder. He’s angry that vampires have had to give up who and what they are in order to “fit in”, to co-exist with humans. And he wonders just what exactly humans are giving up? Vampires are the ones who are forced to move and change identities every single time a human finds out a vampire lives close by. We also hear this annoyance expressed by Ma-Ri’s Mother, who doesn’t want to have to move again.

Shi-Hoo tries rebelling by giving an interview, making it clear he believes vampires are vastly superior to humans and the current treatment of vampires is unfair. This only serves to scare humans and he finds himself in hot water with the VCS (Vampire Control System) who threaten to withhold his sun-protection serum until he behaves himself and goes to school.

Teacher Han, who is Shi-Hoo’s uncle, shows up in time to rescue him and insists he toe the line and go to school or the VCS will make his life miserable. They won’t “stake” him since he is underage but living outside of the VCS’s control is almost impossible for any vampire.

Jae-Min dreams of Ma-Ri, sliding towards him seductively in a slinky dress, sitting on his lap and kissing his neck. Ma-Ri is dreaming the same thing, only she’s not kissing him but biting him and wakes up screaming. Is she becoming more of a monster? Jae-Min is annoyed he had an erotic dream and washes his undies in the bathroom sink. Wait…are we sure this is KBS and not cable? (LOL)

They have a cute meeting in the band room at school but Ma-Ri again runs away, accidentally leaving behind her bag of blood disguised as tomato juice. When she remembers, she finds him and tries grabbing it. He asks if she wants to join the school band, since she’s good at music, he’s thinking of joining too but only if she does. She refuses, grabs her lunch and runs away, leaving him sputtering that she always runs away from him when she sees him. *kekeke*

A-Ra learns from Teacher Han that Jae-Min wants Ma-Ri to do lead vocals in the school band, he even made it a condition of his joining. This, of course, sends her off into crazy, jealous insanity and she pulls a nasty trick on Ma-Ri. I think Ma-Ri would have been fine if it hadn’t involved her lunch since vampires can’t go longer than 12 hours without blood. She almost passes out against Jae-Min but stumbles away. Hilarious that A-Ra’s little plan backfired.

Shi-Hoo shows up out of no where, pulls Ma-Ri into a princess carry and takes her off to the school nurse. *squeeeee* There he scolds her for not eating, vampires can’t diet. (LOL) She’s grateful he arrived but how did he know? We see a flashback of them as children, both drinking blood from a bowl side-by-side. He recognized her right away and thinks to himself that transferring here might not be so bad since she’s here. Ahhh…love triangle?

There’s the usual mean girl bullying (fast-forward) but Shi-Hoo’s sudden presence serves to divert the attention from Ma-Ri and onto himself. He even flirts with A-Ra in order to ease her anger about Jae-Min and Ma-Ri but this makes Jae-Min jealous. LOL, high school. But it shows Shi-Hoo is aware of the trick A-Ra tried to pull, he knows what’s going on and has a plan to stop it. Does this mean both guys will be protecting Ma-Ri?

From another flashback, we learn Shi-Hoo met Jae-Min when they were kids at the wedding of his Uncle, Yoon-Jae to Jae-Min’s Mother. I wonder if Jae-Min remembers him? Both boys played guitar so I’m guessing that means Shi-Hoo will also be joining the school band. Shi-Hoo walks Ma-Ri home, on the pretext that he lives in the same area. As they near her house, they see Jae-Min waiting. He escaped the clutches of A-Ra and came to find Ma-Ri.

Getting right up in Ma-Ri’s face, he asks if she wants him to remind her why she owes him an apology? Should he show her why? (yes, please) He bends down and kisses her neck as her eyes widen and flash purple. In the background, we see Shi-Hoo watching, puzzled by what he’s seeing.

I truly enjoyed these first two episodes but I do hope we get to see much more of Jin Goo’s adorable smiles. I think everyone is doing an okay job so far, nothing off the charts amazing but I wasn’t expecting that anyway. Even Seol Hyun is doing good, she’s playing the character of Ma-Ri perfectly. Ma-Ri is very closed off and not at all willing to open herself up for fear of being called a monster again. She keeps to herself, wanting to be invisible and just make it through the next two years to finish high-school. She doesn’t want any attention nor does she seem to want any friends but I think that’s going to be tested when she agrees to join the band. I’m looking forward to Friday!


  • leila108 says:

    hand’s down, the BEST drama I’ve watched last week!! I didn’t watch the trailer nor read the manga so I was pleasantly surprised. This is the drama I’m anticipating to see more this week.

    Yoo Jin Goo is the one to beat in my Kdrama heart this season. I have to forget he’s 17!

  • leila108 says:

    Tess, I also had to double check if I’m watching a cable drama. But this is indeed KBS! Fudge! Hahaha

  • Sharlie says:

    After twilight I said no more vampires anything..but here I am loving this can’t wait for ep 3 and 4.. I’m a huge fan!!

  • knvgrime says:

    I read the original webtoon a long time ago so when I heart this was becoming a drama I was totally psyched. So far Jin Goo hasn’t really had a chance to strut his acting skills. I know he is fantastic, but so far his character has been eh. I am looking forward to seeing him beat up and crying like in the teaser. Is that bad? I just am a fan of his acting. Speaking of Jin Goo, I have to constantly remind myself that he is underage, beware noonas.

    His birthday is in a few months I can’t wait ahaha.

    So far they’ve made a ton of changes, and really I don’t mind. It does make sense since this is a TV adaptation, the webtoon is a bit more simple. I do wonder what direction they will choose to take A-Ra’s character. Because in the webtoon there is a point where she does actually became likable and they sort of became friends. Though, it seems like in the TV adaptation that won’t happen because she’s just a jealous bully. Why are women always made to hate on each other? *sigh*

    Anyways I have some trust in the directors and writers. & I really love Ma Ri’s character. Jong Hyun is playing Shi Hoo expertly. I mean really. I’m very glad they chose him for the role. So far as a fan of the original webtoon I’m not upset that they are not being completely faithful to the original. I think as long as they communicate Ma Ri’s story effectively I will be satisfied. I can’t wait for the next episodes.

    • tessieroo says:

      Agree, I’m waiting for Jin Goo to bust out his acting skills too, I’m a HUGE fan of his acting. Also agree with the changes they’ve made, it’s not bothering me at all. The webtoon got a bit boring and moved way too slow so I’m loving the quick pace. 😀

  • Mitta says:

    Oh My! I thoroughly enjoyed the first 2 episodes and likewise more than any other dramas from this cycle. And this is from a girl that has no love for vampires and kinda tired of high school and mean girl plot devices. But I saw the teasers and got reeled in, mostly by YJG’s acting (the crying scene). So far I have no complaints with all the characters. The three leads are holding their own. Can’t wait for this week!

  • Evren says:

    So in this drama vampires can reproduce and age?

    • tessieroo says:

      Yes, which is contrary to every movie or book I’ve ever read about vampires. (LOL)

      • sally_b says:

        Agree. In the first episode when I realized Mari had a lil’ bro – I was like, “Wait. Hold up. The un-dead do not procreate.” ha!

        Then again, vampire tales have been twisted in all directions over the years to suit whatever author writes a new version. (I’m still adamant that vampires DO NOT sparkle…hurumph)

        Just watched the 3rd episode, found it a little less compelling than the first two, but still miles ahead of anything else out right now. While I think the female lead is doing a fair job of her character – I do wish someone on the production team would remind her to fully close her mouth once in a while. (jaw hanging open is not sexy, it just looks like you’re a mouth breather) Also, always love a Song Jong Ho (teacher) appearance – he’s yummy, and gives me an age-appropriate dose of eye-candy. (* ˘⌣˘)◞♥ヽ(•‿• )

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