Mid-Year Report Card (Part 2)

Okay! Now that we’ve sussed out the best/worst kdrama offerings for the first half of this year, it’s time to check out the lead performances and everyone’s favorite topic: the OTPs!

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He Who Can’t Marry: Episodes 1-2

A few preambles before we plunge into the post proper.

First, I’ve just realized that KBS has opted for a less wordy rendition of the title. Instead of The Man Who Can’t Get Married (my previous post on this drama), it’s a more succinct He Who Can’t Marry. I’m all for reducing wordiness (not that I’ve been practising it in my recent posts, alas), so the new title is nice. But my favorite title is still the one coined by my friends: Kimchi Kekkon. A really apt nickname for the drama considering how similar this one is to the J-version.

Second, although the title of the post suggests otherwise, this isn’t a recap. I’m not including screencaps (which instantly saves me several hours) and I won’t go into details of plot developments. It’s really a (ranty) First Impressions piece.

Final preamble. I will make constant mention of Kekkon Dekinai Otoko, the Japanese drama on which He Who Can’t Marry is (completely) based.

Let’s begin with a quick summary of the first two episodes and the main roles.

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Anticipating The Man Who Can’t Get Married

As recently as two weeks ago, I had little interest in the upcoming Korean drama The Man Who Can’t Get Married. Then over the weekend I watched a Japanese dorama that my pals were raving about. Now I can’t wait for June to roll around.

Unlike many people, I’m not at all worried that The Man Who Can’t Get Married might be a sorry remake of Kekkon Dekinai Otoko. Whatever happens, I know it will never be as good. You can’t beat perfection.

Ji Jin-hee will play Abe Hiroshi‘s lead role. He will be Cho Jae-hee, the K-version of Kuwano Shinsuke, whom I adore to itty-bitty bits. Somehow the name doesn’t seem fitting, immediately conjuring up images of a youngish person (like a certain actor now in the army?). How about the name Kwang-ho instead? That’s close enough to Kuwano, isn’t it? Haha.

So, on one hand I want Jae-hee to be as similar to Kuwano as possible. On the other hand, I don’t want a remake to spoil Kuwano’s characterization, to exaggerate his eccentricity and turn him into a caricature of a fussy and aging bachelor. That can happen, because Kuwano possesses so many quirky traits.

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