k-dramas reviews

K-Drama: ‘Bride of the Century’ Review

bride of the century

Bride of the Century, a romantic melodrama with supernatural/fantasy undertones, was a masterpiece from start to finish. It’s the story of a prominent family that runs a huge business called Taeyang Corporation, who believe in a one-hundred-year-old curse that’s been passed down through the generations. The basics of said curse are that the eldest son’s first bride will die.

Taeyang Group is the largest conglomerate in South Korea. The Choi family who runs Taeyang has supposedly been under a curse for a hundred years that the first bride of the eldest son will always die. When the wealthy heiress Jang Yi-kyung disappears right before her wedding to chaebol heir Choi Kang-joo, Na Doo-rim, a lookalike impostor, is brought in to take her place. But unlike the cold and calculating Yi-kyung, Doo-rim is sweet and sunny, and Kang-joo falls genuinely in love with her. As the wedding plans progress, Kang-joo and Yi-kyung’s mothers both scheme and plot behind the scenes. MyDramaList

Cue the drama, folks!

You know how you always seem to find a diabolical, scheming mother in every other k-drama (slight exaggeration… I know)?  This one starts with two, but only one mother turns out to be just as bad—possibly worse—than Goo Jun Pyo’s mother, Kang Hee Soo, from Boys Over Flowers. What I will spoil is that one mother will suffer for her choices while another mother will rise above and get a second chance.

There’s also the mystery of how Yi Kyung and Doo Rim could pass for twins. That story won’t be answered until the final episode, so practicing your patience skills is a must to truly love this drama. Were they separated from birth? Are they related somehow? Was it just a coincidence? Was it something else entirely?

The breakdown of the plot is that Yi Kyung is the fiancee of Kang Joo. It’s basically an arranged marriage. Na Doo Rim is brought in when Yi Kyung vanishes. They want to keep up the facade because their company is going to go under unless they get some money. It turns out that the arrangement with Na Doo Rim was orchestrated because of the curse associated with Kang Joo and his family legacy. Because of the curse, Ma Jae Ran conspires with her daughter to bring in Na Doo Rim to marry Kang Joo and essentially sacrifice herself.  Na Doo Rim, needing money for her grandmother’s surgery, agrees to the conditions of the plan, but she has no idea about the curse or the family using her as a sacrifice.

What I loved.

The true heart of Bride of the Century is the romantic, fairytale-esque story that unfolds between chaebol Lee Kang Ju and poor, country girl Na Doo Rim while she’s under the guise of Yi Kyung. Doo Rim is sweet, strong, and selfless. She has no problems in telling Kang Ju what she thinks of his behaviors. Doo Rim is also responsible for bringing out a more open, generous, and loving side of Kang Ju. Thanks to her, Kang Ju has a lot of firsts with her. (I still giggle over his attempted use of a shovel early in the series.) And two words: sweet potatoes! If you haven’t watched this series yet, you need to. You’ll never look at sweet potatoes the same way again. (Or maybe that’s just me.)

The plot of this drama was beautiful, unique, and captivating. You can tell a lot of thought went into this series because the execution is flawless. And it was handled in a way that felt natural and organic. The opening scene from the drama is wrapped up nicely in the last episode, and I applaud the writers because they really left no stone unturned. All in all, the past story weaved brilliantly into the present time. There were even a couple of twists I wasn’t expecting that made me enjoy the drama even more.

One of my favorite parts is when Kang Joo reveals when he first fell in love with Doo Rim. I still have tears in my eyes.

What I didn’t love.

While I loved that Na Doo Rim was a completely selfless character, there were a handful of times where I wished she could have put herself first. (It all evened out in the end, but this is still a sore spot for me.)

Not enough of Jin Joo. She was quirky, funny, and a great friend. When her romance with a character in the series finally reached a boiling point, I was less than satisfied because I didn’t really see or feel the chemistry. It felt like the writers just gave Jin Joo a romance just because.

All in all, Bride of the Century is one drama not to be missed. Yang Jin Sung does double duty in this series as she plays two different characters who are identical in looks but different in every other way. Jin Sung deserves more leading roles because she absolutely shined here. This girl can act. And, I can’t forget that Lee Hong Ki also did a great job starring in this drama. It’s the first k-drama I’ve ever seen him in, and I know that it won’t be my last. Lee Hong Ki is creeping up on my love for Lee Min Ho, and if you know how much I love Lee Min Ho, then you know just how much of a statement that is coming from me.

Final Thoughts.

Everything about Bride of the Century touched my heart. The acting, the directing, the scenery, the soundtrack, and the beautiful story embroiled in it all. To date, this is my favorite Lee Hong Ki drama where he stars as the male lead. He also had a role in Hwayugi, which I binge-watched until the end. Still miffed at that ending, though.

Including this gifset because these two are just so freaking precious!


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