The Virtual Bride – E02

Inyoung has to convince an irritated Myungsuk to continue the filming, which leads to hijinks in the kitchen… while Semi flies out of the house to the academy. Meanwhile, Choonja realizes the irony of her treatment of Semi when she gets hints of the struggles that her own daughter is suffering.

THE RECAP

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Things fire up as Inyoung angrily stalks out after throwing an eraser at Myungsuk for calling her stupid. A reminder about her filming has her pasting on a smile for the camera and talking about the current mission to help with farming!

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Choonja complains about Inyoung’s fashion and she tries several times to get her mother-in-law’s approval… First with a flowery white dress… A Leopard print sexy dress and baggy pants with a checkered shirt. Choonja approves of the last outfit until we see that Inyoung is still wearing her heels!

The debate is interrupted by a mouse that has Inyoung running… Into a ditch of mud…

Meanwhile, Junsu accompanies his mother to a dentist for her toothache as Young-Ah visits the hospital by herself to check on her fertility treatments. She gets depressed and visits her mother who consoles her.

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At the same time, Inyoung returns to the management company to complain and demand that she’s quitting. Myungsuk also calls to tell Junsu that he does not feel comfortable continuing with the filming… Junsu accepts her demand on the condition that Inyoung pays him back for her past credit card bills and understand that he won’t be resigning her contract.

Having no choice, Inyoung agrees to continue with the filming and convincing Myungsuk to do the same. She rushes home and surprises Choonja who thought that Inyoung quit with a new attitude!

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Young-Ah’s first day at the Academy goes well. The CEO of the Academy gives her an individual office and introduces her to all of the students. Young-Ah goes into the bathroom and reminds herself that she deserves respect like this.

Yet, when Young-Ah gets home, she finds the kitchen full of ingredients for kimchi. Choonja tells her that her responsibility is to prepare all of the ingredients for cooking before the morning.

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Inyoung also works hard to get Myungsuk’s approval back. Looking at the scene from the camera, she starts to reprint the formula on his chalkboard. Seeing this, Myungsuk looks moved until she mutters that he’s a numbers pervert who has an obsession with something useless like math.

Myungsuk refuses to change his decision about not filming because Inyoung doesn’t seem sincere about respecting math. He gives her one last chance – he will continue filming if she can beat him at rock paper scissors within three days.

Inyoung tries hard starting from early in the morning but continues to lose.

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The filming starts again with a calm and enthusiastic Inyoung explaining how cleaning 300 jars each morning is calming. She wipes and wipes… After 30 minutes, she starts to get exhausted and annoyed.

She gets a great idea and starts to spray all of the urns with a hose… Until her mother-in-law and Myungsuk come along yelling at her to stop! She accidentally sprays Myungsuk and makes it worse.

Choonja then finds all of the materials prepared in the kitchen and her son fast asleep. She pulls him by the ear and demands that Young-Ah prepare everything that night. Dongsuk tells her to rethink it as its too much for one person but Choonja is determined.

She even snaps at her friend to stop meeting her beau as people will talk. The friend goes to her restaurant and we find out that the beau is actually the grandfather! Oh dear!

As for Young-Ah, she finds that her mother-in-law has changed her tune… She sucks up to Young-Ah and asks Young-Ah not to submit her proposal…

The center head interrupts this to invite the two women to Young-Ah’s house to see the filming. Since the filming is about a traditional family, it also helps their goal of promoting culture.

Back at home, Choonja asks a friend to set up her son with this doctor. Myungsuk’s father comments flippantly that he prefers Inyoung. Choonja angrily shoos him out.

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Crisis of the day draws near as Junsu agrees to visit Choonja but does not hear Choonja’s warning because he’s driving through a tunnel. So, he gets to the house early and then hides when his mother gets there.

Unfortunately, Junsu hides behind the urns and gets caught red-handed. His mother stomps on home angrily because Junsu lied to her and she doesn’t like her son going to Young-Ah’s family’s place.

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The next episode of the variety show is Inyoung cooking a stew for Myungsuk. He stands on the side unimpressed until Inyoung loses one of the fish which falls into his shirt. Trying to catch the fish again, Inyoung ends up touching Myungsuk all over! RAWR!

At the same time, the academy CEO takes Semi to a nice dinner and starts asking about her husband and whether she’s happy. Semi lies that she’s happy but we get the unfortunate feeling that there’s temptation in the future.

The next morning, Young-Ah’s mother-in-law attacks back passive aggressively. She pretends that she’s not angry that Young-Ah submitted her proposal but then asks when Young-Ah will give her a grandchild… She even sighs that maybe Young-Ah should stop working and focus on the household chores.

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Young-Ah goes home and asks her mother about whether or not she should quit. Choonja snaps that Young-Ah shouldn’t even think about it in this decade… A woman can’t both take care of the household and succeed at work.

Inyoung unintentionally calls Choonja out by praising her for her open perspective and comparing it to how Choonja has been acting toward Semi. ^^ Yay for dramas that call out bad behavior!

Choonja kicks Inyoung out. So, Inyoung goes to to her next mission-surprising Myungsuk at his work with lunch! She ends up falling asleep during his class and then the kimbap tastes nasty…

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Trying to smooth things out, the producer suggests that the two play the telepathy game…. Basically, he holds up a sign with two words and they are supposed to pick one at the same time. They get none of it right.

As for Young-Ah’s mother-in-law, she gets called in by the head of the office. He praises her proposal that Young-Ah submitted. Young-Ah had explained to him that it was all her mother-in-law’s idea! The head tells her that he will be moving into the main office and thinks she should be are over his position.

The mother-in-law flounces out and then happily invites Young-Ah to see a musical with her and Junsu. Young-Ah accepts but then the other employee comes out with a sign… The higher ups have decided that the next head of office will be decided by a vote! Talk about a sitcom! The mother-in-law takes her tickets back.

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Actually human, Choonja decides that she shouldn’t treat her daughter-in-law differently than her daughter. She decides to stop giving Young-Ah those impossible tasks and goes to the kitchen. There, she finds Dongsuk and her father-in-law working at the food instead. Choonja listens as Dongsuk tells his grandfather that this is the only thing he can do for Semi, who had a great career but gave jt up for him.

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Choonja calls Semi into her room and tells Semi about Dongsuk. She explains that she can’t make her son suffer and hands over a paper with regular chores for Semi to do as she works.

Semi goes into her room and tells her husband to sleep under the blankets. She thanks him for taking care of the chores and explains how Choonja changed her mind. Dongsuk replies with a joke that if she’s moved, she can give him more as his allowance.

Meanwhile, Inyoung and Myungsuk come home. Inyoung tries her cute act, sexy act and sympathetic act to ask Myungsuk yo change his mind about the filming. Myungsuk refuses.

However, when they get home, they run into his father staggering home drunk. The father asks Inyoung to sing for her and Myungsuk tries to pull him in.

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Clearing her throat, Inyoung sings the same song that her father-in-law was singing and even starts dancing with be old fashioned way. Watching this, Myungsuk smiles.

In the morning, Choonja gets a call from her matchmaking friend. Choonja sent her a text saying that Myungsuk has a girlfriend?

Haji smiles from the side and we find out that Haji harbors a crush on Myungsuk.

Unaware of all of the scheming, Myungsuk goes out for the day and runs into Junsu. Smiling at his brother-in-law, Junsu apologizes for the inconvenience that Inyoung caused him and promises to switch her with another more proper team member.

Inyoung has the luck to come to the door at this moment and hears everything…

Yet, surprising everyone, Myungsuk tells Junsu that he won’t film with anyone but Inyoung.

MY TWO CENTS

A lot of Korean netizens are calling this drama a sitcom and I have to agree. It gives me the same vibe as the old school sitcoms like 3 Boys and 3 Girls or Soompung Clinic. My initial verdict is that I like it and, timing permitting, will be following it.

I still think that Myungsuk need some more character development from the writer as the other characters shine so much better than him. Really, Inyoung, Choonja, Semi and Young-Ah seem to steal the scene whenever they are on. Props to the writer for making Choonja human and adult enough to realize her hypocritical behavior and to act on it. After all, all mother-in-law are not bad and many are becoming more liberal these days…

I also thought that there was good character development of Dongsuk who had seemed to be a useless bum in the first episode. While he’s a clown, he clearly cares for Semi and has the tenacity yo finish all of the impossible tasks that his mother sets for his wife. He’s also not too high and mighty to use blackmail against his grandfather (about knowing about his grandfather’s relationship) for help. I look forward to seeing Dongsuk develop more and hopefully get into a position where he can become independent from his mother. Yet, in the midst of all that, I have to say a part of me finds it fascinating that the writer is exploring a new power dynamic in this series… One where the guy clearly is used to staying at home and the wife is clearly suited to succeeding outside the house.

With some development of the male characters, I think this drama is well situated to be a favorite. ^^ Watch on!

The Virtual Bride – E01

A strong-willed has-been idol star gets forced into a variety show where she has to pretend to be the daughter-in-law of an even more strong-willed traditional mother-in-law.  And, we get introduced to two goofy families.

THE RECAP

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Our main character, Oh Inyoung does her best on stage but the audience spends it’s time waiting for the next performer. Once the song is finished, Inyoung group walks off when a young and upcoming idol group walks past without giving the traditional greeting to the more experienced group. To add salt to injury, the leader of the youngster group bumps into a member of In-Young’s group and refuses to apologize.

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Inyoung grabs the younger girl and forces her to give a reluctant apology and greeting. Seeing how reluctant and rude the younger group is, Inyoung barely holds on to her calm but spjns around when the younger girl mutters that Inyoung’s group doesn’t deserve respect.

Instead of backing down, the youngster pipes up with, “Unni, you don’t like me, huh?” (For those who weren’t following Korean celebrity gossip, this is similar to what some sources say happened when Yaewon from the girl group Jewelry was allegedly rude to an older experienced but less poplar actress Lee Tae-Im causing the older girl to lash out at the younger one.

In the drama, Inyoung satisfies her anger by grabbing the younger girl’s hair. However, she loses the last laugh because her management company head (Kang Junsu) yells at her for being rude and hurting a more popular idol… Whom they had to pay the hospital bills and the cancelled appearance fees for.

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As the company head furiously chastises her, he gets a call from a producer about a call about a new TV show.

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Enter Choonja. She’s the matriarch of a traditional family whose business is to sell their handmade kimchi. Thanks to her younger son’s scheming and the state of current television production, a variety show producer wants to make a new variety show. It would place a modern idol as a fake daughter-in-law under the traditional Choonja.

At first Choonja is not that enthusiastic but she relents when her younger son tells her that her pride and joy first son Myungsuk, who is a professor, agreed to do it.

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At the same time, Inyoung is basically threatened to do the show even though she sulks that it is a lot of suffering for an idol star. The head of her management company basically tells her that if she does not do it, he won’t schedule her group for anything.

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The morning of the first filming, Choonja makes life miserable for her current real daughter-in-law (Semi) and we get some background. Her second son got Semi pregnant and begged her to marry him. As a result, she did but her mother-in-law is unsatisfied because she wanted to marry her son off to the daughter of a banker…

Semi pretends to be docile but she says everything that she wants under the guise of an apology – basically, that she is sorry for coming back to Choonja’s son which has ruined her own life as her husband is currently a bum.

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When Choonja snipes back that she needs a real respectable daughter-in-law, Semi throws her stuff down and leaves to yell at her husband. Semi demands to know when they are leaving his mother’s house as he promised her they would only need one year. Le sigh…

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Meanwhile, the first meeting between our fated lovebirds! Inyoung took some diarrhea medicine to debloat. However, the medicine keeps filling her up with gas instead. Unable to take the smell, her manager sends her to the public bathrooms… After which Inyoung quickly runs into her car and farts… But instead of her manager, her beau shows up.

She runs out and finds her manager next to their car which is parked a few spaces away… Hello first impression!

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The first impression with the family is a bomb as well… We get to see it with the variety show filter. Basically, none of the family members except the younger sons approve of Inyoung’s dress… She knows her family neighborhood but doesn’t know her tribe… And accidentally mistakes a question about her tribe as asking for the time she was in a gang in junior high…

Trying to smooth things over, the younger son asks her to sing a song. Instead of singing, Inyoung dances and overturns the table… As well as shocks the traditional adults…

She runs into her car and declares that she cannot do this but her manager basically tells her that this is her last chance.

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Choonja also calls to complain to her daughter. However, her daughter (Young-Ah) tells her mother to be patient as the girl is from her husband’s entertainment company. ^^

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Young-Ah has her own issues at work it seems. She tries to submit a proposal which is better than her direct superior’s and gets denied because her superior is her mother-in-law… When Young-Ah refuses to back down, her mother-in-law gets revenge by running home first and changing the pass code on her daughter-in-law’s house.

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At the same time, Inyoung is tasked with cleaning all of the kimchi and sauce jars where she realizes that her life is just about to get harder. She also one-up’s the other daughter in law by noting that she’s higher up in the fake family hierarchy… Her fake husband is the older brother…

After all the cleaning, she runs into her car only to find her beau as her manager has left already. Turns out, the company already posted her stuff to Choonja’s house and this is Inyoung’s last chance as the manager reminds her.

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Myungsuk calls Inyoung over to cheer her up… By showing her the amazing equations of the probability of them meeting like this coincidentally twice! Inyoung is not amused but Dongsuk saves her by appearing and we find out that Myungsuk had no idea about this variety show. Myungsuk refuses to play along until his grandfather appears and asks him to help out with the damage control of what his younger brother caused. Myungsuk reluctantly agrees and it looks like the show will continue!

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At the same time, Junsu arrives at home to find his wife sitting outside her door. He indulgent follows his mom into her apartment across from their own apartment and texts his wife the new keypass. Then he continues to indulge his mother who seems to be using her son as a substitute husband as her own husband left her for a younger woman… Meanwhile, Young-Ah looks at the calendar and sighs about her husband sleeping at his mother’s place again… Today was the night they hoped to become pregnant.

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Early next morning, Inyoung walks into the kitchen to find it full of activity. Semi brings Choonja some picked vegetables only to find Choonja taking out her frustration on how the veggies were prepares. Semi replies that she only followed her mother-in-law’s instructions and Choonja overturns the bowl onto the floor.

After Choonja leaves, Semi yells at the camera crew and also angrily stalks out. She goes straight to her husband to yell at him.

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In the middle of their lovers spat, a nearby Academy CEO calls to ask Semi to start teaching at his Academy.

Meanwhile, Junsu is stick reading a book to his mother while his poor wife anxiously waits for him…

Inyoung also finds it hard to sleep and goes outside to call her manager. As she talks to herself as if her manager was there, she hears a noise. Thinking that it’s a robber, she runs out after the guy with a urn lid and smacks the robber in the head.

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Unfortunately, the robber turns out to be Choonja’s adventurous but wayward husband. On the bright side, he knows of Inyoung’s group and is a fan!

Young-Ah also had a morning battle with her mother-in-law who wants to keep her from submitting her proposal…

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Back at home, Jungsuk takes his mother’s side and tries to convince Semi not to go to work. Semi has to physically push her husband away so she can get away…

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Inyoung is also busy. She brings her camera crew over to her fake husband’s room where she finds a blackboard… With the equation that her husband worked on all night. Ignorantly, she erases everything and draws a doodle on the board instead.

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Myungsuk comes in to find his work erased and he yells at her for being so stupid and erasing weeks of research. Inyoung reacts defensively and throws the eraser at his face.

MY TWO CENTS

On a first impression, the show seems adorably light and fluffy. Considering that Make A Woman Cry is heavy enough for me, I’m probably going to recap the next episode as well.

In the romcom world, it’s about time that someone poked fun at all of the variety shows that are gaining attention in Korea. It’s like there is a variety show about everything from the fake marriages in We Got Married to the Three Meals a Day farming variety to just a variety show about celebrities doing webshows to ride off the vlogging wave.

Returning to this drama specifically. Inyoung’s character is likeable enough. She’s a has-been idol who has some pride in her work. While, she isn’t a running candidate for the Korea Mother Theresa, not many people are. For her background and experiences, she seems normal and she has loyalty. She knew that there would be risks in standing up for her groupmate to the younger more popular group, but she did anyways.

Of course, Inyoung’s reaction seems more like a reaction to her own frustration at her current state than just protecting her groupmate. Yet, even if she’s complaining, she still does what is necessary and beneficial for her group whether it means taking diarrhea medicine or taking on the role in the variety show so that her groupmates don’t have to. Either way, she seems like an interesting character and I feel some empathy towards her.

I also thought that the Choonja/Semi conflict was interesting. It’s clear that Semi is no pushover and Choonja seems a bit overbearing. My drama instincts tell me that there may be a love triangle in the future with someone in the academy for Semi… She’s already had to deal with an overbearing and disrespecting mother-in-law for the mistake of trusting her idiot husband, let the games for her heart begin as well!

Finally, I am lukewarm but open to Myungsuk’s character. It is the typical goofy nerdy but cute character… I get it. But other than a stock character, I felt like I got nothing from the first episode.

[TEASER] The Virtual Bride

The-Eccentric-Daughter-in-Law-03 (1)

Hello Tuesday! Time for a change and with that I started watching a new show… Here’s a teaser and a first look/episode 1 recap to come soon!

The Facts:

Drama: The Virtual Bride a/k/a The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law

Stars:

SISTAR’s Dasom as Oh Inyoung

Goo Doo Shim as Yang Choonja (Mother-in-Law)

Ryu Soo Young as Cha Myungsuk (Fake Husband)

Ki Tae Young as Kang Joonsoo (Dasom’s management company CEO and fake brother-in-law)

 

Quick Intro:  Dasom plays Oh Inyoung who is a member of a has-been girl group.  She ends up crossing the line by roughing up a more popular girl group and her tired and frustrated management company CEO gives her one last chance – by playing the fake daughter-in-law in a new reality show focusing on the mother-in-law / daughter-in-law conflict.  The MIL is Yang Choonja, the matriarch of a traditional Korean family that produces handmade kimchi…Inyoung is forced to make this program a success or risk losing the one job that she knows…Will there be love and hijinks on the way?

 

TEASERS: