Drama Casting & News
Lee Mi-sook turns into a fierce mom (again) for cable drama
by | September 12, 2012 | 20 Comments

Cable channel JTBC is readying a new drama, and Lee Mi-sook (Love Rain, Cinderella’s Sister) is the first star to be attached. The drama is titled Could We Marry (literally, it’s like asking “Will we be able to marry?” but that has a clunkier ring to it, as far as titles go), and, naturally, is themed around weddings and marriage.

That sounds generic, I know, but there’s room in there for some heartfelt and meaty character stuff: the drama will follow the marriage stories of four couples. For instance, one story thread features a bride-to-be with 100 days till her wedding, full of family interactions and wedding preparation details. The show touts the message that preparing for a wedding is not the same as preparing for a marriage and a lifetime of living together, which seems like an obvious statement but could make for nice themed storylines. I say this one’s all going to hinge on execution, and at least JTBC has a solid track record in that regard.

Lee Mi-sook plays a strong, meddling mother with daughters to marry off, which makes me think she’s reprising her role from Thousand Day Promise. Which could be a good thing; she was a hoot in it, and often the sole comic relief in an otherwise dreary story. Lee does sharp and biting in the funniest way, and that makes her more absurd than unlikable since the outrageousness is the point.

In this drama, her character owns a cosmetics store and raises her two daughters on her own. Mom considers money the most valuable thing in the world — which makes her single-minded in the pursuit of prospective son-in-laws. Her own marriage experience was unhappy, so she’s set on making sure it’s different for her children. An admirable prospect, for certain, though you wonder if she’s living vicariously through them to right that wrong, which is less admirable.

She marries off the elder daughter to a doctor, then turns her attention to the younger. Only to have the daughter reveal that she wants to marry an ordinary salaryman. Gasp! Conflict ensues.

Could We Marry will premiere in October.

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20 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Annie

    Korean scriptwriters seem to be running out of ideas these days. My K drama buzz is fading fast :-(

    • 1.1 almea

      You should try watching cable dramas.

      I highly recommend Answer me 1997/ Reply 1997 and I live in Cheongdam-dong. Cable programs seem to be of better quality than those offered by the big broadcast stations.

      • 1.1.1 epyc

        Definitely echoing your recommendation for I live in Cheongdam-dong.

        This is the best k-drama in my 7 years of kdrama watchig – so under-rated and unknown among kdrama watchers. Top-notch quality and so creative. Dont’ get scared off because it’s a sitcom or the 170-ep (though 35 min per ep). It is LOL funny yet tear-rolling heartwarming. It is a breezy watch to start with but then becoming so addictive and attached to those characters that you don’t want it to end – or simply to move to CDD to be part of that clan. Never thought I’d watch a Korean sitcom, let alone loving it to bits!

        jTBC is really the crown of cable stations having produced this year the highly acclaimed A Wife’s Credential, Fermentation Family and now my most beloved ILICDD.

  2. SweetiePie54

    Hmmm. This sounds interesting. Not the most original idea, but is there anything really original nowadays? I’ll probably check it out if I can find subs for it.

  3. Eye Candy

    While it does seem like this idea has been done before, I completely agree that it all depends on how its done. I feel like shows like Ma Boy and Answer Me 1997 prove this. While the material being shown is no entirely knew, it feels like it. I might check out the first few episodes and see if this drama has managed to stand out among the crowd.

    • 3.1 Eye Candy

      Whoops! I meant to say: while the material shown is not entirely new, it feels like it. Sorry for the typos!

  4. icednoodles

    A mother with two daughters, who seems to love money and meddling in her daughters’ love lives to get more money and material possessions out of rich potential husbands? I smell Cinderella’s step mother~.

    It sounds interesting enough, and there are all sorts of ways you can change a simple and over-used premise, so I’m hoping that’ll happen here.

    I’ll probably be giving this drama a try, primarily to see Mi-sook as the ‘evil’ mother figure again. Out of every mother, villainous or saint, I’ve seen in a K-Drama thus far, Mi-sook’s characters are probably my favorites.

    • 4.1 D

      i love her.. One of my favourite korean moms, even when she’s supposed to be evil/fierce. Unfortunately I cant say the same to some other senior actresses..

  5. Laica

    This sOunds like it could be good with a decent writer. It may be cliched, but it’s more relatable than stories of brothers fighting over a single girl (ugh, despite my love of AM1997) or evil in-laws out to destroy our heroine’s life. Honestly, our parents can sometimes seem like our worst enemies, and the conflict is that much more hurtful because of how deep the love goes on both sides. If this is written with heart and sympathy for the characters, it could be really good. Lee Mi-sook will definitely hit it out of the park. And I have hope since it’s jtbc.

    I hope it’s not a 50+ episode family drama though cuz then I won’t have time to watch it.

  6. JoJo

    OMG! Not another Lee Mi-Sook crazy mom…maybe for variety, this time she can have hot flashes.

  7. kumi

    A mom trying to marry off her daughters to rich men? I’ve seen this so many times.
    Even recently, I watched a Russian movie ‘A Cruel Romance’ about it. The movie was a masterpiece. I doubt if I can watch anything on this subject after it.

  8. Cam

    Gosh, I’ve seen this actress Lee Mi Sook in that previous dramas such as “Cinderella’s Stepsister”, “Great Expectations” and others. She’s really good at her acting performance, ofc. :) I am very curious to watch how she’s doing in this new drama.

  9. Rovi

    Sounds like “Marriage Plot” without all the fighting. And the mother dying of cancer.

    Seriously, I miss the days where Lee Mi-sook was like the mistress of all the villainesses/enchantresses in the sageuk genre, and I mean a lot.

  10. 10 Aya

    kdramaland doing the routine sexist brainwashing

    this is one of the reasons why skorea is at the bottom of every international ranking concerning women’s rights in OECD countries

    • 10.1 Carina

      Yeah I thought I was the only one who noticed this. This incessant focus on ‘womenz must marry rich menz’ in KDramas is really starting to make me uncomfortable.

      I lived in Korea for three years myself, and noticed how watching all these marriage-themed dramas was making me, a very liberal European, slowly start to put it onto a similar pedestal as my Korean friends. It really is akin to brainwashing to see women wanting to get married, marriage being put on a pedestal, marriage being portrayed as the only real desire a woman is supposed to have everywhere everywhere you look. It’s quite sickening, and I’ve started to get seriously squicked by pushy Korean mothers on TV who want to marry off their daughters, doubly so if they are actually career-minded and don’t WANT to.

      I Do, I Do is the most feminist drama I’ve seen in a while in that it’s made pretty clear that the female lead does not want to marry despite her parents’ lamentations, and ends up staying true to that.

  11. 11 Lia

    It seems Jung So Min and Seong Jun are in this as well, not sure if they are a couple or not. I’m thinking she will be playing the youngest daughter.

    Is this a weekday drama or weekend? Some news made it sound like it was long or something.

  12. 12 tinglehoff

    You do realise that most of these dramas are written by women, don’t you? If these dramas often appear “sexist”, it’s because the ladies writing them have had more than a few similar experiences with other women in ther own lives….

    • 12.1 Carina

      I don’t really understand what you’re trying to say. If your argument is that these dramas aren’t sexist because it was written by women, then I don’t agree — women are perfectly capable of being sexist and writing things with unfortunate implications.

      And you’re right in that not every drama that deals with marriage or mothers forcing their daughters are sexist. There is a difference between endorsement and depiction, which is why we have a lot of literature set in openly racist or sexist environments that few people would ever call racist/sexist in and of themselves because they merely depict, not endorse.

      Some dramas merely depict and not endorse (like IDID, for the most part), but most do not. Of the dramas I’ve seen, the women more often than not end up realizing that marriage was the right path after all and ‘a man with money is the way to go’ as a tacitly held widespread belief is rarely changed. Most dramas do overly romanticize marriage and portray it as extremely important while rarely casting a really critical eye on the institution as a whole, and inadvertendly further propagating the current state of South Korea in which many women are still made to quit their jobs once they married or pregnant, female economic participations rates are among the lowest in the OECD countries, and where alternatives to the traditional Korean family life are rarely acknowledged as viable.

      But we all know that Korean dramas aren’t the bastion of feminism and that the country is very traditional, which will be reflected in their media. I still watch KDramas and like them, on the whole, and I have watched them for…. oh, like 8 years now. So it’s pretty safe to say that I do still get enjoyment out of them, and my love for Korea even motivated me enough to pack my bags and go live there for three years. Doesn’t mean I can’t view some aspects of these dramas critically, though.

      Admittedly a lot of this is colored by a type of personal bias — a big reason why I am squicked by these ‘well-meaning mother wants to marry off her daughters’ stories is because I’ve met more Korean women my age than I can count while living there who were actually being pressured by their mothers to marry some rich guy as soon as they hit 25, and often without their consent. Many had career-related aspirations that never came to fruition because their mothers insisted on marrying them off to some rich guy, in the full conviction that they were in the right and doing their daughters a huge favor. I am just squicked by this slavish devotion to marriage as the be-all-and-end-all of societal acceptance.

      That all said, maybe this new drama will be cool. It’s on JTBC, which has good dramas overall. Maybe it will take this story and use it to discuss marriage, the people who want it, the people who don’t, and the parents who mess with it in an intelligent and critical fashion. It could happen.

      I’m just not betting on it, is all.

  13. 13 hazuki airin

    It is Jung So Min new drama. But little news about this drama.
    I heard they script reading already…

  14. 14 Anne

    Jung so min and sung joon are paired up in this drama. Teasers are out and such a hoot. Seems lightweight and comedic with lotsa room for heart. Cant wait for oct 29.

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