Rating:
Average user rating 4.6
116

Marriage Contract: Episode 1

The newest drama from MBC, Marriage Contract seems poised to be a show with a lot of emotional impact. It centers around two people from very different financial backgrounds, who find themselves in dire need of outside help and are forced to turn to each other in their time of need. It gets off to a leisurely start, but the characters are strangely compelling and they just draw me in, making me eager to see more.


 

EPISODE 1 RECAP

A man sleeps in a hotel bed, while his girlfriend accepts room service. She’s clearly got something romantic planned, with wine, flowers, and a fancy cake. She wakes him to tell him that it’s their hundred-day anniversary, and he gives her a gift… and then he breaks up with her. HA.

A team of chefs and servers prepares for a fancy luncheon — it’s opening day, and they’re treating the press to a free meal. The man from the hotel pulls up and goes inside to address his guests: he’s HAN JI-HOON (Lee Seo-jin) and he’s the owner of this restaurant, named Promise.

Outside, a young mother asks her daughter to stay put for just a few minutes, and goes inside to inquire about a job. We’ll learn that her name is KANG HYE-SOO (UEE), and her daughter is EUN-SUNG (Shin Rin-ah).

Ji-hoon may be the owner but he seems to have little interest in the restaurant, letting his manager HO-JOON (Kim Kwang-gyu) do the bulk of the work. He asks Ho-joon to borrow his car, having sent his own driver away, and Ho-joon reluctantly hands over the keys.

Ji-hoon takes a call from his mother, who’s well on her way to being inebriated despite the early hour, and she says that she wants his help giving his father a birthday present. He tells her to forget it, and he’s so distracted that when he puts the car in drive, he comes within inches of hitting little Eun-sung, who’s followed a kitten into the street.

Hye-soo sees the near accident and lunges for her child, collapsing in the street in front of Ji-hoon’s car. Even though he didn’t hit her or Eun-sung, Hye-soo is unconscious, and Ji-hoon rushes her to the hospital.

Eun-sung cries at her mother’s side, and when Ji-hoon tries to pull her away, she jerks her arm out of his grip. He calls Ho-joon, who wonders how she could have passed out when the car never touched her. Their natural assumption is that she’s faking, in an attempt to swindle Ji-hoon out of a settlement.

Ji-hoon has Hye-soo’s phone, and he picks up a call. The man on the other line is hostile and refuses to identify himself, and hangs upon Ji-hoon.

Hye-soo finally wakes, confused, but she assures Eun-sung that she’s perfectly fine. Eun-sung yells at Ji-hoon for hitting her mom with his car, and though he tries to deny it, he’s no match for the tiny little firecracker. To protect himself, Ji-hoon tells Hye-soo that he’ll pay for a full physical, just to make sure that she’s not injured.

Ji-hoon and Eun-sung wait for Hye-soo to finish her physical, with Eun-sung rhythmically kicking Ji-hoon’s chair. Hee, I love this kid. He fusses at her for running into the road, and she snaps back that he was driving too aggressively. She hollers that he nearly killed her mom, which turns heads, and he asks if her mom taught her to say that.

Ji-hoon and Hye-soo exchange numbers so that he can find out her test results, and Hye-soo warns Ji-hoon to be more careful when driving. He takes that as a threat, reminding Hye-soo that Eun-sung ran in the road, and she collapsed without his car touching her. If she claims otherwise, he’s fully prepared to go to the police.

He turns to go, but as Hye-soo’s guardian, a nurse brings him her medical bill. A shady-looking man overhears and approaches Ji-hoon, and seems awfully interested in how much Ji-hoon is compensating Hye-soo for the accident. Eww, he’s gross, and Ji-hoon takes this as more proof that Hye-soo is conning him.

But when Hye-soo sees the sleazy man and his goons on the escalator, she ducks and cringes from him, clearly terrified. He calls her and her ringtone gives her away, and she runs outside and jumps into Ji-hoon’s car to hide.

Once the men are gone Ji-hoon kicks Hye-soo out of the car, and tucks some money in her pocket, saying to end this here. He doesn’t even give her a chance to object (well, she does, but he doesn’t listen), and drives away.

There’s a small family celebration that night for Ji-hoon’s father’s birthday, and this is interesting — his father’s wife is not his mother. Ji-hoon is the illegitimate son of President Han and his mistress, and was raised in the main household with his older half-brother JUNG-HOON. We also learn that Ji-hoon actually lives above the restaurant Promise, and that his real love is music.

He seems uncomfortable when President Han makes a big deal out of the rstaurant, calling it the first in their new restaurant empire. You get the feeling that Ji-hoon gave up his musical dreams to gain acceptance in the family by running Promise.

A guest is announced, and the family is surprised to see Ji-hoon’s mother, who is now fully drunk and raving. She’s slurring that she’s President Han’s wife and has every right to be here, and Ji-hoon is sent out to deal with her.

For some reason, Ji-hoon seems horrified that his mother has been drinking, asking if she wants to die. Jung-hoon’s fiancee SEO NA-YOON (Kim Yoo-ri) arrives in time to see Ji-hoon struggling with his flailing mother, and though it’s the first time Jung-hoon has introduced her to Ji-hoon, it’s obvious by their expressions that they’ve met before.

Ji-hoon takes his mother home and gets angry at the evidence of her excessive drinking, ordering the maid to get rid of all the alcohol in the house. He puts his mother to bed, and when she complains that his father never talks to her anymore, he says that President Han is getting older and tired. Ji-hoon asks if she’s taking her medication, but Mom just tells him to get married to someone better than Jung-hoon’s fiancee. That’ll show them.

He’s still angry at his mother’s drinking, saying that if she collapses again, that’s it for her. She finally relaxes into the pillows and starts to sing, telling her son that she fell in love with his father when she heard him sing that song. He used to sing it to her when she was pregnant with him and sick, and she wails that he’s a liar — he said she was the only woman for him.

That night, Hye-soo starts to pack the tiny apartment where she and Eun-sung live. She tells Eun-sung that she just wants to find them a bigger place, but Eun-sung complains that she promised they’d stay for a long time this time. Hye-soo is running from something, and it’s a good bet that the sleazy guy is the reason.

She fibs to Eun-sung that she ran away from the hospital today because her physical hurt, but Eun-sung is a smart little cookie and calls her mother out on her lie. She tells Hye-soo that she’s not a baby and she can be honest with her, and my heart breaks a little at how adult she is already.

So Hye-soo tells Eun-sung terrible jokes until she laughs, and they break out in a tickle fight. The two are adorable together, and obviously very close. All this while Hye-soo’s phone keeps ringing, and she declines every call.

Ji-hoon makes it back to Promise after they close for the night, and Ho-joon shows him that the initial reviews are very good. Ji-hoon goes up to his apartment, which is quite nice, in stark contrast to Hye-soo’s humble home.

Hye-soo calls Ji-hoon, and he immediately goes on the defensive, repeating that he never hit her with the car. She tries again to talk about the money he pushed on her but, assuming she’s going to claim it’s not enough, he repeats that he’ll call the cops on her if she calls him again and hangs up on her.

He gets another call, and this time it’s his mother’s maid — his mother has collapsed again. He rushes to the hospital where her doctor tells Ji-hoon that her condition is progressing fast, and she needs a liver transplant as soon as possible. Unfortunately, Ji-hoon is not a match, and he glosses over the doctor’s query about other possible family members.

Hye-soo arrives home the next day to find her place has been invaded by the man who’s been chasing her. As suspected, he’s a loan shark, and although Hye-soo stands up to him and says that she’s paid back the principle and then some and can’t pay anymore, he insists that she still owes him interest.

By now it adds up to a hundred million won, and for Hye-soo it’s more than she can imagine being able to pay. She tells him that she’s done paying him — she’s got a daughter to raise and no job, and can’t afford to pay him more even if she did owe it.

He’s utterly unmoved, telling her that he hears sob stories every day. But her husband borrowed that money, and though he died, she’s on the hook to pay it back. He grabs her collar when she screams at him, and tells her to sell her body if she has to, and he can even introduce her to someone who would be interested. He even kicks Eun-sung’s bike over, the threat clear — if Hye-soo tries to run again, her daughter will be his next target.

Hye-soo cries in fear and frustration, but she gets a break in the form of an interview for a job at Promise restaurant. Manager Ho-joon says that someone recommended her highly, and though Hye-soo doesn’t know of anyone who works there that would know her, we see a handsome server watching her interview with a small smile.

Desperate, Ji-hoon visits his uncle to ask him to help his mother by donating his liver, but it’s a dead-end. She’s long since alienated him by cutting him out of her life when she became a rich man’s mistress. She even refused her own brother a small loan when his wife was dying and needed surgery. His wife died, and he has no intention of helping his sister now, not even for money.

Ji-hoon goes to see his mother, who’s awake now, and she begs him to save her. She promises to stop drinking and living like she’s been, scared to die without even seeing her only son marry and have children. She sinks to the floor, sobbing, pleading with Ji-hoon over and over to save her life.

Ji-hoon can only stand helpless, unable to say anything to comfort her. He grows angry and says that she did this to herself, bellowing, “Who told you to live like this?!” He whirls and leaves her there alone.

Hye-soo starts her new job the next day, and the (frankly a little frightening) head chef SOO-CHANG glares at her when she asks if she could get a pay advance. She rethinks her request and tells him never mind, and heads home for the day.

The handsome waiter follows her outside, and she recognizes him — he’s her deceased husband’s cousin SEUNG-JOO. She figures out that he’s the one who recommended her, and asks if he’s straightened out and stopped getting into trouble.

Their conversation is stilted and awkward, and it’s clear that her relationship with his family isn’t good since her husband died. But he seems to like her, and asks if he can see Eun-sung one of these days.

She visits her friend JOO-YEON, who owns a small beauty shop, and tells her that the loan sharks have found her again. Joo-yeon is outspoken and blunt, but she obviously loves Hye-soo very much, and she fusses that Hye-soo’s husband died and left her to deal with his problems.

Hye-soo defends him, saying that he was just too trusting, and Joo-yeon complains that she married him and had a child too young. She’d love to help Hye-soo, but she has her own family troubles, so the best she can do is offer moral support.

On their walk home after school, Hye-soo takes a phone call and drops Eun-sung’s hand, and Eun-sung gets distracted by a cute puppy. When she looks up again, Hye-soo is halfway across the street, and Eun-sung gets stuck standing on the median when the light turns. She cries out to her mother, but Hye-soo is deep in conversation about a new apartment, and doesn’t hear her.

By the time she realizes that Eun-sung is no longer with her, the girl is nowhere to be seen. Hye-soo runs back along her path, growing more and more panicked, remembering the loan shark’s threat to her daughter. Thankfully, she soon finds Eun-sung still standing in the median where she left her.

It’s hard to say who is more upset, and outspoken little Eun-sung makes her anger at her mother known: “You left without me!” Hye-soo feels terrible and apologizes, and holds her daughter while they both cry.

The loan sharks are there again when they arrive home, and this time Hye-soo manages to hustle Eun-sung out of sight before they’re spotted. They go back to the benches in front of Promise to kill time, staying until late at night, and Eun-sung notices her mother ignoring several phone calls.

Ji-hoon has involved his manager Ho-joon in helping him find a liver for his mother, but Ho-joon has also hit a dead end. With no family to help and buying a donor too risky, Ji-hoon is running out of options.

When the restaurant closes for the night and the employees file out, Hye-soo sneaks herself and Eun-sung inside. Hye-soo puts on a little show for her girl, acting silly and pretending to faint in Eun-sung’s lap. Eun-sung tells her mother that she’s not a baby, and she knows that those men are trying to get money from her.

She gives Hye-soo a few dollars, the money that Joo-yeon gave her to buy Christmas presents, and that just about breaks Hye-soo’s (and my) heart. She says to give the money to those men so they can go home, promising to protect her mother with her tiny, fierce little fists. Hye-soo hugs her, and cries.

Out in the street, Seung-joo helps his aunt (and Hye-soo’s ex-mother-in-law) with her street cart, where she sells socks and stuffed animals. He tells her that he saw Hye-soo, but the news doesn’t make her happy, and she tells him not to talk to her about Hye-soo again.

Eventually Eun-sung falls asleep, and Hye-soo worries about getting in trouble for being at the restaurant. She decides to ask permission, and heads toward the office. She sees Ji-hoon also on his way there, and only now realizes that the same man who accused her of scamming him, is also the restaurant’s owner.

Ji-hoon has a new idea, and he tells Ho-joon to find him someone to marry. It would kill two birds with one stone — his mother wants to see him married, and if he marries a woman who’s a donor match, she can donate her liver. He’s willing to compensate the woman handsomely to help him with this.

Hye-soo overhears their conversation, and her eyes grow wide at the amount of money Ji-hoon is prepared to pay. She stumbles, and Ji-hoon chases her downstairs to the restaurant, where she stops and turns to face him. He recognizes her and smirks, sure that she’s here because of the accident, but her next words shock him:

“Let’s get married. I’ll marry you.”

COMMENTS

I had my doubts initially about this show, mainly that the plot sounds very similar to Superdaddy Yeol, and the seemingly mismatched pair of UEE and Lee Seo-jin. But I’ve been wrong before, and I’m willing to admit that I was wrong again here. So far, I’m finding the story quite engaging and the leading characters extremely moving and relatable. Neither Ji-hoon nor Hye-soo are perfect — in fact, they’re both very flawed people, with challenges both outside their control and completely self-made, and though their life situations are polar opposites, they’re both stuck in a position where they feel helpless to take care of those they love. I think that it’s their haplessness in the face of life’s cruelties, and their desperation to do whatever it takes to make things better for their families, that will be what brings them together and helps them find common ground.

I think my favorite scenes are when Hye-soo and Eun-sung are together, because the two are just adorable. Hye-soo’s love for her child is such a bright light in her life, really the only good thing she has since her husband’s death, and it’s so sweet how she makes sure that her daughter knows it. She may not be able to provide much in the way of material things, but she’ll make sure that Eun-sung knows that she’s loved, no matter what. I appreciate that Hye-soo is willing to do anything to provide for her daughter in a situation she never asked for, and who can blame her… the kid is flat-out precious. At the tender age of six, the actress playing Eun-sung already has an impressive resume, and rightly so — her portrayal of Eun-sung is both adorable and fiercely spirited. I love that she’s sassy and smart, and gives Ji-hoon the what-for when she feels he wronged her mother. I can’t wait to see more from this little ball of fire.

Ji-hoon is harder to get a bead on, because he’s so stoic and doesn’t show emotions lightly. But you get the sense that he’s that way because of the way he was raised, away from his mother but trying to maintain a good relationship with her without alienating his father’s family, and trying to fit in with his half-brother. The fact that his true dream is to be in the music business hints that he’s probably quite emotionally deep, but he’s just learned to hide that side of himself. And he obviously loves his mother very much, and is scared to see her die and leave him without anyone truly on his side. It’s no wonder he’s willing to do just about anything, even marry a stranger, to make her happy and save her life.

But it’s also worrying, because we know from the show descriptions that Hye-soo is also seriously ill, and that she will enter into this alliance for her own reasons — to give her daughter a father after she’s gone. I’m sure that feelings are going to get involved on both sides, which will complicate matters and turn this marriage contract into something much more meaningful. It’s frightening to project forward to Ji-hoon’s using Hye-soo to save his mother’s life, only to fall in love with her and face losing her instead.

The show has a slow pacing that I initially worried would be annoying, but I actually found myself relaxing and enjoying the leisurely pace. It gives the characters and situations room to breathe, and the audience a chance to understand the nuances in the scenes without feeling rushed. The show is full of loaded emotional beats, unspoken but clear if you pay attention, and I really like that about it. It’s nice to watch a drama that respects its audience’s intelligence, trusting us to understand what’s being said even if it’s not being spelled out for us. It does give Marriage Contract a different feel and ambiance than many mainstream shows, but I think that’s going to end up being one of its greatest strengths.

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OMG thank you for recapping this drama guys! Wohoo!
Its a nice show for quiet evenings....LSJ and Uee look great together as well. So far so good!

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Can I just say how much I love you for recapping this show <3 I can always count on you to recap quality shows and not overhyped dramas with good looking stars and zero plot, cause there are recappers who exclusively go for that because those may get the most comments but you seem to always break the norm irregardless and for that I really appreciate you!

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yah! first to comment... thanks for the recap!!! off to read...

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guess am d 2nd... oh oh

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Aw, Lollypip. I think we can always trust you to make sure no promising show gets left behind :) Thanks so much for this!

I am enjoying this much more than expected, as well. It isn't flawless, but the characters and mood really grow on you. Am about to check out the 5th episode :)

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Yay! I'm glad the dramabeans team, Lollypip, decided to recap this show =) I love Marriage Contract, It's nice that the rating reflects how good it is too! For me, this show touches my heart: the sacrifices between the mothers for their children; the growing love and struggles with the characters.... So so good! Thank you for recapping it and looking forward to everyone's comments on the show... Awesome~

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im so glad for the recap!! the show is unexpectedly warm and comforting. i actually clicked on it bc fake relationship tropes are my favourite and although the show may not be perfect it is nonetheless a good watch during the weekends. thank you for your hard work! :)

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WHAT!?!? this is being recapped?!?! *does happy dance*

I was very surprised at how much I liked this show...I went in for only dimples and came out with much more...UEE is really coming into her own with the role...I believe her as a single young mom (although it does bug me a little that her face barely moves while she's talking...is it botox shots or something?). I love the little girl in the show and can't wait for her to wear down Mr. Grumpy pants =D

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ahjusshi please smile more <3 i love his dimples too! its a killer! :P

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UEE is really acting great here!

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I'm happy you decided to pick up this drama! I find it really enjoyable and the chemistry is no joke despite the age difference.

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Yessssss, this show's one that I start watching even before subs are out. The emotions involved in this from ALL the actors are just so real, and that's nice because I haven't seen one like this in a looong looong time. Some shows try to be serious but just become frustrating to the audience because of their plot, but this one manages to be heavy without being burdensome, hopeful without being desperate, and as Lollypip stated, trusting in its audience without giving too little or too much information.

I don't know why this drama's recaps are so behind, but future episodes get better and better. So far, at episode 6, almost all the characters are likeable or enigmatic, especially the two main characters. The relationship between them develops slower than in most dramas, but that works in this case because it's more realistic and leaves room for development later.

Thanks for the recap and let's hope this drama continues on its well-seasoned trajectory!

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Not the MIL. She is despicable. I have an inkling on where she's coming from so it's not implausible but I still wish to strange her almost every time I see her. Stop hurting Hye-soo, god d*mmit. :(

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I understand where her judgment coming from, but it's too much.
Hye soo is doing her best, how she wants hye soo to live? At least helps her but she didn't , so I feel a bit temperamental when she appear on screen.

I hope this is not a spoiler cause I don"t think so.

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Oooo, very nice! Thank you Lollypip for recapping this. I amongst other have grown to like this drama so it's nice to see it properly recapped. :)

It's a melo for sure and not a comedy so I don't mind tears. But I really, really wish Hye-soo won't die at the end. It would just be to cruel for everyone involved...

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Not to be spoilerish but in a later episode Hye-soo says she very much wants to live. That alone is hope that she'll actually live...right?

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i feel like the overall tone of the show is not overly melo, so i am crossing my fingers that she won't actually die at the end

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Oh dear Lollypip, how many dramas are you recapping?! Please try not to wear yourself out.

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My thoughts exactly.

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You read my mind perfectly.
Stay healthy Lollypip!

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Thank you! I'll be fine after a nap :)

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I rarely comment, but just have to say that, thanks to your recap, I got 2.5 hours of sleep last night....since I watched all six episodes after reading your recap! Ahhh, no self-control when it comes to a good drama! :)

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Yeeeees ! I love this drama, really thank you so much for recapping it ♥

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Yaaay I'm so glad you're recapping this! I'm currently waiting for ep 6 to be subbed its killing me. I haven't seen much of uee work so I didn't have any expectations but wow she is doing an amazing job. The two leads have great chemistry I can't wait to see more.

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Not to get ahead of everyone, but oh my gosh, how cute is Seojinnie in ep 6??? Huge silly grin on my face. :-)

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I just watched the preview and it's killing me.
.....

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Thank youuuuuuuuuuuu for recaping this !!

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I'm really enjoying this drama. It's really affecting and genuine. Thank you for recapping LP! <3 <3 <3

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I watched the first episode up to the part where she was at the hospital and found the storyline so slow and cliche that I had to stop.

Reading this recap makes me think I should give the show another try.

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@yyy

Yes, please do! The first two eps were meh but it just started to build up. We're so stoked now for Episode 6. :)

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Watched the whole first episode. I thought it was a waste of my time. Who the hell loses their kid twice in as many days?!?!

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I wasn't too impressed with the first 4 eps but, honestly, eps 5 & 6 were very good. (I wondered if they changed the writer?) Since it's only 16 eps total, the pacing is fast. How does S. Korea have such good child actors? The little girl is FANTASTIC! Her character was super annoying at first but now is so emotionally mature and smart.

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Isn't this a gem? I thought it went under the radar of the dramabeans team. UEE and LSJ pair off surprisingly well. And the Shin Rin Ah the child actor is pretty wonderful - a mix of spunky, adorbness and telling things as they are that go straight to your heart. I am enjoying this weekend melo after riding the intensity of Signal.

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Speaking of that kid, she's so freakin' talented. Her expressions are no joke.

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The kid actress is so good, the way she talks is sincere (or that how they want to make me feel)...
I love her scene

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The only show I'm watching currently. The first episode wasn't great (it was just build-up and stuff), but it gets better. I'm so looking forward to next week already.

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Hmm, maybe this could replace OMHE for me. After that, CIIT and Signal ended, I haven't picked up anything new.
It's encouraging to see that most comments on this show are positive.

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Yay! I LOVE this show. Yes, it's totally cliche. Yes, the plot maneuverings to get the pieces into place are awkward and obvious. I don't care. It's clichés I love, beautiful mood and characters, and all round excellent execution. This is my favorite of the currently airing shows.

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compensate for a liver transplant? excuse me????? a person has one liver though. this is plain ridiculous. asking someone to donate a liver - please die and gimme your liver? argghhh

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I should have clarified - a person can donate part of their liver and still live, and save the recipient's life. Ji-hoon is hoping to find someone who will pretend to be his wife, and donate part of their liver to his mother.

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ah, ok

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They transplant a part of the donors liver, not the whole organ. ;)

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Liver is the only organ that can regenerate itself, so part of it wil work and both can live

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A healthy human liver is the one and only internal organ that can regenerate itself, therefore, even if a part of it is cut off *cringe* and donated to a person with an unhealthy unrecoverable liver, then the donor would still be fine and can go back to a normal healthy life with no side-effects :)

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Omg Lollypip has finally unlocked the secret to the fourth dimension! wow thank you for recapping this heartwarming show. Uue and LSJ's chemistry is something I'm pleasantly surprised and the kid is soooooo good I'm just finding it amusing whenever she rejects LSJ. Heh.

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I was really surprised too at how much I like them together.

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Yay! Thanks, Lollipip! A bit on the makjang side, but surprisingly good. I never thought Seojin and UEE could work but I like them together, and UEE is 1000x better here than in High Society. And I love that Seojin and Kim Kwangkyu's characters have basically the same relationship that the real actors have, so funny.

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After all the feelings get involved I wonder how they will end this drama....I'm sure they wont just let her die in vain. They could end it like the Scent of a Woman but then again I hope it would be more satisfying. I will just wait and see and marathon it like I usually do. ^^

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I don't believe she'll die. The first ep. hinted that if she had the operation early, she can be saved. My guess is that's what'll happen.

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Thanks,
I am a sucker for the trope and I found this drama has nice appeal for the contract.
The down feeling in UEE debt is balance out by her children scene (their scene).
I feel like they really match even before they matched, you cam see that it could work between them as family.
Idk what I really hope but I pleasantly surprise that I have no objection to the drama, nothing draw me out but the character draw me in.
I am on ep 5 and I love the kid so much,

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it is already 6 episode .why are you so late .it is the best drama ever,but thank you anyway

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Mucho happy to see this getting recapped. Hope you have as much fun recapping as I'm going to have reading them! Though it's interesting how this year, a lot of shows get attention almost as an afterthought. While dramas like Descended from the Sun were never in question to recap or not to recap. Whatever the case, it's awesome to see certain shows end up getting attention. Nothing like a good recap to solidify the whole experience of following a fave drama. Thanks LollyPip.

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I do think the mom and daughter truly and wholeheartedly love each other, but I find it hard to enjoy because the daughter never receives ANY kind of discipline. I'm not saying she has to be spanked or anything, but time out, or removing some privileges would be good. Anything! something! All the mom ever does is reward her for her behavior.
Disciplining is important for you know...stopping her for running away, running in the street, being rude and totally getting away with whatever she wants. That's not cute.

The child actor is wonderful, so I wish I could enjoy her more.

I know..it's not real life. :)

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Off Topic- Thank you so much for the recap Lollipip! You always do a great job!

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Okay- just watched eps 6 ...and now I'm coming around to the little girl. She's so cute in eps 6.

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I've had the same reaction as you!

At first it struck me as the writer lazily manufacturing conflicts. (Like you say, what parent in their right mind wouldn't discipline that pattern of behavior?)

But now that we see a different side of her, it seems like her acting-out may have a little story arc behind it. That's started to make it interesting instead of annoying.

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Thank you so much Lollipip for the recaps!!! Will you be recapping the entire series or is this recap just a one-off First Episode recap??
Regardless, I'm so happy that someone from the Dramabeans team is doing a recap of this, even though, for sure, I will be watching the drama itself, because I always like to see and read about other peoples' points of view about something that we all have a common interest in ^.^

I can't remember the last time I watched a Lee Seo Jin drama, and I've always kind of been indifferent to Uee's acting and her past works, her acting just never stood out to me, but I must clarify that I don't hate her acting nor do I like it; I don't think Uee's acting is outright bad, but I just think and feel that she hasn't had her break out role just yet... Maybe Kang Hye Soo and "Marriage Contract" will be that break out role?? *fingers crossed*
I'm actually surprised at how much I am enjoying, and even loving, this drama right now. I mean, the premise isn't exactly new: marriage contracts, terminal illnesses, pitiful child.... But somehow, someway I'm drawn--- GLUED TO, even-- to this show right now ^.^ It's my drama crack as I am waiting for all the episodes of-- what I presume to be-- my next drama crack to finish airing so that I can just binge and marathon the whole show *coughDecendantsOftheSuncough*
Seriously, I binged on all 4 episodes of "Marriage Contract" within 2 days, was starting to experience symptoms of withdrawal, then YAY PRAISE GOD the weekend came and episode 5 came out yesterday and episode 6 is now also out and I plan to go watch it as soon as I am done with this post haha <3 P.S. I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and I go by the Mountain Time zone of North America ^.^
Whew!! Okay, going scroll back up and read the recap, then off to watch Episode 6!!!!!

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I start episode 1 yesterday, just to kill time..but somehow I finished all 6 episode by now! (I even skip my lunch break today, coz I can't wait to know what happen).

I love LSJ in GOF & 3MAD, but never watch his drama/movie. The way he portray the role, so like himself. The character is perfect for him or maybe he is perfect for that character, i don't know...

And the child actor - I loveee her..she's so adorable, fierce & natural.

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I love Lee Seo Jin in this :) He's not your typical Chaebol dick, but the opposite, actually: has a gentle side, has compassion, has sympathy, ACTUALLY CARES about stuff and PEOPLE <3

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I seriously didnt expect much from this drama especially because I so disliked UEE's performance in High Society but damn it, it is so good !
It has been a while since I was that addicted to a weekend drama. The last one I truly enjoyed was the amazing Unexpected You. Wonderful Days with Lee Seo Jin was actually great until the father came back lol.

Obviously, it is not super refreshing plot-wise but I dont get bored at all ! It got a nice pacing and there aren't any frustrating characters or situations or whatever.
I am also a huge fan of the mother/daughter bond. UEE is really redeeming herself in that role. (She kinda remind me of Oh Yeon Seo in Jang Bori is Here. Looks like playing single mom was a great decision for the both of them !) She is so good ! That little girl is adorable. The actress playing her is talented for sure !

And I wasnt worried about UEE/Lee Seo Jin pairing because as long as they have chemistry, it totally works ! Perfect example is Kam Woo Sung and Sooyoung in My Spring Days. 20 years of age difference but so perfect onscreen :D.
Anyway, they are really great together. Polar opposite but y'know they are attracted to each other. I cant wait for him to be all over her. It would be so hilarious and cute !

Thanks for the recap ! ♥

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I'm liking this drama a lot. Went into this after signal without much thought other than seeing LSJ flashing his dimples grumpily but oh dear I fell in love with them flawed people. The preview of ep 6 had me smiling like a fool I had to cover my face so mom wouldn't notice. Can't wait to watch it later.

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LollyPip, wow. Just how many recaps you have on your plate again?

I wasn't expecting this drama to be recapped and frankly, did not ask for it either because i saw how many things being recap over here. DB has changed in a lot of ways. I've been reading DB since 2007 and continue to do so until now.

This is one of those drama where i can safely say it gets better each episode. I'm loving the latest episode, even though ep 1 or 2 might not be up to your taste, be sure to stick around. The family picture is forming and they have a little girl that is super cute to add on. It's kinda nice to get out of mainstream drama and watch some under dogs and find a pleasant surprise instead. It has all the cliches and Kdrama troupes but it is not that typical either.

A nice watch indeed. Happy to see we have a little nice place to chat over it.

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Awwwh I have happy news for marriage contract campers. The rating rise to 19.3% on ep 6. A rise of 1.3% compared to 18% on episode 5.

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after seeing the end episode 6, i believe next eps rating will be higher ^_^,

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No previewwww... Love is in the air... ;)

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Exactly @Sera
That's what makes me crazy, :D

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@ Sera,

There IS a preview out - ep 7.

Ep 6:

His reaction though, is a tad errrr disturbing.

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Thanks LollyPip and DB for recapping this show!

I echo what others have said in that I'm surprised that I find this show very engaging. There is so much here to make a full blown melodrama but it's done in such a restrained manner that I don't find it over the top. The problems faced are actually plausible although intensified for dramatic impact.

What I like:
-The serious handling of the story without being too dark and the light moments that balanced it out, not being fluffy. It did not hit either extreme and feels more realistic. There was less in the way of contrivance to eek out feels, in fact it hit the right emotional buttons all through without irritating me.

-All the scenes of interaction with the little girl, especially mother-daughter dynamics. She's a wonderful actress. I'm impressed by her portrayal of super smart, mature and yet so-true-to-life childlike-ness. I'm going to love watching Ji Hoon as he falls under the spell of the little girl.

- Uee is actually so much better here (I've watched until Ep 6) than in High Society. I find her quite believable. Among many women characters facing chaebol insolence, she at least is not just a mere cringing Candy, not an other-blamer or mostly dependent female, but one who does all she reasonably can to help herself while knowing how to accept help from others. I like that she's a strong character, even in her weakness.

I've been enjoying this as a more down-to-earth human interest story than a melodrama and I look forward to more recaps! :)

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Ditto, everything you said!

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Ditto! Ditto! Ditto!

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I am so loving this show! Seojinnie is just so older guy sexy. Thanks so much for recapping this.

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I couldn't agree more about Seojinnie. I can't put my finger on what it is exactly, but there's just SOMETHING about him, isn't there...?

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Same here: I did not expect much of this show - actually I do not watch dramas that threaten to end in a bad way for the sake of my emotional health (and because of tons of paper tissues being used). But somehow having started it I was immediately interested and got hooked more and more each episode until full mode fangirl breakout this weekend with ep 5 & 6.

Storyline is very good, characters drawing you in - the actors are doing a superb job and I mean the entire cast. Kudos to the kid but I am most impressed with UEE who did not strike me as a particularly impressing actress up to now - well I was wrong!

Thanks to Lollypip and may next weekend come soon.

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Thank you DB for recapping this drama. LollyPip you rocks!!
Surprisingly I found this drama interesting. I try to peek 1 or 2 episodes and get totally sucked into this. I found LSJ and UEE's chemistry fit each other. I can't wait for that cold-blooded restaurateur fall in love helplessly under Eun-sung and her mother LOL.

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This is my drama crack right now. I love watching LSJ cute interaction with the child actress, both of them are so adorable. After OB, this is another drama that I could admire and relate to UEE and her character.

Thanks LollyPip, for recapping it.

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I was soooooo waiting for this. Lee Seo-jin and UEE, yiu two are so perfect together. Explosive chemistry to be honest!

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thank you for the recap! I liked it so much that i went and marathoned all six available episodes! I couldnt believe it but UEE and Lee Seo Jin really match and i love their chemistry..also i love their moments with the kid, its just sooo cute especially him and the kid hehehe

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same lol. It's a nice, don't have to think kinda watch

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Thank you, LollyPip, for recapping the show!

I think the most charming point of the show is its rather realistic tone without or yet over-the-top performances (apart from the chaebol family, *cringing*). This character especially does well for the romance since the scenario between the two main leads is too dramatic to begin with. For me, the story is very conventional but hits all the right spots. And sometimes, it's all you need =)

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I loooooove this show. Thanks for recapping it, Lollypip!

I didn't see any prior teasers/information about it, so I thought it was rom-com. (Most marriage contract themed shows are rom-com). But it turned out to be a heavy one. Still, I love it. It does have something compelling in its entire mood and emotion. I'm just about episodes 5 & 6, and judging from the feedback, they were just as good. I hope it's consistently awesome until the end. This is the only currently airing show I'm watching, so please don't disappoint me, Show ♥

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I am so thrilled that you finally lay eyes on this drama and did the recap. It was a promising melo-drama. I am not a big fan of melo-drama, but seeing Lee Seo Jin's performance on the first few scene, I was convinced that I had to stick with the drama. Up till the latest episode, I was satisfied. As you said, the drama has a slow pace which is good for building up emotions.

I also hope Dramabeans does the recap of Manager Oh's latest

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Oh...I love Lee Seo Jin, happy to see him again in the drama .....

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Aww TQ dear LollyPip for the recap. I hope u stay healthy despite of many drama you do the recap.

I am enjoying this drama more than I thought I will. Uee, I disliked her acting before but now, I am slowly changing my view about her. Uee surprisingly good in delivering her emotion.

After I Have A Lover ended, I decided not to invest my emotion on melodrama at least for a while, but this drama is good. I am all in for a good and well-written melodrama.

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I'm so glad this drama being recapped now. Thank you LollyPip!

I never knew before that I would really like this type of drama. Tbh, I almost dropped it after I watched epi 1-2 because it has tooo many cliche tropes and the directing isn't my taste (it's just painful to watch). But the little girl, yes that girl named Eun-sung, is so adorable! and I really love seeing her <3 ES dynamic with Ji Hoon is too cute for words. So, I continue watching this drama until ep.4....then...I'm hooked!

I just want to see a happy ending for all the characters I love. Every episode delivers such feels that I can't describe. So touching.

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OMG! I was just thinking about how nice it would be if there's at least a dramabeans hangout for this drama and now, a recap! Yay! Thanks so much, LollyPip!

I've always liked UEE's dramas so I'm happy that this one's shaping up to be a good one. I just finished watching ep 6 and ohhhh how to wait another week. ><

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OHMYDRAMAAA~
Thank you for recapping this drama, Lollypip! <3

I made a comment on the last news of this drama because i know you guys rarely recap weekend drama. But..its just so good that i dont want this going under the radar.
And tadaaa you made this! *confetti*

Agree with above comments on how the first 2eps are too slow and cliche. But somehow it attract you deeper into the story.
Yes its slow but with good acts. I prefer that compare to fast pace story but with a meh acts.

I love the dynamic between Hyesoo and Eunsung. Then how Jihoon got so helpless in front of Eungsung.
The nuances, expressions - esp in 6th ep - made me rooting for this drama. Oh Seojinnie.. You are so.. *speechless* *staring on the dimples too much*

Now i am waiting for the dynamic between Miran and Hyesoo. I have a good feeling they will go along well.
Its been a while i see a sweet relationship between mother in law and daughter in law.

Bring it on show! Keep the good vibes!

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woahhh, lollypip, gomawo for recapping it ^_^

This is the only drama i watch these days,
love Eun Sung so much, she is such cutie hehe
love the Head Chef too,...

Honestly, there are so many dramas out now, but i love this show sooo muchhhh..

I'm already at episode 6, and i can't wait for next weekend :)

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Ooooh, interesting comments for this show!! Will check it out as it seems highly recommended. Passed up on it at first because I wasn't happy with Uee's previous works but now I'm intrigued.

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This show has become my guilty pleasure. At first I went into it thinking "oh god here we go with the overly done plot" but I was curious in how the paring of the actors would work and it has been a nice surprise. Is is still cliche at some points but not annoyingly so. The only thing that really bugged me was the continuity issues in the first couple of episodes, they were just to obvious. The director should have been more careful with those details. It makes the cuts to obvious. If the character is laying down facing a certain way keep it that was throughout the whole scene it's not that hard. Thanks Lollypip :)

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This show is surprisingly addicting. I went to check out ep. 1 after glancing at your recap, and had no idea I would end up marathoning all six episodes at a go! I'm loving the drama, the cast, the plot, the cinematography which is so beautiful, everything works so well! UEE is surprisingly good in her role, her performance is heartfelt and genuine; the child who plays her daughter is adorable, and UEE has good chemistry with the lead actor and the entire cast.

Thanks LollyPip, for your recap. I wouldn't have watched this gem of a drama if it wasn't for your recap. I do love it!

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@Blueribbon

Sorry this was meant to be a separate post and not a reply to yours.

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