[Review] Oohlala Spouses – 울랄라 부부

IS THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER?

Discovering that her husband is cheating on her, Na Yeo Ok (Kim Jung Eun) decides to divorce him.  Go Soo Nam (Shin Hyun Joon) obliges tired of the constant nagging and hardships that surround their marriage.

However, a major accident causes them to swap bodies with each other.  As they grapple with the reality of trying to make it through the day in each other’s identities, Yeo Ok and Soo Nam develop a greater understanding of each other.

The thing that drew me to this drama was the he said/she said aspect about it.  So often than not, it’s hard to walk in another person’s shoes.

It’s important to note that the comedy here is exaggerated and cheesy.  Combined with the supernatural aspect of the body swap and the god of fate (Byun Hee Bong) and goddess of love (Narsha) as characters, it makes a lot of things far-fetched.  Not everybody will be able to digest the absurdity of this drama.

Sunye – 내게 와줘 (Come to Me)

선예 – 내게 와줘

At first, I didn’t understand why Shin Hyun Joon and Kim Jung Eun overly exaggerated their characters.  Honestly, I had a hard time accepting Kim Jung Eun’s high pitched voice (it’s not normally like that in the other drama’s I’ve seen her in).

However, it’s a calculated choice by the actors so that when the body swap does happen, those clearly defined traits comes across clearly when the other actor is portraying that character.  With that consideration in mind, I could accept the acting choices they made for the drama.

Another interesting choice about the drama is that they don’t make the other woman out to be the villain.  Han Chae Ah plays Victoria Kim and because they were both previously in Gaksital, I’ll admit that I was a little weirded out when Kang San and Ueno Rie started making out with each other.

However, despite being the woman that falls in love with a married man, she comes off as a very sympathetic character.  Her love for Kang San… I mean, Soo Nam, is very pure and innocent.

She’s someone who was abandoned by her birth mother and found a sense of family with Soo Nam and his mother.

Of course, their relationship comes to an end when Yeo Ok ends up in Soo Nam’s body.

I was surprised to discover that although the drama premise is about a husband and wife who swap bodies, they don’t stay that way for very long.  The drama could have had the opportunity to make them switch back and swap again at a later point in the drama but they didn’t really do that either.

The whole premise was that the two swap bodies in order to gain a greater understanding of each other and I would be okay if the drama broke their own rules and changed the premise if they ended up satisfying me in another way but it just seemed like the drama was losing its focus.

The two characters change back and it really didn’t seem that they learned much from their ordeal.  Soo Nam seem to continue to be jerk, Yeo Ok still felt betrayed.

Rather, the change seems to happen when Soo Nam sees Jang Hyun Woo (Han Jae Suk), Yeo Ok ex-boyfriend and Soo Nam’s new boss, try to get Yeo Ok back.

I didn’t expect this drama to make me have 2nd lead syndrome but after finding out the real reason behind why he breaks Yeo Ok’s heart and then being there for her through all the hardships that follow a divorce, I just kept waiting for Soo Nam to turn things around.

That moment just never came.

So despite what the god of fate and the goddess of love were saying, I just assumed that Yeo Ok was meant for Hyun Woo because emotionally that’s where the drama seemed to be leading you.

Sung Shi Kyung – 내가 사라갈 곳 (The Life I Have to Live)

성시경 – 내가 살아갈 곳

I don’t know if giving the drama a two-episode extension made the writer go insane.  But literally, the drama goes loopy in last two hours.  I mean, this drama wasn’t perfect by any means before then but the drama completely changes its tone to over-the-top-miracle-life-saving-cure-that-saves-the-world writer device.  Well something like that.

How and why Yeo Ok comes to forgive Soo Nam and decides to remarry him again, I’m not sure.  I’m still scratching my head about that because that emotional development never happens in the drama.  In this case, I think the grass is greener on the other dramas.

Rating

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4 thoughts on “[Review] Oohlala Spouses – 울랄라 부부

  1. I had totally fallen in love with Hyun Woo and this drama gave me the worst case of Second Lead Syndrome and I was super-glad I didn’t force myself to sit through it. Thanks for the great recap. I had to stop watching because I had this nagging feeling the drama writers were gonna go for upholding the marriage. I have nothing against upholding the marriage and I like the idea of giving a straying hubby a chance but Soo Nam was so incredibly nasty and neighborhood oppa so gentle, mature, modern, and understanding — without the benefit of a body swap– that I was shipping oppa and Yeo ok.

    Then there is the family. For a marriage to really work, the in-law must be accepted into the family. The rejection of Yeo Ok by her mom-in-law was so harsh that Yeo Ok was –in many ways as familyless as Victoria. The restoration of the family just didn’t work for me.

    Victoria was sweet but needy. I don’t know if she was perfect for Soo Nam or not. After all, he did cheat on her in his Gaksital-pre-modern-incarnation-life. If he cheated on her before, he might’ve very well cheated on her again..so I’m not sure if that relationship was going to last. And Victoria’s neediness was dang oppressive. I don’t mind neediness but her neediness went to the point of selfishness sometimes. I know she wanted her man..but the grasping self-involvedness was too much. I got a feeling that although she was nice enough, she kinda turned off the viewers…and the screenwriters didn’t want her to get Soo Nam…which meant that Hyun Woo Oppa couldn’t end up with Yeo Ok. Perils of the live-shoot system alas.

    My biggest snuffed-out desire was to really see the fate versus heart thing play out with lots of stuff from the past mingled in. A kind of Cloud Atlas lite, where we would’ve seen how everyone connected in the past…even why Soo Nam cheated on his then-wife Victoria. But because Fate and Love only dropped in for commentary, we had a kind of telling-but-not-showing thread going on and by the 8th episode it was too late to change the format by broadening the past and adding new stuff about the olden days.

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    • I would remind you that this isn’t a recap but a review. While I do agree with you on some points, I’d just like to clarify. I didn’t get into it in the review but I did like how Yeo Ok and Victoria find some common ground towards the end. While Victoria was (in your words) needy, I certainly don’t think that she was perfect for Soo Nam by any means. She was attentive and nurturing towards him which he wasn’t getting from Yeo Ok. Not that he deserved it but I can understand why he fell for Victoria. Yes, she was quite obtrusive especially with Soo Nam’s family and while I did get annoyed at that since Soo Nam kept pushing Victoria away, seeing the drama all the way to the end made me sympathetic towards her. She acknowledges that she was being selfish to Yeo Ok and although she can’t undo what she did, she really does work hard to make things right with Yeo Ok. She really did love him and while she didn’t want to hurt Yeo Ok, I believe her love for Soo Nam was sincere but personally, I wanted Soo Nam to end up alone. Even in his past life, he was what I like to call a wanderer because he just isn’t a person who feels settled being in one place with one person for the rest of his life. Sometimes I feel like those people can really have a chance to learn who they are as people by being alone. Instead of forcing to make two mismatched puzzle pieces fit because the writer says so. I also wouldn’t have felt bad if Yeo Ok ended up alone and tried to identify herself as a single, working mom. I would totally get why she would turn down Hyun Woo (even though I wished for them to be together). She did the marriage thing and it didn’t work out and now she’s exploring being something other than a housewife. I would also say that Ep 8 is still too early to call it. If you’re doing a 16 ep drama, that’s the halfway point and there’s still room to turn the tide. It’s not easy but I’ve seen it done. Plus, Soo Nam and Yeo Ok hadn’t returned back to their own bodies yet by ep. 8. But now that I’ve actually finished the drama, I wouldn’t recommend finishing it.

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  2. So true. I remember when they were returned so maybe I gave up around episode 12 or 13. I just remember her losing the baby, moving into the new digs, and i think the last episode i saw was when Victoria had the bike accident with the son and Oppa challenged Soo Nam with, “she is my woman.” That was when I gave up. Because I thought..”:wow! Victoria took another woman’s little son on a bike ride?” But i kept sensing that oppa was just not gonna get the girl.

    I acknowledge that Victoria was a good person but the needy type of woman who breaks up marriages are always good women. Just that they think so much of their need that that’s where they violate all laws of marriage and friendship. IF she weren’t so needy (to the point of taking someone else’s family and husband) and had been strong or mature or calculating I would’ve liked her. But the excessive desire to be loved causes way more trouble because the rationalization is so deeply albeit-neurotically felt. I like Victoria..I just wouldn’t want a woman who has never had a family and who is so needy as a friend. In books and in real life, those really are the type that get all graspy because of their desperation.

    Am sorry if I offended. I didn’t mean to write anything that might have implied I felt you were recapping. Was just voicing my thoughts. I will be more careful in the future.

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    • Not offended at all! It’s just that recaps and reviews are two very different things and I don’t want people to get the wrong impression. 🙂 I do like to read differing views of my own. I will say that I’m usually the type of person that’s very critical of woman who have affairs with married men. (Yes, the men are also at fault.) But the drama, while critical of her, doesn’t make her out as the villain as we so often see these women portrayed as the femme fatale in dramas.

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