[Review] Emergency Couple – 응급남녀

CPR, STAT

Medical school students Oh Jin Hee (Song Ji Hyo) and Oh Chang Min (Choi Jin Hyuk) meet and fall in love. They quickly get married but in order to support themselves they give up medical school. Unfortunately, their marriage doesn’t last long due to their clashing personalities. Six years later, they reunite as interns at the same hospital after having finished medical school after their divorce.

Looking at Song Ji Hyo’s filmography, I could see that she’s alternated between lighter and more melodramatic projects for TV dramas though I’ve mostly seen her in the more dramatic roles. Maybe it’s because of my love (and bias) of her variety personality on Running Man, I always felt like she deserved more opportunities in quirkier roles. The best part of the whole drama was Gary’s cameo. I wished and hoped that Emergency Couple would be filled with a lot of humor that would make that side of her shine. I already know that she can act.

The drama was amusing but it ended being your run-of-the-mill romcom which frankly disappointed me. I was expecting more wacky scenarios and over-the-top divorced couple stereotypes which would eventually turn into a deeper reflection of youth and marriage. I kinda also wanted to see a knockdown-drag-out fight between the ex-couple but other than what we saw in the first episodes, the leads weren’t as explosively reactive towards each other. Instead, the drama was only mildly amusing and dove right into the heart of their marriage.

While Song Ji Hyo and Choi Jin Hyuk did have some chemistry with each other, I felt that the chemistry was stronger between Song Ji Hyo and Lee Pil Mo. Although Choi Jin Hyuk’s completely irresistible smile could will me to say “yes” to anything and everything he says but that’s beside the point.

Lee Pil Mo’s Chief Gook pines after Jin Hee leaving his ex-girlfriend/best friend Shim Ji Hye (Choi Yeo Jin) to pine after him. In an ideal world, we’d see Jin Hee and Chang Min get back together while Chief Gook and Ji Hye strike up their romance again but that shift in feelings never really happens between the latter couple. I felt bad watching Chief Gook keep Ji Hye close and yet at arm’s length which made his emotional cripple routine extremely frustrating.

As for Jin Hee and Chang Min, the drama paints a good picture of why their relationship didn’t work out.  I also liked how the drama made comparisons between the main OTP and the other married couples.  For Park Sang Hyuk and Lee Young Ae newlyweds, are they able to balance their demanding careers and the possibility of expanding their family?  For Jin Hee’s sister, Jin Ae, and her brother-in-law, Kwang Soo, did they rush into marriage at a young age due to Gook-ie being born?

Joo Ah – I Am

주아 – I Am

Despite that, it felt like the drama didn’t think through other things between Jin Hee and Chang Min.  I believed Chang Min when he pushed for another chance to make their relationship work especially since he realizes later that he liked reviving those old feelings.  However, I didn’t feel the same way when Jin Hee has her revelation. I don’t doubt that she had and always did have feelings for him but she spends most of the drama pushing him away until the tragedy with Chang Min’s dad. How have they changed and matured that would give them the tools to make it work this time?

Even both mothers accept each other and their in-laws but the answer just seems too easy.  It seems like the drama didn’t even have all the answers as it ends on an open note.  Which I did like but we end up with voiceovers by our main characters as they draw parallels between the ever-changing emergency room and their relationship.  I felt cheated by that as the drama grasped at conclusions because they didn’t know where to end things with the characters so they decided to write an exposition that would wrap things up neatly with a bow.

It’s a good thing that I like the actors. They made scenes amusing and sweet where it needed to be. However, I can’t help be underwhelmed by the drama overall. The drama wasn’t very unique, nor was it over-the-top wacky and fun. Mostly the drama plays by the rules and when it runs out of steam, it waves the exposition wand. To that, I say, ‘Baaaah.’

Rating

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