Recently, I’ve been watching and enjoying the K-Drama, The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law. I’ve admitted that it’s a drama that has me scratching my head because the tone and style of the drama is more suited for daytime audiences. I am watching a lot of serious dramas and this is the only comedy I’m watching so it’s was a nice relief to watch something lighthearted. Certainly, there is a lot of issues I find with the show but there’s are also things that I find really endearing about it.
The drama is about a quirky idol, Oh In Young (Kim Da Som), who joins a traditional Korean family for a variety program called Daughter-in-Law Challenge. It’s likened to programs like We Got Married and JTBC’s The Great In-Laws. She is paired up with the family’s eldest son, a nerdy math professor, Cha Myung Seok (Ryu Soo Young). However, she must deal with his overbearing mother, Yang Choon Ja (Go Doo Shim), who runs the family kimchi business.
Okay, the cons. Mainly, the thing that I’m having the most trouble with are the mother-in-laws. (There are two.) Choon Ja isn’t a terrible person but she’s unfairly tough on her daughter-in-laws. I don’t know if it’s because I just saw Go Doo Shim in High Society but it’s hard to see her being so hypocritical. Her character didn’t seem like she got along with her mother-in-law but you would think that would make her more understanding. However, I don’t think Go Doo Shim’s portrayal of Choon Ja is so off base. I’ve known a lot of women, even in my own family, that’s like her. I could see that there is a layer that we have yet to see of Choon Ja and that In Young is slowly working to peel back that layer but I’m getting a little impatient to are more tender and understanding side to Choon Ja’s personality.
While Choon Ja is critical of her own daughter-in-laws, she’s supportive of her own daughter who is married and hopes that Cha Young Ah’s (Son Eun Seo) mother-in-law, Jang Mi Hee (Kim Bo Yeon), isn’t giving Young Ah a tough time. Now, I don’t see any positive sides to Mi Hee’s character. She’s quite possessive of her son, Kang Jun Soo (Ki Tae Young), and he and Young Ah enable her to act badly. Which includes biting Young Ah and prodding her to get her family to sign over their land so that Mi Hee can develop on it. She’s such a manipulative, for lack of a better word, biatch.
The other thing about the drama that I don’t like is the fact it is shot and edited like a daytime sitcom-slash-family drama. There are annoying camera zoom-ins made to make you feel the urgency of the episode cliffhanger or there’s overused slapstick comedy that’s not very funny because I’ve seen the same bit in K-Dramas over all these years. It feels cheesy and out-of-date. There’s also a bit parodying the Lee Tae Im/Yewon fight that left a bad taste in my mouth. The plot is pretty predictable and I’m very aware that this drama is a schedule filler until the premiere of KBS2’ next drama, which is now looking like Cheer Up, Starting Now.
Having said all of that, I’m quite taken with Da Som’s performance. I know that Go Doo Shim had concerns as Da Som is fairly a newbie to acting but I think she’s doing a great job so far. I don’t know what she would be like in a serious drama but family comedy seems to suit her very well. She’s vivacious and plucky. There are also really great moments in the drama when her character talks about fame and capturing people’s interest, whether it’s negative or positive.
And despite their age difference, Ryu Soo Young has a lot of chemistry with her. Not to mention Ryu Soo Young is hot and while I liked him in dramas, I really was taken with him when he did Real Men.
Myung Seok is so dry and boring at first but I find myself being entertained when In Young is around. At the same time, In Young can be so impetuous and immature but around him she seems logical and grounded. I know how their story will play out but I honestly can’t wait for Monday to tune into the next episode because I keep replaying the same 4 episodes that have aired already. I also can’t the main song out of my head now and hoping that the drama will release an OST soon. There have been many sleepless nights this week just because I’d wake up in the middle of night humming the tune. Aaaah.