Review: Emergency Couple

Emergency-Couple_final_01

Final Thoughts on Emergency Couple

As I live watched the drama I also live squeed.  What started as a squee-fest somehow turned into a recap session for each episode.  So beware as you click on the links at the end of the article each successive one will lean more towards a recap and be less squee and just review; which means they will be very spoiler heavy.

Let me just put this out there right away… I am a huge-huge fangirl of this show.  I’ve watched it twice through now.  Not to mention having watched several scenes that melted this poor Noona heart about a bazillion times just because I can.  I happily put on my blinders throughout the entire show and loved it to bits and pieces.  Though I’ll do my best to talk about what I did like and what I didn’t.

In case you haven’t heard, the story centers around Oh Chang Min (chaebol heir to a doctor family) and Oh Jin Hee (poor working class older woman).  They marry without their families’ consent or permission.  They are blissfully in love for a short while and then they fall out of love because Emergency-Couple_final_08they stop communicating and the stress of being cast out on their own is too much… not to mention the fighting, they fight about everything.  Six years later they meet up again as Doctors and interns at the same hospital.  Hijinks ensue.  This review will be talking about story plot points that helped or degraded the story as a whole, not walking through the series of events.

The fight that ended it all and in a way started it all over again… Omo, that is one of the scenes that I have watched a ton of times.  It was amazingly comical and yet blistering in its savagery.  In that moment in time Chang Min and Jin Hee hated one another so desperately they were willing to cause physical damage to one another and their belongings.  It worked for me because it had enough comedy that it wasn’t too dark.  However, we weren’t given much evidence of why their marriage fell apart in the beginning.  It would have been nice to have their history fleshed out a bit more right from the get go.  But with the light rom-com way the show started out with, it worked well.

Emergency-Couple_final_07Throughout the first third of the show it was light, uncomplicated, hilarious, and wonderfully juxtaposed against the medical traumas they were fighting to mend in the Emergency Room.  For me that was one of the things that I really loved.  It was upbeat and energetic and such a good time.  Chang Min and Jin Hee’s bickering made my day every time.  It was just enough to make a spark in their chemistry while not making it overly evident that they had ended things so horribly.  With each episode the bickering was less harsh and more playful, and I loved it so much.  I honestly could have watched an entire show of Jin Hee and Chang Min bickering and bonding, it was just that good for me.

Now, let’s take a moment to bemoan the fact that for a third of the show we lost any trace of the rom-com that I fell in love with at the beginning.  Some very serious things happened, which had me crying and broken on the floor.  Honestly, this is the saddest show I have ever watched.  Hands down, the most melodrama show I’ve ever seen.  I avoid melodramas, I hate them with the passion of a thousand fiery suns.  I’ve endured and lived through enough travesty and sad times that when I sit down to watch a show I want to giggle and laugh and be happy.   So after one episode which made me shed a bucket of tears, I was prepared to forgive the show because I loved it so much.  But… then episode after episode after episode of sadness weighed me down.  If they had wanted to do a melodrama it should have been billed as a melodrama.  I admit that I had a fit and was angry with my love and might have yelled at the screen a time or two.

So when in the last third of the show we got out rom-com back there might have been a party here.  I can understand why the writers did what they did, but why did they need to drag it out for so long?  It was painful, the subject matter was so sad, but for me I wanted that story point to be resolved more quickly.  But then again, because of that intense melodrama there was so much character growth.  Character growth that absolutely needed to happen, and without it the show would have tanked.  But man do I dislike melodramas!

Speaking of characters, I want to spend a few moments on the cast.

Oh Jin Hee starts off in the past as a cutesy and happy girl.  The breakup ofEmergency-Couple_final_03 the marriage and the way Chang Min treated her there at the end destroyed her.  In those six years she struggled and worked to the bone to become a doctor.  When we meet her present day she’s stuck in her hate for Chang Min, stuck in the past, and afraid of herself because of the hardships that she’s endured.  For the greater part of the series she remains in this mindset, though it becomes less intense.  But it felt like she didn’t grow soon enough.  Granted, she nearly became less than human because of the emotional torment she lived through and that would be really hard to overcome.  But for the sake of the story I wanted to see movement in her views of her past, her abilities, and love sooner.  Regardless of that I adored her as a lead.  She had spunk when the moment called for it, she was smart, she was sweet, and she was just fun to watch.

Emergency-Couple_final_02When we meet Chang Min he’s good natured and happy.  Then he turns spiteful and somewhat hateful towards the end of the marriage.  In present day he is the epitome of a chaebol.  He’s snarky, arrogant, stuck up… you get the picture.  As things progress and grow stagnant with Jin Hee at the hospital Chang Min does a lot of evolving as a man and character.  It was really great.  Then the melodrama hit and all we saw was Chang Min with a beleaguered and depressed expression for a great many episodes.  Finally through he found himself again and found the right path for himself.  Let me just say his smile… Omo… his smile is something that makes my day brighter.  By the end of the show he was a well-rounded guy and I loved him so much.

Dr. Gook… oh Dr. Gook!  Adorable, awkward, devilishly handsome, and all Emergency-Couple_final_04I wanted to do was snuggle him and pinch his cheeks.  He’s gruff and scruffy and stuck in his ways.  Those ways are less than open minded and a little harsh.  As a second male lead he was amazing!  Dr. Gook was the perfect balance to Chang Min.  Throughout the story I really flip-flopped so many times between wanting Jin Hee ending up with Dr. Gook or Chang Min.  He was that good.  But, he was also unforgiving in a lot of things and did not grow as a character until the very end of the show.  That was frustrating.  There were plenty of places for him to discover himself and evolve and yet it all seemed to happen for him at the very end.

Emergency-Couple_final_05There are few strong women in K-Dramas and even fewer who are strong outside of a tough girl role.  Dr. Shim is probably in my top three favorite female K-Drama characters.  I absolutely adore her.  She was a single mother who proudly spoke of her daughter and her single motherhood despite the stigma that placed on her.  She loved who she was, enjoyed her work, and was damn good at her job.  Dr. Shim loved Dr. Gook, and at first I was in awe of that love.  She openly welcomed his crush on Jin Hee and even encouraged them both to date.  But, as time wore on it became a love of noble selflessness, the kind that drives me crazy.  I wanted her to stop putting Dr. Gook first and put herself first.  Beyond that, she was utterly amazing!

There was more than one love triangle in the show.  Oh Jin Hee and ChangEmergency-Couple_final_06 Min with their on/off/on relationship.  Jin Hee and Dr. Gook were attracted.  Dr. Shim was in love with Dr. Gook and he still  harbored feelings for her.  Then bring in Ah Reum, she was beginning to fall in love with Chang Min.  She wasn’t my least favorite of all second lead females, but she was right up there with characters that I truly do not like.  It wasn’t that she was necessarily that Ah Reum was a bad person, but she was inconsistently written.  At first she was going to fight for Chang Min, but when she sees Chang Min head over heels back in love… she gives up and supports the divorced couple.  Not only that, seemingly out of nowhere begins to fall in love with Yong Kyu who she summarily dismissed early on as not her type, ever.  I just could not invest in her character.

Speaking of Yong Kyu, Omo he was just the most adorable cutie-pie ever!!!  Seriously every time he was on the screen it was like watching puppies and kittens frolic on a rainbow.  Ok, so I’m exaggerating and getting a little crazy, but I cannot even accurately describe how happy his character made me.  Though his story felt off at the end, but I think he was just the most loveable drama characters of all time.  I wish that we would have seen more of his story, I wanted him to be a little more fleshed out.

Even with the flaws and some story aspects that I didn’t like, I loved-loved-loved this show.  As if having Choi Jin Hyuk as the lead wasn’t enough, it was also a Noona Romance!!!  I mean come on, this show was tailor made for me!

Episode 1 & 2 Episode 3 & 4 Episode 5 & 6
 Episode 7  Episode 8  Episode 9
 Episode 10  Episode 11  Episode 12
 Episode 13  Episode 14  Episode 15
 Episode 16  Episode 17  Episode 18
 Episode 19  Episode 20  Episode 21

Noona’s Rating

Overall: 9 (I rated this 5 stars on DramaFever.com)

Story/Writing: 9

Cast/Actors: 9

OST: 8

Sets/Costumes: 9

Feels: 10


The Noona Meter

The Noona Romance is close to my heart, most of you who know me in the blogverse and dramaland know.  With the help of friends I’ve created The Noona Meter.  A rating system that focuses only on the Noona Romance within the show.  To see what each category means take a peek at this article.

The Noona’s Noona Meter

Overall = 7.8

Emphasis on the Noona Romance being a Forbidden Love = 5

Importance of the Noona/Dongsaeng Age Difference = 9

Dongsaeng’s Persistent Puppy Love = 9

Noona’s Resistance to the Puppy Love = 8

Noona and Dongsaeng’s Relationship =9

Noona is Consistently Strong = 7

 

3 thoughts on “Review: Emergency Couple

  1. Word.

    Should I say more? ㅋㅋㅋ While the writing often drove me up the wall for it’s complete inconsistency (of which you mentioned some really great examples) and I think just overall character development pacing etc. I still enjoyed the show immensely. I LOVED Dr. Shim and of course I love Song Ji Hyo and Choi Jin Hyuk, so yeah, I really enjoyed the drama. And Dr. Gook, I ADORE Lee Pil Mo so much!!!! Ah!!!!!! He’s just so lovely. And baby Gook!!!

    Overall, the script probably needed re-drafting and plenty of editing, but it wasn’t half so bad as I was afraid it might be ^^

    Thanks for the great review!!! ❤

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  2. I like this line – “I happily put on my blinders throughout the entire show and loved it to bits and pieces.” It’s that kind of show, right? Like, there are a lot of things that you can pick holes in, but it’s easier, and preferable, to just ignore those things and embrace the good and the cute, which is exactly what I did too.
    I never flip flopped between the two men, I was always very much on Changmin’s ship. I liked Gook, especially early on in the series when Changmin was being a douche, but i never wanted him to be with her. He was with second lead girl, and that was very much how it should have been.

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  3. I enjoyed reading your thoughts and I was a lot like you in that I wanted to love it so much I was able to overlook the obvious pacing flaws. I think the worst pacing was definitely with the Chief, he should have moved away from mooning after JH and toward Ji Hye much sooner then he did and then to have the drama show him witnessing CM kissing JH (episode 20) made that scene almost painful when it should have been a joyous, loving reunion moment for the OTP.
    I loved CM and I felt he grew far more as a character then JH did, it was painful to watch (just like you said) but he ended up becoming a man worthy of a new start at the end. JH seemed to grow a bit more in the 6 years prior to the drama, but her movement was slow and at times frustrating for me to watch. The PD and writer seemed to drag out the love triangle and not show us her thoughts far longer then it should have.
    The main thing that saved this drama for me was the chemistry of the cast, especially CM and JH, I could watch them fight, bicker, tease one another all day long, they are so cute together. Choi Jin Hyuk, I am so in love with the man…he is so adorbs as a leading man, it is too bad he will be going into the military after one more role, a second lead one, Fated To Love You, Korean remake of the TW version.
    EC is definitely one of my favorite dramas of all time. It is one I will be able watch over again and again.

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