The messiest makjang that somehow doesn’t really have any substantial drama is back and we start episode 1 of Love ft. Marriage and Divorce Season 3 with Song Won going into labour. She’s breathing heavily, prompting Moon-Ho and Ye-Jung to grab her hospital bag and prepare to take her downtown.
Of course, Sa-Hyun is there to greet them and he scoops her up, preparing to go. Only, Moon-ho gets stomach cramps so he says behind at home.
Right in the middle of Won being driven to hospital, we get a flashback of Sa-Hyun and Won undressing one another because…yeah why not I guess?
Meanwhile, Pi-Young is horrified to learn that Ji-A is being dropped off at Yu-Shin’s place. Of course, A-Mi is there too and it all ends in disaster… but actually it doesn’t because that was all a vision. Yep, we’re back to fake-out flashbacks again.
Dong-mi is still lurking about but with a brand new actress now taking her role. There’s also a new actor playing Yu-Shin too, completely unsettling the balance and chemistry that was in this family, but we’ll talk about this in more detail later on.
Meanwhile, Hye-Ryung receives a call from the parking lot – someone has smashed into her car. She heads off to get it fixed while Si-Eun drowns her sorrows in alcohol. Eventually she heads home, paying the bill herself and not waiting for Seo Ban to return to their table. On her way home, she leaves a message for Hae-Ryun, essentially telling him to move on with his life.
At the same time, Ga-Bin prepares for her marriage but she’s not exactly thrilled with the idea. Dong-Ma doesn’t get the hint though.
Another character who doesn’t get the hint is Dong-Mi, who ends up butting heads with Pi-Young when the latter heads home. They both fall out over Ji-A, with Dong-Mi clearly scheming and Pi-Young well aware of what she’s trying to do. “Be nicer,” Pi-Young pleads with her, but Dong-Mi goes on a big old rant, claiming she’s always been here for the family.
The thing is, she’s uncomfortably close to Yu-Shin and given Pi-Young knows that she was apparently his first love, there’s a lot of back and forth sparring here. Eventually Pi-Young has the last laugh, comparing her to A-mi and how the duo are similar. Dong-Mi takes serious offence to this and slaps her across the face, calling her a wench.
Yu-Shin and A-Mi return just in time, right after Pi-young smashes a vase on the floor. The argument continues though, with Dong-Mi instead turning this around and claiming she’s the victim and that Pi-Young charged in to confront her.
Dong-Mi continues to play the pity party but as Pi-Young looks set to leave, Yu-Shin calls out the divorce and wonders just why she’s doing this if she’s so chummy with Ji-A.
Meanwhile, Seo-Ban speaks to Si-Eun on the phone and encourages her to meet him again for food. Together, he hands over some medicine to clear her head and starts talking about her divorce.
Si-Eun admits that the kids aren’t taking it well, while Seo Ban questions whether she’s still in love with her ex or not. Si-Eun vehemently declines to even think about getting back with him.
After eating, Seo-Ban admits that Si-Eun always seems cold and distant. After handing over his coat for her, right off the back of her sneezing, she encourages him to speak casually. However, Hyang-Ki shows up, prompting her to hurriedly hand back her coat and part ways. Hyang-Ki is excited, believing her mother has still got it and teasing her about the new man in her life.
However, in the middle of the night Si-Eun receives a call from Hae-Ryun who needs acupuncture. Why? Well, apparently half his face is paralyzed. While she sighs heavily, we cut across to Ji-A, who’s awoken in the middle of the night by Ki-Rim singing karaoke in the living room. Yep, the ghost is still there for some reason! At least he’s not being pervy this time. Anyway, Pi-Young can’t hear it and encourages her daughter to go back to sleep, this time sharing a bed with her.
Meanwhile, Song Won prepares to give birth, with Sa-Hyun there to make sure she’s okay. After leaving the room, the baby is born and Won delivers a healthy baby boy.
The Episode Review
Love ft. Marriage and Divorce returns with new characters, new drama and even newer lows. I’ll start with the positives before diving into the issues with this show though.
To begin with, the first episode wastes absolutely no time getting to the heart of the drama. There’s a pretty good pacing here, with a lot of the dramatic moments occurring between Dong-Mi and Pi-Young, with Won’s hospital trip helping to tie everything together.
Unfortunately all of this good work is undermined by the decision to recast three of the main group. After 2 seasons of chemistry and work, all of that is out the window with new cast members that don’t have the same allure on-screen.
I appreciate that it’s not easy to slip into a role made for someone else but the acting is so jarring that it’s hard to take these scenes seriously.
The most notable is that involving Dong-Mi, who was the only person here who actually managed to instill a good deal of drama into the show. With her re-cast along with her son, Yu-Shin, the entire family dynamic is completely whack and it feels disconnected to what we’ve been accustomed to.
Of course, anyone who has made it this far will likely carry on with this show and see how the story develops. However, it’s clear that the initial hostility and anger from the wives and their mistresses is long gone. Instead, there’s a directionless soap opera that just feels like it’s here to eat up the run-time.
However, with Won’s baby now born, there’s plenty of opportunity for this one to pick up and slip into a new style of drama. Will the new actors manage to keep up though?