Episode 1 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 9 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 10 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 11 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 12 -| Review Score – 3/5
Welcome to Wedding Hell is the latest of KakaoTV’s original K-drama offerings. As with many of its predecessors, it has a low episode count (12) with each episode clocking in around the 37-minute mark, which in theory, should have made it perfect for a short and sweet binge-watch.
Of course, theory doesn’t always translate into practice and Welcome to Wedding Hell is mostly unremarkable, and at times, even formulaic to the point of frustration.
The premise is simple: Can the lead couple, Na-eun (Lee Yeon-hee) and Jun-hyeong (Lee Jin-wook), keep their untested relationship from falling apart as the trials and tribulations of their wedding preparations roll in?
The drama introduces these two naïve lovebirds with a proposal that almost goes terribly askew. And it’s a lot of fun. At first, Welcome to Wedding Hell doesn’t appear to take itself seriously, and if you’re a little concerned about how these two adult humans have made it through the world thus far, you still root for them anyway.
The episodes lose some of this playfulness – the glue keeping them together – as a formula that sees overblown arguments end with shallow, one-sided apologies is mercilessly applied to episode after episode. Without a strong enough anchor already established for the romance, this can make it easy for audiences to lose sight of why this couple should stay together in the wake of such toxicity.
To its own credit, the drama does attempt to break this pattern and take us over the peak of a crucial relationship turning point, but the lack of nuance or care applied here tends to undermine the effort. Na-eun and Jun-hyeong experience little significant character growth, and their relationship dynamic does not mature towards an entirely satisfying conclusion. The saving grace here is that, when times are good and if you put your blinkers up to any unresolved communication issues, they are endearing together.
The secondary cast of characters consists almost exclusively of the couple’s parents and friends. These characters are flat enough that some pass for life-sized cutouts, afforded virtually no chances to exist outside of mending Na-eun and Jun-hyeong’s issues. A highlight does emerge in the budding relationship between their friends Hui-seon and Min-woo, who are offbeat in their own separate ways and a lot of ridiculous fun when together.
Kim Mi-kyung as Na-eun’s mother is, however, criminally underused. A veteran in the K-drama world, she’s given little screen time and a non-existent character arc. Even so, she’s a balm when she does come to the fore and her relationship with Jun-hyeong’s mother manages to be amusing and then later sincere.
Overall, this is the standard of production that I would expect to find in a decent web drama on YouTube. Perhaps this drama might have benefitted from a similar 10–12-minute episode runtime and more mature writing. That being said, if you’re looking for some low-stakes fluff, Welcome to Wedding Hell has you covered.
Drama Rating - 5.5/10