Mary Stayed Out All Night, episodes 1 to 4
Apologies for the inactivity. Life is very all-consuming right now.
I feel like most people who I’ve talked to, when they’re busy and they watch a drama, it’s easier to enjoy it because watching a drama is obviously a source of entertainment and it’s serves as a way to escape temporarily. But I feel like for me, when I’m busy and cranky and exhausted and I have some downtime to relax in front of the computer and I watch a drama, it’s even easier for me to dislike one because I don’t try to make excuses for it, nor do I try too much to reason out why a drama is this way.
Maybe I’m just cranky because this is not turning out the way I want it to, but “Mary” is not working out for me. I am not enjoying any part of this, despite Kim Jae-wook’s overwhelming hotness.
I feel like this is the kind of drama “norm” for Jang Geun-seok — light and funny romantic comedies — but completely a step back for Moon Geun-young and Kim Jae-wook. It’s good that they get to show they have a range in their acting, but their characters are driving me up the wall, and neither one of them so far has allowed the actors to give a more nuanced and subtle performance, which is my biggest problem.
(And just as an aside, I’m not doing caps for this series. Recaps are not my thing, I’ve learned. As someone on my Formspring so nicely coined it for me, I do opinioncaps. And I will probably do opinioncaps til the end of time, so no turn-by-turn episode recaps from me!)
I have to admit that most of the time, how much I like a character really depends on whether or not a character has the traits that I admire and look for in my own friends, or traits I wish I possessed myself. That might not be separating a story from real life and I know a lot of film/TV people would find that kind of analysis problematic because you’re projecting certain things onto the story and then the stories and characters are not their own entities, not free from bias.
On the other hand, isn’t it only natural you analyze the people in stories the way you would to others in real life?
So my problem with Moon Geun-young’s Wi Mae-ri is that I — to put it bluntly — can’t fucking stand people like her.
How much I’m liking Wi Mae-ri is completely separate from how good I think Moon Geun-young is at acting, because there is no need to talk about Moon Geun-young is, because it’s a given that she’s fucking good.
Maybe I will differ from many on this, but I don’t like people who are whimsical, silly, unaware, exaggerated, unsure, shrill. And then in contrast, I do like awareness and decisiveness.
And Wi Mae-ri fits to a T all the traits I don’t like in people. I hate the way she talks, I hate the way she presents herself, I hate the way she interacts with people. Every time she talks to Moo-kyul in an attempt to drive Jung-in out of the picture I just want to punch the living daylights out of something.
This doesn’t mean that I think she’s a bad person or a weak person, I just find it really, really, really hard to connect with her and that makes up a HUGE part of why I don’t like Mae-ri.
The only time I did like Mae-ri, for a split second, was when she spoke up against Seo-joon’s manager for speaking to her in banmal, and telling Seo-joon straight to her face that she misunderstood the incident in the bathroom. I’m a little confused as to how that version of Mae-ri even exists when the Mae-ri from all the other times is such a caricature of the whimsical boho.
For Kim Jae-wook, most of my reservation came from the fact that he’s playing a chaebol again after having just played one a couple of months ago, but that’s really no longer a problem only because there’s the more pressing issue of why he’s so boring and flat as a character. Maybe it’s still too early to tell — and it really shouldn’t be because we’re already 4 hours into this story — but he doesn’t feel like he has much of a personality. He’s such a sluggish character right now that I can’t even work myself up to imagine how there can be conflict between him and Jang Geun-seok’s Moo-kyul. They would only be rivals on a superficial sense, where Moo-kyul’s free-spirited ways clash with Jung-in’s business-like approaches and that’s really uninteresting to me.
And then aside from that, I find this whole story to be kind of ridiculous right now, and like I said before, when I’m grumpy I don’t try to justify the ridiculousness. I’m just gonna let it rip:
- The circumstances under which Mae-ri met Moo-kyul are ridiculous. What’s even more ridiculous is why she continued to follow him, and the way she acted as she did follow him.
- The two marriage contracts. This is so stupid and they don’t even try to make it look not stupid.
- Jang Geun-seok pretending to be a rock star. I love JGS with a good portion of my heart but he always came off as really poserish whenever he tried to act like he was a musician, and he’s done it so many times now I’m afraid he really thinks of himself as a musician. Boy, you are not.
- How Mae-ri is styled turns me off SO badly. I just wanna rip off all her extensions and straight that friggin’ poof.
- Jung-in and Mae-ri being childhood friends and both of them not remembering…til a photograph resurfaces…with Japanese written on it…which translates to one of the cheesiest and most cliched things you can write on a photograph in an Asian drama… I just can’t. I feel like I need some kind of gif to represent my emotions right now.
So…verdict on this one ain’t great. But I’m going to stick with it for a while to see how it goes because I DO really love this cast, and these actors/actresses don’t seem to come around too often in these drama parts (minus Jang), so I should stick with it.