KDRAMAGUK : Korean Drama Soup

a landing site for quick, completely biased, and totally snarky korean drama reviews


Monday, February 8, 2010

Couple or Trouble (2006)

Couple or Trouble
환상의 커플 / Fantasy Couple
(Oct – Dec 2006)

who’s in it
Han YeSeul (Will It Snow at Christmas?)
Oh JiHo (Super Rookie, Queen of Housewives, Chuno)
Kim SungMin (Queen of Housewives, On Air)
Park HanByul (Freeze)

what’s it about
Han YeSeul is beyond rolling in the money but more than that, she’s the b-word that rhymes with rich. She comes back to be with her husband in Korea after having spent an extended duration in the States. While apart, her hubby has been running a resort in a quaint seaside town and living in glorious freedom away from her tyranny. Things start to unravel when Kim SunMin deems he’s had enough of his mean wife and Han YeSeul literally falls overboard into a new life. Adapted from the Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn 80’s romp Overboard, when Han YeSeul’s personality collides with the down-to-earth and extremely fantastically sculptured Oh JiHo, sparks erupt and it isn’t very pretty. It is shovel-smacking hate at first sight. But when fate hands him the opportunity to exact revenge on the woman who has done to him some grievous wrongs, he can’t resist the temptation get back at her.

16 episodes


wildcard factor
Penned by the Hongs, a sister-sister writing duo that has a great knack for creating memorably fun characters and unpredictable situations.

after the first episode
Han YeSeul was fantastic. Oh JiHo was manly hotness. Pretty plainly win-win!

gave up

snoozer moments
None. Loved every minute of it.

Lots of rice wine guzzling! And man, I kept craving jajangmyun (black bean noodles) the whole damn time. Evil show! I totally gained some sympathy poundage watching this.

what didn’t work
The lack of Oh JiHo shirtless scenes really sucked.

what did
Han YeSeul was pitch perfect as a rich but lonely woman who spent her entire life trying to protect herself and her heart from being broken twice. Oh JiHo was the perfect specimen of manly hotness and homespun warmth, and it was somehow completely believable when his goodness started to defrost her icy shell. The key, of course, was Han YeSeul’s ability to make this uptight character sympathetic and display a level of growth within her without taking the change so far so that it became unrealistic. She was able to maintain and even turn Jo Anna’s nasty temper and blunt manner into a uniquely addictive charm. Han YeSeul was truly wonderful in this role and made the comedy come alive as we watched her rich witch character adapt to her new life. Oh JiHo’s character had less development as he started off as a good guy and ended as one, but that was his role, the hairdryer that melts the ice, and he does the job believably. Not to mention, he was so damn fine that I was sitting in a pool of my own drool most of the time.

what made me want to gouge my eyes out
The teasing by the PD…the few Oh JiHo shirtless scenes we were allowed were way too short in length. Give a girl a break and pan that camera slower!

what kept me going

The characters, the absurd but hilarious situations…the fun, the frivolity.

Other factors:
predictability No
engrish No. Han YeSeul speaks English really well.
originality Based on the U.S. flick Overboard, but more developed. I liked Overboard, but this was way better.
eye-candy Drool. Oh JiHo was too hot for even description.
hair and fashion I liked Han YeSeul’s wardrobe, rich and poor, and Oh JiHo could look good in a potato sack, although I think he’d probably look the best in his birthday suit, if you know what I mean.

is it worth trying to find?

total enjoyment factor 

total disdain factor

why this review is completely biased
I suppose my infatuation with Oh JiHo could be considered a source for bias but not in this case. Couple was a great kdrama. Everyone from the scheming husband to the cat and dog were great. Oh wait, hold on, actually Park HyunByul was a lame spot. Fortunately, she was hardly in it.

could a non-kdrama fan like this
Yes, especially someone that may have enjoyed Overboard (obviously).

I, too, have a thing for jajangmyun and rice wine and Oh JiHo so I had quite a lot in common with Han YeSeul, who was the best part of this drama. My love for Oh JiHo and his hot bod aside, Han YeSeul just owned this role. She played a strong woman who was smart, if a tad on the rude side, but one determined to control her own fate. She was not pitiful and whining or a victim, and frankly, those are the kinds of heroines that I personally never get tired of watching.


  1. Yay!!! Someone who loves Couple Trouble as much as I did!!! Oh yeah, ditto on jjajangmyun. I really appreciate that you got Jo Anna. I was sad for Han Yeseul's Spy Myungwol fiasco, since she could do no wrong after Couple Trouble. And ditto on Oh Jiho. Much love!

  2. This was a very good review. Loved this series. ;)


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