Loose Impressions on Reel to Real Kvariety, We Got Married: Global Edition.

I know I promised an overall review of That Winter, The Wind Blows – in due time, I promise… because (looks around, guilty) that three episodes haven’t budged… – and I’m currently loving my Wednesday nights because it means I do a two-hour weekly marathon on a specific show (because the 24-hour lull between each episode would otherwise immobilize my rational, functional self every Wednesday), but right now I’d like to take a moment to highlight another Kvariety show. It’s not so much trying to pimp it as I did the last one, rather it’s because I realized that my mind doesn’t turn off when watching this one. Hence, here’s a pseudo-impression of We Got Married: Global Edition.

We Got Married: Global Edition
We Got Married: Global Edition
photo credits to: http://nyonyapanda.blogspot.com/2013/04/130426-mbc-we-got-married-global.html

It’s an oldie Kvariety that I think plenty are familiar with, which has an interesting concept albeit a little bit strange. It’s basically pairing of two celebrities – they may be actors, singers, comedians or whatever and the couples typically do not have the same professions – into this virtual, scripted marriage and having them play house and going through the stages of developing a relationship/marriage by doing couple activities and such. I say strange because it’s scripted, and as viewers we’re all aware of this fact too, but because they’re still being themselves ergo not playing characters of some sort, the real fun really lies in trying to distinguish reel from real. My general take is that the chemistry, when palpable, is real – it’s whether or not Stuff Really Happens once cameras aren’t rolling, you know what I mean?

To be honest, I’d jumped on this show for a short while sometime in 2011 when I found myself a little bit obsessed over a particular pairing – the pairings after this one never interested me as much (and frankly, as much as I love Kang Sora during her stint, having to sit through watching Leeteuk and his obvious popularity-obsession is a serious test of patience) that I stopped being a regular watcher… until this slightly new take appeared.

We Got Married: Global Edition is basically a social experiment if I may call it that, in pairing a Korean celebrity with someone’s who not. They’d coined it international and I get why, but let’s be honest here – it’s really Asian-wide, as the pairings have revealed themselves to be:

  • Idol-singer/actor Taecyeon of 2PM and Chinese actress Gui Gui (or Emma Wu)
  • Idol-singer/actor Lee Hongki of FT Island and Japanese actress Fujii Mina

Shall we jump right in to my impressions of them?

Pairing #1: Taecyeon and Gui Gui

2PM's Taecyeon and Gui Gui
2PM’s Taecyeon and Gui Gui

I’ll be honest and admit that their scenes are so cringe-worthy that I typically end up skipping them, for the most part. I don’t know how much is scripted, i.e. did he really not know his pairing prior to signing up for the show? In the first two episodes, they were rather cute in getting to know each other, despite the obvious language barrier, but I think here’s a genuine case of incompatibility, as well as inflexibility to let loose.

I’ve only known about Taecyeon through the dramas I’d watch which he’d starred in and the occasional run-ins with 2PM through their MVs and performances. What little I see of him through these mediums, he seems to be a real dorky fun guy, but one who’s still clearly aware that he has An Image to Maintain. Therefore, what I mean by inflexibility is in my opinion, his refusal to play-along and act all cutesy and stuff – it’s out of his element, perhaps even as a person in Real Life and I get that. I’m an incredibly private person (okay, I think so) as well who personally find it such a challenge to do things out of my element – like dancing, for instance, people do NOT just pull me to any dance floor – that I can only imagine what it must feel like, having to do acts like these on-camera.

Having said the above though, while I empathize with him, this doesn’t make for… entertaining variety show material, you know? It’s not… exciting, scandalous or squeeworthy and it’s especially awkward when the other party is either clueless because of the cultural/language differences or clearly trying very hard herself, both of which I think she portrays from time to time.

I’ve read through some comments at DramaFever (where I’m watching this show, hence I’m up to episode 5 now) and the general consensus seems to be one of these, or all of ’em:

  1. Taec and Gui Gui are exhibiting more daddy-daughter relationship dynamics
  2. Gui Gui is too childish, either good naturally or clearly taking up a role but refusing to be serious
  3. Taec is such an American-cultured douche

Yes I know, I feel ya – generalizations can be such a crime, indeed, especially where (3) is concerned. I can’t speak for all the guys in America because oh hell, it’s too large a continent and too diverse to even try to generalize and I get what they mean by that, but come on… I don’t think he’s being a dick, but he is in my opinion, clearly not interested in her nor this relationship and therefore, is trying very hard to hold it in. For instance, when she tried calling him yeobo (darling for married couple) and he said he didn’t like it because it felt like they’re an old married couple, plus this whole “It will suddenly feel real, and I don’t like it.” Uhm, is that a public confession that it’s not working for ya? Cos that’s how I’m reading it.

I agree that there are moments where Taec borderlines douche, for instance when he talks about her not knowing his friends – that they’re Korean celebrities, but she unfortunately had no idea who they were thus awkwardness again (he sounded like he was blaming her) – or when she broke the robot toy (but one in which I can understand, because I think I will be pissed too). Like I said, I think it all comes down to refusing to play along but I won’t be so quick to call him on this because while I understand his reluctance, I’m equally aware that he is an entertainer and this show’s premise basically calls for him to act this way, like it or not. So his unwillingness is… something I’m not sure what to interpret as.

As for my own opinions about points 1 and 2, personally they never crossed my mind. Gui Gui‘s definitely very playful, that I think so too, but honestly I think most of the time she does that because she’s trying to deflect the awkwardness. She seems like a real fun sweetheart, but there’s an obvious threshold which must be overcome between them, or rather sort of stands in their way, this cultural difference. I think she’s trying her best, though I agree that her grasp of English is obviously more limited than his, thus sometimes I think she perhaps thinks or feels it’s easier to try to get across through humor, successful or not, or play-acting cuteness. I can’t say the charm’s working on him, which is all the more reason I cringe when they’re on my screen; it’s like third-person embarrassment and ack, it’s basically just downright awkward.

But in hindsight – there seems to be a fair-balanced number of people – based upon comments across the web – that enjoy their awkwardness and dynamics. So hey, maybe I’m just not feeling their supposed budding romance vibe…

Pairing #2: Lee Hongki and Fujii Mina

FT Island's Lee Hongki & Fujii Mina
FT Island’s Lee Hongki & Fujii Mina

OMG, hello gorgeous!

Truth is, I’d actually checked out this show for Taec‘s pairing, having seen pictures at Koala’s blog and had honestly skip this pairing … until somehow, I ended up at their scenes in episode 4 and thought sparks were positively flying… cue backtracking to the first three episodes. Then this weekend, I came across the photo above from their bridal photo shoots and homg, that picture above completely undid me.

I am all about the chemistry onscreen and just as my chemistry-dar perked when I watched Kim Won Joon and Park So Hyun back then, I’m having another one of those reel-to-real blurred emotions about this couple. First and foremost, I’ll definitely agree that Hongki‘s very lucky that yes his leading lady is Japanese, but she’s also multilingual, specifically able to converse fluently in Korean so language is less of an issue between them. Second, I’d watched her appearance in Strong Heart sometime last year and I can ascertain that she’s obviously greatly interested in the Korean culture and trying to immerse herself in it – thus she’s obviously by default more familiar with not only Korean culture, but also the Korean entertainment scene. Thus, because she’s up-to-stat on the local scene as opposed to Gui Gui and since FT Island promotes actively in Japan too, it’s obviously much easier for them to find common grounds and talk about the entertainment scenes in their respective countries, of which they’re part of.

There’s also the fact that indeed it all boils down to personality – that willingness and playfulness, especially in a show that’s full of cheesy scenarios such as this one. Both are obviously game to play along, thus they’re taking baby steps forward together you know what I mean? So it’s cute, rather than awkward, because one side isn’t obviously trying too hard. I don’t follow FT Island’s music at all and my one and only glimpse of Lee Hongki was his stint in 2009’s You’re Beautiful so in other words, I’ve no idea what kind of persona he typically shows on or off screen. I’ll just say right off the bat – and I’m prepared for the lashing, if they come from his fans, ha – that this supposed fashionista that he is though… wait WHUT? Half the time I’m mentally screaming, aghast, WHAT ARE YOU WEARING HONGKI??! And those nail arts! I don’t know, I can’t speak for all girls in this world, but I don’t know how cool I’d be about dating a guy who takes his nail arts to be Serious Business. Seriously.

But that’s a minor quibble, moving along now…

As for Mina, is it just me or she’s just such a natural sweetheart? I don’t girl-crush often but oh damn girl, you’re so sweet and nice and clearly making an effort here that I can’t even… so proud, that’s what. She seems to not only be open to whatever she’s supposed to agree to in terms of this show (but okay face it, if Hongki‘s part of the deal I think even I’d give in somewhat too…), but she also seems to be open and willing to accept Hongki and his say, rad fashion senses. I like her, she seems really genuine.

But having said all that… their chemistry? Ahhh, my chemistry-dar is perking up like crazy, I swear. I don’t know if it’s anything beyond infatuation frankly, but they seem to genuinely be interested in each other and are taking really small but sincere steps forward in getting to know each other. Again, as I’ve attested plenty times – I don’t know how much is reel versus real when it comes to this show but I don’t think body language lies and thus, I’ll conclude that this two seems to be headed in a most promising direction.

In a Nutshell – Early Verdicts

Taec-Gui Gui 0, Hongki-Mina 1.

Sorry Taec-Gui Gui fans, but I think they’re a miss and you may disagree, but more and more I really think that Taec himself can’t wait for his stint in this show to end. As for Mina and Hongki though – aw, bring on the budding love, scripted or not be damned!

Disclaimer: Both photos are credited to allkpop!
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24 thoughts on “Loose Impressions on Reel to Real Kvariety, We Got Married: Global Edition.

  1. Actually I started watching for Taec x Gui Gui but I realized that Mina & Hongki have really insane chemistry. O_O

    For Taec x Gui Gui, I think they are just interesting to watch because of the large language barrier. Plus they are opposites. Gui Gui is really the spirit of the couple, she is trying so hard. I agree with you, I think she is trying to overcome the awkwardness with her jokes and funny antics.

    1. Haha you and me both, started off cos of pairing 1 and ended up staying on for hongki and Mina! Insane chemistry right? OMG I so wasn’t over thinking that then hahahaha

  2. Yup yup and more yup.

    My mom and I have been watching this together now. We had a ‘what if’ moment… If the couples had been switched, and Hongki had been the one paired with Gui Gui… She said to me, ‘I bet Hongki would have to guard his shoe collection from her..’ LOL

    I ship Hongki and Mina so bad I want to just cry buckets of tears wishing it will be real. When he wrote out that cute little note asking her to marry him in the dress viewing room… Almost lost it for good. Waaaaah!!! Why is this just for TV!!!?!!!

    1. I just read that FT Island will be releasing an album or something in Japan. First thought: OMG they can be together. Hahahaha. I’m (ludicrously) believing that Things Are Happening even when cameras aren’t rolling haha :p

    2. Rosieeeee you neeeeeed to watch the latest episode!! OMG that backhug scene and then on the sofa together. OMG SO CUTE SQUEEEEEEE.

      (okay ahem)

      1. Oh dear… I haven’t seen it yet. I’ll make it my priority soon as I get off work… I’m scared. Will I need a pillow to stifle all my squeals??? !?

          1. …………..
            I think I just died… I literally cried during their photo shoot this ep. And when YongHwa said he should date her for real, and hong ki’s phone calls on the sofa, and his singing to her. I LOVE that song. I can’t believe how perfect it was. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I can’t handle it!!!!!!!!!!

            1. I FEEL YOUUUU!!! I literally died at the almost-nuzzling going on during the photo shoot, the one where he had to back hug her and then again on the boat. OMG they need to date for real, our shippy hearts can’t take it wahhhhh

              PS how cute were they, his phone calls to YongHwa and JGS OMG seriously too adorable o.o

  3. I am sold by Mina Hongki pairing. Their apparent chemistry and natural skinship were about to burn my Laptop screen. Does anyone find Hongki’s massaging Mina’s neck and shoulders very sensual? Haha i mean he kept rubbing her neck and shoulders.
    Mina is seriously drop dread goegeous with very attractive personality too. Her smile is just….so meltingy heart. The dimples… Am i having a girl crush?

    I tried to watch Taec and Gui but ended up looking away on some scenes due to the awkwardness in their interaction. The way Taec spoke to her, enunciate the words, feel like he is talking to a 3 yr old. Frankly he doesnt seem to be into Gui that much. Just like taec’s idol friend said “Emma likes Taec more than he likes her because she tried so hard to make him jealous”. She indeed tried too hard that it came across as desperate for attention. But I applaud her for trying to break their cultural barrier by making their interaction entertaining.

  4. Oh don’t miss out on the making of videos. They are gems. Hongki mina chemistry can be seen on and off screen. Sweeett

    1. Hi Apple, sorry for the late reply. It’s been such a crazy week in Real Life! Anyway, I totally hear ya – I’m watching solely for the Hongki-Mina couple now, Mina is suchhhh an awesomesauce girl haha. I girl crush on her too, trust me so you’re totally not alone!

      I admit to lately watch Taec-Gui in full despite their scenes being so cringeworthy-awkward! It’s still totally like he’s talking to a 3 years old and I’m soooo bothered by that, despite really trying not to. I like her though personally, I think she’s actually a real sweetheart but this language barrier thing is unfortunately not in her favor, I think. Are the making vids really worth watching? Or will it turn me off that everything’s indeed 100% scripted? O_O I hope not! Haha.

      I’ll try to check ’em out when I can, thanks for the tip though :D

  5. Hmmm…. I dont know why but Hongki and Mina just doesn’t do it for me, they make a beautiful couple though… Taecyeon and Guigui, I would go so far as to say, he seems to be enjoying himself more now. He treats her a little different during the last 2 episodes, and was even trying a little too hard on the last part of ep 8 to make her laugh. I dunno.

    1. Hey Nicole, I checked out episode 8 the other day and thought they’re definitely improving ..but I still find them so awkward together. Cute, but it’s like he’s mothering her around sort of feeling, as opposed to being a boyfriend. I did think he let loose a bit more in Jeju, but I do think it’s also cos they’re (kinda) far and away, so it’s that relaxed feeling one gets when one’s on vacation? He seems to really enjoy taking photos though haha. I’m now watching both couples (not skipping any scenes of anyone lately aha) – If Taec-Gui improves (or so I think), I’ll come up with another loose impression to be fair to them!

  6. Taec-gui definitely is my favourite :))
    Taec just seems so so sincere during his proposal, surprising Gui Gui in all possible ways he could. The letter was way longer than what was aired to us though. <3
    And Taec does seem to enjoy himself a lot more now…. loosen up more, and I love it wwhen his eyes shine when laughing with Gui Gui/ looking at her. HAHAHA.

    I shall watch Hongki-Mina soon when Ive the time!

    1. Ack I’m really sorry I missed your comment and therefore didn’t reply (until now, so horrible of me!). If you’re still reading this… Love all the things you pointed out – I may not agree, but it’s always nice to hear Taec-Gui Gui couple getting some love where I’m sorely holding back mine towards them. Hope you’ve watched the Hongki-Mina couple though! Together they’re just too cute for words haha.

  7. I know that it’s been a while since the show ended, but I’d like to hear your thoughts again or give an update since . thank you

    1. Hi Suzie! Thanks so much for writing in and requesting for a write-up, means a lot that someone’s invested and interested to hear my thoughts about something haha. At this point though, I’m not sure if there’s anything more that I want to say about the show, but have you read my second loose impression? I’d covered up to episode 11 and it can be found here:

      https://blogphilic.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/second-loose-impressions-on-we-got-married-global-edition/

      (or click the pingback link above your comment!)

      If I’ve any residual thoughts I can think of (or if I’ve the time to watch 13 & 14, which I’d actually skipped and went straight to 15) I might just attempt to write a final “review” but nothing concrete right now, sorry! I’m on a slight August hiatus so I dare not promise anything. Thanks again though for dropping in :)

      1. I didn’t notice that you wrote the second loose impression on WGM global. Off I go to read your next installment. Thanks

  8. I must confess i was initially drawn by taecgui couple but after episode 3 i got tired of the daddy-daughter kinda relationship decided to loosen more to second couple. Hongmina got me right on my groat, my eyes sparkled and my heart starts to whimp until i died and ressurrated in episode 5 as they were trying-out a wedding outfit. Mina’s Athena look in wedding gown and Hong ki’s expression upon seeing Mina, to his “will you marry me” tablet. The photo shoot which makes his heart beat a lot faster than normal. The piano gift which swept him off his feet. The vows of love written from a genuine intention on their wedding ceremony to the honeymoon beach begging his fans “please let us love eachother”

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