Drama Reviews

[REVIEW] Marry Me or Not

Title: 必娶女人 Marry Me, or Not?
Episodes: 15
Region: Taiwan
Broadcast Period: November 1, 2015 – February 7, 2016
Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3/5

Summary:
Cai Huan Zhen and Hao Sheng Nan were best friends in college until a misunderstanding involving Sheng Nan’s crush, Jiang Qian Yao, turned them into enemies. Ten years later, they are rivals in the tourism industry, and they’re still constantly trying to one-up each other. During a reunion gathering, Hao Sheng Nan introduces her brother Hao Meng as her boyfriend because she didn’t want to “lose” to Huan Zhen, who was recently engaged. When Sheng Nan ruins Huan Zhen’s wedding, Huan Zhen retaliates by trying to steal Sheng Nan’s “boyfriend.” Things get complicated when Hao Meng and Huan Zhen fall in love.

Overall Thoughts:

This drama caught my eye because of its clever title and strong cast. The title in Chinese 必娶女人 directly translates to “A Woman Whom [You/I] Must Marry” but 必娶 (must marry) sounds like “Bitch.” This is a very well-written drama, and if you understand Chinese, you’ll be able to appreciate all the little nuances and word play.

I went in thinking it would be a light and cute romantic comedy, but unfortunately, it wasn’t. All of the main characters weren’t very likable, so it was hard for me to love this drama. In the beginning, it was funny and light-hearted. I enjoyed watching Huan Zhen and Sheng Nan compete in a childish manner. I was hoping the drama would keep the same light tone throughout, but it turned darker when Huan Zhen and Hao Meng fell in love and when Qian Yao entered the story. In the middle and end, the way Huan Zhen and Hao Meng’s pride kept them from being a loving couple was annoying. If it weren’t for Roy Chiu and Alice Ke’s chemistry, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to finish watching this drama.

SPOILER WARNING
Thoughts on Characters:

Alice Ke as Cai Huan Zhen

The titular “woman whom [you/I] must marry” and “bitch.” She may seem tough and competitive, but she’s actually very vulnerable and just wants to be loved. She is very prideful and it’s extremely hard for her to let go of her pride. She is a perfectionist and always has to win – she’ll use whatever means necessary. And the worst part of her personality is that she would rather have others misunderstand her than explain herself.

But if it weren’t for her pride, there wouldn’t be a drama. She would’ve cleared up Sheng Nan’s misunderstanding and prevented a 10-year long war between the two of them. She would’ve told Hao Meng she loved him early on and avoided all the tears, confusion, and angst regarding their relationship.

Roy Chiu as Hao Meng

Hao Meng always wanted to be a superhero and protect the environment. He wanted to be an environmental lawyer, but because that didn’t get him very far, he had to become a divorce lawyer. And since he’s helping people get divorced all the time, he becomes very cynical when it comes to love. It doesn’t help that his parents’ relationship is awful. So it’s no surprise that he doesn’t believe that marriage is worth it, and he’s a natural when it comes to convincing others to go through with their divorce. 

Despite his experiences, his walls come down when he starts getting to know the real Huan Zhen. He’s overcome with the desire to protect her and to make her happy. But he’s also very prideful so it takes a lot for him to apologize and a lot for him to openly admit that he loves Cai Huan Zhen.

Joanne Tseng as Hao Sheng Nan

This girl can hold a grudge… and a crush. To fight with your best friend for 10 years and to crush on the same guy for 10 years… I’m speechless. Sheng Nan is probably my least favorite character because of how naive and childish she is. 

How can she doubt her best friend so quickly and then go on to hate her for years without ever asking about what happened? Yet she was so hesitant about jumping to conclusions when it came to Qian Yao and how he might be a bad guy. Who’s the real “bitch” in this drama? Good thing she grew up and knew that she couldn’t be with Qian Yao in the end because of what he did to her best friend. 

Harry Zhang as Jiang Qian Yao

Harry Zhang’s character was the biggest disappointment. I spent the first couple of episodes eagerly awaiting his arrival, hoping that it would make the drama more fun. But when he did show up, he made the drama worse. Why did he have to be an antagonist? Why couldn’t he just be the second male lead that we all fall for?

Jiang Qian Yao is Cai Huan Zhen and Hao Sheng Nan’s senior in school. He makes a bet with his friends that he would be able to make Huan Zhen go out with him, and he attempts to do this by using her friend Sheng Nan, who has a crush on him. However Huan Zhen hears about the bet and warns Sheng Nan that Qian Yao is a jerk. But then Sheng Nan sees Huan Zhen with Qian Yao and mistakenly thinks that they are together… and so their 10-year long war began.

Qian Yao leaves Taiwan after his mother dies because his father lived in South Korea. While he is in South Korea, he is bullied by his older half-brother, who rejoices in stealing everything from him. When he returns to Taiwan, he is the Deputy General Manager of the Times Group, and he plots to take over his brother’s top dog position. In the process, he ends up using Huan Zhen.

In a way, I pity him. He just couldn’t let go of his grudge and wanted revenge. If he had chosen to just let go, he could’ve led a happier life.

Thoughts on the Ending:
What a grand proposal! And how appropriate that it was for a Valentine’s Day broadcast! I loved how all their family and friends were holding up tablets with pictures of them, but those pictures were paparazzi photos, so it was kind of weird. It would’ve been cuter to see their selfies from Busan or something. And… did they really have to emphasize how single Sheng Nan is?!

Final Comments:
I gave this drama 3 stars because it’s hard for me to enjoy a drama when I don’t like any of the main characters, no matter how well written the script is and how much chemistry there is between the actors.

Trailers:

Watch the drama on:
DramaFever | Viki

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One thought on “[REVIEW] Marry Me or Not

  1. Thanks for the review. I actually gave this drama a try anyway because it sounded like my cup of tea, and so glad I did. How empty would my life be without having seen such a beautiful love story such as this? MMoN completely took me by surprise. I even ditched my juicy Turkish dramas for a week to finish it! Alice Ke as Cai Huan Zhen is just thev right kind of “bitch” for me. I love that she starts out saying she’d rather be one than a loser, but it’s Hao Meng’s sweet and caring nature that serves as a foil to her plans. In fact, then person who grows the most is her. Alice Ke is just freaking amazing. She and her costar, Roy, have restored my faith in Taiwanese dramas. I’m super picky and have only finished this, Office Girls, In Time With You and Mars.

    Like

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