Go ahead and waste 16 hours of your life if you want. Or instead, don’t watch Marry Him If You Dare also known as Mirae’s Choice. You also have a choice. Choose not to waste your energy on a show with a crap ending. You’ve been warned.
Sorry Jung Yong Hwa, you also chose wrong when you jumped ship from Heirs and went to this Titanic. After I started watching Heirs, I was happy that Jung Yong Hwa decided to drop out of that project and do this one instead. I can’t see him as the Kim Tan’s rival on that show. Perhaps because Kim Woo Bin is playing it so expertly. He makes a damn good villain. He must be a really nice guy. But I’m digressing.
I call shenanigans on those writers. This show had so much promise. A somewhat interesting premise and actors that are pleasant to watch. I’m always leery of time-traveling or body-swapping shows, but thought I’d give it a try anyway. Turns out it was as disappointing as Big (okay I’ll stop using that as the benchmark one day, but not today).
Anyway, I started watching this show for Jong Yong Hwa because I thought he was going to be the leading man. That was a small disappointment when I realized he wasn’t, but quickly bounced back because I liked the chemistry between the OTP Kim Shin and Na Mi Rae played by Lee Dong Gun and Yoon Eun Hye. What was most disappointing was the storyline went nowhere. I’m willing to see the main couple break up for a couple of episodes if the plot is going somewhere or exciting, but for heaven’s sake, give me more than one episode to see them reunited. Instead we spend more time with our leading lady dating the second lead. A second lead who is basically forcing her to accept his feelings and she is too pathetic to nip that crap in the bud.
It was funny looking at the comments of other viewers while I watched. I swear we were watching different shows. At the point at which B-guy shoves a ring on the girls finger even after she has twice rejected his feelings and she reluctantly accepts his hug and viewers are saying she looks so happy, either the writers or the actors aren’t doing a good job. I don’t know how many times I saw comments that B-guy is nicer than A-guy, Kim Shin. There’s pursuing a girl and then there is disregarding what that girl wants. B-guy’s initial pursuit of Mirae was fine. It’s when he continues after she repeatedly rejects him and tells him she loves A-guy, that to me is a problem. That’s not nice. A nice guys doesn’t claim he wants only for her to be happy, and continue to pursue her even after she just told him she felt guilty accepting his kindness because she cannot return it.
His pursuit of her is exactly the same as his intense pursuit he had of the toy car he wanted to possess as a little kid. He doesn’t love her, he simply is a rich man who wants to possess her. It’s laughable when he says that he’s changed from that little kid; He hasn’t. K-drama is known (and loved) for guys who exhibit fixated stalker behavior for the most part. This time it doesn’t feel romantic at all. Yeah, I know how crazy that sounded.
A nice surprise is how likable the B-girl is. She turns out not to be your typical, scheming gold digger. She is smart and a go-getter, but is also a people pleaser. When her heart gets broken by B-guy she doesn’t become pathetic or wallow. As the breadwinner of her family she keeps moving forward doing what she needs to do to survive and determine her own destiny now that it had been changed thanks to the meddling of future Mi Rae. I guess that’s what I wanted Mirae to do. Writer Bae and Brother Na are also likable characters. Both are caring and helpful people. Writer Bae especially became a good friend to Mirae. I only wished she wasn’t married so that she and Mirae’s brother could have fell in love and gotten married. Yep, I want a Disney happily ever after for everyone.
Kim Shin. I don’t know what to say about him. I like the character. He starts off as an irascible, foul-mouthed, self-centered talking head. But after falling in love with Mirae, we see his softer side. He is caring and comes from very humble roots. He becomes too caring in that in order to not hurt Mirae in the future he lets her go in the present because he believes this is best. He loves her that much to let her go. But for the story it sucked. It meant we never really get to see the OTP dating and happy and affectionate. No hugs or kisses on our timeline. He had the advantage in love and I guess I would have liked for him to continue fighting to keep it.
Present Mi Rae (PMR) is weak. She starts off weak, settling for being mistreated at her call center job by coworkers and customers. I’m okay with that because I know this will change for character development. Well, I was wrong. She gets inspired to pursue her dream job, but then after getting heartbroken, allows her career to go off the rails and passively accepts being roped into an engagement with a guy she doesn’t love and a world she doesn’t want. Every once in a while we see a glimpse of her resolve to have a writing career. She does leave SBS and take a writing job a small production company, but I wanted her to stand up and speak out strongly and tell B-guy to respect her and her career aspiration and give her some space while she works out her emotions. I didn’t totally dislike her, but her character certainly frustrated me.
Future Mi Rae (FMR) is just unlikeable. Her meddling doesn’t seem justified to me. It’s completely selfish. And honestly I’m not sure she is telling the truth. She tells Kim Shin that their baby dies. She tells PMR that Kim Shin dies. Her stories change so fast and often, I don’t know what is true. Okay I was going to write a totally scathing review but I have to dial back on FMR. She did do one good thing—inspire Present Mi Rae to reach for her dream career and pursue it diligently and with a backbone. PMR just trying led others to help her and she made the most of each opportunity offered to become a writer. Other than that, FMR was a meddling, irritating heifer.
***EXTREME SPOILER ALERT***
So the plot boils down to parallel universe. Or does it? Because the very end doesn’t give us clear answers. The writers may as well have told me Kim Shin wakes up and this whole thing was a dream.We don’t find out which man Na Mi Rae picks or how she ends up with a baby. From the ending what we learn is that Mirae’s choice was to choose her writing career? She wrote and published a book in the 3-year span after she dumped both guys and FMR left in the 15th episode. Yep, that’s what the writers gave us.
This is one drama to skip, unless you’re a Jung Yong Hwa fangirl (or fanboy) and just want to soak in all of his screen time. If you need a strong heroine or mutual romance or even action, you’re not going to get it here.