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The Taeyang Corporation is the largest conglomerate in South Korea. The family that runs Taeyang has been under a curse for hundred years that the first bride of the eldest son will always die. Under this situation, a love like fairy tale occurs while conspiracies run rampant. The drama will focus on self-discovery and the search for sincere love. ~ Drama Wiki
A sloppy and mostly unsatisfying fantasy melodrama.
Bride of the Century aka Hundred Year Bride is a16 episode KTV drama from early 2014. It was billed as a fantasy romance melodrama with a supposed horror element to it. It is not very good, mainly because it's too generic (despite its supernatural theme) and it's too hard to overlook its oft incoherent storytelling.
Story: A generational curse haunts a family where the eldest son's first wife will be killed on their wedding night. This family is rich, and another family wants to marry their daughter into it to consolidate their power base, however they too know about the curse. The daughter to be married off doesn't want to die, so her mom and her concoct a plan to find an identical looking woman to pretend to be the first wife so she'll get killed instead, and thus the original daughter and mom can swoop in and marry into the money & power they seek.
The girl they get to play the stand-in to the bride to be looks exactly the same, but the 2 girls are total opposites in personality. Forget all the supernatural stuff; this show is the same story these K-dramas tell all the time, i.e. poor girl meets rich guy, rich guy can't stand her at first, poor girl eventually wins everybody over with her kindness and spirit, rich guy falls for poor girl, they're in love but can't be together, rich guy sulks, poor girl cries, everything works out in the end because they were "fated to be together". It's an endlessly rehashed tale that only works well if you put some actual thought into the story and writing, and this show does neither of those things very well.
This story is also severely lacking in any creativity...Dual secondary love interests?: Check! A half dozen characters faint or have heart attacks at some point?: Check! Rich manipulative evil people?: Check! Everything is destiny?: Check! Everybody's family is endlessly intertwined with everybody else's?..Check! Check! Check! I've seen it all a hundred times before, and seen it done better many, many times.
The supernatural aspect really adds nothing to this show of any benefit. In fact (SPOILERS), there is no family curse at all, but nobody knows this at first. There is a ghost though, who wants revenge or peace and/or something depending on the daily script re-writes. As for the overall storytelling and writing, it's hard to forgive the numerous instances of how nonsensical it is at times. I can accept many flaws in logic with fantasy themed K-dramas, but I have to draw the line somewhere. Consider these simple questions that pretty much make the writers look like fools should anyone bother to ask them:
1) Why doesn't the one family just move out of the haunted house? 2) Why doesn't the bride to be just simply not marry into the cursed family? 3) How does the mom and daughter plan to pull this charade off when there will be an identical dead body leftover to deal with?...What about marriage license, ID's, fingerprints, the fact that they've committed conspiracy and fraud, etc?
The show either tries to answer these questions (and others like them) with only basic curt explanations which make little to no sense, or it doesn't even bother trying to answer them at all. There are gaping plot holes everywhere, and none of the writers seem to even care. There is no effort spent in explaining why the poor girl would even fall for the rich guy; he's basically an ass towards her, then all of sudden she's in love with him so much that she's willing to die just to be with him for one night? Really? And, in the writers' haste to give everyone the growth and resolution treatment at the end of the show, they seem to have conveniently forgotten the fact that several of these characters were perfectly willing to kill our heroine on several occasions. What are they thinking trying to generate any pathos for these characters ? The writing and storytelling is so illogical that it's utterly laughable at times.
Obviously, I don't have a whole lot of positive things to say about this show. I will however say that it's shot and produced well, and it smartly keeps to a minimum run time. I did mostly like the 2 leads as well:
Lee Hong-gi gets the role of chaebol heir bachelor. I liked him OK here, though he is given a typical part I can't stand on these shows, i.e. he goes from smug to angry to sad to in love, with little to no room in between. Star struck teenage girls might find these roles appealing, but they are extremely limited. Fortunately, Hong-gi's character does get the opportunity to eventually show some more range, and he's not bad when given the chance.
Yang Jin-sung plays the female lead in a dual role as greedy construction company daughter and poor girl who plays her sacrificial double. Actually, she plays several other parts on this show as well in historical flashbacks. This is the first time I've seen her in a lead role, and I thought she performed rather well considering all the varying personalities she had to portray.
Summary: I cannot recommend this show at all. The plot is as equally clichéd as it is absurd and the writers seem convinced it's a good idea to shoehorn every mood and genre theme into this show to cover as many bases as possible. Unfortunately, they are in no way creative or intelligent enough to pull this off successfully. If you're going to make a crazy murderous supernatural love story, then stick to your guns and go for it. Don't vacillate between that and a formulaic growth/heal/love story where "even murderers deserve love in the end", because you'll just end up with slop like this show.
Bottom Line: 5 out of 10 stars!
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