DRAMA CLUB: Emergency Couple Episodes 10-11 (2/2)
Emergency Couple falls into my favorite category of dramas, which I have unscientifically named “urban professional romantic comedies”, which is to say, romantic comedies that are about professionals and their lives in the city.
They’re usually not too extravagant – no eyeball cancer or switched bodies or time-travelers, just normal people living out their careers and love lives. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good Secret Garden or My Love From Another Star, but the ones that I love most are Coffee Prince (a case of mistaken gender, but at its heart this show fits in), I Need Romance, and A Gentleman’s Dignity. I love this type of drama because the emotions and ~feels really shine through, and I can relate to the characters more directly because I can see my friends or myself in their situations.
This was definitely the case in Emergency Couple this week. The main story is Chang Min’s increasing confidence and determination to get close to Jin Hee again. In the secondary, there’s Chun Soo’s realization that he likes Jin Hee too, but also Chun Soo and Ji Hye’s friendship/relationship potentially blooming again. And of course we have Ah Reum’s crush on Chang Min, Sung Sook’s determination for Chang Min to marry Ah Reum, Yong Kyu’s crush on Ah Reum, Jin Ae and Gwang Soo’s family story, and Sung Sook and Papa Oh’s estrangement and impending divorce.
In previous episodes, I don’t think Chang Min fully realized how much his love and affection towards Jin Hee was making a full-force comeback. He would steal glances, and have the urge to offer her those cute cans of coffee, but compare that to now, when we see Chang Min referring to baby Gook as his nephew, and going out of his way to look after the patient Jin Hee is concerned about.
Nothing showed this more than Chang Min’s emotional connection to the man who needed an organ donation from his estranged wife. Chang Min feels such empathy, but also doesn’t want to face a future where he could be dying in a hospital, and Jin Hee won’t come to him. Chun Soo and the other doctors and nurses were visibly touched by Chang Min’s determination too – but none more so than Jin Hee, who understands the significance. Those tears in her eyes definitely marked a shift in her understanding of who Chang Min has become, and how his perspective on their relationship and divorce has evolved.
Jin Hee has definitely noticed Chang Min’s shift in attitude, but is either in denial or just a touch distracted by her crush on Chun Soo and what she perceives to be a burgeoning romance between Chang Min and Ah Reum. At the beginning of this week, Chun Soo had the edge, as Jin Hee had demonstrated by getting him that jacket. But by the end of episode 11, it’s becoming more and more apparent that past memories and present circumstances are mixing up to draw the ex-spouses closer together.
Chang Min and Jin Hee’s conversation after the estranged husband stabilized is very telling. I think it shows that the incident has them both thinking about how important it is to them both to have a loving relationship with their spouse. That kind of connection works in mysterious ways, overriding all that science and medicine that they’ve both been studying – and maybe that connection can override those bitter years Chang Min and Jin Hee spent apart, too.
My favorite scene was this one, when Chang Min is driving Jin Hee home. It’s such a simple thought: we fought, but don’t you remember the happy times too? On the surface it sounds innocent, but it’s loaded with bittersweet memories. We saw more flashbacks this week that showed us Chang Min and Jin Hee’s happy early days, so we know that they had to have loved each other so much in the beginning to marry against Sung Sook’s wishes. Then, correspondingly, a series of many awful and unhappy things had to have happened to cause them to fight so much and have a bitter divorce.
Heading into the second half of this drama, I hope to see Professor Oh take a more active part in his family (especially since he’s pro-Jin Hee!), Yong Kyu prove his devotion to Ah Reum, and Chun Soo to revive his romance with Ji Hye… but of course not before giving Chang Min a run for his money. We’ll see how it all goes down!
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Episodes 10-11 [Part 1] [Part 2]