Wednesday, July 17, 2013

K-Variety Review: We Got Married Global (2013)

We Got Married: Global
Taec & Gui Gui        4/10
Hongki & Mina    100/10      

I’m heartbroken. This show that I started 15 weeks ago against my better judgment (with no lack of initial scoffing at the concept) has ended. 

Verdict: What, I’m supposed to go back and ship fictional couples again? 

Well this sucks. Heads up - I’ve never watched the regular WGM except for maybe the first 3 episodes from season 1 and while I thought it was interesting, I wasn’t particularly attached to any of the couples at the time –Andy and Solbi were cute, but I didn’t have the patience to sit through the rest, or catch up to the show and watch later couples (not even for Yonghwa, sorry baby) and definitely not for the current couples (again, sorry, Taemin).

But there was something very cute and inspired about putting international couples together. Awkward as it was, Guigui was really adorable for the first few episodes, and her virtual marriage with 2pm’s Taecyeon was highly realistic in that situation: just what does a laid back male idol do with this Taiwanese bundle of energy girl and her limited comprehension of English? Oddly enough, he seemed like a normal guy. Kind of confused, more than a little bewildered, often vexed and doing a damned good job of holding it in. I’m not saying he succeeded throughout the show (far from it), but it was engaging for a while.

What got me on the slow simmer burn (and proceeded to boiled over) was FT Island’s Hongki and Japanese actress Fuji Mina. I haven’t seen onscreen chemistry this hot since the last time I watched Coffee Prince. I haven’t shipped two people this hard since Queen Inhyun’s Man. But the minute those two met, and I got that glimpse of Hongki’s totally smitten face – I fell hard. 

Kind of like this

I tried to remember that this was a variety show, that these marriages were just fake… but at some point it doesn’t even matter. I get jittery and weepy over scripted drama couples all the time. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to do the same for these couples? Bonus points because there is obviously some percentage of interaction that is unscripted and natural. Taec’s allowed to act standoffish and aloof. Mina’s allowed to cry the first time Hongki serenades her. I can buy that.

And I did.

Read on for why I loved these two + my favorite scenes (Yes I re-watched most of their scenes just to write this section). 

Variety Romance

There’s really no point in going over the finer aspects of this “for-television-variety” program – how much is fake, how much is real. This is entertainment, and at base these are actors playing a role. The ‘characters’ are given a mission card and told to do “x”. How they go about completing these missions is the real joy of the show. Sometimes they are highly amusing, sometimes exciting, and sometimes dull as dirt (kind of like… normal people). But what viewers can take away is the slice-of-life realism that shines through.

For me, Hongki and Mina did this the best. Their relationship really felt genuine, or at least the portrayal of it did. I like to think deep down in my heart that being together on this show made them fall madly in love (and now they’ll pine away the rest of their lives from unrequited passion thanks to outrageous media play if they actually dated). Hey, maybe that’s the truth. We’ll never know, and I’ll endeavor not to care. Wish me luck. 

Best Moments of HongMina

Episode 1

  • Hongki’s shy face upon meeting Mina; appearing to not even know who she was at the time
  • Mina belting out FT Island’s “Sarang sarang sarang” to Hongchan’s immense embarrassment. 
Episode 2

  • Mina insisting on a piggy back ride (because she’s seen it in dramas) 
  • Hongchan revealing his shoe collection, and the contents of many giant pieces of luggage; Mina’s shocked expression.
Episode 3
  • Hongchan’s being happy when people notice how pretty his wife is
Episode 4

  • Mina’s gwiyomi song
  • Construction noise trio: citron tea, lobster, wine bottle.
  • Hongki’s Live House: sings “Sarang sarang sarang” to no music, and Mina cries the first time of many. 
Episode 5

  • Hongchan’s face when he sees Mina try on wedding gowns
  • Cackling excitedly when Mina says “Yes” to his proposal
  • Wedding shoot: Mina unable to run into his arms; he picks her up instead
  • Wedding shoot at the piano: Mina plays “Severely” and Hongchan sings along
Episode 6

  • Hongchan gloats over the phone about Mina learning to play his song for him
  • The entire boatside/boatride wedding shoot
  • Hongchan invites friends to their wedding, gets in ‘trouble’ with every single call. 

  • Hongchan sings “I Confess” as his proposal song, with band mate Jonghoon playing guitar
  • Hongchan forgets some of the lyrics, and Rosie dies a million times over. 
Episode 7
  • Mina’s moonwalk down the red carpet, and Hongchan can’t even look at her
  • Wedding is nearly rained/snowed out but guests come anyways: FT Island, Juniel, Hong Sukchun (“the most dangerous man”), Miss A’s Jia and Min, SS501’s Huh Youngseung, BTOB’s Minhyuk and Ilhoon (*kyaaa* Rosie’s bias!!) and AOA, Ace of Angels (“Hongki’s secret girls”). 
Episode 8

  • The wedding + Mina wears a skull blanket around her wedding gown
  • Special performance of the Gwiyomi song by Ilhoon himself 

Episode 9

  • Hongstar teaches Mina about airport fashion and styling of the neck scarf
  • Honeymoon begins; couple tests out the rose petal bed
  • Hongchan uses up a Mina Coupon to get a piggy back ride himself
Episode 10

  • Bike ride and Hongchan gets tracked down by fans; he introduces them to his wife
  • First fight about kayaking; Eventual reconciliation but Mina still gets the spicy sushi
Episode 11

  • Hongchan finally agrees to give Mina a shoulder ride
  • Hongstar’s star glasses
Episode 12
  • Hongchan blows special kiss to Mina during his photoshoot
Episode 13
  • Hongchan tries out his nail art on Mina’s hands; gets paint on her clothes
Episode 14

  • Street performers on the spot rap about Hongchan and Mina
  • My Sassy Girl exchange of shoes, but Mina’s shoes are actually comfier than Hongchan’s
  • Mina gives Hongchan a piggyback ride through the crowd of tourists; Hongchan complains immensely but she never lets him down
  • Look of shock when told to prepare their Goodbyes
Episode 15
  • Mina cooks a last meal, spicy chicken soup
  • Couple revisits the place they met, reenacting the scenes; Mina tries to cry and Hongchan desperately tries to make her stop

  • Outdoor movie theater; Hongchan prepare a recorded speech, then a live farewell song, “Severely” with new lyrics specifically for Mina – Mina and Rosie both start to sob 
  • Removal of wedding rings; exchange of HongMina necklaces – Rosie’s still sobbing

Just so no one asks, “But Rosie, what about Taec and Gui Gui’s Best Scenes!?” here they are:

  • Every time G.O. and/or Kwanghee come to visit.


  1. Loveeeeeee this review/thoughts! I actually kinda dropped it but did manage to watch the last episode (totally coincidentally) - still not convinced with Taec-Gui haha despite the beautiful photos at the station but the ending for HongMina? Woah.

    1. I was sad for GuiGui's final episode, and that train scene was a little.. brutal. Particularly when you couple it with GuiGui acting genuinely sad and Taec his normal casual self.

      If you get a chance though, watch through the rest of HongMina's eps. The honeymoon eps were fun, and then the last 2 of course had me on edge about the cry the whole time (great reason to watch, right?? LOL)

  2. I watched the first 4 episodes and then just kind of... stopped. Not intentionally, I think i was just watching too many other shows and couldn't keep up. But obviously I didn't love it enough to stick with it. I found Taec and Gui Gui interesting because the way he talked to her was kind of patronising, but he didn't mean for it to sound like that. He was just speaking as anyone would to someone who wasn't fluent in English, and who was a total nutjob. Gui Gui was like an overexcited child half the time, and Taec didn't know how to deal with her sometimes. She would try to get him to do things and he would just flat out say No, lol.

    And with Hongki and Mina, in one of the earlier episodes, Mina made him eat something that he really didn't want to eat, something that actually made him sick. And he ate it! I was just like "No Hongki, you can say no in this situation" and "Mina, shut up and stop telling him to eat it", lol. I think if I kept watching, I'd probably like them more. I do intend on watching the clips with Jonghun and the other guests, because I do quite like them all. Mina and Hongki's last episode sounds really sad!

    I actually watch the regular WGM religiously each week, although that's largely due to Jinwoon at the moment, lol

    1. I flip-flopped on the couples after the first few episodes. Originally I was watching it because of Taec and GuiGui and the others just kind of fell through the radar. By episode 5 though Taec's cute patronizing attitude (though as you mentioned, most of it was for good reason) started to grate on me. That plus overly hyped "romantic" moments felt dead. They were best when just being funny and doing normal things or being with friends. Some great comedy from that aspect, a lot of which I liked watching. But for the romance feel.. nope. Not buying it.

      By ep 5 though Hongki and Mina suddenly came out in full force. The wedding shoot was phenomenal. That plus the proposal, and all of a sudden they become way more natural with each other, and hesitant not in a strange-ness sort of way, but in a couple sort of way. Hope you go back and give them a chance sometime. :)

    2. You've pretty much convinced me, lol. I'll see if I can find the episodes with just Hongki and Mina's part. And yeah, with Taec and Gui Gui, it was very much like an "older brother" kind of thing. Nothing romantic at all.

  3. Just finished watching last episode...
    My heart is broken *sobs*

    1. I went through at least 10 tissues for the last episode. :'(

  4. I've never watched a Korean reality show and would literally rather remove my own eyes with shrimp forks than watch an American one about romance, but now you've got me thinking I need to try WGM.

    What makes the Bachelor and all those shows so ridiculous is that they claim to be "real" and involve people's actual emotions, when it's so obvious that everything about them (and their emotions) is fake. But I get the feeling that despite We Got Married being so candid about its own fakeness, real emotions get involved anyway.

    And if this couple can be compared to the leads in Coffee Prince, I am so there!

    1. Korean variety really is good at not taking itself too seriously. There's always an aspect where viewers and the cast know that this is for television (interacting with cameramen, actually referring to scripts, etc.) It helps the brain relax to know that Everyone knows, this is just purely for entertainment - and then it's the viewers joy to sift through the script and find the gold within. From this version of WGM, Hongki and Mina's 'fake' relationship was just golden.. so many shippers. They did their job well. Too well.. *sniffs*

      As for their chemistry - well don't compare it Exactly to Coffee Prince (because nothing's that good!). But the way their relationship progresses through actual recognizable stages, and the pure enjoyment they get with being with each other (with just a dash of sexual tension)..? So so lovely to watch. :) :)

  5. Ever since the second of my two most favourite We Got Married couples (Eun Jung and Jang Woo, Seo Hyung and Yong Hwa) ended their run on the show I haven't watched this show anymore. I'm planning to find a new couple for myself someday, but I'm still in the mourning period, I guess. But I think I dig Hongki-Mina couple a lot if I were to watch WGM Global.

    1. I think someday I will get around to watching more couples someday - especially with Yong Hwa, of which I've seen some small clips of. Though, I will need to get over this season first before I can handle anymore. Ooh variety. Who knew it could be so heartbreaking. xD

  6. After watching wgm global Hongmina cut, i definitely wouldn't want to see another season of gwgm starring two love birds like this daramaji couple. I was influenced by their romance and true love story. I was smitten by their honesty and pit-a-pat, and each not afraid to show affection . They were like a time bomb waiting to explode your heart. My advice is...if you are lonely or got no opposite sex to love affectionately, please give up watching the show already. My piece

    1. It really does make the heart ache when you watch them. They were just so beautiful in their relationship.. <3

  7. New reader here! I enjoyed your review of the beloved Daramji couple. Thank you. At the end of the show, I felt that they were breaking up with me (but not with each other). I thought about the shows's finale for days. Then I moved on. I foolishly jumped into the next "relationship" and watched the complete episodes of the Goguma couple. By WGM standards the Yongseo pairing belongs in its archives now, but that didn't matter. I fell right into the trap while I was on the rebound from the Hongmina couple! Yonghwa and Seohyun drove me crazy and it took a lot of commitment but I soldiered on and watched all 51 episodes. Now, I'm back to square one with a broken heart. It's definitely advisable to let your heart "heal" first. So when you do get around to watching Yonghwa's WGM episodes, promise to write a review. Please promise! I'll be looking forward to it.

    1. Thanks for popping in!
      I've always intended to go back and watch that couple, so when I do, I will review it! (No promises that it won't be as awesome as this review.. but then I hear it's hard Not to fall in love them as a couple.. Yes, I will give my heart a chance to heal first) Hehe

  8. OMG, thanks for your review, strangely I felt like I was reading my own thought coz we had the exact same feeling about hongmina and taecgui. I honestly think taec had no heart for emma (and im not blaming him, sorry emma) and no matter how 'flat' hongmina's story sometimes, it only showed that they were (like) normal couple and it hooked me *unwillingly* Never thought I'd be crazy abt fake couple like this, lol.

  9. My point is Why did they called it "global"when theres nothing global about it? I mean theyre making a show with people from the same race but from a different country...Global means "from round the world" and Asia is not the whole world...But I guess they see it that way,but I mean WE as people (and Im a black puertorican woman) need more openess and more integration between countris/races/ethnicities etc...

    1. Korea's always had a slightly skewed perspective of 'global' from what I can tell. Any place that's not Korea is considered abroad. Bringing people in from China and Japan satisfies that for them I guess, and I guess they only chose people from those cultures because they're vaguely similar enough to the Korean celebs And they're people Koreans might have heard of before since their entertainment industries mingle a bit. But yeah, it's the same as announcing a World Tour, and then they never make it past Japan or Southeast Asia. -_-