Korean dramas are back again with a new release this week on Netflix. This time, the series is ready to tackle a very important topic in today’s society: marriage. The ritual has become an institution throughout humanity’s history as a way to solidify life as we know it. In the past, marriage was all about business. Families at war or in economic struggle could find peace and security by using marriage. The institution was, and still is, one of the most elemental parts of life.
However, with the coming of the 21st century, marriage has also taken a new form, a new interpretation that could be considered exactly the opposite of what the ritual has been for thousands of years. Women have become an integral part of many countries’ workforce, and they basically don’t need to be maintained in any way by men. On the other hand, men, have also found out that marriage can become quite an annoying enterprise if it means putting someone else’s feelings, dreams, and expectations before their own.
It seems like in this day and age, marriage has become a very undesirable thing to do. Nevertheless, the old tradition is still relevant, and it is no surprise that the tradition clashes with the newest way of seeing the ritual. Remarriage & Desires, the newest Netflix Korean drama, goes deep into the matter and manages to build up quite a tale. In this series, love, hate, and business are all intertwined. The mix works extremely well, and the set-up is brilliant.
Remarriage & Desires tells the story of Seo Hye-Seung, a widow who is ready to move on in life after the death of her husband. Hye-Seung’s path will clash against the path of Jin Yoo-Hui, an ambitious woman that is connected to Hye-Seung in the worst possible way. Their relationship is completely antagonistic, and it makes for some amazingly tense scenes. The series starts Kim Hee-Seon, Lee Hyung-Wook, Jung Eugene, and Park Hoon.
Like many other drama series coming out of Korea, the production values displayed in Remarriage & Desires are fantastic. The series manages to recreate the most elegant and luxurious places in South Korea. It really makes Seoul look like one of the most modern and expensive cities ever created. This visual style fits well with the premise, as it uses excess, ambition, and corruption as some of its main themes.
More than anything, Remarriage & Desires is a tense show. The drama is very serious, and it lacks that comedic vein that can often be found in most South Korean dramas. However, here in Remarriage & Desires, it is all about being gritty and dramatic. It almost reaches a level that could be considered over the top, but the writers and the filmmakers have been capable of creating a premise and set of characters that make the situation believable.
The directorial work is quite impressive, and many members of the audience will be able to appreciate how the camera work really accentuates some of the most important moments in the show. It is quite impressive, especially when there are so many big American blockbusters that don’t know how to frame a shot properly or use the cinematic language to create tension and expectations about where our characters are going.
The main cast is also fabulous. All the actors are really doing a great job, but this is the show of Kim Hee-Seon, and Jung Eugene. These two actresses are well known at this point. They appear in many dramas every year, and they have worked in some of the best ones in recent memory. Which is why it is such a delight to see them together face to face. Their dynamic is quite intense, but we wouldn’t want it any other way.
Like we said before, if there is something that might keep Remarriage & Desires from being a huge hit with global audiences, it is the fact that there is basically no comedy. The tone is relentless, and almost from beginning to end, the atmosphere is tense and dark. Of course, this atmosphere fits the story very well; there are a lot of dark things happening here, but some comic relief would be appreciated. There are some moments that could be taken as humor, but they are quite subtle.
Remarriage & Desires consists of only 8 episodes, which is rather short. Most of the time, these dramas run for about 16 episodes. So, while the atmosphere is really heavy on the show, the story doesn’t overextend itself with one and a half hours episodes, or many episodes at all. It is short and sweet. Really, the series wastes no time after the first episode sets everything up in such a brilliant manner. Maybe this is the future for these shows, as sometimes they can feel a bit too long for their own good.
Remarriage & Desires is a fantastic Korean drama. Yes, it can be a bit daunting because of its heavy atmosphere and almost zero levity. However, the series knows the kind of story it wants to tell and just tells it with confidence. The two main actresses are just amazing, and you will be biting your nails to see what happens next.