Most of us fantasize about falling deeply in love, marrying and spending the rest of our lives in matrimonial bliss. We vow to our partners that we will be there for each other in sickness and in health, good times and bad. We swear that we will love each other unconditionally and cherish our love until the day we die. Come a few months down the road, something changes. Reality does not meet expectations and we discover our loved one’s bad sides that we were either blinded of before, or never experienced. When we end up hurting each other too deeply that there just doesn’t seem to be any remedy for it, what to we do? We separate and file for a divorce. It’s a stressful and heartbreaking time but due to the simplicity of the process, we sign those papers and hope the next time will be different.
As a newly-wed couple, Oh Chang Min and Oh Jin Hee find out that ‘happily ever after’ is an unrealistic conclusion of marriage. After being married for only one year, their problems accumulate and they file for a divorce. 6 years later, they meet again as interns in the E.R, but because of their past together, Chang Min and Jin Hee find it extremely difficult to work in the same environment.
My Impression of Emergency Couple:
I’ve never watched a K-Drama about divorce before, but when it comes to the fundamental features, Emergency Couple is really not all that different from any other romantic comedy. Although from the beginning of the drama the couple are in love, because of some disagreements they end up hurting each other too deeply so the OTP file for a divorce. All this happens in episode one so the viewers don’t get the chance to really appreciate them as a couple at all. This is why when they meet again in the E.R, they are basically starting their romance from scratch and that’s how it feels to the viewer as well.
To say that I loved this drama feels like an understatement. No, Emergency Couple was an obsession for me. I started it when there were already 8 episodes out but catching up was too easy, practically effortless! The hard part was having to wait a whole week for new episodes with previews that I knew were misleading little devils.
So what made this drama so addicting? Honestly, I’m not completely sure myself. The reason I first picked this drama up was because I really enjoyed Good Doctor, which I had recently finished. With such a high opinion of my first Korean medical drama, I read about Emergency Couple and I thought it sounded interesting. Plus Song Ji Hyo and Choi Jin Hyuk were in it, so why not? Although the reason for watching Emergency Couple was shallow, I ended up falling in love with the story. It starts off bitter and painful but becomes quirky and meaningful. I always felt like I was learning something that could easily be applied to my own life. By watching Chang Min and Jin Hee maturing, I also felt like I wanted to become a better person.
Since this is a medical drama, I should also mention my thoughts on the medical aspects of Emergency Couple. Although this drama doesn’t go into too much detail since the real focus is the romance and the characters’ personal problems, I found this drama to be a whole lot more believable than most medical shows I’ve watched. First of all, this is the E.R which means that patients come and go. The E.R can go through both complex and less-complex patients in one day. It’s a spontaneous department where you see it all, and I like that although they didn’t get too creative with the patients, they always ended up learning something from them. Whether they’re talkative or not, I’ve learned many things from patients and sometimes it’s not even something they said but their life experiences or some close calls that can teach you something that you were ignorant about before.
Characters and Acting:
Song Ji Hyo isn’t called Mong Ji for nothing. Her blank stare has never been so useful to her as when she portrays a character like Jin Hee. Jin Hee is not an airhead, but she’s not the brightest color in the box, either. Her clumsy mistakes frustrate her husband Chang Min and add to the pile of reasons why they end up in a big fight. She’s someone to be taken care of, but unlike any other K-Drama where the heroine is a damsel in distress and everyone wants to rush in to help her because she’s fragile, Emergency Couple shows us how cumbersome a weak character really is to those around her. Jin Hee’s character is a sweet girl, but she’s a bit incompetent in a lot of things. The amazing thing about Jin Hee is that she uses her divorce as an incentive to become strong. It doesn’t happen overnight, but she works hard to prove to herself that she’s good enough to be a doctor.
Choi Jin Hyuk reminded me a lot of Choi Daniel in this drama. The hairstyle and the silly cuteness from a grown man is a little similar to Choi Daniel’s character in Baby-Faced Beauty. Unlike that character, however, we get a glimpse of Chang Min’s ugly side. I don’t mean that Chang Min is a bad person or that his personality is rotten, but he’s spoiled and temperamental. When he first meets Jin Hee, he is a medical student that comes from a doctor family. His success is practically a given. Chang Min is bright and impulsive so unlike Jin Hee, he is naturally more capable to become a doctor. Since he married Jin Hee, though, his family support is cut off so for the first time ever he has to face the real world. When he realizes that the real world is just too complicated, he goes back to his comfortable life and agrees to the divorce. After he meets Jin Hee again 6 years later, he starts to mature rather quickly. He realizes his mistakes a lot faster than Jin Hee does hers.
Both Jin Hee and Chang Min are flawed and immature. Marriage is not an easy thing, so a con of getting married too young is their inability to handle their problems better. This drama is not about soulmates or lingering love. These two individuals hurt and scarred each other so deeply that they decided to separate and never see each other again. Fate is a funny thing, however. Working in the E.R together doesn’t leave them much of a choice but to at least try to tolerate each other while they complete their internship. The viewer doesn’t see much chemistry at first because there is none – they hate each other. As the drama progresses and the OTP begin to trust and rely on each other in the E.R, we start to see a little light of hope.
By now I should learn not to fall for second leads but Emergency Couple doesn’t give you much of an option not to. Gook Cheon Soo (Lee Pil Mo) is the resident doctor in charge of the E.R and he is not playing around. At first he comes off as cold and blunt but he’s really just a compassionate softy. Despite actually being a good person and falling for Jin Hee, he’s very intelligent and serious when it comes to his job and the lives of his patients. His character is the kind that has trouble expressing emotions (which I can relate to), so even though he find himself attracted to Jin Hee, he often just take care of her from a distance. Even so, his sincerity is able to shine out and even caused Jin Hee to fall for him.
Another character I really like is the character of Dr. Shim Ji Hye (Choi Yeo Jin). She is that approachable character that everyone can confide their problems to. She knows everyone’s secrets but she doesn’t reveal them. Instead, she offers words of wisdom and a shoulder to cry on, even when the person she’s interested in is in love with someone else.
Emergency Couple had a few songs that I liked but my favorite was Lim Jeong Hee’s Scent of a Flower. The others were just okay but Scent of a Flower was the one I remember the most. You can listen and download the song right *HERE*.
Cunning Single Lady – OTP marries too young and gets a divorce, then meet up again years later