Fashion designer Gu Xi Xi (Wang Yu Wen) and CEO Yin Si Chen (Wang Zi Qi) enter a contract marriage to help the latter conclude a business deal. As time goes by, they grow closer and fall in love.
The problem, when you’re watching a high quality drama, is that once you’re done with it, you get the worst case of withdrawal. Everything after it seems to pale in comparison, really, and after my rewatch of Stranger, it was time to try something I wouldn’t have any expectations for and which sat in a completely different register. And so it was that I clicked play on the first episode of Once We Get Married.
All the Tropes
It’s no secret at this point that romantic comedies tend to bore me to tears. And really, Once We Get Married was no exception to the rule: the plot is everything you’d expect from this type of drama, with a bunch of unlikely events tied together by pretty much all the clichés there are. But it’s still very bearable, if only because the screenwriter went ahead and subverted some of said clichés, although not nearly enough to make the entire experience novel and refreshing. And to be honest, although he was sometimes very sweet, Yin Si Chen’s domineering and overly possessive, if not abusive personality made him very annoying sometimes. For instance, his way of demanding that Gu Xi Xi tell him everything she did, every person she met, every step she took, was exasperating if typical of such a character.
It didn’t stop me from watching the entire thing in fast forward, though—I skipped all of the secondary couple’s scenes, as well as anything that didn’t feature our main leads or my dear Ian Yi, second lead once again.
A Star-Studded Cast
Yes, because while the plot was uninteresting to the max, the cast was everything. All of them are very talented, and some I’d already seen in dramas before, such as Wang Zi Qi, whose career seems to be taking off after the excellent The Imperial Coroner; Ian Yi, as soft and adorable as ever, and whose face threw me back to the beautiful if badly wrapped-up Killer and Healer, or Ji Chen, who played a heroic figure in L.O.R.D. Critical World. As for Wang Yu Wen, she was perfect as kind-hearted Gu Xi Xi, whose sincerity and kindness keep turning heads.
Honestly, I’m not quite sure why all of those good actors were here but I won’t complain, because their chemistry made up for… pretty much all the rest.
Migraine of the Century
Everything else, and especially the picture quality. How Once We Get Married got the greenlight for release, I will never understand, because with over 85% of the screen staying blurry at all times, it’s an incredibly efficient migraine-inducer. I squinted through the whole thing, feeling like I was either drunk or cross-eyed, it was awful.
All in All…
A fairly average if enjoyable romantic comedy made a smidge more interesting because it has some fun subverting some clichés. But even with an excellent cast, the secondary couple, just like the plot, remain incredibly boring.
Title: Once We Get Married
Aired: 10/08/2021 to 11/05/2021
Number of episodes: 24
Starring: Wang Zi Qi, Wang Yu Wen, Ian Yi, Ji Chen
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆