Happy isn’t the conventional rom-com in the sense that there’s no “perfect” man or woman in the show. Everyone has seriously big flaws, and if you are the conventional type, the couples in the show aren’t exactly first-timers in the game of Love — or Marriage.
1. Han Mi-mo and her Slowpoke vs Ice Man
sab: While Hae-joon may appear to be The Prince Charming — he has the looks, the brains, the riches and is gentlemanly to round up the package — eps5/6 reveal that he is rather…emotion-less. While there’s nothing wrong with watching movies and having dinner dates…if they are the ONLY things you do with the other half, then something is kinda lacking in the relationship. So I don’t blame Mi-mo for feeling a bit antsy about the lack of romantic development.
On the other hand, our male lead isn’t exactly stellar in his performance either. Probably after a long period of relationship drought, and having to raise a son single-handedly have left him with a huge inertia for pursuing love interests. Thus, while he acknowledges his interest with Mi-mo goes beyond a childhood crush, he is very slow to react to it and is probably going to juz gaze at her from the sidelines (or across his door) if not for the appearance of Hae-joon.
Well, typically having a competitor is a good kick in the ass to start the engine. Hae-joon realises that he can’t juz play hard to get or lofty in this relationship anymore, cos he isn’t confident that Soo-hyuk will not snatch Mi-mo away from him. Likewise, Hae-joon provides a good impetus to boot Soo-hyuk into action.
kooriyuki: Is it a psychiatrist thing? Because it seems like Hae-joon is not much different from Soo-hyun in Madam Antoine, given how both are behaving like cats playing with their prey. I don’t think Hae-joon is emotionless, but rather I think he’s insecure and can only play mind games with Mi-mo to determine if she really likes him. It appears his love for her is superficial and hinging on she’s his idol-crush but not Mi-mo the woman.
I thought it was interesting that Mi-mo admits to Soo-hyuk’s son Min Woo that Soo-hyuk is an ideal type for most woman, so why does she not go for him herself? I think it’s because she’s finding out about his merits belatedly and she’s already entered a relationship with Hae-joon. So kudos to Soo-hyuk for stepping up the game and giving Hae-joon a run for his money even if it means an end to a decade-long friendship. I wouldn’t be surprised if Min Woo takes up the role of cupid and tries to matchmake Mi-mo and his Dad.
2. Dong-mi and her counterfeit “luxury” good
sab: Oh dear, I am kinda worried about Dong-mi’s utter lack of experience in relationship resulting in her getting conned by her “Prince Charming”. Which is happening, based on Mi-mo’s voiceover and Happy‘s foreshadowing (where ex-married male clients in Mi-mo’s company all desire a new wife who can “provide” for the family).
Unfortunately, Dong-mi is high in Cloud 9 to discern between truths and lies. The way her “Second hand Luxury Good” boyfriend dangles her around and plays up her expectations and emotions should already be signs for her (or her friends) to warn her to stay away.
kooriyuki: Frankly speaking I can’t really understand women like Dong-mi because I’m lovin’ my singleton life (and I’m around Dong-mi’s age too). But whatever it is, being in the desert for too long, an oasis is appealing and that’s what’s happening to Dong-mi. I can’t really figure out what is “Second hand Luxury Good” boyfriend up to, but I’m pretty sure she’s going to lose a lot.
3. Ae-ran and her Goody-Two-Shoes (Not)
sab: Omg. What a twist in the narrative. I’d thought that Ae-ran was being selfish and all when she had jitters about marrying her perfect guy — I mean, that guy was even prepared to do housework for her! Erm, turns out that Mr Perfect is a Sleazeball. And his reason to insist on the marriage is to stop his family from nagging him about his endless flings. Yuk.
All his ex-es from various nationalities turn up in force on his wedding day to “congratulate” him, pissing Ae-ran off big-time (which bride won’t be angry). Maybe Ae-ran should have listened to her sixth sense…
kooriyuki: This is one narrative twist I did not see coming, because Dong Bae was such a nice guy! The complete switch seems a little jarring, but I suppose there’s no perfect guy after all? Before the wedding, I didn’t agree with Ae-ran’s justifying of self, because I firmly believe marriage is not just between two people. Now that it turns out that Dong Bae is such a douchebag, perhaps being selfish is good too?
4. Da-jung and her very complicated relationship
sab: I’d say that this to-be-divorced couple still do love each other. It’s juz that years of hurt and frustration have taken their toll. Da-jung doesn’t share much of her woes with the other girls, and we only see flashbacks or peeks into her life to know what is going on around her. From being apprehensive in marrying into a rich family at a young age (i thought it was due to a pregnancy? was it later a false alarm?), then being ragged at by said family for not providing an offspring, and then trying IVF for 5 years and having to bear the pain and shame of “being barren” (when her hubby is the one with the problem)…finally she has a kid, but the strain of the 3rd party in the already unstable relationship juz cause the whole marriage to fold.
It may be easy to “blame” the husband for not understanding her position — not that she doesn’t want to cozy up to him, but the stress of being a new mother, etc made Da-jung juz too tired and apathetic. Then again, Da-jung’s character is one who plays her cards close to her chest. If she’d open up more, and shared more of her worries (and burdens) with her husband, maybe they won’t have ended up in the lawyer’s office.
Of all the 4 couples, Da-jung is one whom I wish happiness most for. (and to make it even more drama, she is diagnosed with breast cancer…and in Da-jung’s style, she chooses not to tell her friends/ family)
kooriyuki: I do wonder why Yoo Da In keeps taking roles that’re freaking difficult to understand, because Da Jung here is so reticent compared to her other gal friends. Even so, she’s my favorite character because she’s complicated and trapped in her need to be strong and correct in her decisions. I’d say she’s created the hole of despair for herself and I really feel sorry for the husband. Gun Hak is a near extinct guy (which man in their 30-40s can stay in a celibate marriage for 7 years and not stray?!) and it’s sad to see how these two who obviously still care for each other, exchange barbed words. Like sab, Da Jung is the one who I really hope to see her get some happiness.