Drama Trope of the Month: Contract Marriages/Relationships

Drama Trope of the Month:

Contract Marriages/Relationships

Fake/Contract Marriages/Relationships, why is it so appealing to the drama viewership? Why do we keep lapping it up when dramas bring it up again and again?

I can’t say that I know why everybody else enjoys it but I’d like to discuss/ point out  why I do.  However, this doesn’t mean that I’ve loved every single one of the examples of dramas that have used this trope. Even though I’m a drama slut, I’m still a picky drama slut.

1) Because it’s silly and fun for us as viewers, though for the characters themselves it can seem quite a torture

2) Because it’s an excuse for closeness and often skinship

3) Because the contract is doomed to fail- They will ALWAYS fall in love going against the contract prerequisites.

4) Because it would never really happen in real life- right?

5) Because it’s endlessly cute to see them avoid the elephant in the room (THEIR FEELINGS)

Shows that have contract marriage/ relationships

Full House; Creating Destiny; MSOAN/MMM; MNIKSS; Dandelion Family; My Girlfriend is a Gumiho; Lie To Me; Golden Bride; Coffee House; Que Sera Sera

and ‘reality’ tv – We Got Married- Sometimes I feel that some of these relationships could have become real if they’d let themselves.

Feel free to share what you think and let’s discuss each other’s opinions


5 thoughts on “Drama Trope of the Month: Contract Marriages/Relationships

  1. I like to see how they try to weasel their way in and around the loopholes of the contract. For instance, In MGIAG, he kept leaving her places (totally jerky) but it was kinda hysterical/sad at the same time. It definitely made for a good viewing experience. Also, MGIAG has that fantastical element so the contract is a bit less ridiculous.

    Do you think City Hunter counts as a contract? They ‘had’ to live together for a bit. He also had to noble idiot out. But in this case, it was actually for safety reasons. Again, a trope thrwarted by the basic premise of a show. But that’s another trope.

    Lie to me was a mess and totally butchered a perfectly good trope. I don’t even want to discuss it. Why did I bring it up?

    Full House was one of the first that used it, right? Or maybe one of the first really famous ones that did. The only thing that pissed me off about the contract in this case was that it did not result in as much skinship as I would’ve liked! I mean it’s Rain (see you in two years gorgeous). I want to see some action. Song Hye-kyo isn’t exactly offensive to the eyes either.

    • Min says:

      Full House… I loved it, it was after all a “new” trope at that time, and it’s name and basic premise was based off of a manhwa I’d loved to death for a while. There were so many things that could have gone on in that house if Bi’s character hadn’t been hung up on his first love for the longest time ever, and then hadn’t sacrificed his relationship with SHK’s character to help the same woman out. So many things could have happend if he’d actually been as reckless as the manhwa character, but of course the manhwa character was even MORE of a jerk than the drama character ever could aspire to be still it was a drama that started the contract relationship craze and has a corner all it’s own in my drama heart. 😛

      • I actually haven’t read the manhwa but now I’m inclined to. But I have SOOO many things on my docket, including several of the things you’ve reviewed/recapped.

        I saw Full House after watching several other contract relationship dramas and it still stuck out for me. Rain is so adorable as a pouty man-child and SHK is stunning (why do they call her plain in the show? They should’ve changed the dialogue. That woman would be stunning wearing a trash bag and covered in mud…)

        Anyway, I really wanted to say hi. I’m working on a few things meself and I hope to be as good about keeping up my blog as you one of these days!

        • Min says:

          Hi to you too! I also have a huge queue that I doubt I’ll ever catch up on! The only reason why this blog keeps getting updated rather regularly is because whenever I get a moment of free time i write up drafts of different things that have cropped up in my obsessed mind, and then when needed they get a quick polish and get published.

          I also have a bone to pick with dramas that disparage their heroines and call them ugly, plain, fat or any adjective that is diametrically opposed to the reality of their beauty. As you said many of them could be covered in mud and they’re still beautiful. It makes me want to shout, “if they are plain, then am I hideous?!”

  2. I actually should start keeping a drafts folder, but oh the time it takes. Plus, I write rants on the menial. I’m working on one right now and my recap. I can only do 2 posts at a time and one show at a time….it’s quite sad.

    And for about the ugly, plain, fat women…it drives me nuts. Am I a hippo then if KSS is fat? Seriously?

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