The recent wave of Korean BLs has become synonymous with short but well-produced dramas that leave an impression on the viewers. Unfortunately, despite this, the length often works against them, leaving certain moments and storylines feeling underdeveloped. Such is the case for the recent Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding.
Starring actors Kang In Soo and Lee Se Jin, Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding is a cute watch, but it suffers from awkward moments, stilted dialogue, and nonsensical characters. The historical concept is refreshing, but historical dramas require fleshing out in a way modern dramas do not.
From the onset, Choi Ki Wan’s entrance into Ryu Ho Sun’s life as his bride takes a certain suspension of disbelief. In order for viewers to accept particular elements for the sake of enjoyment, they must let go of reality. Choi Ki Wan is obviously not his sister, Hwa Jin, and neither he nor Ryu Ho Sun is good at lying to cover up the fact that Ryu’s fiance is missing.
This plot has a lot of potential. A missing bride. A brother who replaces his runaway sister to protect his family’s reputation. The politics alone is enough to create a full-length drama. Imagine the repercussions had Choi Ki Wan’s identity been discovered before his sister was found. Imagine the implications of Choi Ki Wan and Ryu So Hun’s growing relationship during this era. Imagine the impact coming out in a historical drama could have had.
Time constraints and watered-down consequences did not play in this drama’s favor.
Which brings me to Kim Tae Hyung, portrayed by Where Your Eyes Linger‘s Jang Eui Soo. He felt thrown in and out of place, as if the drama needed a quick conflict with a swift resolution. His introduction into the series is abrupt; his adoration of Choi Ki Wan, his ideology about romance, and his sentimental poetry an ill fit for a drama too short to develop a secondary love interest. Kim Tae Hyung is simply there, and although I love how supportive his character is and the advice he gives Choi Ki Wan, I am disappointed that his role felt unnecessary to the drama as a whole.
Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding is the drama that could have been but stopped just short of being. By neatly avoiding the conflicts that could have arisen from a fraudulent marriage and developing gay romance, throwing in a love triangle with little development, and offering a dialogue that sometimes felt recited rather than acted, Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding fell short for me. It’s a cute drama with little angst, and I highly recommend it for viewers looking for this type of drama. Personally, however, I find myself needing more.
But I wasn’t wholly unimpressed. One of the things I truly found refreshing about Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding is how it presented the female role in the family during the Joseon Dynasty, the way the wife interacts and cares for the family. Even more than that, I love how grateful Ryu is for Choi Ki Wan’s perseverance in this role. I love that he appreciates the females’ role and expresses that appreciation when Choi Ki Wan devotes himself to fulfilling it. It’s nice to see vital tasks like cooking and cleaning lifted up rather than undermined.
The ending, like much of this drama, felt incomplete. It ended where the real love story between them should have truly begun. Where did Choi Ki Wan and Ryu Ho Sun go from there? What happened after they kissed? Did they choose to return together, or did they choose to remain isolated from their families? How did whatever choice they made affect their families and each other?
Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding needed a fuller story, a more detailed look into a promising burgeoning relationship full of equal admiration.
Rating- 3 out of 5