You know a show is good when you’re willing to watch 16 hours of it, twice! And Mary Stayed Out All Night (or Marry Me, Mary!) is that kind of good. The characters are personable, the plot is original, the music is wonderful, the love triangle is enjoyable, and the chemistry between Moo Geun-Young (Mary) and Jang Keun-Suk (Mu-Gyul) is out and out fun. (At the 2010 KBS Drama Awards they won the Best Couple Award. See, I told ya.)
Wi Mary is a young woman who, pretty much, raised herself. Her mother passed away when she was very little and her father was constantly on the run from creditors. Her father wants her to marry Jung-In, the son of his childhood friend, in return for the rich old friend paying off all of Mary’s father’s debts. But Mary is not about to be pushed into a loveless marriage with a man she has never even met so she gets an acquaintance, Mu-Gyul, to pose for fake wedding pictures to show her father she ran off with the man she loved and got married. That might have worked except Mary’s father had already registered her as married to Jung-In. What to do? They decide to let Mary have a 100 day trial period with both men, splitting her time between them, and let her decide who she wants when the time is up. She agrees to the deal, knowing she won’t pick either guy. But Mary’s father and Jung-In’s father decide to make sure she ends up with Jung-In no matter what!
Mary, played by Moon Geun-Young, is a humble girl who would make a great wife for any man. She can cook and knit and has a kind heart but her dancing and singing skills leave a lot to be desired! She loves her father even though he’s always putting her in one terrible position after another. She met Mu-Gyul when she accidentally hit him while she was driving her friends around town.
Mu-Gyul, played by Jang Keun-Suk, is the lead singer in an amateur indie band. He plays the guitar and also writes music. His mother was single and only 17 when he was born so he was shuffled around from relative to relative throughout his childhood. Because he never had a stable family life he has a difficult time with relationships and never had the same girlfriend for longer than a month at a time. He loves his mother even though she just breezes in and out of his life at random.
Jung-In, played by Kim Jae-Wook, is a quiet, serious man who wants to please his father, whom he thinks of as a god. He intends to produce a drama about an indie band and his father agrees to invest in the idea as long as he marries Mary. He’s intelligent, determined, and a good leader, and yet he also has an innocent, child-like quality.
The love triangle in this show is one of my favorites. It’s difficult to decided who you want Mary to end up with because both men have some wonderful qualities and each would make a great boyfriend/husband. Its fun to watch their characters progress and grow, episode after episode.
I found it interesting that Mary Stayed Out All Night had two writers, however, they didn’t write it together. Instead In Eun-A wrote the first ten episodes and then Ko Bong-Hwang took over and finished 11 through 16. In Eun-A left because of low ratings and problems with the production team. When I found out the writer had changed I tried to think if there was a different feel to the first ten episodes compared to the last six but nothing stood out. It all had an even flow to it and the characters personalities didn’t change, aside from showing growth. Even though the ratings weren’t high the show still won the Excellent Korean Drama Award at the 2011 Seoul International Drama Awards.
Mary Stayed Out All Night has one of the best soundtracks of any Kdrama I’ve seen. Every single song is polished, professional, and fits the drama’s atmosphere perfectly! Jang Keun-Suk’s voice is amazing and his skills on the guitar are finely tuned. Trust me… this is a soundtrack worth buying and putting on your phone!
The best part of the scenery is Mu-Gyul’s and Jung-In’s homes. Each one is perfectly suited to their owner’s personality. Jung-In’s is spacious, up to date, clean, has the best technology available, and is expensive. Mu-Gyul’s place is like a garage. He goes out looking for old, abandoned things he can use in his home – bricks and boards become a bookcase, his appliances are tiny, it’s cold, there’s graffiti all over the walls, and keeping the place neat isn’t a big priority for him.
If you’re looking for a romantic comedy to spend 16 hours on, look no further than Mary Stayed Out All Night. It’s definitely a 2 thumbs up drama!
Great love triangle
No bad guys
Nothing at all