The characters continue to be mostly passive as the storyline of "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" remains bogged down in a few key conflicts. Thankfully, the issue of trying to get Choon-ja to acknowledge In-yeong as not being completely terrible daughter-in-law material does at least get directly addressed. What's more, by the end of the episode the two even manage to find a sense of shared cause strong enough that might sort of make the iciness of their general relationship warm over. Late though it may be, I'm glad "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" is finally providing some hint of a long-term solution.
Everything else is just, well, it continues to be kind of blech. "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" isn't offering a terribly convincing defense of the institution of marriage. To the contrary, as seen in this drama, marital status appears to mainly just be a way to enable bullying and subordination toward people who aren't actually blood relations. When divorce seems like the unamibiguous best possible solution to so many problems, a story is in fairly dysfunctional territory.
If it was funny dysfunctional territory that would be one thing. But at best "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" mainly offers smiles. I do have to admit upon closer consideration that Ryu Soo-young and Kim Dasom are adorably cute together, because they do such a good job acting just so absolutely clueless about everything. Myeong-seok in particular manages to come up with a really dumb idea late in the episode that's obviously totally impractical considering everything else they're trying to juggle, but they try it anyway because they're just so in love.
Yet aside from these two, do any other characters even have any jokes at all? I'm sort of mildly amused at how Mi-hee's ex-husband keeps finding new ways to pop up in scenes, no matter how many unconvincing attempts other characters make to try and get him to stop. Without context, though, there's not really enough material to get invested enough in the characters to really care how these side stories are going to turn out.
The main good news right now is that "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" isn't really so much a bad drama as it is a drama lacking in obvious merits. The drama's not making me angry but it is starting to make me a little bored, because there's only so far the In-yeong / Myeong-seok can really go just on cuteness alone. It's possible that all of these various storylines will find a common theme to converge on at some point. Although mostly I just kind of doubt that that's ever happening.
Review by William Schwartz
"The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" is directed by Lee Deok-geon & Park Man-yeong, written by Moon Seon-hee & Yoo Nam-kyeong and features Kim Dasom, Go Doo-shim, Ryu Soo-young, Kwak Hee-sung, Kim Yoon-seo, Kim Sung-hwan and more.
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" Episode 8"
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