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Four Things We Learn From K-Dramas Like 'The Eccentric Daughter-In-Law'

BY Adrienne Stanley | Sep 16, 2015 03:57 PM EDT


The KBS2 family series, "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" is poised to conclude its 12 episode run. The drama which is also known as "The Virtual Bride," stars Sistar's Dasom as Oh In Young, a washed up K-pop idol whose last ditch effort for fame is to appear in a scripted reality show.

In Young is paired with Yang Choon Ja, a matriarch who maintains tight control over a traditional household, where 150-year-old soy sauce is prized along with the ability to make kimchi. 

The unlikely pair struggled to find common ground and are seemingly mismatched. However, their differences are outweighed by the disparity between In Young and Cha Myeong Seok (Ryu Soo Young), the mathematics professor that becomes the on-screen husband of In Young.  

With only 12 episodes, "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" provides a condensed look at the popular genre of Korean family dramas, which often run for more than 50 episodes. 

Here are four things that viewers learn from family dramas like "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law." 

1. K-Drama audiences dream of living happily-ever-after with a K-pop star, even the male viewers. 

"The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law" provides a revised take on series like "EXO Next Door," where members of a pop group are accessible to the average person. In the case of the KBS2 series, ahjussi fans or older men who support younger female K-pop idols receive positive attention through Myeong Seok. In Young initially refers to him as ahjussi with disdain, but the word becomes a term of endearment as she realizes her true feelings for the college professor. 

2. The smartest people are often ignorant when it comes to love. 

Myeong Seok is the eldest son of a traditional family and is doted on by his mother, Choon Ja. His ability to solve complex equations does not translate into real-life situations like love. This provides an interesting contrast as he derides In Young for her lack of education while realizing that she is smarter in affairs of the heart. 

3. Mother-in-laws have redeemable qualities beyond serving as the scapegoats for their failed dreams of their children.  

Yang Choon Ja is a difficult character for many K-Drama viewers who have yet to become mother-in-laws. Ironically, the actress who portrays Choon Ja also plays the difficult matriarch in "All About My Mom." 

Choon Ja is well intentioned and attempts to maintain the rules that have governed her household for years. However, she is forced to adjust to changing times. She has mixed feelings about In Young, a young woman who is willing to work hard at home, but is trained in performing arts. She is heavy-handed when dealing with her daughter-in-law who wants to teach at a study school. However, Choon Ja realizes that she has to adapt to modernity in order to maintain her place as the female head of the household. 

4. Girls who are live-in helpers always have a crush on the oldest son and aspire to become more successful than the matriarch. 

In a plot twist similar to "Unkind Women," the girl who resides in the household as a live-in helper harbors resentment towards the conventionally successful family. She dreamed of marrying the eldest son and never considered departing his side. 

Have you watched "The Eccentric Daughter-in-Law?" What are your thoughts on the series and similar family dramas? 

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