Inborn Pair is a Taiwanese drama that I happened upon while looking up Chris Wu’s drama available on Viki. Plot sounded interesting so I started watching, but around episode 10 I realized that it was an 84 episode drama. Now as I have delved into Chinese dramas I have gotten a bit less intimidated by the episode count, but this is NOT one that is worth the watch for the amount of time you have to put into finishing it.
Basic premise is a contract marriage between the two leads to pacify their grandmother/parents who had set-up a pre-birth arranged marriage for them. They get married but have a contract to get divorced after a year. The main couple has the story line for a 20 episode drama but what stretched it out so long were the side characters and their plot lines. I’m not sure if I classify this is a family drama just because I haven’t watched any of those yet. But that’s what it reminds me of, something that you would watch with your parents, with your kids, that isn’t too racy or too focused on romance, has comedy etc.
So in terms of what I did like about this drama I liked the main lead couple, I liked the actors playing them. I felt like they had a good storyline, it wasn’t totally conventional as it didn’t go in the most obvious way it could’ve been finished. Since it was a long drama the progress from contract marriage to fully being in love, then both being honest about it, and being in a real relationahip felt like a realistic timeframe because it was at least six months for them to gradually fall in love.
The Best part of the drama were absolutely the grandfather of the main lead girl and the grandmother of the main lead boy. They were both hilarious characters who are extremely likable and created really interesting scenes that were were very entertaining. In the drama world of beyond horrible Mother-in-law and father-in-law’s these two are a wonderful breath of fresh air. They honestly did more than just support the main couple, they actually push them into the whole situation that causes them to have the contract marriage. But they do it with good intentions and it ends up where everyone’s happy so hard to hold anything against them.
And finally the reason I found the drama initially was because I am a fan of Chris Wu and his outstanding acting. I knew he played the second male lead in this drama before I began it but I didn’t think it would be nearly 40 episodes before I would see him. He played his part wonderfully being the ex who still loves the main female character and as usual his emotional/crying scenes were heartwrenching and felt so real. His character is a real highlight and helps to act as a foil for the main couple to realize how they feel about each other. Small complaint; man they dresses him poorly for this drama, maybe to make sure the audience didn’t like him TOO much. Poor Chris 😬.
Now onto the bad news, things I did NOT like about this drama. Firstly, sorry to all the Tdrama lovers out there but Puff was especially bad in this drama, let’s be real. Her storyline was contrived, idiotic and she added to that by acting the part poorly. I have seen her in other dramas and not disliked her nearly as much, this was just a badly acted interpretation of a shoddily written character.
Secondly, because it was a “family drama” the mother-in-law was allowed to scheme to break up her son’s marriage and be generally nasty to the lead character with zero repercusions. I know part of why I dislike this type of behavior so much is that the idea of never arguing with your parents/ never going against their wishes is pretty different culturally from how I grew up in the US. From watching Korean dramas I have grown used to the MIL trope but I do get annoyed that the husband can’t/won’t even defend his wife if his mother is being cruel to her. I know it is just a different culture but it is nice to see bad characters get somehow “punished” for their bad behavior and choices, and in this drama the scheming characters never got punished to my satisfaction.
And the LENGTH I mean this story could have been told in 20-30 episodes easily and it just seems ridiculous to draw it out this much without there being much story line to require it. And the reason it was so long was because they fleshed out most of the family member’s romance plots. So along with the main couple you also had lengthy story lines for the older sister and younger brother. The older sister had an interesting story ( and the actress played the part with some lovely depth) but again just too over lengthy and drawn out. The sum of the different character’s plots lines does not add up to being worth the time.
So to be blunt, I will not watch again and I would NOT advise watching this over other better Tdramas. Maybe it just isn’t a genre of drama that I am fond of, to be fair.