So I Married the Anti-Fan (그래서 나는 안티팬과 결혼했다 ) is very much an old school Korean romcom. The usual cat and dog dynamics of our lead couple plus the complicated relationship of the supporting couple are reminiscent of some of the biggest Hallyu hits over the last two decades. On one hand, that might date the series and feel a bit too tired compared to current dramas. (Granted, this series was filmed in 2018 and only now being released.) On the other hand, those old school vibes are refreshing. And the series’ fluffy exterior, likeable cast and satisfying pay offs make it an easy, enjoyable watch.
Choi Tae Joon is Hoo Joon, an international pop superstar. With a warm, charismatic personality in front of the cameras, he is much more cold-hearted behind the camera. Magazine reporter Lee Geun Young (Choi Sooyoung) runs right in to that hardened personality and ultimately loses her job because of him. In her efforts to regain her job and reputation, she is soon branded Hoo Joon’s “No. 1 anti-fan.”
Seeing this as an opportunity, television producers and Hoo Joon’s management craft a reality show featuring the two as celebrity and anti-fan living together in the hopes they can find common ground and control the public’s perception of them. Though they initially butt heads and can’t stand each other most of the time, Hoo Joo and Geun Young soon learn more about one another and gain a deeper understanding of each’s pains and struggles.
And naturally, their relationship develops into something much more as well.
So I Married the Anti-Fan knows exactly what it is and what it wants to be. The lighthearted, fluffy romantic comedy is sprinkled with just enough drama and emotion for a perfect balance of tone and engagement. You grow to care about these characters, even if they’re involved in the most romcom of romcom scenarios.
It is a simple, straightforward story. It isn’t groundbreaking. With a mixture of familiar romantic comedy themes, a realistic look at the inner workings of the entertainment industry and many, legitimately emotional dramatic moments and story beats, the series ticks all the right boxes. It is the kind of Korean drama ride you want to be on and are happy to have experienced.
Choi Tae Joon and Choi Sooyoung have great chemistry. Reminiscent of many opposites attract pairings in the past, both are able to leverage their own personal charm and charisma to give their respective characters their own voice while also successfully establishing the romantic journey they soon embark on. The strength of their performances is enough to carry what can be overly familiar territory. But that likeability and endearing quality they have elevates the series when needed.
2PM’s Hwang Chansung and Han Ji An, meanwhile, are able to take probably one of the most toxic relationships I’ve ever seen on a Korean drama and turn it into a story of friendship and forgiveness. As the chaebol CEO and aspiring singer, respectively, they help provide a backbone to Hoo Joon and Geun Young’s story while also establishing their own intriguing stories as well.
The series’ journey from production to release is interesting in and of itself. Both Choi Tae Joon and Hwang Chansung completed their mandatory military service in the time it took from wrapping of production to finally airing in 2021. Being a fan of the cast, I had eagerly awaited its premiere. So when its airing was finally announced earlier this year, I was looking forward to watching it.
Was it worth the wait? It depends. If you know what you’re getting yourself into when coming into the series, it should be more than adequate for your K-drama romcom cravings. Something cute and sweet. If you’re looking for something a little different from the usual or with a little spice, then it might not be your cup of tea.
But all in all, So I Married the Anti-fan is a thoroughly enjoyable series. Its light and fluffy atmosphere coupled with a brisk pace, catchy soundtrack, interesting characters and charming cast make it a great escape.