Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding (류선비의 혼례식) might not be able to maximize the potential it has. But a charming cast and fluffy story still make the series an enjoyable time.
The series begins with the arranged marriage of Joseon era scholar Ryu Ho Seon (Kang Insoo) and his beautiful bride Hwa Jin. But later on their wedding night, Ho Seon learns Hwa Jin is actually a man, Choi Ki Wan (Han Se Jin). Hwa Jin has gone missing, so in order to save face for their family, Ki Wan pretends to be his sister and takes her place. Ki Wan asks Ho Seon to just go along with the ruse until they are able to find Hwa Jin.
Ho Seon reluctantly agrees, partly to keep his mother happy. Ho Seon and Ki Wan must walk a tightrope around her, Ho Seon’s jealous sister and Ho Seon’s childhood friend Tae Hyung who arrives and ends up falling for Hwa Jin himself.
Along the way, Ho Seon and Ki Wan begin to grow closer as they understand each other and their respective situations. And of course, something deeper begins to develop between them and they must figure out these complicated new feelings.
These Korean webseries can be sometimes hit or miss because of the format. Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding consists of eight, 11-minute episodes. But the series’ premise might be better suited as a feature film. Its total length certainly feels that way already. And there is a movie compilation version with some extra scenes (which I have not seen yet).
I will assume that movie version will take what is a solid story already and become much more cohesive and more comfortably paced in comparison. That is similar to the series-to-movie difference of Wish You (also starring Kang Insoo) where the movie version flowed much better than the series.
Still, the series edit for Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding is not as haphazard as other Korean webseries. The eight chunks of story work sort of as little vignettes. According to those who have seen it, these episodes are well-joined together in the movie version. And I can definitely see how that could be accomplished.
In the series, however, the final two episodes feel a bit rushed. And the series edit sort of amplifies whatever shortcomings both the format and the affected screenplay may have.
There is not enough time to really develop and explore everything you know the series wants to do. That potential is hindered and held back by the short runtime and format of a webseries. And that is a shame considering the series has a really great cast and a simple, though tried and tested formula.
Kang Insoo and Han Se Jin have a good chemistry together. They aren’t given the most difficult material. But their chemistry allows their characters to endear themselves to us the audience. And for whatever shortcomings the story might have, they are able to pick up the slack. You can’t help but smile at all the close calls and sweet glances Ho Seon and Ki Wan have and give each other throughout the series. It’s their chemistry and performances that probably make me the most regretful at the lack of more time we can spend with them.
Jang Eui Soo is also charming as Tae Hyung. And it’s a shame the series is unable to give him more to do.
And that is probably what holds Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding back from being truly great. A lot of untapped potential, hindered by the lack of time, leaves you wishing the story was fuller and this cast was better utilized. But that cast helps to still make the quick series a cute, fun and fluffy ride. You can certainly find worse ways to spend an hour and a half of your time. But Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding is still a legitimately enjoyable series.