'One Spring Night' season 1 episode 2 highlights the omnipresent pressure to get married in Asian societies
One final spring night, our protagonists from the South Korean romantic drama 'One Spring Night' meet. At the time of this meeting, their lives are pretty uneventful – Lee Jeong-In (played by Han Ji-min) and Yoo Ji-Ho (played by Jung Hae-in) are working their day jobs as librarian and pharmacist respectively, but there is something missing in their lives.
Jeong-in is already in a long, stable relationship with her boyfriend Kwon Ki-Seok (played by Kim Joon-han), who possesses not a single bad quality – he comes from a wealthy family, holds a reputable post at a bank and also loves Jeong-in. Their parents are also aware of their relationship and practically waiting on them to tie the knot.
Jeong-in, however, can't help but feel that Ki-Seok is not "the one". She can't place her finger on it yet, but there is something about the relationship that is missing. In the first episode, Jeong-in is also found complaining to her friend that her long relationship with Ki-Seok is uneventful and boring. Her friend notes that they don't say "I love you" at the end of a call.
One would imagine that the dilemma Jeong-in finds is characteristic of long-term relationships. But for the female lead, it goes beyond that. This is something that her boyfriend also points out – in a long-due conversation that the couple has, Ki-Seok points out that if it were cold feet, he would still understand the space she is coming from, but her reaction is more than that. Poor Ki-Seok also asks her if it is the idea of marriage that she hates or him.
On top of that is the looming pressure from both ends of the families about marriage. This is the highlight of Netflix's second episode of the Korean drama – the omnipresent pressure in Asian societies to tie the knot and settle down with a partner.
Ki-Seok's influential father is also running out of patience and if Ki-Soek and Jeong-in's relationship is not going to take the next big step, he might as well forget about it. He is also considering an assemblyman's daughter for Ki-Seok.
Meanwhile, Jeong-in's father thinks she must get married before it gets too late for her but she refuses to answer his queries with an absolute answer and instead shows him the mirror. Later apologizing to her sister Lee Seo-in (played by Im Seong-un), Jeong-in says she refuses to be pushed/pressurized into marriage the way Seo-in was.
As it turns out, their father rushed the subject of Seo-in's marriage and had her married to Nam Shi-hoon (played by Lee Moo-saeng), who now physically abuses her. While she has decided to get a divorce and confesses to Jeong-in that it is going to be difficult, but she is very sure of the decision she had made.
Asian societies are plagued with the issue of marriage and tying the knot at a specific age. While the ages of our characters are nowhere mentioned and all we know is that they're in their 30s, the impatience from the parents is the key here.
'One Spring Night', directed by Ahn Pan Suk, is the most realistic romantic series you will find on Netflix. The characters are written in an organic manner – they are grounded and while unsure of what they want, they are aware of what they don't want.
The series comes to Netflix on July 12, 2019.