Mary Stayed Out All Night (also known as Marry Me, Mary) is about a woman (Moon Geun Young) who finds herself reluctantly being set up in an arranged marriage by her father. In order to avoid it, she enlists help from an indie rocker (Jang Geun Suk) who pretends to be her husband.
Mary Stayed Out All Night was a very fun drama. I definitely had a unique experience watching this drama that is a quite different than with any other. Since the drama came out in 2010, I actually went into it knowing very little. And that ended up leaving me genuinely wondering what was going to happen!
We have Jang Geun Suk as the indie rocker Kang Moo Kyul. He’s a carefree playboy who is just concerned about his music. I’m always a fan of Jang Geun Suk, and this role was no different. Of course, he perfectly fits characters like these with a headstrong personality combined with that indie rocker persona. He really is a lot of fun in the drama.
Moo Kyul has a journey of growth to go on with Mae Ri. While their relationship starts out as fake, they soon develop feelings for each other. But there are a lot of complications standing in the way of their relationship. It was very enjoyable watching Moo Kyul learn to take responsibility and develop genuine feelings for someone.
Moon Geun Young is completely adorable as Wi Mae Ri! She’s as sweet as can be and full of life. This girl is so much fun, and I really enjoyed watching her just be cute. Mae Ri has a tough road to follow as she definitely finds herself in a terrible situation that just continues to spiral out of control.
Kim Jae Wook plays our rich, would-be husband Jung In. He’s not particularly thrilled about the arranged marriage either, but in order to stay in his father’s favor, he has to go along with it. He is a genuinely good guy though, so he is always very understanding of Mae Ri.
I actually found this character incredibly boring though. He’s just so hum-drum and shows practically no emotion. He does show a bit more emotion towards the end of the drama, but it was really too little too late. I didn’t dislike the character, but he was just so uninteresting.
Seo Joon (Kim Hyo Jin) is an actress known for being difficult to work with. She has a history with Moo Kyul and also signs on to be in Jung In’s drama. So she finds herself right in the middle of all of the crazy marriage shenanigans.
With the drama focusing on an indie band, you would hope there is a great soundtrack. And there is! There are plenty of fun and upbeat songs as well as some emotional ballads. The music really adds to the atmosphere of the drama, and it was all very solid and memorable.
For those considering whether or not to watch this drama, I definitely have a few heads ups to give. First, there are a lot of relationship misunderstandings with the characters constantly getting caught in incriminating situations. So inevitably, that results in a lot of arguments. This seems to happen more and more as the drama progresses, so be prepared for that bit of repetition.
Also, Mae Ri’s dad (Park Sang Myun) is terrible! I’ve seen my fair share of meddling mothers, but this father was ridiculous! He is completely obsessed with Mae Ri marrying Jung In. He goes to ridiculous lengths to achieve this goal.
And no matter how much Mae Ri protests or the amount of pain it causes her, he remains undeterred. I’m usually pretty unfazed by these types of meddling characters, but let me tell you, this one succeeded in really annoying me!
Jung In’s dad (Park Jun Gyu) isn’t much better. He has his own obsession with Mae Ri marrying into the family because of buried feelings he harbored for her mother many years ago. While not quite as annoying as Mae Ri’s dad, he also goes to some pretty crazy lengths to make the marriage happen. Just remind yourself, this is just a drama! Hehe
Moo Kyul is also very stubborn and headstrong. He easily loses his temper and prefers to get mad and leave rather than talk things through. On the other side, Mae Ri is a complete pushover. This girl lets everyone get away with everything. She will not stand up for herself and lets things get completely out of control in her life because of her inability to say no to her father.
And while Moo Kyul definitely makes his share of mistakes, I truly felt sorry for the guy because of Mae Ri. Her lack of communication to him makes him go through some pretty terrible situations that leave him heartbroken.
Luckily, the worst of this stuff is mostly contained in the last few episodes. Some of it does definitely happen throughout the drama, but it really only gets bad towards the end. But the second half of the drama definitely has enough frustration to leave many drama fans screaming at their screen and reaching for the remote. It’s pretty hard for me to get bothered by most of these things, but this drama succeeded at giving me several reasons to be annoyed.
There’s one time at the end that is a real doozy where there was no good reason for Mae Ri not to communicate her plan to Moo Kyul. He ends up devastated and heartbroken because of her lack of communication. But the kicker is that even when he finds out the truth, he is the one who ends up apologizing for not trusting her! At least taking an equal share of the blame would have been nice. Ah well…
This drama surprised me because it sort of flipped around the typical kdrama character roles, and it left me confused. I was excited in the beginning to see Mae Ri and Moo Kyul building a very interesting relationship. Being a poor musician is a unique job for a male lead.
But then she gets involved with Jung In who is your classic rich chaebol heir. And while Mae Ri is friendly with him, she just didn’t seem to have any feelings for him. But he was the one she was in the arranged marriage with, so I really began to wonder if they would slowly fall for each other. Which really began to worry me!
But my confusion continued as Moo Kyul displayed typical male lead traits such as sometimes being more angry with Mae Ri whereas Jung In was always kind and supportive no matter the situation. So maybe Moo Kyul really was the main guy…
But then I kept worrying she would come to realize she just cared for Moo Kyul as a friend but was falling in love with the supportive Jung In. Ahhh! I was so confused! And this never happens because we all always know who is who in a kdrama! I probably should have known better, but hindsight is 20/20. So kudos to this drama for keeping me thoroughly confused for a good long while.
Finally, I did become confident that Moo Kyul was in fact the main lead. But I still had this nagging worry that this would be one of those rare cases that the second lead got the girl. Luckily, all my worries were for naught. Moo Kyul and Mae Ri do in fact end up together. And I was never more relieved!
Despite its negatives, Mary Stayed Out All Night really was a lot of fun overall. I loved the different vibe it had and thought it was great that they flipped around some of the usual kdrama roles. Moo Kyul and Mae Ri were such a lively couple that had plenty of adorable moments together.
While it definitely had its share of frustrations, I was never bored with the drama, and it kept me on my toes. And that is pretty much the number one thing I ask of a show. So I’ll mostly remember Mary Stayed Out All Night as being a fun and unique drama with a couple that I adored.
My Rating: 7.5/10
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