- Overall 7.0
- Story 6.5
- Acting/Cast 8.0
- Music 7.0
- Rewatch Value 1.0
This is one show that breaks almost all my ground rules of kdrama watching. As a self proclaimed old fashioned romance junkie, I tend to stay away from dramas or stories based on vampire, fantasy, time travel or paranormal themes.
Orange Marmalade embodies all of the above and some.
So how did I end up watching Orange Marmalade and stuck with it through to the end? Because there was enough intrigue to read more this madness and it was sufficient to keep me tuned in each week.
I was fascinated by the boldness (or some may say craziness) of the production team to take on a challenge that is such a departure from the normal formula of kdrama success. It is supposedly an adaptation of a popular webtoon but it is nothing like its predecessor. It is but a myriad of cliche tropes, creatively brave screenwriting, mix in some non conventional programming, good looking casts, and there you go - Voila! Orange Marmalade!
At first I was intrigued by the mini teasers which did a fantastic job of marketing the show. I was sold by the mystique of the elusive vampire girl and the puppy eyed, longing stares of Jae Min.
Yeo Jin Gu’s superb acting won me over in those few seconds. I am already a fan of CNBlue’s Lee Jong Hyun therefore having him as the second lead was a bonus.
Two episodes in, I was ecstatic! The Show exceeded my expectations. It started out really well in introducing the storyline depicting the struggles of the vampires trying to live incognito among humans; reminiscing of real life discrimination faced by many in our society today. And throw in a few light-hearted hilarious moments, I was sold! My reaction...Wow! They did that on prime time public television?
Episode 4 was the turning point for me. The pace was suddenly so fast it was like watching a completely different drama. Suddenly the Show introduced all kinds of loopholes, sub-plots and question marks. And then the big reveal - flashbacks to the Joseon era. At this point I was close to dropping the show but curiosity kept me reeled in.
It turned out I actually liked the Joseon episodes the best even though I was cringing when I first heard about it. I really enjoyed Shi Hoo’s story in the Joseon era. His character had more depth and layers than the other two leads. The bromance between Shi Hoo and Jae Min was cute and touching. The love story between Jae Min and Ma Ri was endearing but a tad ordinary and predictable. I actually felt more for Shi Hoo’s restraint love for Ma Ri. It was respectful but heart rending. The secondary characters were interesting and their stories closed the gaps in understanding the relationships of these characters in the present day.
I also enjoyed the story development surrounding the human-vampire conflict and how the pact was reached that carried to the modern era. I was mostly invested in Shi Hoo’s story though how the show dealt with him in the present day was a tad too convenient for my taste.
The chemistry between the second leads was excellent but in typical kdrama fashion it was a bit rushed in the end.
Overall, Orange Marmalade had its moments but lost a lot of fans from the misleading advertising, inconsistent storytelling/pacing and the modern to historical jumps. But I am glad it didn’t suck and it definitely wasn’t a complete waste of my time.
The music was catchy and melodic but to be honest the exact tunes have totally escaped me so it must not be that memorable.
Is it a rewatch? No, it is one of those unique shows that will certainly divide but even for the faithful, a rewatch is probably not likely.