[One True Pairings] That weren’t set up by Fate

Fight My Way

By @rinny

I think we could all agree that in the land of dramas, the most common reason for a One True Pair to come together is the magic wand of Fate. In recent dramas, you could argue Moon-ho and Gang-do in Just Between Lovers, Jia and Min-kyu in I’m Not a Robot, and Sun-mi and Oh-gong in Hwayugi were all drawn together by Fate.

But what about the couples that are just a good match? The couples brought together by a more realistic reason? Where are they? They exist, but they can be a little more difficult to spot in dramaland. They are commonly found in friends-to-lovers or slice-of-life dramas, where they come across much more organically. Fight My Way had a great couple in Ae-ra and Dong-man, who kept coming back to each other not because of the magic of fate but because they were such an integral part of each other’s lives they were less of themselves without the other.

Fight My Way

When you compare all the “fated” pairings to more organic pairs, they feel hollow to me because they take away from the autonomy of the characters. This is especially true when the characters go from enemies to lovers, where often, circumstances outside their control keep pushing them together.

But of all the non-fated couples, there is a specific set that stands out to me. The Answer Me series revolves around several stories of ultimate One True Pairings. If I were to write a list of my favorite couples, all the Answer Me couples would rank among the best. And the reason for their relationships being so great? Fate is not the driving force. Instead, it is because the characters made and acted on choices that followed behavior already set up earlier in the drama.

Answer Me 1988

The reasons the stories were so well loved and drew so many angry tears, particularly in Answer Me 1988, was because the stories could have gone differently if the characters did not actually take authorship in their own stories.

So I would like to nominate the One True Pairing that is the truest of them all, Sung Shi-won and Yoon Yoon-jae of Answer Me 1997, because their characters were brought together by the choices they made. Sure they ran into each other in a coffee shop after years of separation, but one coincidence is not fate. And in the end, they both chose to act on their feelings and try for a relationship, rather than wait for fate to give them a sign that it was guaranteed to work out.

Answer Me 1997


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