With Taemin from SHINee and Naeun from A Pink joining the cast of We Got Married (WGM), some kpop fans unfamiliar with the variety-reality show are wondering how much of it is scripted. My sense from watching a few couples over a few seasons is that the amount of scripting on WGM these days–and here I’m counting scripting by writers and by the couples themselves, who are playing WGM versions of themselves and shaping their dialogue accordingly–is about 97% [totally non-scientific number meant to imply a vast, vast majority], with more or less depending on the couple and season. Here’s a overview of where to expect scripting on WGM and where you might see a glimpse of something more authentic:
Dates, outings, and vacations
It seems like much of the stuff the couples decide to do together is planned by the writers. For example, a couple might randomly decide that they need to get yearly physicals together to celebrate 100 days of tv togetherness—that’s 1000% scripted; no hot, young couple on earth has ever decided to celebrate their love with romantic his and hers blood pressure screenings. I’m guessing that at some point Taemin will take Na Eun on a date to a dance studio and he will show her some moves, and since Na Eun is apparently known for her drawing skills, she will draw something for Taemin. Someone’s mom will have to show up at some point to awkward things up or bring the couple closer together, there will be some sort of vacation, cooking will be done, and bandmates will be consulted for advice (hopefully on camera).
The fights and many of the conversations also often seem scripted or at least prompted by a storyline the writers want to develop. For example, one person will bring up how the other glanced at an attractive idol’s ankle (or something equally ridiculous) at a recent music show and the couple will then engage in some “push-and-pull” bickering for the sake of injecting tension into an otherwise dull episode about making kimchi in the yard. That’s not to say that the flirty bickering isn’t real or reflecting the couple’s dating style; there is a concept of push-and-pull (밀당) between partners in Korean dating culture. Even if the writers aren’t feeding the couple lines, the couples themselves seem to realize that they need to keep the tension alive to make for a more realistic and interesting relationship. Taemin will probably have to throw a tantrum about too-short comeback outfits worn by Na Eun, Na Eun will probably pout due to Taemin posing with a girl group member for a magazine spread, and they will have some sort of discussion about finances or food that involves disagreement.
Reality and Television
Overall, a good deal of WGM is scripted and very few people on the show are good enough at acting to cover the awkward transition to scripted conversations and outings. The show seems to have gotten more and more tightly scripted over the years, and managers apparently attend filming sessions to monitor the stars and prevent public relations disasters. The possibility of just about anything truly spontaneous happening and then making it onto the show is low.
This isn’t to say that a couple on WGM couldn’t become romantically attached while filming the series. Plenty of couples have dated and even married after playing romantic partners on dramas, where the line between reality and tv is clearer, but WGM producers have previously stated that they would ask couples that blurred the lines between reality and television too much to leave the show. This means that the WGM couples can’t really be romantically involved while on the show, at least according to the program’s rules.
Sources of authenticity and reasons to watch
We Got Married is amazing and completely addictive to watch because within all the scriptedness and predictability there are moments where the two people do seem to actually connect—whether on a friend level or romantic level is often difficult to tell—so it’s fun to try to determine which are the scripted moments and which are more authentic. Shows like WGM are sort of like CSI for people who love studying human relationships, psychology, and body language.
Additionally, for lovers of adorable awkwardness, WGM is a gift. Couples like Taemin and Na Eun that are shy and young often spend the first twenty episodes dropping things, stumbling over words, staring at walls, and cowering behind bandmates. Awkwardness on that level can’t be scripted, and it makes for amazing, if painful, television.
tl;dr We Got Married with Taemin and Na Eun is going to be pretty much entirely scripted, but the show could still be entertaining.
- SHINee’s Taemin and APink’s Naeun To Be The New Couple of WGM (koreanupdates.com)
- ‘We Got Married’s new couple rumored to be SHINee’s Taemin and A Pink’s Na Eun (allkpop.com)
- ZE:A’s Kwanghee & Secret’s Sunhwa to Be Replaced by SHINee’s Taemin and Apink’s Na Eun on WGM (asia247.wordpress.com)
- “Married couple” Taemin and Son Naeun played siblings in past sitcom + first episode airing the 27th (dutchshawols.wordpress.com)
- SHOCKING NEWS!!! SHINee Taemin and A-PINK Naeun New Couple in We Got Married?! (girlslocksanctuaire.wordpress.com)
- SHINee’s Taemin and A Pink’s Son Naeun confirmed to join “We Got Married” (dutchshawols.wordpress.com)
- ‘ We Got Married’ PD reveals his reasons for the Taemin and Naeun couple (dutchshawols.wordpress.com)
- SHINee’s Taemin and A Pink’s Naeun to be the next ‘We Got Married’ couple (kpop7seven.wordpress.com)