Ki Wan pretends to be his sister to become Ho Seon's new bride.

Historical BL dramas are very rare, and the unique setting in Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding is a major selling point for this innovative Korean series. The story begins on the day of an arranged marriage, except the runaway bride got cold feet on her wedding day. In an unconventional arrangement, the bride’s brother will impersonate her and pretend to be loved-up newlyweds in front of the groom’s family.

I wanted to like Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding so badly. The historic setting is exciting, the premise is completely unique, and the actors are all familiar faces that I recognize from other Korean BL dramas. Unfortunately, the romance is just too lacklustre, while the story failed to capitalize on its immense potential. This series is a promising start for the genre, but there’s a lot of room for improvement.

Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding Summary

What is the show called?

류선비의 혼례식

When was the show released?

2021

Where was the show made?

South Korea

What is the language used in the show?

Korean

What is the show’s genre?

Historical

How would you describe the show?

Cute and sweet

How long is the show?

8 episodes

How long is each episode?

Around 10 to 12 minutes

Plot

Ho Seon plays along with the charade, pretending Ki Wan is his fake wife.

Ho Seon recently had an arranged marriage, but he never even saw his wife’s face until their wedding night. To his surprise, his new wife is actually Ki Wan, the brother of a runaway bride who got cold feet at the last second. Ho Seon is upset and wants to invalidate this marriage right away. However, Ki Wan convinces him to keep up this charade for a few days, while his family searches for the missing bride.

Surprisingly, Ki Wan manages to pass off as a woman, after she gets dolled up in the right makeup, accessories, and clothing. Ho Seon reluctantly plays along, pretending this man is his new wife. While Ho Seon’s meddlesome mother seems to believe the disguise, his troublemaker sister takes an immediate dislike to Ki Wan. The two of them constantly butt heads, and Jun Hee likes to play pranks on her sister-in-law.

As Ki Wan settles into his new role, he begins spending more time with his fake husband. The two of them get along well, sharing a similar interest in literature. However, trouble arises when Ho Seon’s friend Tae Hyung makes an appearance. A hopeless romantic, Tae Hyung falls in love with Ki Wan upon meeting him, forming an unexpected love triangle among the three men.

Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding Trailer

Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding Cast

Characters

Ho Seon Kang In Soo (강인수) Kang In Soo Instagram

Ryu Ho Seon is played by Kang In Soo (강인수).

Ho Seon is a literature scholar who recently got married. He lives at home with his meddlesome mom and mischievous younger sister, who are both protective of him. Ho Seon is thoughtful and considerate, once staying up all night to fix up a dirty skirt. He isn’t entirely happy about the living arrangement with his fake wife, but plays along with it.

Ki Wan Lee Se Jin (이세진) Lee Se Jin Instagram

Ki Wan is played by the actor Lee Se Jin (이세진).

Ki Wan is a literature scholar whose sister recently married into the Ryu family. However, he is forced to impersonate her when she runs away on their wedding night. Ki Wan has to think fast on his feet when assuming a woman’s identity in front of Ho Seon’s family. Strong-willed and independent, Ki Wan often clashes with Jun Hee, who doesn’t like her sister-in-law very much.

Supporting Cast

Tae Hyung is played by the actor Jang Eui Soo (장의수).

Tae Hyung

Jang Eui Soo (장의수)

Ho Seon's sister is played by Kang Si Hyeon (강시현).

Jun Hee

Kang Si Hyeon (강시현)

Ho Seon's mother is played by Jung Jae Eun (정재은).

Lady Shim

Jung Jae Eun (정재은)

Ki Wan's sister is played by the actress Cha Soo Jin (차수진).

Hwa Jin

Cha Soo Jin (차수진)

Ki Wan's father is played by the actor Kim Seung Wook (김승욱).

Lord Choi

Kim Seung Wook (김승욱)

Cast highlights

  • You will recognize many of the actors from other Korean BL dramas. Ki Wan was the lead actor in Mr. Heart, a 2020 BL series about marathon runners.
  • Tae Hyung’s actor was one of the male leads in Where Your Eyes Linger, a 2020 BL drama about a high school romance.
  • Ho Seon’s actor appeared in Wish You, and his costar (Lee Sang) also made a guest cameo appearance in Episode 6 of Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding.

Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding Review

Review

Drama Review Score: 6.5

C
Story

★★☆☆

Romance

★★☆☆

Acting

★★★☆

Ending

★☆☆☆

Ho Seon takes care of an injury on Ki Wan's hand.

After finishing Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding, I am so conflicted on how I feel about this series. I was really excited about a historical BL drama that didn’t originate from China (infamous for their heavily censored “bromances”, among many other types of authoritarian censorships 🤐). However, Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding is severely lacking in its storytelling and romantic elements. I found it a little underwhelming for a BL series that could have so much potential.

What I appreciate most about Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding is its creativity. I’m so impressed that the production company has the ambition to make a historical BL drama. The costumes, the props, the architecture, and the culture all contribute to a very unique setting that you don’t often see in modern BL. I love when a BL series pushes the boundaries of the genre, and Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding is successful at doing something different. Admittedly, there are signs of a limited budget in some production areas, but these are minor details that can be forgiven in the grand scheme of things.

Unfortunately, the many flaws in the storytelling cannot be overlooked. Right away, the story struggles in a messy start with tons of confusing exposition. There’re so many better ways to properly introduce the plot, the characters, the setting, and the time period, but the first episode does a poor job at explaining and establishing the narrative. Although there’s an improvement in the next few episodes, they still suffer from odd pacing and a lack of transition scenes. The story doesn’t flow smoothly, jumping from scene to scene without much coherence or clarity.

The romance should be the highlight of BL dramas, but it feels disappointing in Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding. Any scene between Ho Seon and Ki Wan seems superficial, totally lacking in passion and intimacy. Maybe the two of them have a platonic friendship at best, but there’s little evidence that they share romantic feelings for each other. The series also hardly explores the nuances of a man falling in love with another man during this time era. I guess they tried to make a ~statement~ with Tae Hyung’s crush on Ki Wan, but it was only a basic attempt.

I really wanted to like Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding, and I still enjoyed this series to a certain degree. At times, it’s funny, lighthearted, and creative. Plus, it features a bunch of actors I liked from other Korean BL dramas. These guys put in good performances here, although the material is too limiting and doesn’t allow them to showcase the talent that I know they have. If this production company ever makes another historical BL drama in the future, I hope they seriously focus on improving the narrative and the relationships. With some rework, there’s a lot of potential.

How is the story?

Historical BL
Tae Hyung arrives as a new character midway through Nobleman Ryu's Wedding.

Part of the fun in Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding is just seeing all the characters dressed up in historical gear, with their colourful attire and big extravagant hats. The production team does a great job at keeping up the immersion, and you notice their attention to detail in the props or the sets. Obviously, this isn’t a big-budget production, but I still think they did a great job at replicating the atmosphere of a historical drama.

With that said, you do notice some of the limitations. For example, they spend a lot of time in that tiny claustrophobic bedroom. Like, practically half of the scenes take place in that one bedroom. I understand it’s probably easier to shoot all the scenes in the same location, but the backdrop does get a little tiresome after a while.

Noblesome Ryu’s Wedding feels more immersive whenever it does location shooting. I love when the scenes showcase any interesting architecture or the beautiful surroundings. Again, I totally understand why a BL drama from a small studio wouldn’t have the necessary resources, so I think what they’ve achieved in Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding is already pretty spectacular.

Identity switch
Ki Wan pretends to be a woman and everyone plays along with his disguise.

The giant elephant in the room must be addressed. How did no one figure out that Ki Wan was actually a man? His crossdressing disguise was not completely foolproof. You should be able to tell right away this isn’t a woman, especially when he speaks.

As obvious as his disguise was, I am able to suspend my disbelief quickly. The production team put enough effort into his makeup and clothes that I’m willing to buy into the whole illusion. It’s not a big deal for me if he has a masculine appearance. For the sake of the story, I actually got used to the charade after a while, playing along and pretending like he could pass off as a woman.

The only suggestion I’d make is that it could’ve been interesting to see Ki Wan put on or take off his disguise. Show us a quick montage of him putting on makeup or tying up his hair, as if it was part of the narrative. In the current story, his character is magically all dolled up every time he appears. It would’ve made his disguise more relatable if we could actually see him during the transition process. I’m sure there was a way they could’ve pulled it off.

How is the romance?

Ho Seon and Ki Wan
Ho Seon helped Ki Wan take his measurements in the dressing room.

The romance between Ho Seon and Ki Wan barely got started. Many of their scenes don’t feel romantic in nature. All I’m seeing is a platonic friendship and there’s no attraction between them. Even when they kissed at the end, I was surprised because I didn’t believe they had that kind of relationship.

The only scene that gave me the feels is when Ho Seon helped Ki Wan take his measurements in the dressing room. There was some alluring energy in that particular scene, which wasn’t present for the rest of the series. Some of their other scenes might be cute or amusing, but I didn’t sense any romantic sparks between the couple.

Ki Wan and Tae Hyung
Tae Hyung takes an interest in Ki Wan, believing him to be a woman.

Tae Hyung was a cute side character and offered a fun diversion from the main storyline. He had an eccentric personality, so I never knew what to expect with him. His unexpected crush on Ki Wan was mostly played as comic relief, but I did enjoy the two of them together. Ki Wan is a bit feistier around Tae Hung, as he fends off the romantic advances from this hilarious homewrecking weirdo. 😅

I liked how Tae Hyung responded positively even after he found out that Ki Wan was a man. He continued sending Ki Wan love letters, because his gender didn’t change the way he felt about him. It was a nice touch, showing some progressive thinking that you wouldn’t normally expect from this time period. I wished we went deeper with Tae Hyung’s character, exploring more about his feelings for Ki Wan, but I guess the short length of the drama wouldn’t allow it.

I love the scene composition at the end of Episode 4, with Tae Hyung leaning forward to talk to Ki Wan.

By the way, I love the scene composition at the end of Episode 4, where Tae Hyung leans slightly forward to talk to Ki Wan. The characters were strategically positioned by the bamboo trees and stoned pathway, creating a very aesthetically pleasing visual. Whoever shot this scene has an artistic eye and captured a majestic view of the outdoor surroundings.

How is the acting?

Good acting
Ho Seon's actor looks good in clothing from this time period.

The actors are capable and put in solid performances, but no one was outstanding. Unfortunately, the script itself doesn’t have a lot of range, so there aren’t many opportunities for the cast to extend themselves. None of the scenes were too demanding.

On a more positive note, everyone looks authentic in their traditional attire and they all embody their roles perfectly. In particular, Ho Seon’s actor carries the clothes from this time period so well, giving off such a regal appearance. I also want to commend Ki Wan’s actor for taking on this role, showing a receptiveness to playing different parts regardless of the gender.

How is the ending?

Boring ending
Ho Seon and Ki Wan kiss in the final episode of the series.

Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding lost momentum in the last few episodes and started to drag near the end. As soon as Ki Wan’s sister appeared, the plot comes to a halt and nothing much happens afterwards. It was boring to watch Ho Seon and Ki Wan agonize about going back to their regular living arrangements. The tone was off, the pace was slow, and the scenes were just dreary. You have half an hour left to tell the story. Are these flashbacks and music montages really the best use of time?

There’s a happy ending in Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding, where the two characters reunite with a kiss. The kiss itself was beautifully shot, but their relationship hasn’t progressed to the point where the scene makes me feel anything. I paid more attention to the technical aspects of the kiss more than I actually enjoyed the emotional nuances of it.

My other complaint about the ending is that it doesn’t address what happens to Ho Seon and Ki Wan afterwards. Okay, they’ve kissed and confessed their feelings for each other, but then what’s next? How will this couple stay together during such a traditional time period? It just feels like they got lazy and didn’t want to explore any of the aftermath. The main characters kiss in the final few seconds, the credits start rolling afterwards, and let’s just call it a day!

Analysis

Who is the best character?

Tae Hyung
Tea Hyung is a quirky and eccentric character.

I just liked how quirky Tae Hyung was. No, he wasn’t really that essential to the plot, but his character added an offbeat energy to the drama. He’s unpredictable, he zigs when you expect him to zag, and he keeps you on your feet with his surprises. Whether he’s writing ridiculous love letters or reciting crappy poetry, I enjoy the comedic lightheartedness that Tae Hyung brings to Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding.

Is there any nudity?

Shirtless scene
Ho Seon has a shirtless scene early in Nobleman Ryu's Wedding.

Ho Seon has a shirtless scene early in the series, which involved him taking off his shirt in the bedroom. He gets shy about showing off his body around Ki Wan, who honestly couldn’t care less. Other than this scene, there are no other displays of skin in Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding.

Are there any triggers?

Annoying sister
Jun Hee was quite mean to her sister-in-law at the beginning.

Ho Seon’s little sister was a pain in the ass at the beginning. (Her character was never properly introduced, so I thought she was like a disgruntled maid or something. 😅) Jun Hee was kind of annoying every time she bullied Ki Wan around the house, even though it did lead to some pretty interesting scenes. I’m glad they sorted out their differences midway through the series, and Jun Hee backed off from her antics afterwards.

Other than the mischievous younger sister, I can’t think of too many triggering moments in Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding. They handled Ki Wan’s gender identity sensitively and didn’t crack jokes about it. A lesser series might have been tempted to make some offensive remarks, but you don’t get anything like this here. The drama is mostly tasteful and respectful in the way they managed his character.

What’s the best part?

The comedy
Ho Seon gets into a poetry slam against Tae Hyung.

The comedic aspects in Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding were decent. Some of the scenes were pretty amusing in a ridiculous way, like the impromptu poetry competition between Ho Seon and Tae Hyung. That scene was charming, unique, and memorable; exactly what this BL series needed more of.

If anything, Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding should’ve leaned in more on its comedic side, inserting more jokes and lighthearted moments. Let’s face it, the main storyline cannot be taken seriously, so none of the dramatic scenes were interesting. Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding would’ve fared much better if it was simply a comedy with an occasional dash of romance.

What would you change?

The wedding
We never see the wedding take place in Nobleman Ryu's Wedding.

For a series literally called Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding, the wedding was the one aspect that felt the least developed. It would’ve made a big difference to actually see the wedding in action. In the current story, we only get a glimpse of the wedding in some still shots during the opening credits. Since we never actually see Ho Seon getting married, the whole concept feels very abstract.

Even if they couldn’t shoot the wedding scene itself, there were other ways to convey this story more effectively. Maybe show us a scene of Ki Wan’s sister getting ready for the wedding. Or at least introduce us to Hwa Jin’s character in the first episode, so that we can see her hesitation about the marriage. These were scenes that would’ve built up the narrative, making the story easier to understand.

Ki Wan’s sister is a central character in the story, but she gets so little focus. Her character only appears in a scene or two. We never get a good idea about why she doesn’t want to get married, where she was hiding all this time, and what her relationship is like with her family. At first, I thought she was an enigma. But now, I realize she’s just an afterthought to the story.

All along, I thought there must be a good reason why Ki Wan and his father are so insistent for the marriage to take place, but it was never properly explained. The consequences of the marriage getting invalidated were never explored either. I don’t understand why they worked so hard to keep up the illusion of a married couple? It just never felt like the story was fleshed out fully, beyond setting up the initial premise of Ki Wan adopting his sister’s identity.

Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding Episodes

This drama has a total of 8 episodes. Each episode is around 10 to 12 minutes long. The last episode is around 13 minutes long. This is a short BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in approximately 90 minutes.

Episode Guide

⭐ Best episode

Episode 2

Ho Seon takes Ki Wan's measurements in the dressing room in Episode 2.

Episode 2 was probably the most successful episode of Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding in terms of being a romantic comedy. It starts with an intimate scene between Ho Seon and Ki Wan in the dressing room, allowing the characters to be a little more sensual. The rest of the episode shows Ki Wan getting used to his new life in Ho Seon’s house, leading to various funny or dramatic moments. All the plots in this episode were simple yet effective.

💕 Most romantic episode

Episode 5

Ki Wan was impressed with Ho Seon for winning the poetry competition.

Episode 5 had the poetry competition between Ho Seon and Tae Hyung. I know this scene might be really silly, but it was also romantic in a strange way. Imagine having two guys fight over you, reciting their love with their cheesy rhymes. I might cringe from embarrassment, but also feel flattered at the same time.

😡 Most triggering episode

Episode 6

Ho Seon is upset and would never marry Ki Wan's sister for running away.

For most of the series, Ho Seon didn’t bother me that much, except during one moment in Episode 6. This was the episode where Hwa Jin returns home, but Ho Seon is so upset with her that he invalidates their marriage. I found his long-winded speech to be very patronizing and I remembered rolling my eyes at him. 🙄

I understand why Ho Seon might be angry at his runaway bride, but let’s also consider her side of the story. This young woman ran away because she was scared about her arranged marriage. She had no say in the matter, and now she must spend the rest of her life with a stranger she never met before. Instead of trying to understand her perspective, Ho Seon starts berating her for being reckless, inconsiderate, and inferior to her older brother. Like, show some compassion, you jerk?

💋 First kiss episode

Episode 8

Ho Seon and Ki Wan kissed once in Episode 8 of Nobleman Ryu's Wedding.

Ho Seon and Ki Wan shared their only kiss in the last scene of Episode 8. The kiss was beautifully shot, and I love the camera angle where you can see them lock lips through his big transparent hat. 👒

💪🏻 Episodes with skin

Episode 2

Ho Seon has a shirtless scene in Episode 2 of Nobleman Ryu's Wedding.

Ho Seon has a shirtless scene in Episode 2 when he strips off in the bedroom. He covers up afterwards after feeling self-conscious around Ki Wan. This is the only shirtless scene in Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding.

👨🏻‍🤝‍👨🏻 Episodes as a couple

Almost every episode

It's difficult to say how Ho Seon and Ki Wan's relationship will progress after the series.

Technically, Ho Seon and Ki Wan spends almost the entire series pretending to be a married couple. They stay together until Episode 7, where they break up after the sham marriage was annulled. Strangely enough, they still slept in the same bed after calling off the marriage, but whatever.

The two of them officially kiss in Episode 8, but it’s difficult to say if they actually become a couple or not. Do we take the fairy tale kiss at face value, or do we question whether they have a future together? Think about all the challenges they will face, none of which are actually addressed in the series. I’m jaded and cynical, but wish them all the best.

Episode Reviews
Episode 1

★★☆☆

Episode 2

★★★☆

Episode 3

★★☆☆

Episode 4

★★★☆

Episode 5

★★☆☆

Episode 6

★★☆☆

Episode 7

★☆☆☆

Episode 8

★★☆☆

Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding Online

Links

  1. i watched nobleman ryu’s wedding yesterday and i have mixed feelings about it.

    idk, i had high expectations for it, but there was nothing interesting about it. I liked the historical concept and the costumes, tho. I wish tae hyung got more screentime. He was a very entertaining character. The “romance” between ho seon and ki wan didn’t click with me. It was a dry, boring ending.

    When you said Lee Sang made a special appearance in ep 6, i didn’t notice that so i quickly went back and rewatched the episode and saw him hahaha. I wish he had a bigger role ngl, he was good in wish you.

    It was interesting to see actors that are known for other BLs, in one BL kdrama. But yeah overall, it was an ok bl kdrama

  2. Hello!! When you have the time, can you check out “Peach Of Time” and write a review about it please? It’s a Korean X Thai crossover BL. There’s also “The Tasty Florida” .. another Korean BL drama .

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