Pangyo Newlyweds of “Private lives”

사생활 촬영중단, 코로나19 여파…타 드라마와 스태프 겹쳐 '방송가 비상' - 이투데이
Photo Credits. Main poster of “Private lives”

jtbc’s new drama “Private lives” features Seo Hyun and Go Kyung Pyo as the two main leads who work as professional swindlers. Things get a little complicated when the two are forced to go against a powerful large corporate company.

I haven’t watched this drama yet, but I know that Seo Hyun and Go Kyung Po are famously called the “Pangyo newlyweds”. They’re especially called so with reference to this gif here in which Go Kyung Po’s wearing a suit and Seohyun’s sporting a simple white dress:

판교 신혼부부 같다는 비유에 찰떡인 고경표&소녀시대 서현 - 인스티즈(instiz) 인티포털
Gif: Credits
포토]고경표-서현,발걸음도 가볍게 - 중앙일보
Photo Credits
방송]서현X고경표X김효진X김영민, 4色 카리스마 "기대해♥" | YTN
Photo Credits
나이 차 딱 1살 서현·고경표, '이 행동' 때문에 '핑크빛♥' 제기됐다 (영상) | 위키트리
Photo Credits

So what exactly does “Pangyo newlyweds” mean?

“Pangyo”, to be straightforward, is a city in South Korea associated with residences and livelihood of people who are quite (or very) financially comfortable. (Think maybe NYC of US) Unsurprisingly, the biggest Hyundai Department Store (or, shopping mall) in Pangyo is the largest luxury department store in the Seoul Capital Area. This mall also has the largest food court in Korea.

판교 단독주택】 풍경 담은 집, 판교하우스 | 1boon
Photo Credits. A house in Pangyo
판교 햇살깊은 마당집
Photo Credits. A house in Pangyo

Some areas in Pangyo are even labelled the “neighborhoods of the CEOs”. The vice-president of Shinsegae, for instance, is known for owning a house in the area.

Photo credits. Jung Yong Jin, Vice President of Shinsegae Group
Photo credits. A Shinsegae Shopping Mall

While Gangnam is also the epitome of an affluent neighborhood in Korea, most houses in Gangnam are flats, while more houses in Pangyo are private landed properties, allowing famous individuals like CEOs and celebrities some privacy and safety.

With reference to how elegant and sophisticated Go Kyung Pyo and Seo Hyun look together like a newlywed couple, Korean netizens and fans made remarks like:

“They look like Pangyo newlyweds- the kind with financially comfortable parents, who grew up in affluent, comfortable and supportive families and after marriage, purchase a (not rented) newly built house.”

“They look like the couple that would eat at the Pangyo Hyundai Department Store food court downstairs and then go upstairs to do shopping on weekends.”

“They look like they would’ve received a lot of parental support from young, went to good universities in Seoul and then went to work in conglomerate companies.”

“They look like they’re working in the finance/legal sector or in large conglomerate companies”

단 세 글자로…” 서현 인스타에 '판교' 드립 친 수영이 난리 난 이유 | 위키트리
Photo Credits. Comment by Sooyoung (Girls’ Generation) on fellow member Seohyun’s Instagram post

The Pangyo joke/compliment seems pretty widely known in Korea- even Girls’ Generation member Soo Young commented on Seohyun’s post (picture with Go Kyung Pyo), “Pangyo?”, to which Seohyun humorously responded, “Yes yes, we’re the Pangyo couple- we got to know this thanks to you (reference to Girls’ Generation members)”.

Seohyun’s acting seems to get more nuanced and skilful as she acts in one drama after another- she seems to have settled more or less as an actress. I look forward to continue seeing her acting in even more dramas & movies and hope the best for her role as a picture-perfect Pangyo newlywed wife alongside Go Kyung Pyo!

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