Spoiler Alert! This post might somehow spoil the content of the show. Read on if you like. Don’t complain and do yourself a favor of opting out if you don’t like it.
The movie starts with the perfect family life that was obtained by Ji Sun-Woo (Kim Hee-Ae) who was a reputable medicine doctor in the town of Gosan. She is married to Lee Tae-Oh (Park Hae-Joon) and they have a son named Lee Joon-yeong (Jeon jin-Seo). With a successful career and a happy family, Sun-Woo seems to have everything she dreamed of, but soon enough, her world crumbled down as she found out everybody around her were stabbing her back.
Lee Tae-Oh was dearly supported by his wife, dreaming of becoming a famous movie director and meanwhile running an entertainment business. Even though he loves Sun-Woo very much, Lee Tae-Oh falls into a dangerous relationship with Yeo Da-kyung (Han So-hee), who was the daughter of a wealthy boss Yeo Byung-gyu (Lee Geung-young) that complicated the whole situation, and brought distrust to the family. Heart-broken Sun-Woo was devastated, soon poised to track up her husband wrongful affair, while trying to keep him from knowing the plots. Through several attempts, including risking herself and her reputation as a great doctor through involving in complicated relationship with her patients and her husband’s colleague, Sun-Woo gradually discovered Tae-Oh’s despicable truths and finally, able to compile enough evidences to support her in the court of divorce. However, in episode 6, Joon-Yeong was rooting for his dad, which angered Sun-Woo and led her to threaten him over an edge. Tae-Oh, came back and thought that Joon-Yeong was forever gone, assaulted Sun-Woo in his uncontrollable grief. The son came back safely to find his mom lying unconscious on the floor, declaring that Tae-Oh was no longer his dad. Sun-Woo though badly hurt, was later on recovered, successfully won the case, kicked Tae-Oh out of their home, and gained the right to take care of Joon-Yeong. Everything she had fought for was achieved. Fast forward two years, the husband came back to the town, now with wedded Ye-Rim and their together-kid. The sanga would continue from here.
The drama has offered a very contemporary image of woman’s power and role in the modern society, who is successful, accomplished and is a breadwinner of the family. The more admire you have for the character of Sun-Woo, the more loathe and hate you want to spare for Tae-Oh, who was very well-described as a petty, coward, shameful husband that no one should ever marry. For cheating on his wife with his boss’s daughter to have her pregnant, and continuously lied and denied his truths, we would probably share the same thoughts that Tae-Oh shall be wished to receive punishments and consequences of his contemptible manners.
However, the movie does have a dangerous second meaning that hinted at the bad side of a woman overshadowing her man and him being interior or coward was merely a result of being pressure under social context. The question we might have asked is: Did the divorce happen because of the husband was so hopelessly bad, or is it because the wife is so great at everything? Too much of the blame game would tangled your mind, but so far, I choose to believe that marrying a horrible person who do gas-lighting and fail at telling the truth like Tae-Oh would be the foreshadow of a challenging marriage. There’s hardly a perfect equation of responsibilities and respect in relationship, but there should be underlying values that glued the couple together, beyond their mission of raising a family and protecting their kids. In Tae-Oh we have already seen a lack of values that are necessary for a lasting marriage, such as trust and commitments. Thus far, it’s safe to say that Sun-Woo has done her best while her husband failed at his worst. Girls, keep being great.
The victim of divorce
After all, the burden of a broken marriage is upon the children: Joon-Yeong’s youth started to be puzzled with sadness, distrust and unreliability. In the beginning, while his dad’s affair was still in the secret, Joon-Yeong enjoyed a fairly fulfilled, well-supported and happy life as the family’s only child. His presence in the first 6 episodes was limited, but later one there would be a bigger role for him to fill to describe the pain he had to endure. Children of the divorced cannot mirror anyone, and instead of learning from the best of their parents, they are grounded with their flaws and stresses. There were signed in the last-aired episode that Joon-yeong has already developed some forms of trauma and distress from witnessing the ongoing fights between his parents, and later on being more plagued with the bloody scenes of his mother after she was assaulted by his father almost to death.
I would definitely need to rewatch the whole thing to give more thoughtful comments on design elements, because they were very much little flaw to notice and I was so hooked with the logical plots that I couldn’t really pay attention to the design and screenplay. The complexity of actions and pretends of characters are the highlights of the drama: every single looks and pauses have a meaning to them, and that thrilling expression of emotions, in combination of effective background music, would surely have your eyes glued during the whole story. The fashion sense of the drama is so great: I mean, I would definitely need another research article to look up and analyze all the clothing, makeup and jewelries brands that were utilized in the drama, and for sure, after this whole thing ends, I swear by heart those would be sold out fast regardless how the Coronavirus situation might persist to last. That’s the power of the media: you are set to be obsessed with the beauties of the movie and the association of items that are placed in the visual narratives.
Honestly, I’m not a committed KDrama fan, but with our precious quarantine time, I thought why don’t we step back and some explore another type of hellish, well-written film production and experience the world of others? The World of the Married so far has constructed scenarios where where husband and wife cannot live happily together, whereas the child has to experience rough family relationship and cannot be fully taken care of. It’s quite sad to see, and quite frustrated to watch, but its intensity and extraordinary plot planning are breathtaking. Hopefully the series does not fall into the old line of being great at opening and died down at the end. There’s surely a trade off between high-rating for the first few episodes that audiences are so overwhelmed that they wanted to continue to watch, versus giving it up because it’s too exhausting to follow.
Yet, KDrama is well set emotional trap: it’s alluring and fascinating inside out, unless you can stand not coming back for more. The drama has been so well executed to the point it’s so realistic that it’s hard to believe whether this would NOT happen in real life. In fact, with the current pandemic going on, families around the world would definitely face several different set of challenges, and with statistic, we know that the divorce rate is spiking across the globe. So as long as the movie keeps a realistic but dramatic outlook, audiences surely can be attained.
After all, I felt grateful for personally not have to experience these kind of difficulties people might have to go through as they married. Being as young as twenties, I want to always be prepared for the worst, but at the same time, I vow to myself that I would never let my future slip into that dark end of a marriage. Wish everybody who is following this drama series a happy ending, and wish you all stay sane and healthy during this darkness.