Netflix Korean Drama Review: The World of the Married
After one slice-of-life kdrama the hits you hard with a bit of reality (My Mister) and a fun, light-hearted romance drama that has you swooning (The Heirs), let’s make it a little intense for this week’s review.
Today, we review of Korea’s all-time best Kdrama in terms of viewership, a recent drama that swept its way through the Baeksang awards, namely The World of A Married Couple (or The World of Married).
This is an intense, firebrand drama about love, infidelity and revenge. It has added drama related to divorce and its aftermath, especially when you have kids, or in this case, a kid. It tackles complex decisions and emotions such as
- How much are you willing to tolerate for love and security
- How much are you willing to accept or turn a blind eye to, because people other than you yourself are involves
- How petty can you become when you’ve been fooled
- How vicious can you get when you’ve been wounded just badly enough, and
- Just how far are you willing to go, to keep what was yours, what should be yours, safe with you
I am never in favour of revealing too much of the plot, but I’d like to reveal just this bit. This is a story about a clueless wife who catches her husband of decades having an affair with a girl almost half his age. And things literally unravel from there.
The drama is viscous, it is visceral and it is beautifully real. It does not cut any of its characters any slack. Whether it is:
- the successful yet betrayed character of Dr Ji,
- the man who thinks he has outsmarted everyone and get it all,
- the girl who is a victim of love even if it is breaking a couple up,
- the kid who is brattish and selfish at the most inopportune times,
- the friend who would have loved to take a moral high ground, except life got in the way,
- the other friend who is deliciously transparent in the fact that her loyalties lie only with herself,
- the big bad Mr Chairman who is torn between wanting to detach his daughter from a virus and yet doesn’t have it in him to get it done forcefully,
- the compulsive cheater of a neighbour who sadly has to learn things the hard way,
so on and so forth.
The drama also handles glorious situations with the most emotive ease, easily the best in all the Kdramas I’ve seen so far.
Take, for example, the hardcore, successful and strong feminist character of Dr Ji. Even this seemingly sock-solid character has a ‘broken’ moment when the struggle just gets too hard.
Take, for example, the equally strong ‘I stand by my man no matter what because that is the strong thing to do’ character of the friendly neighbour, has a moment where she’s had enough and has to put her foot down.
Take, for example, the main lead who things he has got it all from his first wife and the rest from his second, feels the desperation when his own son bears the brunt of his deeds and the eventual realization that the only true person to have stood with him without any hidden agendas was the wife he had left behind.
Suffice it to say that this drama really gets to you. It is a waterfall of different emotions, each one different, with different motivations and different sympathies. Warring emotions that don’t make sense, except that they do. Like the emotions of a scorned wife wanting revenge warring with the emotions of a mother wanting her son to enjoy a camping trip with that very ‘vile’ man.
Watch this drama. It will have you hooked from the very first episodes. And I guarantee, you won’t be able to stop. It is like a kind of psychological warfare. You’re rooting for someone, you want someone to pay, you want to see what tricks and tactics are being used and you want to see whether a character you thought was good is really good till the end, or were you wrong?
I rate this drama a solid 4.5 out of 5 for I thoroughly enjoyed it from episode 1 to the last (and with the number of episodes that’s quite a time commitment). The casting, the screenplay, the story, the dialogues, the fashion, the life lessons, the relationship lessons; they were all spot on. Watch this nasty portrayal of a marriage gone that leaves you thinking will divorce make it better or worse.
This post is part of Blogchatter’s My Friend Alexa Challenge.