[Review] This Week, My Wife’s Having an Affair – 이번주, 아내가 바람을 핍니다

COUPLES THERAPY

Do Hyun Woo (Lee Sun Kyun) is a television producer who has been married to his wife, Jung Soo Yeon (Song Ji Hyo), for seven years.  Despite believing that his marriage was impenetrable, he discovers that his wife may be on the verge of having an affair.

At first, he turns to his friends, Lawyer Choi Yoon Gi (Kim Hee Won) and Ahn Joon Young (Lee Sang Yeob) for advice as they are both married.  However, Yoon Gi is a serial cheater and savvy at finding ways from his wife, Eun Ah Ra (Ye Ji Won), from finding out.  Joon Young is also unhelpful as he always believed that Soo Yeon and Hyun were the picture perfect couple and the news of the infidelity takes an emotional toll on him.  And yet, Joon Young’s own life is full of mystery as he uses work as an excuse to get closer to a fellow colleague at work, the production crew’s main writer and divorcee, Kwon Bo Young (BoA).

To make matters worse, Do Hyun’s company is interested in making a new program all about wives who cheat on their husbands. At a loss about what to do, he turns to people on the internet for their perspective on the matter.

Cheating is apparently a popular topic in K-Dramaland these days.  It used to always be regarded as a bad thing.  The characters who did the cheating was often depicted as selfish, untrustworthy and unforgivable. However, these days, I’m liking the new approach to the subject matter.  It’s not that I condone cheating but the subject matter always seem one-sided and especially with it being the focus in this drama and On the Way to the Airport, the fact that these characters cheat doesn’t necessarily make them antagonists in the story.

Upon hearing the premise for the drama, I knew that there would be two key things that would determine the pacing of the drama.  First, when would Hyun Woo discover that his wife might be cheating on him?  How much of the drama would be made up of Hyun Woo agonizing over what to do and allow his imagination to get the best of him?  Hyun Woo does find out about the looming affair pretty quickly and Lee Sun Kyun is really good at playing up the paranoia as it’s a bit comical to see him keep a watchful eye over his wife for any changes in her behavior or the way she dresses.  At the same time, I think Song Ji Hyo does a great job in having Soo Yeon go about her day as usual.  She doesn’t outwardly show hints that she’s having an affair nor does she even show any dissatisfaction over her marriage.  It’s a very realistic interpretation of a couple who may be dealing with infidelity for the first time.

The other key thing to the drama is the revelations of two things: Hyun Woo confirming his suspicions about his wife and Soo Yeon learning that Hyun Woo knows about her affair.  Once those secrets are out, it’s usually when the couple has to determine what to do about their marriage.  I was a little surprised by how early this happens in the drama and feared that the drama would get stale.  After all, who would want to watch a couple bickering back and forth about infidelity for the whole length of the drama?  And yet, the drama makes it work through the fact that Hyun Woo discusses his marriage problems online and we discover what Soo Yeon’s motives are.

Park Won – 이럴거면 헤어지지 말았어야지 (If We Were Gonna Be Like This, We Shouldn’t Have Broken Up)

박원 – 이럴거면 헤어지지 말았어야지

As the main couple, I think if we were going to be sympathetic to Hyun Woo, it was only fair that the drama tried to make us understand what Soo Yeon is going through.  It’s important to note that the drama doesn’t really humanize Soo Yeon as a character and a flawed character at that until we’re about halfway through the drama.  At the beginning of the drama, she’s seen as this supermom who seems happy to do it all.  First, I do like that her mother-in-law, Hyun Woo’s mother, doesn’t condemn her.  Despite Soo Yeon’s regret, it was refreshing to hear their conversation from a woman’s perspective about how hard it can be to be a working mom.  The drama certainly doesn’t excuse her behavior but it’s not a point of view that we hear all that often.  I also think by getting to know Soo Yeon’s reasons Hyun Woo goes on his own path of self-discovery about his contributions to the marriage.

It was also interesting how the drama humanized the netizens in the drama.  Each came with their own baggage, some who have their personal experience with heartbreak and betrayal and it factored into the type that they offered.  I think I was taken by two particular stories, that of the middle-aged woman living with old lady and the man, woman and child who each offered their own point-of-view but turned to from the same household.  The twist in each of their stories is worth waiting for.

As for the other couples in the drama, it was pretty comical to watch Kim Hee Won and Ye Ji Won battle it out like a cat and mouse. Even though he’s comical, Kim Hee Won is especially despicable in this role.  Can I help but admire him for taking on this role and playing it so well but hate him at the same time for it?  Yoon Gi is so knowledgeable about cheating and he conceals and juggles his various trysts with such glee that I can’t help but love to hate him.  At the same time, Ye Ji Won is excellent at playing coy while knowing exactly what her husband’s been up to.  It’s worth the wait to see just exactly how their story turns out as it is especially satisfying.

As for Lee Sang Yeob and BoA, they are basically the typical romcom couple who bicker in front of everyone else but actually have feelings for each other.  I think what I most surprised about was Lee Sang Yeob ability to be so funny.  He’s hilarious as the bumbling Joon Young whether he’s acting opposite Lee Sun Kyun or BoA.

Urban Zakapa – 그런 밤 (That Night)

어반 자카파(Urban Zakapa) – 그런 밤

I think what I found refreshing about this drama was the approach of the different perspectives.  Despite the different perspectives, each of the characters had to make a decision about whether to end their relationship or try to make things work.  Whereas it was clear that one couple was headed for a divorce, I liked that another couple found reasons to be with each other.  And for Hyun Woo and Soo Yeon, they really had to re-evaluate their relationship and learn not take each other for granted.

Rating

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2 thoughts on “[Review] This Week, My Wife’s Having an Affair – 이번주, 아내가 바람을 핍니다

  1. As a married woman, I found the premise of this drama to be kind of awesome, since not many K-Dramas are about the love that changes and evolves *after* marriage. There are plenty of swoon-worthy moments after marriage, believe you me!

    I haven’t watched this one yet, but I do plan to. And your review seems good, so that’s a plus! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    Cheers,
    Devon

    Liked by 1 person

    • Devon, I am with you about swoon-worthy moments after marriage; there are many more in fact. I have seen this series and it’s at the very top of the ones I have watched this year. This is such a nice departure from the usual Korean rom-com dramas. Everything is painted with so much realism, so much depth, so much sincerity that it’s easy to overlook the little holes here and there. And even though the topic is a serious one there is also comedy aplenty. The acting is excellent all around but big hats off to Lee Sun Kyun who was able to convey every fine nuance of emotions. So glad he waited three years for the right role to come along. Thank you for the excellent review, Chuckeemonkee.

      Liked by 2 people

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