Almost all the K-drama I’ve watched so far have always focused on the “falling in love” phase of relationships, which I believe is a common trend with dramas in general. Hence, “This Week My wife Will Have an Affair” is timely as I was keen to watch a drama that explores relationships in the context of marriage.
Based on a Japanese drama in 2007 with a similar title and also a true story, the premise of the show is simple enough and the premiere sets it out well. At its centre is Do Hyun-Woo (played by Lee Sun-Kyun) who discovers his wife, Soo Yeon (played by Song Ji-hyo) is possibly seeing someone else after they have been married for 8 years. This pushes him to go online to seek help from forums. Besides them, we have Joon Young (played by Lee Sang Yub) who is married, but flirting with Bo-Young (played by Boa) who has just come out of a divorce. We also have Yoon-Ki (played by Kim Hee-won) who plays a husband so skilled in his philandering ways that he teaches Hyun-Woo how to ensure his wife won’t be suspicious of his cheating ways. This is South Korea now, after the law against adultery was abolished (mentioned by Yoon-Ki) and now, it seems like adultery is common place. Although the drama certainly exaggerates matters, it may not be too far off from the truth as it was reported in the press that sales for condoms shot up following the abolishing of the law.
After watching several crime or action-focused dramas, I appreciated the dose of reality where we saw a married couple handling day to day matters like the picking up of the kids, bathing of kids, juggling of work/family commitments. While Hyun-Woo has the impression that his marriage is solid and he is a good husband, there lacks a certain intimacy in their interactions, which have almost become “business-like”, which is not uncommon in marriages. In fact, the problems may have begun as early as when they were married as the video of their marriage shows them hesitant to kiss, even on their wedding day. Later, when asked for the reasons for her divorce, Bo-Young shares with Hyun-Woo that she simply fell out of love with her husband and when things become too comfortable, that’s where the marriage falls apart. What I really liked was how true all these points are, especially from my interactions with marriage counsellors both personally and in my professional work. I’d be keen to see how the show proceeds to explore these issues.
Unlike other plot-driven dramas, I liked how the premiere focused instead on the internal world of Hyun-Woo – his thoughts, his suspicions, his confusions and the cacophony of “voices”. I appreciated the nice balance of comedy and seriousness when exploring this too. While we have no confirmation yet of his wife’s affair, it seems almost likely because for her not to be having an affair would compromise most of what was established in the premiere. Even if she hasn’t started having an affair, I believe she may at this point be considering one. While Hyun-Woo’s story was the main one, the show also deftly introduces and establishes the other relationships sufficiently, such that within the first hour we have a clear picture of where each male protagonist is in his/her marriage.
I have not decided if I’ll be following this series till the end, but I’m definitely keen to see how the next few episodes play out before I proceed further. Two key things I hope the drama will explore in more seriousness is what led to the relationship falling apart and the dynamics of the internet community. Nonetheless, this is a good start.