My Wife’s Having an Affair This Week: Episode 4

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This was a good episode. I haven’t decided whether to follow this series, but if it’s consistently delivering episodes of such quality, then I’m definitely on board till the end. While we do have significant developments plot-wise in this episode, I’d like to start off by highlighting the outstanding production-related aspects of the show.

One thing I enjoy tremendously is the wacky, playful use of camera angles throughout. Director Kim Seok-yoon certainly has a lot of fun placing his cameras at the most quirky places, especially within Hyun Woo’s home. In the previous episode, we had a lovely shot of Hyun Woo from within the helium balloons pointing downwards, with the red balloons framing Hyun Woo’s head. In this episode, we get the camera coming from behind the shelves, from the corridor between the rooms and there’s an interesting frame where the entire frame is dark with Hyun Woo in the shadow except for a spot of light behind him shining on their wedding photograph. Within the confined space of the home, the camera is placed as far as possible from Hyun Woo to make him appear small, signifying how his status within the home has been diminished upon discovering the affair. The constant shifting of angles reinforce his sense of disorientation and loss. It’s such attention to detail that makes the show a delight to watch.

I also liked how food and eating is used as a reflection of the characters and relationships. We get many scenes of our characters having eating. Soo Yeon is often shown setting the table and preparing food, while Hyun Woo and their son dine at the table. Their meals are elaborate, with rice and several dishes as well as a soup or stew. Scenes of their family dining always focus on the three of them and not the individual food items, reinforcing how it’s a communal experience. The warmth and busy-ness that characterises these scenes stand in stark contrast to the scenes when Hyun Woo is alone at home, either with cake splattered all over or drinks on the floor. As for Ah-ra and Yoon-ki, their meals are either in classy restaurants with well-plated cuisine or at home with meticulously prepared one-pot meals. In the scenes of them dining, Ah-ra always takes a picture of the food to post on Instagram, but never of her and Yoon-ki eating together. For the home-cooked meals, we see Ah-ra painstakingly preparing the meals and setting the table alone, while waiting for Yoon-ki to return. They may be dining together, but it certainly is a sterile and cold experience. Then we have Bo Young, who after her divorce no longer bothers to cook meals and explores the range of instant foods available. Eating is a solitary affair for her, merely to fill the tummy, yet she also uses food to convey her concern for others, buying an additional tuna samgak-kimbap for Hyun Woo in this episode – which leads him to suspect she is Tuna Mayo.

Beneath all these stellar production values is also a set of storylines that are developing well. Besides the big revelation of Soo Yeon’s affair, we also see some development in the Bo Young & Joon Young as well as Ah-ra & Joon-Ki’s relationships plus suspicions of Bo-Young being poached. I appreciated how the episode managed to balance all these different storylines together, moving between them seamlessly.

I’m glad we finally see some comeuppance for Joon-Ki who gets horribly tormented when he decides to join a fitness club to leer at the instructors. I do honestly get very uncomfortable watching the scenes of his philandering ways because he truly shows completely no respect to his wife by flirting right in front of her. Hence, I was gleefully laughing at the scenes of him being tortured. He truly deserves it. Bo Young also gets some well-deserved screen time too, beyond just being someone who provides advice. While the dynamics between her and Joon Young are funny, I really hope we get more insight into Joon Young’s marriage. Credits to BoA for playing Bo-Young’s post-divorce state so well and I did feel happy to see her dressing up and going on a blind date.

And last but not least, we finally have the confrontation between Hyun Woo and Soo Yeon, which was mostly well-played. While we found out about the affair, we do not find out very much more, because Hyun Woo is unable to calm himself down when talking to Soo Yeon, which causes her to clam up further. Although Soo Yeon has certainly betrayed Hyun Woo, she deserves a smidgen of credit for her honesty, when she told Hyun Woo that she won’t see the man “for now” and that she missed him. Hyun Woo wavers back and forth on whether to divorce her or not. While on his own and with the Internet forum uses, he’s composed and rational, able to formulate a step-by-step plan and work through his thoughts. However, in front of her, he cannot control his anger, and what starts off as a calm attempt to get her to tell the truth ends up once again with him shouting and losing control.

The forum community plays an important role in Hyun Woo’s journey here and he makes a post whenever he reaches a significant emotional “milestone”, with the final post of the episode being him losing his precious.  To say that the community provides “support” is over-stating it, because the forum posters who provide advice are not truly concerned for him. They are excited and all abuzz over this sensational story that’s happening, but not really for his welfare and his future. This is reinforced by the scene where Hyun Woo walks alone in a crowd of people who are all looking down at their phones, connecting to the forum but not even looking up at him.

Lee Sun-kyun certainly puts in a good performance as Hyun Woo which has been consistent over the past four episodes. His facial expressions and body language are just spot on and even when he is angry and shouting at Soo Yeon, we sympathise with him because we know that anger comes from a mix of disappointment, hurt, fear and brokenness. I’m hoping to see more from Song Ji-hyo though, who thus far has been alright, but we still don’t get enough of her perspective and her emotions. Now that the adultery has come to light, I’m hoping we will get more of a female-voice on the whole matter. Based on the previews for next week, we see Hyun Woo confronting the man and while that’s an interesting turn of events, I do hope Soo Yeon’s voice is not sidelined for too long.

It’s always rewarding to watch a series that has been thoughtfully put together. There’s so much to think about and reflect on, especially for married couples. This is truly a refreshing change from the many other K-dramas I’ve viewed this year!

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