“The World of the Married” Episodes 1-7 Review

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Image taken from Wikipedia.org

This show caught my attention after seeing many articles about it surpassing Sky Castle and emerging now as the cable drama with the highest ratings. I am now convinced that Koreans really love their makjangs and dark, disturbing stories. That being said, this show has really been such a ride thus far, with a plot that zips ahead so fast that sometimes it feels like we get 3 episodes worth of plot in one. Spoilers ahead, so proceed with caution.

The basic story-line is simple enough – a successful woman (Ji Sun Woo) who seems to have it all in terms of career and family finds her world falling apart when she realises her husband (Tae Oh) has been cheating on her. What is worse is that she realises that her supposed friends have been colluding with her husband to keep this a secret from her. And all this is revealed within the first episode. This should tell you what a roller coaster ride this show is.

From there, Sun Woo goes on a downward emotional spiral. Instead of seeking to save her marriage and win Tae Oh back, she goes on a revenge mission – determined to take down Tae Oh, but his girlfriend (Da Kyung) and her neighbours as well (Ye Rim and Je Hyuk). While she gains power and victory by doing so, she also leads herself down a path of self-destruction as she bends the law, commits immoral deeds by sleeping with Je Hyuk and distances herself from her son (Jun Yong) further. She solicits the help of a girl (Hyun Seo) she meets through a chance encounter to spy on her husband and gets embroiled in a tense conflict with Hyun Seo’s abusive boyfriend, In-gyu.

This is a heroine that creates such a moral dilemma because you want to root for her, yet at the same time, she does so many unlikable, cruel things along the way. In fact, it’s not just the heroine; you’d be hard pressed to find a character to truly like or love in this show because this show takes you to the deep, dark moral areas. The characters are tied in such a tight web of tense relationships that every small action taken has emotional weight and significance.

This writer really knows how to craft the story and move the big pieces ahead while creating sufficiently exciting and tense emotional moments in each episode. Each episode is even more heart-racing and adrenaline-charged than even many action dramas I’ve watched. There are so many good performances in the show, but props definitely goes to the lead actress, Kim Hee-Ae, who portrays the frenzied breakdown of Sun Woo so convincingly and powerfully.

From episode 7, we’ve now entered Act 2 of the show, where Tae-Oh and Da Kyung have moved back to Gosan with a clear intent. While it’s not completely clear what Tae-Oh wants to achieve, revenge is certainly on his mind. Episode 7 was filled with so many charged and explosive encounters that makes me hopeful that the rest of this show will be equally exciting and interesting. Such a bold, provocative show is certainly a breath of fresh air and I’m sure it will continue to shine all the way till its finale.

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