The World of the Married Special (Part 1 & 2)


This is the first time I’ve actually watched an entire “Special” for a series, which shows how much I loved the series, but also how interesting this special was. I usually don’t enjoy watching it as I find it’s just a chance to rehash plot points and let the cast members sing praises of each other. While there was some of it this time round too, I appreciated too how the special allowed us to gain more insights into the characters and key moments.

Part 1

Part 1 focused mainly on walking us through key moments in the series and the actors/actresses personal responses to it. For a series with so many emotional moments, walking through the entire series within an hour was a quick and effective way to relive its intensity. When watching this, I remembered how the ending of Episode 1 just blew me away, so I went to rewatch the ending again just to experience that powerful moment when Sun Woo’s world just fell apart.

It’s not an understatement to say that the actors really put their all into the series and the emotions we felt as we watched them were so powerfully felt by them even on the set. And you must realise that when acting on set, there are so many distractions like cameras in your face, lights above you, as well as no score in the background which can detract from the emotional experience. Yet, you hear Han Soo Hee sharing that her hands were trembling and she felt like vomiting when she acted that scene where Sun Woo finally reveals all.

Kim Hee Aee also shares about the scene in the hospital, where she walks into the director’s room and sees In-Kyu as well as Tae Oh there. While she knew it was already written in the script, when she opened the door to the room, she was just taken aback by the toxic energy in the room

One actress that really impressed me during this special was Shim Eun Woo. Though less experienced than most of the cast members, from her interviews, you could really see how much she had brought to her character and how invested she was.

When talking about the scene after In-Kyu dies and she warns Sun Woo not to end up as her, Eun Woo tears up uncontrollably and says, “I think I felt really sorry for Sun Woo. If Hyun Seo’s character wasn’t in the story, Sun Woo wouldn’t have reflected on herself. I don’t think she would have looked back.”. As the episode ends, she calls this drama “the last and best present I got in my 20s”.

Part 2

I felt Part 2 was a whole lot of fun as it went into the technical details of the show, like the choice of Sun Woo’s home, how characters were framed in shots, costume choices and even the choice of art pieces. Some things we learn:

  • Sun Woo’s home only has one single shut window, which highlights the secrecy of their life – you can’t look in and you can’t figure out what’s going on. The house shows the stability and instability of married life.
  • The ‘title’ scene of each episode was a “spoiler” for what happens in the episode. There’s actually an image hidden in the title from a key scene in the show. The special only talks about four episodes, but you can find out from this site what the image is for all 16 episodes.
  • I loved how they illustrated the use of windows and their frames to show the fracturing of relationships. Like in the scene below:
  • There was also a segment where they talked about outfits and how Sun Woo and Da Kyung’s dressing starts to become similar after Da Kyung gets married, to show how their feelings become similar.
  • Even the choice of art pieces was intentional, like how this Mark Rothko’s art piece that he made after his divorce is in the background as Tae Oh is violent towards Sun Woo

After going into the technical details, there’s another segment where they speak of the young actors/actresses and how well they did (which I wasn’t quite keen on) and another segment where they interviewed 4 specialists on whether Tae Oh was guilty or not – and the conclusion was 3 Guilty – 1 Not Guilty. I learnt a new term called “habit strength” and get to hear interesting psychological perspectives on Tae Oh’s behaviour, like one who shared that he has actually 4 different egos and finds it difficult to reconcile them.

And we end off with brief interviews of the cast members where they all talk about how this show will linger on in their memory for a long time. I have no doubt at all of this – it will certainly linger in mine too. A jampacked two hours where we learn more about the characters, the technical details of the film, about psychology – a definite must-watch for all ardent fans of the show.

Announcing my first webinar!

Having written over 200 blog entries on k-drama, I have decided to launch a webinar very soon titled “Unlocking the Keys to K-drama” soon.

Drawing on my two Masters (one in Literature and the other in Teaching), the webinar will cover my comprehensive approach to analysing and appreciating dramas more. The course will cover popular dramas (like Goblin and The World of the Married), but also lesser-known but well-made ones.

Spaces are limited. If you are keen to appreciate k-dramas more deeply, click here.







First K-Drama Analysis Webinar!


Analysing k-drama has helped me realise how much work goes into these shows and appreciate them so much more. Having written over 200 blog entries, I would like to share my approach on how to analyse k-dramas so as to enjoy them so much more. I have a degree and Masters in English and will be applying literary and film analysis techniques in the webinar.

I will be launching a webinar very soon titled “Unlocking the Keys to K-drama” soon. The webinar will cover my Genre, Characterisation, Technical Details approachusing dramas like Healer, Queen In-hyun’s Man, Legend of the Blue Sea, Goblin, Suspicious Partner, Hotel Del Luna and The World of the Married. If you are interested to sign up, please indicate your interest by clicking this link and you will be placed on a mailing list to be notified once the webinar is up. Spaces will be limited since it is my first run. Thank you!

The World of the Married Episode 15


There’s no such thing as a filler episode in this series and even in its penultimate episode, emotions between Sun Woo and Tae-Oh continue to heat up.

I honestly thought that we were going to focus more on Tae-Oh and his redemption journey in this episode, after he berates himself at the start of the episode, realising that so many people are hurting because of him. It almost seems like he will get away with what he has done, given that Da-Kyung says after he confesses to sleeping with Sun Woo that she wants to be a bigger person and not let this ruin her life – like it did with Sun Woo.

However, in line with the source material “Dr Foster”, it’s too early for a happy ending and to be honest, Tae-Oh definitely does not deserve it. Rather than acknowledging his own wrongdoing and reflecting on his actions, he goes to find Sun Woo and asks her if she told Da-Kyung the truth to get back at him. The fact that he asks that already shows he is unrepentant. In an intense exchange of words, both of them threaten each other again to destroy each other’s lives. Tae-Oh loses his cool completely and is violent towards her, gripping her tightly.

Unfazed by his threats, Sun Woo, who knows that she has been spied on all this while, decides to go to speak to Da Kyung’s mother and father, delivering a lethal blow to Tae-Oh already. Da Kyung’s world continues to fall apart as she bumps into Ye Rim when she comes with a housing agent to view Sun Woo’s house.

Ye Rim tells Da Kyung that Tae-Oh will never get over Sun Woo and that she will just be a substitute for Sun Woo. At this point, Sun Woo and Joon Young have already left Gosan, with no concrete plans on where to go next. However, Da Kyung, clearly insecure, calls Sun Woo and arranges to meet her, telling her that she will get Tae-Oh to sign over parental rights to her, so that the two of them would no longer have any other reason to meet. She threatens to sue Sun Woo for adultery.

This is when Sun Woo decides that Da Kyung needs to know the full truth about their relationship and what’s been going on. Unlike Sun Woo who had to dig out the truth for herself at the start of the series, Da Kyung gets it all laid out to her by Sun Woo.

Sun Woo reveals to her that Tae-Oh used the same proposal song for them and even bought Da Kyung the same perfume, the same underwear and clothes. She was nothing but a replacement for Sun Woo. Why does she reveal all this to Da Kyung? Is it purely just to destroy Tae-Oh completely? Clearly not – here, she is speaking to Da Kyung as someone who has gone through what she has, and someone who deserves to escape while she still can. This pushes Da Kyung and her parents to decide to leave Gosan once again and we see Tae Oh’s world completely crumble away as his corporate credit cards are rejected and he is thrown out of both his office and his home.

Sun Woo is there to witness all that happens, but it is evident that she too cannot let go of Tae Oh. After she drives away, she is prompted by Joon Young’s question of whether she has settled things with dad to go back to him and give him some money to find a motel and find a new job. Of course, he is completely angry and pins all the blame on her again. Realising that he still does not see his own wrongdoings, Sun Woo decides to leave and she almost runs him down with her car, but turns to his side and drives off.

As the episode comes to an end, we see that Sun Woo has decided to head back to Gosan and reside at the exact same home – I wonder why though? Wouldn’t she have at least made an attempt to stay elsewhere, at least so that Tae Oh would not pester them? Of course, this does not bode well and the episode ends with Joon Young disappearing from the house and a note left by Tae-Oh that he has taken him.

Once again, this is an intense, tightly-plotted episode with little room to breathe throughout as we move from one emotional scene to the next. “Doctor Foster”, the inspiration for this series, ended on a very uncertain note that left many viewers unsatisfied. I’m hoping that the finale of “The World of the Married” gives us emotional closure and a happy ending at least for Sun Woo and Joon Young, who have been through so much. Tae Oh does not deserve a happy ending unless he finally realises all that he has done wrong and stops putting the blame on others.

On the flipside, I believe Ja Hyuk has worked hard and done enough to redeem himself. The way he handled Ye Rim’s rejection of his kiss showed so much respect and regard for her that showed he was truly repentant of his past wrongdoings. Ye Rim is not obliged to forgive him and she did do the right thing to turn him down when she is not ready. I would be glad if the both of them just continued to date and work on the relationship.

“The World of the Married” has remained consistently strong across its run, delivering intensely paced and emotionally deep episodes throughout. It certainly brings home the point that marriage brings two lives together so tightly, that when things fall apart, the best thing to do is to take steps – no matter how small they are, or how long they take – to mend it back again.