World of Marriage Review
Synopsis. The World of the Married is a 16-episode 2020 kdrama about infidelity and its repercussions on families, friends, work, and community. The husband and wife extracted revenge on each other with dramatic flair. They struggled to move on and quit each other. It wasn’t all melodrama; the latter part of the series digs into the emotional ramifications. This series was based on Doctor Foster, a BBC One drama television series written by English playwright Michael Bartlett. The World of the Married was penned by Writer Joo Hyun.
What I liked.
Gripping episodes. Writer Joo Hyun packed each episode with surprising moments and powerful cliffhangers. The first portion of the series was heavy on the melodrama as the divorcing spouses battled each other. The betrayals, manipulations, and angst never stopped. The series final quarter episodes satisfied emotionally when Writer Joo explored the emotional ramifications of the adult’s actions on each other and more importantly their teenage son, who suffered the most from their machinations. The production of this series was on point lead by Director Mo Wan Il (Beautiful Mind). The ensemble cast created flawed, passionate, riveting characters that captured. This show became a phenom. It is now the highest rated cable TV series.
Ji Sun Woo (Kim Hee Ae). As the betrayed spouse, Sun Woo, metered out retribution in an impressive myriad of ways. I respected the tenacity of this character. Kim Hee Ae, who never seems to age, delivered a compelling and imperfect woman fighting to extract herself and her son from a marriage imploded by an affair. She didn’t go quietly, she extracted revenge and often overstepped in doing so. And yet, she couldn’t completely cut the tie to her ex-husband. Her flaws tripped her up and limited the life she lived.
Tae O (Park Hae Joon). As the husband that had an affair, lied about it, and leeched of strong women, Tae O was a character I had a difficult time respecting. Tae O’s impulsive hot-headed choices were primarily selfish. While there were moments of introspection, he didn’t seem to grasp his actions merited consequences. Park Hae Joon’s portrayal of this oft unlikeable character was spot on. The chemistry between Kim Hee Ae and Park Hae Joon was undeniable. Without it, this series would not have been what it was.
Lee Joon Young (Jeon Jin Seo). Joon Young was the character I cared for the most. As a teenage boy the divorce was particularly difficult for him. He was ill served by his parents through the bitter process. They used him, their actions destroyed his security and happiness, and he acted out because of it. While many divorced children want their parents to reunite, Joon Young had the opposite wish. He feared his parents would restart their unhealthy relationship of interdependency and hatred. Jeon Jin Seo’s performance made me ache for this young man. He held his own in every scene with the seasoned cast.
What I didn’t like.
Characters you wouldn’t want as your friends. Every character in this series was flawed. Writer Joo consistently leveraged the unlikable bits. You formed an opinion about all of them. They were not fast forward material. While I wouldn’t want people like these characters in my life, most of them evolved to a more likeable version by the end of the series.
Would I recommend The World of the Married?
Yes, this series engaged with a dramatic portrayal of the ramifications of betrayal and revenge between a husband and wife that could not easily uncouple. The writing delivered compelling episodes. The cast delivered the anger, angst, and bitter consequences of an ugly divorce. This series was a guilty pleasure.
OST. This drama’s OST had 7 vocal tracks and 9 instrumental tracks. My favorite song was Nothing on You.
1. Lonely Sailing performed by Kim Yoon Ah
2. Nothing on You performed by Josh Daniel
3. Sad performed by Son Seung Yeon
4. Just Leave Me performed by Ha Dong Kyun
5. Tears Send You Away performed by Huk Gak
6. The Days That Were Loved performed by Baek Ji Young
7. My One and Only Love by Sting
Listen to the vocal portion of the OST below:
How does The World of the Married rate? I rate this series as very good, 8 on a 10-point scale.