Korean Drama Review: “The World of the Married,” a hit among Korean and Filipino viewers

The Philippines is known for producing various kabit-seryes, from GMA Network’s “Ika-6 Na Utos” to ABS-CBN’s “Halik,” these top-rated teleseryes all feature the scorned wife, the cheating husband, and the egoistical mistress. South Korea has also been airing series about affairs long before — with titles such as “A Rosy Life,” “Temptation of Wife,” “Temptation of an Angel,” and “Secret Affair,” among many others. Thus, both countries are no beginners when it comes to the genre of the trending Korean drama “The World of the Married.” But what makes it different enough for viewers — both the recently introduced fans and the expert titas when it comes to this type of story — to excitedly wait for every episode to air?

Based on BBC’s 2015 British drama “Doctor Foster,” the series tells the story of Ji Sun Woo (portrayed by Kim Hee Ae) — a successful doctor, a loving wife, and a caring mother. Her life is seemingly faultless; she’s a woman who is good at her job and at taking care of her family. But her perfect world was easily turned upside down when she found out about her husband’s (Park Hae Joon as Lee Tae Oh) other woman (Han Soo Hee as Yeo Da Kyung).

But unlike the usual formulated plot and stereotyped characters we’ve seen in Mexican and Latin dramas, which were adopted in several teleseryes in our country, the female lead character in “The World of the Married” is not all about revenge. In fact, Ji Sun Woo was mostly driven by her will to be freed from her husband. She also doesn’t go through an extreme makeover, instead, she started off strong, successful, and already full of spunk. Another difference is how the female lead deals with oppression, we’re used to seeing damsels in distress who took time before they could fight back. But, in “The World of the Married,” Ji Sun Woo is more of the consistent “palaban but lumalaban with class” kind of legal wife. And, despite all these, she’s still not painted as pure and perfect; Ji Sun Woo has made a list of questionable choices, which humanizes her character.

The series also doesn’t just center on Ji Sun Woo and Lee Tae Oh’s relationship only. The people around them have their own stories, and we, the viewers, get to peek through their lives, similar to how the wives in the series look through their windows, unintentionally (or sometimes intentionally) learning about their neighbors’ marital problems.

Overall, “The World of the Married” makes use of fast-paced storytelling with lots of plot twists. It hooks viewers with several push-and-pulls in one episode. They’d make their audience go through a great deal of emotional turmoil, followed by instant gratification from a revelation or victory, and then back to giving us blood-boiling intense scenes. The anger and pain we felt all turn into excitement whenever we see the characters get what they deserve, whether it be positive or negative. They obviously know how to make use of the tension to keep viewers at the edge of their seats.

“The World of the Married” is not your usual fictional infidelity story, the characters could actually be the story of someone you know: from the cheated wife to the cheating husband, the children who had to deal with their parents’ divorce, a close friend’s betrayal, and other issues — both light and serious. Its relatable component, topped with realistic portrayals, superb acting, and a true-to-life storyline, is what makes the series compelling and worthy of attention.

You can watch “The World of the Married” via Viu Philippines.

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