Korean television networks have been pushing the envelope on what they can show in their K-dramas, and their decisions are being met with either acceptance or disdain. This year, K-drama fans got to see networks really push certain plot concepts.
Total Variety Network (tvN) had previously censored nudity when “K2” Kim Je Ha (Ji Chang Wook) fought numerous other men in a locker room in The K2. Seoul Broadcasting System featured a situation in which two men, Lee Hwa Shin (Jo Jung Suk) and Go Jung Won (Go Kyung Pyo), dated the same woman, Pyo Na Ri (Gong Hyo Jin), while living together with her under the same roof in Jealousy Incarnate. That is a relationship taboo in South Korea. Finally, the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) features a budding romantic relationship between Hong Na Ri (Soo Ae) and Go Nan Gil (Kim Young Kwang), who happen to be a step-daughter and step-father in Sweet Stranger and Me, another major relationship taboo in South Korea.
One K-drama pushing the envelope that is getting plenty of attention is My Wife’s Having an Affair this Week and its concept, cheating in relationships. It is so popular, the series is well on its way to becoming the most successful K-drama JTBC has ever produced. Now with only two episodes remaining in the series, fans are wondering if Do Hyun Woo and Jung Soo Yeon can truly move forward from cheating.
The K-drama My Wife’s Having an Affair this Week is a series that airs on JTBC. It stars Lee Sun Kyun (Pasta, Miss Korea) as Do Hyun Woo, and Song Ji Hyo (Running Man, Ex-Girlfriend Club) as his wife, Jung Soo Yeon. Hyun Woo believes he is in a strong relationship because they have been married for eight years and never truly fought until he comes across signs that Soo Yeon is about to be unfaithful. Too embarrassed to turn to his friends and family for advice, he instead turns to social media asking anonymous people online to figure out what he has to do to save his marriage.
Within the 10 episodes, K-drama fans have seen Do Hyun Woo and Jung Soo Yeon go through all kinds of trials and tribulations in the wake of Soo Yeon’s infidelity. [WARNING: Spoilers ahead! Skip to second-to-last paragraph to avoid them!] Sometimes, there were instances of comedy, since Hyun Woo turned to anonymous people on the internet for advice (one person kept on insisting Hyun Woo join him in committing suicide, for example, yet he never commits the deed). However, there is more to the situation than just a wife cheating on her husband, something Hyun Woo ultimately understands in the end. According to Independent, a study actually analyzed reasons why people in relationships cheat and most of them were emotional, not physical.
With manners and honorifics often being black and white in South Korea, the reasons why people cheat may be overlooked. It doesn’t take away from the fact that it is wrong, but issues of this matter are often not so obvious as day and night. JTBC did an excellent job showing these intricacies in cheating in My Wife’s Having an Affair this Week, and now we get to see both Do Hyun Woo and Jung Soo Yeon understand their faults and move forward as Hyun Woo “forgives and forgets.”
However, intentions to “forgive and forget” are often easier said than done. In this case, Do Hyun Woo is able to forgive his wife, but he cannot forget that another man has been with her. In the end of the 10th episode, Hyun Woo tries to move forward with Jung Soo Yeon from the cheating situation, but whenever he tries to hold Soo Yeon in his arms, he remembers the face of the man his wife had an affair with. Hyun Woo does his best to forget, but he continues to have trouble.
In a surprise twist, Jung Soo Yeon is not mad or sad Do Hyun Woo can’t accept her at the moment, saying she “understands him.” This scene clearly shows that “forgiving and forgetting” often times takes time to happen. The question is if Hyun Woo and Soo Yeon will take the time to “forgive and forget”?
K-drama fans of My Wife’s Having an Affair this Week will want to see what happens in the penultimate episode and finale, as proven by the viewership ratings. For the first time in a long time, a JTBC series has surpassed 4 percent in viewership (AGB Nielsen Korea recorded 4.111 percent for the Seoul National Capital Area for the seventh episode).
My Wife’s Having an Affair this Week airs on Fridays and Saturdays at 9:30 p.m. KST on JTBC. For those who do not have access to Korean cable pay channels, the series can be viewed, for free with ads, on Viki, DramaFever, or OnDemandKorea.
[Featured Image by JTBC]