This first episode of The World of the Married absolutely blew me away. It is the kind of show were nothing really happens and yet you are glued to the screen, or at least I was! It is from the same writer who brought is Misty, so you know she knows how to keep your attention with the subtlest of details and internal turmoil. Oh, I love it.
In the opening few minutes of this drama we see how much Sun-woo, our heroine, loves her life. She is a successful woman living in a lovely home in a small city with a happy husband and pre-teen son. Her life is picturesque, almost as perfect as a Dyson commercial in a Kdrama.
But then darkness falls and we see her husband (Lee Tae-oh) coming home under the cover of night. It looks foreboding. But everything turns happy as he wakes up his wife to some late night (or very early morning?) lovemaking.
We go on to see a morning where her happy family eats breakfast, her husband wraps his scarf around her neck, and she heads out for work, chatting with a friend on the phone (Ko Se-ri) as she drives to her hospital. her friend has just gotten back into town from a trip with her husband (Son Je-hyeok) but her husband does not look all that happy to be with her.
Over the next few minutes we see her go to her office and unwrap the scarf her husband wrapped around her neck. She hangs it on the coat hanger and puts on her lab coat. But then she stops, turns her head slowly back around, and looks at a reddish-brown hair that is glistening on the scarf.
Talk about an inciting incident!
She holds this red hair up and suddenly is all consumed by it. Everywhere she goes she notices the hair on women’s heads, and guess what, almost everyone has this hair color in this city! A client who wants a certain kind of pill has it, Another client who was a former Miss Korea has it, kids at her sons school have it, her husbands new secretary has it, her neighborhood friend, Ye-rim, has it. SO many ladies have this hairstyle.
Later on she asks Ye-rim why so many women have this hairstyle, Ye-rim tells her it is because Eom Hyo-jung (the former Miss Korea and client of Sun-woo) changed her hair to this style so everyone is following suit. Sun-woo also confides in Ye-rim that she is a bit upset that her husband did not tell her that he got a new secretary. Ye-rim tells her not to worry about it.
But it stays on her mind because the secretary, is divorced and told Sun-woo that her husband always gets out from work at 5pm. Her husband did not get home until 7pm, so Sun-woo has this notion that her husband might be cheating with the secretary.
She confides in her work friend, Doctor Seol Myung-sook, about it. her friend tells her it is probably nothing. The secretary has a boyfriend and has to pick her daughter up from school at that time anyway. Her daughter goes to the same school that Sun-woo’s kid goes to, which is how they met. Sun-woo suddenly realizes that she might not be the one, but she is still suspicious.
She becomes so suspicious that she checks her husbands phone and leaves work early to follow him from work one day. He picks up flowers and drives to a nursing home to see his mother. Sun-woo goes inside and embarrassingly tells her husband that she did not trust him. He lets her know that he has been coming to see his mother since January, right after work.
Sun-woo is so relieved to hear it and goes to get water for the flowers. But, the nurse at the counter tells hr that she knows the halmoni will be so happy to see her son because he only calls and hasn’t been by to visit in a long time.
The entire room starts to collapse in on Sun-woo.
The nurse basically confirmed Sun-woo’s worst fears, so now she has to decide what to do and spends all evening fretting over it. The tension is big as they drive back to their home in separate cars.
That night, her husband is about to leave to go to a swanky event. He did not tell Sun-woo about it. But Sun-woo was actually invited to this event by her Miss Korea client. She initially declined but now she says that she thinks she will go.
While there, she helps her husband out with a higher up who he is trying to impress (who just so happens to be her clients husband) and then spends some time alone thinking about her situation.
That is when she runs into a woman that she has had two run ins with. One at her hospital where the woman was asking for a prescription for a certain medicine. Sun-woo did not give it to her. She ran into that same women when she was tailing her husband. This woman was getting manhandled by her boyfriend and Sun-woo did not help her. Now this woman is a waitress at this event.
So Sun-woo apologizes to this woman (whose name is Min Hyeon-seo) and confesses everything to her about her husband. Hyeon-seo thinks this is absolutely insane how a woman as powerful as Sun-woo can basically be in the same powerless situation as Hyeon-seo is in.
Sun-woo chews on that all night, googles how to catch a cheater, and then meets with Hyeon-seo the next day. She brings the prescription Hyeon-seo wants and tells her she will give it to her for a favor. That favor entails following her husband around to catch him cheating. Hyeon-seo is game.
So Hyeon-soo follows the husband around and Sun-woo goes about business as usual at work. She is pulling double duty because she is throwing a birthday party for her husband. Miss Korea and her powerful husband are invited so it needs to go well.
She runs errands for the birthday party, which includes getting the cake that her son helped design, and picking up her son. All the while, she is getting updates from Hyeon-seo about her husband going to a wealthy looking townhouse community and staying inside one of the homes for 3 hours.
He emerged with a woman. Hyeon-seo was not able to get a photo of the woman, but she was able to get a photo of the license plate and tells Sun-woo to check the backpack in his trunk.
Sun-woo goes to the party, which is a pretty fancy garden party. Everyone is there. She chekcs the license plates and sees that the license plate for the former Miss Korea who has just arrived with her husband and daughter.
Sun-woo can’t believe it. She sees her husband coming towards her and asks to have the keys to his car in order to get their camera. He is reluctant to hand them over, but she is pretty convincing.
So she checks his trunk and finds the backpack in the secret compartment. She is barely holding it together as she dumps the contents into the trunk and fingers through underwear and condoms and toiletries. Her eyes wander to her husband who is smiling at Miss Korea and her family.
Inside a pocket of the bag is a cell phone. Sun-woo takes a breath as she turns it on. The first photo to pop up is of – Miss Koreas daughter! Not only that, this company trip he went on was actually a get away with the daughter and Ye-rim and Je-hyeok and the secretary Mi-yeon and her boyfriend. It was a couples vacation!
To make matters worse, her confidant at work, Doctor Seol Myung-sook, has been in on this affair! She has been texting Tae-oh to this phone to warn him when his wife was leaving work and how suspicious she was becoming. She even reminded him to hide the Jeju island reciept. the last text is of Sun-woo leaving work frantically and to be careful.
So this is insane. Everyone in this community seems to be in on this affair and covering for the husband Tae-oh. Sun-woo is about to lose her mind. But she is able to get it together.
She composes herself and walks over to her car where she gets scissors from her doctors kit and walks right over to her husband with them.
And that is where episode 1 ends. Wow. This first episode was incredible. I hope tomorrow’s episode is as good, but the preview doesn’t actually look as good. Though I hope it is more a case of not being able to catch the subtle details in the preview that really drive the narrative forward on the screen.
Is anyone else watching this drama? I recommend checking out at least this first episode to see if it is your cup of tea. If you liked VIP then you might enjoy this one.
EPISODE 2 PREVIEW
TO – The best thing in my life is meeting you.
TO – I love you Ji Sun-woo
Woman – Da Kyung is a pilates teacher at the gym I go to.
DK – If you have time, come together. As women age, you need to keep your body tight.
SW – Do you meet someone regularly?
DK – Not everyday but a couple times a week.
DK – He is a married man.
TO – Did I make a mistake last night?