An Honest Review of JTBC’s hit drama series “The World of the Married Couple”

Written by: Khristian Ross P. Pimentel

I don’t usually watch K-drama because I don’t want to hassle myself reading subtitles while I try to focus on the scene. I’m a lazy person especially when I want to be entertained. So I only watch the ones that are really highly recommended.

The last K-dramas that I watched before 2020 are Descendants of the Sun and Weightlifting Fairy, that was already a long time ago.

Talking about highly recommended series for 2020, I guess the top on my list is The World of the Married Couple.

Image from JTBC

This ECQ, we have so much time, so I gave it another try. This is my third for 2020 (after Crash Landing On You and Itaewon Class). I never tried watching a Korean series while its airing is ongoing. For me, it’s better to watch the entire series when the final episode is over.

The World of the Married Couple or TWMC has become an exception. The series is already halfway when I began the first episode.

Why did I choose to watch it? It’s just simple.

Almost the entire online world is talking about it. I found a lot of posts, articles, and memes about this series. I have some friends who insisted that I should watch it. The show must have been so compelling that its viewers have the power to convince more potential viewers. And I was one of them. I was watching this series alone, but when my wife joined me in the fifth episode, we started watching it together.

Early reviews warned couples not to watch it, let alone watch it together. But it turned out to be one of the best series we watched in our extended honeymoon.

Although it exposes us to the bitter experience of setting apart, it makes us appreciate and nurture our relationship at present. Instead of a warning, it is a must watch for married couples, even for those who are still planning to get married.

The World of the Married Couple starts with the return of Lee Tae Oh (Park Hae Joon) from a travel to his wife Ji Sun Woo (Kim Hee Ae). At the beginning, the relationship of the couple looks normal, and they seem to enjoy a happy family.

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As the story goes on, Sun Woo notices unusual things about her husband. When Sun Woo decides to unearth what she suspects her husband is hiding, she enters a life that leads to uncertainty, misery, and devastation.

While Tae Oh tries to conceal his dirty secret, the audience gets to know from one to another and develops a smoldering outrage. As a result, Sun Woo has to battle with Tae Oh’s other woman, her disloyal friends, her only son, and of course, her marriage.

The World of the Married Couple is indeed a masterpiece.

Image from JTBC

It received some nominations from the 56th Baeksang Arts Awards, and it won Best Director and Best Actress, which are among the highest categories. I don’t know how an award giving body selects Best Director, but if it is about how all the elements compliment to bring out an amazing show, I guess the director of TWMC did an excellent job. It was perfect for its genre.

In terms of Best Actress, I agree that it was actually a tough competition among the nominees. I watched some of the other nominees, and I can say that they also did a wonderful performance in their respective shows. But for me, Kim Hee Ae deserves the award. No doubt. The way she stares, throws her line, breathes, cries, and shivers intensely, you will appreciate that she means business in her work. We get to embrace an entirely not a typical character in the person of Dr. Ji Sun Woo.

The World of the Married Couple has a lot of twist and turns, and that’s the major strength of this series. I even had separation anxiety (Sepanx) after it ended because watching it on a daily basis felt like you are in the story, and you are living together with the characters. That must be weird, but I can’t find any other ways on how to describe how gripping the story is. Since Episode 1, TWMC provides a lot of plot twists.

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When I say a lot, it’s literal. It’s too much to contain in 16 episodes, let alone in each episode. Believe me. There are very few dull moments. Every part of the story is woven so well that contributes to the beauty of the entire storyline.

Although some scenes foreshadow the succeeding scenes and build up the characters, the plot twists break the audience’s expectations in an outcome they never imagine would happen. The dramatic irony intensifies the scenes even more when the characters are not aware about each other’s actions while the audience can peer in clearly what’s going on. No wonder a lot of people hate Tae Oh and other villains in the show.

You will love, despise, and root in almost all the characters. Each character plays a role in making or breaking Sun Woo and Tae Oh’s marriage. There are only few characters to follow in this series, but they all stood out and gave justice to their roles.

Don’t miss their breakthrough performances and the decisions they made. Just a head’s up, you will be disappointed with the outcome for some characters in TWMC. Though it does not make the series a bad one, it rather mirrors the reality that these circumstances could happen.

And that makes its impact more forceful. The characters’ struggles will indeed hit home in the hearts of the viewers. Watch out for the couple’s son Lee Joon-young, their neighbor Go Ye-rim, Sun Woo’s ally Min Hyun-seo, Sun Woo’s psychiatrist friend Kim Yoon-ki, and of course the mistress, whom I chose not to reveal. Wait for a lot of twists!

The World of the Married Couple is fun to watch.

Image from JTBC

You will even imitate their expressions and how they say Joon Young (Joon Yungggggu). But doing so makes you look crazy because they only look pretty on Koreans I think. The series covers SPG themes, yet it only showed few explicit scenes, which is good because it has an amazing storyline. I think it is common not only in Korea to tackle infidelity dramas.

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I watched TV commercials of other Korean drama that has the same theme, and I watched few episodes of these series when they were dubbed for local airing. But only TWMC made me watch it while it was ongoing and finish the entire series. Like what other reviews claim, this is not a typical love affair series. It tackles so much more.

The World of the Married Couple explores themes that we don’t usually place on our tables.

Image from JTBC

The show asks how far we are willing to go to fight for our battles. It presents various possibilities of the consequences of our decisions and actions. Should we hold on or should we let go? When is the best time to surrender? Can you still live in a world where everything seems to be against you?

Of course, the show did not fail to throw the most important question: What is the secret of a successful marriage? The show, ironically and entertainingly, tries to answer this question by exposing the opposite. What is good in TWMC is that each episode focuses on a central conflict and theme. It’s easy to realize when you get hook into it.

Above all, The World of the Married Couple will give you a better understanding of the characters, the world, and yourself.

Perhaps, watching Korean series or any foreign show will not dumb us after all because it compels us to understand. This show is able to place every viewer in an incredibly wonderful experience.

Featured Image Source: JTBC

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