The Kdramas of 2016: Q4 Roundup

This Week My Wife Will Have an Affair

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The gist:
Do Hyun-woo believes he has everything – he’s an established TV producer, and he’s got a happy and harmonious family life with his careerwoman-slash-supermom of a wife and his adorable son. His image of a perfect life shatters, however, upon seeing a suspicious text message from a mystery man on his wife’s cellphone. Not knowing what to do, he turns to an online message board to seek advice from faceless strangers.

The good:
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The show’s treatment on affairs. Adultery dramas may be popular among certain audience segments, but I personally am not too keen about them. However, what I liked about This Week is that it presents this subject in an entertaining yet unbiased way. With the several stories of affairs on the show, it never tried to justify such acts nor preach about them. The reactions and emotions were realistic and honest without generalizing that the same thing would/should happen to anyone in the same situation.

The smart use of social media. This drama became much more relevant in the modern age by integrating an online community into the story . It’s a big realization that a man would do anything to protect his ego, that is, to reach out to netizens rather than actual friends or relatives in times of personal crisis. The show also saw how people are quick to jump on social media to find real (albeit anonymous) people to relate to and treat them as a support group of sorts, perhaps to ease their own sufferings.

Lee Sang-yeob and BoA. Lee Sun-kyun was awesome, yes, but it was actually the secondary characters that stole the show for me. Their clashing personalities complemented each other in a weird way, and their relentless banter were so funny and entertaining. I did not expect pop star BoA to be this good playing such a cool character (one of my favorite Kdrama women of 2016 for sure, even though she could come across as frustratingly stubborn). And of course, I’m just so happy to see more of Lee Sang-yeob, after noticing him in short but memorable appearances in Signal and Doctors. He’s so adorkable playing a character with an erratic emotional state but a fierce loyalty to the people who mattered to him.<3

The bad:

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The lack of connection with the “Wife”. It’s not so much about Song Ji-hyo’s portrayal of the alleged “flirtatious wife” that’s wanting, but rather how the show was a bit vague with her throughout the run. Her presence had an air of mystery to it, as the audience was only allowed to see bits and pieces of her story. I couldn’t understand what was going through her mind, vis-à-vis her husband who allowed the audience (heck, the whole world wide web) to know what he’s thinking and feeling in every major moment.

The verdict:
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This Week… was one drama I did not expect to love this much. I wouldn’t know how to relate to the troubles of marriage (though I did find a stronger connection with BoA’s character for some reason), but the show was able to send its message across anyway. It’s both hilarious and touching, and – to my surprise – thrilling as well. I commend the drama’s storytelling and directing style that kept me on my toes for the next plot twist. Along the way it made me care about each of them, and I was satisfied with how each character was sent off in the end. And well yeah, I know exactly which one to hate forever as well. It was amazing to see how an ordinary couple’s story could affect those around them and beyond, realizing the power we have to influence others’ lives.

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