An emotional roller coaster

Wani Roslan

The World of the Married, one of the highest-rated dramas in Korean cable television history, has garnered a huge amount of viewership with its ability to spark strong feelings among K-drama fans.

Based on the British series Doctor Foster, the drama depicts happily married Ji Sun-woo, played by 53-year-old actress Kim Hee-ae, an established doctor at work, an ideal wife and doting mother who faces a personal crisis when she found out her husband Lee Tae-oh, played by Park Hae-joon, is having an affair.

Tae-oh runs a small entertainment and film company with the support of his wife, where he dreams to be a famous movie director. He loves his wife, yet ended up having an affair with a woman named Yeo Da-kyung, played by Han So-hee.

Main character Sun-woo grew up as an only child who lost her parents in a car accident.

To deal with the pain, she studied to get into medical school in Seoul, and meets Tae-oh, with whom she later starts a family.

FROM LEFT: Ji Sun-woo, played by Kim Hee-ae; and Yeo Da-kyung, played by Han So-hee, in a scene from ‘The World of the Married’, about the unravelling of a couple’s relationship and its consequences. PHOTOS: JTBC
Kim Hee-ae and Lee Tae-oh, played by Park Hae-joon, in a scene from ‘The World of the Married’

Everything seems perfect, as she has a caring husband, a son who lives up to expectations and a great reputation in the community. That is, however, until she starts to suspect that her husband is having an affair.

Based on her instincts, she starts to doubt all the people around her husband. Her world falls apart when she finds her suspicions to be true.

At first sight, the series seems to be an average or typical Korean love-drama, but as it progresses it takes a different path, steering away from the typical revenge plot lines often seen in dramas. The drama instead explores the complex aspect of marriage life.

With only 16 episodes, the series had thousands of viewers and became a trending topic with its hard-hitting storylines and the messages being conveyed in the story.

JTBC producer Mo Wan-il said the Korean remake is different from the British original Doctor Foster in some aspects.

The original drama focussed more on the main character.

The Korean series portrayed a whirlwind of emotions from the main character and the people around her.

The producer said it focusses on relationships and the adjustments of the main actress. The series has been the talk of the town among Korean drama lovers for quite some time since it premiered. It is memorable as it changed the typical affair story into a psychological thriller with a fast-paced plot.

In terms of reviews from Bruneian viewers, most said the series left a profound impression.

Afeeyah Mohd said the drama is highly satisfactory and worthy of attention. It made her sad and frustrated, creating a roller coaster of emotions that had her hooked until the last episode. “I have watched many K-dramas, and this is one of the best. I was emotional, each episode was intense and filled with lessons in our life as married couples,” she said.

Another K-drama fan, Khairunnisa Ramli, said she enjoyed watching the show. It was emotional seeing the various plot twists, touching on themes of betrayal, divorce, deception, pain, revenge, love and hatred, all in one.

“This drama can make you want to scream at the top of your lungs. The storyline is amazing, and this drama is recommended to watch.”

An avid K-drama fan, Rabiatul Adawiyah, said The World of the Married had her in tears and filled with anger. “The entire plot about the cheating husband gives a completely different outlook.

“So many emotions are expressed in each episode and it kept me hooked. It’s definitely the best Korean drama,” she said.