Another great mature drama! I have been impatiently waiting for new episodes of this drama and Before We Get Married to air.
This show gives me vibes of Something in the Rain because of the serious themes tackled. The stories are quite different but both deal with societal issues and pressures.
Lee Jung-In is a librarian who has been dating her successful and wealthy boyfriend, Kwon Ki-Seok, for about four years. In many people’s eyes, their relationship is perfect but what they don’t see is the lack of passion. When Jung-In meets Yoon Ji-Ho, a pharmacist and a single father, she starts to re-discover the meaning of love.
To make things more complicated, Ji Ho turns out to be a junior (hoobae) of Jung In’s boyfriend.
Other characters to look out for are Jung-In’s two sisters, especially the older sister who is dealing with serious issues of her own.
Ji Ho being a single father will probably be the hardest hurdle to overcome for the lead couple. This is something both are well aware of. This is also one of the reasons why Ki Seok refuses to let go of Jung In. Ki Seok never imagined Jung In breaking up with him. Ki Seok finds this break up especially hurtful since Jung In fell in love with a man with a child. For Ki-Seok, this is unimaginable and this tells you all about how single fathers are perceived. They are seen as defective, not worthy of love or consideration. That’s also why I am thoroughly enjoying this slap in the face to Ki-Seok. I am happy that his ego is bruised. It gives me a sense of satisfaction because he belittled Ji-Ho, not knowing that is the same man is girlfriend is falling for.
I also doubt that Jung-In’s family will be accepting of Ji-Ho being a single dad, which makes 0 sense to me. The person involved says it’s OK with her… Why are others so pressed about it?
If you are interested in finding out more about single parenthood in South Korea, please check out the articles below:
- Single fathers fight against the tide
- Single-parent families suffer financial difficulties
- The stigma of being a single mother in South Korea
Patriarchy, family pressure and domestic violence
This seems to be a central theme of this drama. Fathers pressuring children to do what they think is best regardless of their children’s feelings and opinions. This is primarily expressed by Jung-In’s father. The latter is consistently pressuring Jung In to marry.
This is something the father has also done to Jung In’s older sister, Seo-In.
Seo In was pressured by her father to marry her husband, who seemed perfect on paper – a handsome and charismatic dentist. Again from the outside, all seems well but what many don’t know is that her husband is abusive (verbally and physically).
Seo In now finds herself stuck in this relationship, begging for a divorce and with a pregnancy to deal with.
Seo In is basically living in fear. She also seems to be scared or ashamed to bring up this issue to her loved ones. Her mother and sisters seem to know that something is off. They know she’s unhappy they don’t know how deep the issues run.
Her father who pushed for this marriage doesn’t notice his daughter’s suffering and I am not sure he would care. He’d probably be in denial. What hurts and annoys me is that marriage seems to be a transaction, primarily benefitting him. Through his daughters’ marriages, the father wants to gain more status and open new doors. Pathetic.
Another example of patriarchy and family pressure is expressed through Ki-Seok’s father. At first, Ki-Seok’s father didn’t care much about Jung In, even encouraging his son to break up but after meeting Jung In he’s ALL in. Despite, Jung In CLEARLY telling him she has no intention of marrying his son.
Lastly, Ki Seok himself is guilty of such behavior. Countless time, Jung In made it clear that she didn’t want to marry him or even be with him. She also confessed that there is something between Ji Ho and her. Yet, Ki-Seok keeps ignoring her wishes. It’s like Jung-In’s opinions don’t matter. I find it distasteful and disrespectful that Ki-Seok isn’t respecting Jung In’s choices.
What to expect (in my opinion)
- A lot of pushback from Jung In’s family. Although the mother in understanding, I think Ji-Ho being a single father would worry her. Would Jung In be happy? Can she love the child like her own? How would society treat her?
- The truth about Seo-In’s relationship could be an eye opener. Even if it’s not for the father, it’d be a valuable lesson for the mother and a wake-up call to stand up for her daughters’ happiness.
- What if Ji-Ho’s ex comes back? It’s DramaLand so everything is possible but I think this wouldn’t fit with the vibe of the drama. The show is more realistic so I hope they don’t throw this twist in it.