Cha Joo Hyuk works at a bank and has been married to Seo Woo Jin for five years. When a strange incident happens one day, Joo Hyuk makes a decision that impacts his life and those around him in unexpected ways. Suddenly, the life he had with Woo Jin and his best friend, Yoon Joong Hoo are gone and he is leading a very different life.
How will his first love, Lee Hee Won, factor into his new life? And will it be possible to get his old life back?
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It wasn't perfect, it wasn't without it's faults, but it was a drama that I really enjoyed watching!-The story centers around Cha Joo Hyuk, who is miserable with his married life. The drama focuses on how his one choice changes the world that he has always known. Not just for him. But for everyone he has known and loved.
- Frankly, I'll agree with everyone who says that Joo Hyuk was an immature selfish jerk. I'll say the same thing. He was everything that people described him as. But REALISTICALLY so.
We, as viewers, are used to seeing a male lead who is righteous and is ready to sacrifice himself, for the female lead, at the very least. But Cha Joo Huk wasn't like that. Not at the start anyway. The choice he made was solely for his own happiness. But dare I say I understood Joo Hyuk? Don't get me wrong, I didn't like him either (not for a long time anyway), but I get his character. If faced with a similar situation in similar circumstances, maybe not everyone but still more than a few people would make the same choice.
- Again, this will probably go against general opinion (from those I read on different places), but I liked the character development of Joo Hyuk. And yes, I do think he had one. He started out a completely self centered jerk, who only wanted his own happiness. He blamed his wife for his unhappiness. But slowly, as he got to know his own faults, as he realized his own mistakes, we started seeing his character grow. He wanted to make her happy. Even if it wasn't with him.
- Enough about the male lead, let's move on to the female lead. Woo Jin... At first she is portrayed like a "monster" who has a really short temper and is extremely violent. But later on we get to see what made her that way.
- One thing I really liked about this drama was the fact that how BOTH the leads were far from perfect. Although Joo Hyuk might be more so. Nevertheless we get to see them try and become better person. Both individually, and together.
- I really enjoyed the chemistry between Han Ji Min and Ji Sung. As a married couple, and as a non-couple too, they were believable.
- The second female lead- Hye Won. She is portrayed as a materialistic and vain person. I actually think she wasn't as bad as they were trying to show her. She behaved like she was entitled to everything, but she wasn't evil or villainous like a lot other SFL.
- The second male lead Jong Hoo, was a really good character. He was charming, but he never overshadowed the male lead enough to give you SLS. I really liked the bond between him and Joo Hyuk. It wasn't exactly bromance but they had a really nice friendship.
- All the other secondary characters were fun to watch. The mysterious ahjussi, Joo Eun, Woo Jin's mom... Everyone. My favorite was Sang Shik. His emotional scenes always got me smiling.
- Also Jo Jung Suk's cameo! Loved it! The whole thing was so cute! Joo Hyuk 's reactions XD
- As for the one thing that bothered me was about the children. How could they give us one, just one scene. I think everyone is aware of the fact that a parent child bond is truly a special one! So how could you not, writer-nim? This is just one thing I cannot get over.
- Overall, I really, really enjoyed this drama! It has everything, a spectacular cast, and intriguing storyline, a good OST. So please give this drama a chance.
Time travelling misogynist comes to term with his mistakes and is given a second chance."Familiar Wife" is yet another excellent drama from our friends at tvN that gives a new spin to that old trope of travelling back in time to change the future for better -- who wouldn't want that? But no change comes without its consequence as Cha Joo Hyuk (played by Ji Sung) learns that his inability to communicate with his wife Seo Woo Jin (played by Han Ji Min) and the contemporary reality that women have to bear the brunt of housework, family, and their own jobs forms the perfect storm for a spineless male lead character to become desperate in his own misogyny and breadwinner mentality that he seeks a way out of it.
- As most dramas produced by tvN you can expect a decent quality story that resolves around Ji Sung and Han Ji Min's characters, their relationship, the effects and consequences of time travel, and somewhat of a social commentary (as far as any k-drama go) on marriage and couples. Cha Joo Hyuk (Ji Sung) quickly realises that despite his escapist yearning and selfish decision to alter the present his new life becomes a ceaseless battle as he embraces that he still loves Seo Woo Jin (Han Ji Min) but also has to content with the new reality he lives in. Meanwhile Seo Woo Jin (Han Ji Min) has her own life and agency, but also experiences side effects from time travel and a curious familiarity towards Cha Joo Hyuk (Ji Sung). Details about their past are featured prominently through flashbacks that blend seamlessly with the main plot and explain why things are the way they are.
With many heavy hearted moments between romance and melodrama, there is also time for some comic relief and humour between the cast which offers some relief from the overall seriousness of "Familiar Wife" -- for its less 'realistic' aspects, this is a mature story that covers the ups and downs of being married and how uneven relationships do not work and are toxic to the point they slowly transform people from their best into their worst, whether they can recognise it or not.
"Familiar Wife" concludes in a very heart warming way, delivering a satisfying positive ending after such a long journey even though [in my humble opinion] Cha Joo Hyuk (Ji Sung) didn't deserve it.
- After two years absent from drama series, Han Ji Min makes a triumphant return and is arguably the acting powerhouse of "Familiar Wife." Seo Woo Jin stands out like a bright sun and Han Ji Min displays her skill and versatility as an actress, making her character feel true with all its quirk.
Ji Sung and Kang Han Na are also prominent actors in this story but I would say that despite all his experience and screen time Ji Sung fails to deliver most of the times except in the more emotional, heart catching moments of the story while Kang Han Na fits the shoes of Lee Hee Won perfectly both in attitude and aesthetics, though some people may have some criticisms over her actions and embodiment of certain stereotypes/tropes.
"Familiar Wife" has a pleasant cast of friendly characters and actors that fit well into the story and play the role well when the time demands so, some even having their own side stories with pinches of romance and family drama that involve the leading characters as well.
- "Familiar Wife" has a fine soundtrack with a few notable songs that play during crucial points of the story as well as at the beginning of each episode. The music itself matches the tone of the story and never feels repetitive.
- With 16 episodes of (more or less) 60 minutes each the re-watch value is high as there are many scenes, especially the flashbacks ones, which are worth revisiting for their good nature and simple joy, not to mention the more romantic, comical moments that happen in particular episodes. Overall pacing of the story is good with the exception of episode 13-14 where the plot seems to slow down to stalling point but it quickly picks up back again episode 15.
"Familiar Wife" is far from being a "perfect drama" (I don't believe those necessarily exist) but it's a very compelling story in the world of the time travelling trope, and if anything it's worth watching for Han Ji Min.