This review may contain spoilersI don't even know if I can say this is a review... but anyways.
It is a slow and sad drama but very powerful and haves a great story if you are willing to watch it.
We all know from other dramas and stories we read on the net about how hard is the education system in Korea and the contest between students to take higher places but this is not from the kids view here the point of view is from the parents perspective.
As the drama moves on you will notice that they main subjects are:
- The high expectation a family haves on their kids and their education and how it affects the family itself and even the neighborhood. Not your regular school drama this is just about the parents way of seen education and what they are capable to do to get what they want from it. (risks & consequences)
- The behavior, sacrifices and attitude society expect from you as a mother, wife, housewife and a woman in a family or neighborhood.
Many other themes are discussed on the drama too: infidelity runs along the WHOLE drama, money, greed, addiction to gambling, humiliation, depression, suicide, bullying, sexual harassment, power, in-laws, values, moral and secrets (LOTS OF THEM).
The acting is spot on. The housewife is played by Kim Hee Ae and I couldn't believe she is the same person that play the extremely powerful Machiavellic leading lady on Midas.Here she is the opposite. She doubts and fears everything. She is an amazing actress got me believing her story it was the real thing the whole drama. Gyeol (housewife son ) was played by Im Je No and he was brilliant. A kid becoming forcefully an adult while keeping his innocence that is what I saw. The rest of the cast... all great actors... I ended having strong feelings for them. (don't want to give you spoilers)
The music it was mellow kind of indie music. I didn't pay too much attention cause I just wanted the drama to keep on and get resolved. I was really into the story and outcome. Got carried away.
No. I don't think so. I ended all upset on some episodes... but it gets better. The bad. then good. Still once is enough. Just watch it at least once.
I liked it and glad that I watched it. It helped me see/understand more the education issue in Korea and how it affects the values and believes of society. I saw infidelity different layers, acceptance and point of views or aspects in Korea. At some point the issues left me feeling confused to the point of been kind of disturbing. It help me appreciate the freedom I had when I was a student and the freedom I've as a woman.
The last episodes where so good that I didn't even noticed when I got to the last one. And was like OMG this is the end so fast? If you watch it you will understand. It might sound all sad but it haves it's really "funny" good parts. It is NOT a cheesy, action, kisses or tears drama. There is a love story but is not your typical romance. This drama is FULL of real life issues. It is a drama to think and study our humanity and meditate on how we value the people around us and life.
Hope this helps.
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We've all seen her in dramas, the woman who married into a wealthier family, who is faced with comparisons to people that are doing so much better than her and receives lots of pressure from her in law family. What makes this drama and its heroine stand out is the focus on her journey of growing stronger and questioning her status quo in life. That is not to say she's a weak woman at the start of the drama, because she can take a stand for herself when required, but she's just not a person that puts her own needs above everything else.
The drama raises several important social issues, the most prominent ones were the role of wife and mother in a family, education of children and affairs. Some people might be put off by the fact that the female lead starts an affair, but imho the affair topic was not the point of the drama. These two people meet and get closer, because they both feel kind of left behind in their respective lives, but the important point for me was not whether they would stay together or not in the end, but that they began to think about their current situation in life and whether they could continue living that way. I see the affair more as a starting point of their character growth, and especially in the case of the female lead that was really well done.
I keep talking about the female lead, but her character really was the heart of the drama for me. I realize now that I rarely cared about a female character as much as her and Kim Hee Ae's outstanding and relatable performance played a great part in that. She made that character come alive, so that I always felt her pain and was rooting for her to find happiness. The rest of the cast was impressive too, there were several characters that I hated with a passion, but the drama actually managed to make me feel a bit sympathetic for some of them, although that doesn't excuse their previous behavior.
There were some things I wish would have been done a bit differently in the second half, which is the reason I didn't rate it a 10, but those aren't any major flaws. All in all, I highly recommend this if you want to see a drama with a mature approach to its topics.
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There are essentially four Big Topics being put up for analysis in the drama: What it means to be a wife; what it means to be a mother/parent; the current state of education in primary/secondary schools in Korea; and the ramifications of both wanting a divorce and the consequences that come with having that wish granted. It’s difficult to hammer out each of these topics as a separate theme because they are all melded together through three interconnected families: The Hans, the Jos, and the Ohs. (It may be helpful to look up a family tree beforehand to get their relations straight).
The story as its most basic level centers around Yoon Seo Rae (Kim Hee Ae), a married woman with a son who is about to enter into secondary school. It is through Seo Rae that the drama questions what makes a person qualified to be a “Wife,” and to what extent that right extends to being a “Mother.” Does fitting all the qualifications of being a good wife automatically make Seo Rae a good mother, or does being a good mother to her son (adorably played by Im Je No) make her a good wife? In a society that stresses keeping up family appearances and keeping elders satisfied above all, can a “Wife” be more than a vehicle for her child’s success (and thus a mirror for her own parent’s efforts realized)? Can she still focus on herself occasionally and allow herself to feel like a woman - an individual - again? These are the questions the dramas asks through Yoon Seo Rae’s character; the questions with which she herself struggles time and time again as she is tested by her arrogant in-laws and as she grows through her interactions with Kim Tae Oh (Lee Sung Jae), who is the dentist from the description.
But that is only part of the equation that makes this drama wonderfully thought provoking. Through Kim Tae Oh’s wife, Hong Ji Sun (Lee Tae Ran), we see the privatized education craze from the eyes of someone profiting from it; profiting from housewives who will do anything to make sure their child comes out on top. On the other hand, we also see how a marriage crumbles in on itself through no fault of any particular party. Through the Han family, we see a product of the education craze all grown up - Grandparents who feel their society owes them the world for giving up everything to educate their children, and Grown Children who see themselves as the “Noblesse Oblige,” as Han Sang Jin (Jang Hyeon Seong) tells to his son, which is a result of his own perceived privilege. We also see what the idea of divorce does to a person’s mental state when it is out of their reach: Han Myung Jae (Choi Eun Kyung) is a character you’ll love to hate by the end of the drama, but some of her last scenes definitely make you sympathize what it is like to be stuck in a marriage because of filial obligations. While her situation may on a whole feel like Karma-induced retribution, it is also the drama giving us another portrayal of Wifehood in Korea.
There are so many more points I would like to give attention to in this drama. It is one of the best portrayals of character growth and subtle changes in characters I’ve ever seen depicted. Yoon Seo Rae and Kim Tae Oh’s journey throughout the drama is one of the sweetest, more realistic and mature illustrations of dealing with the prickly topic of adultery. Usually, we only get the perspective from the person who is cheated on, but this drama took care to give us both sides; not only that, but also reasons for the reactions of all the families involved, even when the viewer might not agree with those reactions.
I could go on and on, as you can probably tell, but I’ll also point out some things I felt the drama didn’t do enough with in order to make this review more balanced. It didn’t get a 10 from me for a couple of reasons. One, I felt that the topic of education and the impact it has on the kids involved could have been explored more. We get a child who does really well in school and a child who struggles, but we only know this through exposition, not with actually spending time with the child as a viewer. Two, there were some plotlines that were used solely as plot-drivers in the first half that were completely dropped and never mentioned again in the second (the situation with Yoon Seo Rae’s mother; Kim Tae Oh giving out free dental care, etc.) They’re little strings, but they still left some holes, at least in my mind.
I’ll stop here ’cause this review is getting monstrously long. If you couldn’t already tell, I enjoyed this drama immensely and would recommend it to anyone looking for a deeper, intriguing plot line in a drama. If you can stand slower paced stories (there are scenes where you spend a good 5 minutes just watching a person walking, or sitting, or lost in thought; I happen to really enjoy those types of scenes, especially with the wonderful camera work in this drama, but... I understand it’s not everyone’s cup of tea), and if you want to see how a typical family drama in Korea usually unfolds without having to devote yourself to the normal 50+ episodes, then give A Wife’s Credentials a try.
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This review may contain spoilersThere are dramas such as this, that pierce your heart deep. This is such drama. I don't have words how beautifully these series are created. This is not cheesy story plot, unrealistic plot or fairy tale - this is real life. Real life in Korea, from a perspective of parent, educator, neighbor, family member... This is one of those dramas I have to give rating of 10 in all categories. Kim Hee Ae should get an Oscar for this performance - it was so real, it became scary! This drama covers mature subject matters, emotions that will shift you right and left, and finally choices that would lead to consequences. This drama is a must to watch. There are few like this one - that if you watch it, your life would never be the same!... I can't give any spoilers, but all I can say is that, from the fist episode it grabbed me and could not let go. Perhaps for a young adult this would be too heavy to watch, but anyone who is married, have kids, especially a woman, should watch this. The affair did not become a main concern for me but what did was psychological effects of it, peer and neighbor pressure, various &amp;quot;polished&amp;quot; relationships that made this drama whole. Everything done here was brilliant, and I am not just saying that, it truly is a sad melodrama that no person should miss out. The female lead growth was spectacular. Brilliant &quot;jewel&quot; drama hidden among all other dramas, so please if you want something really mature - this one should be your next!.... tip: drama is available on dramacool
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This drama is not so. It develops character at the cost of the plot 'pacing' and 'plot stuff'. Really if you want a twisty plot, don't watch it that day. Plotwise it is has 'appropriate' speed. AND if you focus on the characters and other things, it will keep you very interested. And force you to watch the next episode. And leave you happy and content when you are done. The way the characters deal with the problems, and the problems themselves are very mature and realistic. It deals with a variety of issues- is it OK to leave an abusive relationship and start another, what is infidelity, the problems faced by parents and children of divided households, the education system which rewards cramming over critical and original thinking, what is more important in life- money or love, what is the meaning of success, and so on.
The music is fitting.
The acting is one of the strongest point of this drama. Superb acting from everyone.
I don't rewatch but this is worth rewatching as it is well acted and well paced. It is about character development not some secret, so you can probably watch it multiple time (if you like rewatching stuff)
Overall, this is a well acted mature drama dealing with a variety of issues relating to diverse groups in a comprehensive way while catching your interest too. There's not much of the 'plot' though which kdramas are famous for (you know what I am talking about)
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