Wanting to get back into the swing of watching Korean dramas, I asked my Korean friend for recommendations. (To your average non Korean – there are so many to choose from!) She mentioned that she was watching Woman who married three times, or Thrice married woman and after finding that I can follow this drama on Viki.com I thought I would give it a go. (Viki.com offers subtitles – my Korean is not yet up to par!)
Written by Kim Soo-hyun,the drama aired twice during the weekend on SBS in Korea (Saturday and Sundays) in the evenings over 40 episodes. The main cast was the characters Oh Eun-Soo and her family (Sister – Oh Hyun-Soo, Daugher – Jung Seul-Ki, and parents) It focuses on her, her sister, friends, family-in-law and their general struggles with married life.
I tend to look at dramas from two angles, how it relates to me and what is the drama trying to say overall, (a reflection on society).
The first episodes kick off with a lady getting left at the altar simply because the groom has changed his mind. Hyun-Soo (the sister) knows both bride and groom and finds herself in the middle of the uncomfortable situation. What adds further complication are her secret 15 long year feelings for the groom. We see her love as being selfless and also cowardly.
Her sister, Eun-Soo is in her second marriage when the episodes begin. We learn her first ended due to her living situation and unbearable mother-in-law. She has a daughter from this marriage, who lives with her parents. She is waiting for the right time to bring her to her current marriage. As the narrative progresses we see her emerge as a courageous individual, not wanting to live by the confines of a divorced woman in Korean society.
The drama includes other characters who too struggle with the outcomes of marrying a divorced woman or man with a child. The characters are believable and passionate and you come to love each of them in a different way. Although the sisters share similar traits, they are individuals when it comes to values on marriage. I loved Eun Soo for her elegance and calm. I also loved the contrast with the two women, involved with her hubsands, Lee Da Mi and Han Chae- Rin. In comparison, Eun Soo was so dignified and kept her struggles to herself. The others outwardly displayed their inner turmoils turning to alcohol for comfort. One dealing with a lost love and the other attempting to make sense of her marriage.
I don’t suspect anyone foresaw the ending, which seemed almost too predictable, with Eunsoo and her first husband, Jung Tae-won destined to end up together. He was married to a monster of a woman and she was separated from her second husband after discovering he had an affair. However the story turned so suddenly where the evil wife, became angelic (it was revealed her father beat her and her mother) and he vowed to stay with her to protect her and Eun-soo, as the title suggests, divorced her second husband and ended up marrying herself. (not anyone else) She wears three rings, symbolizing this. Really she is the voice of the underdog, giving hope to countless women in Korea, saying its no shame to be divorced as long as you have your principals.
Her sister also finds satisfaction with the man she was secretly in love with and although she does not end up marrying him on paper, they act every bit as a married couple.
It is an interesting reflection on Korean society, cultures and values on a society with an emphasis on family.
I will miss the drama. (It ended last weekend on Korean screens) and I would like to thank the endless subbers on Viki.com who were able to satisfy my cravings very quickly.