Some of the best dramas I like are found on independent cable TV, which is a pity for their low viewership belies the quality of both the good script and acting.
This was from Channel M and I was hooked by Uhm Tae Woong from the first episode on. His character, Jang Hee Tae, is so likeable in every sense with what I admire in a man. He is well liked as a teacher, a son, son-in-law, a colleague and even liked by his love rival.
Jang Hee Tae was a relief biology teacher in a girls’ high school when he met his future wife, Kim Il Ri, his student, who risked her life to saved from from being knocked down by a car. He left to pursue further study and met with her again by chance on his return, and eventually married her.
Seven years past, she is the perfect daughter-in-law helping to look after her sick sister-in-law who is in a vegetable state. As a house painter, she meets with Kim Joon, a carpenter and both fall in love. She is torn between the two man, one who thinks she married him for security as a father figure she has missed in her growing up years, and the other who feels she should be enjoying life at her age, instead of being a slave to her in-law family.
However, in Asia, marriage is a union of two families and she finds that although she can divorce her husband, she cannot tear herself away from her in-laws, whom she has come to love as her own. Family ties force her to return when she learns that her MIL has dementia, and that her SIL is seriously ill.
So which man would she choose? The young dashing carpenter with no baggage? Or the dull husband with problematic family?
Unlike other Korean dramas, there is no villain here. All the co-actors and actresses add depth to the rich drama in their own ways, strengthening the story line such that the audience are in empathy with them. Even the SIL in her vegetable state contributes so much to the story that credit must be given to the script writer.
There is no complicated plot to destroy each other through revenge or murder. Everyone is affected by circumstances which for once nobody can blame anyone for. And isn’t that so true in life?