A Wife’s Credentials (so many feelings!)

bus stopI’ve finally started A Wife’s Credentials after hearing so, so many good things about it. I’m only up to episode 5, but so far I can see why people loved it. Its already set up an impossible conflict. I have no idea what a satisfying solution could possibly be — I love too many of the people involved. So if the story manages to end well (and the good reviews suggest is does) it promises to be epic. In a quiet, slice-of-life kind of way.  [spoilers through episode 5 below…]

Yoon Seo-rae is adorable. She’s the kind of woman I would love to be best friends with. Warm and loving — you could tell her anything and she’d listen and care. She’s married to a ginormous ass and his family is terrible — snobby and selfish. But — and this is important — they’re not unbelievably horrible. SeoRaeThey don’t care much for Seo-rae (they obviously feel their beloved son married beneath them) and they’re curt and dismissive and rude. But they’re not over the top cruel or anything. Just, your average asses.

Which was interesting to me because I knew, from the premise, that Seo-rae was going to fall in love with the bike-riding guy at the bus-stop. So I was expecting to be shown that her life was completely untenable and that any reasonable person would leave at first opportunity. Instead, I can see that her marriage is not a good one and her in-laws are a burden, but… She has a wonderful son who loves his dad and his aunt and his grandparents and is plenty old enough to be hurt by a divorce. Leaving is not an easy or obvious choice, here.

And then it gets even more complicated, because cute bus-stop guy (Kim Tae-oh, played by Lee Sung-jae who played Mr. Rapey McRapesalot in Gu Family Book but oh boy is this a completely different role) is also married and has a child. Tae-oh's familyAnd!! Seo-rae and his wife have become friends! Really good friends! A friendship I’m totally rooting for!

And yet… The show has managed to convince me so completely that Seo-rae and Tae-oh are good together. (Also — how much do I love that she kissed him, first!) I wish there was a way they could split dimensions and have one plane of existence where Seo-rae and Tae-oh have a scorching (and also sweet and warm) love, and another plane of existence where Seo-rae and Teacher Hong are the best besties ever.

This isn’t that kind of show, unfortunately. So I’m preparing for my heart to get broken one way or the other. (Seo-rae’s husband, Sang-jin, and his family can go suck it, though. They honestly need a bit of deflating.)

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11 thoughts on “A Wife’s Credentials (so many feelings!)

  1. Oh, you have started it! I loved AWC so, so much. It was The Drama of that year for me. I watched several episodes/scenes more than once.

    It’s so seldom these days that you see a Korean drama so well construced and thought out in every aspect. This is what you get when there’s a good script and a PD who knows his stuff (Ahn Pan Suk!!!). Some of the characters are rather unpalatable but the drama does not demonize them. Like you said, they are just your average asses. Also, both Tae Oh and Seo Rae have their faults so no-one is depicted as squeaky clean. Isn’t Seo Rae just lovely though? I love her quirky, dry sense of humour and Tae Oh is just overall nice and thoughtful.

    I’d never seen Kim Hee Ae in anything before but it did not surprise me to learn that she’s well respected. I’m looking forward to her next drama with YAI and the same PD with interest. Lee Sung Jae has been one of my faves for a long time now. He’s very versatile and is as good at playing disgusting characters as UTW. *g* OMG! You should watch those two together in ‘Stranger Than Paradise’! The bromance was SO adorkable. ;P

    Some people may take offense with the content of the drama but they made such a good job at showing us why both of the marriages were not truly working, except on the surface and eventually did fail. There was also very interesting commentary about Korean school system and how it affects the families of the students. Then there were all the snooty ladies of the neighbourhood Seo Rae’s lives, what a collection. 🙂 The parallel story of Seo Rae’s MIL’s marriage was quite interesting too. Actually, AWC has lot of interesting themes and a very intriguing look into some aspects of Korean society.

    ‘One Warm Word’ covers some of the same ground as AWC but it has a bit different angle on things. It’s def the best one on my watch list atm and the one I look forward to each week. Which reminds me, why isn’t there subs for ep 16 yet?! Not that I’m impatient or anything…

    • It captures the complexities of marriage and life so, so well. Which is what makes it so painful. Not so much Seo-rae’s marriage (her husband is so utterly undeserving of her) but… oh, Teacher Hong! I wish she was in love with someone else, but life is never that neat.

      And I adore that no one is just 2D bad. Even the mistress next door has a hard enough row to hoe that… I don’t excuse her — she’s being petty and cruel and I’m betting things are going to boomerang back onto her — but I can see how she got to the point where destroying her baby’s daddy’s family seemed like a good choice.

      Also! The sound track! They’ve really done everything right with this drama. My one compliant is it’s not available on my usual streaming sites so I’m not getting it in the HD it deserves. Still… the beauty comes through.

      (I’ll have to keep an eye on One Warm Word as a possible marathon…)

      • There are a few things I could say about the mistress and Teacher Hong too but that would be giving away spoilers. Besides, you’ll see for yourself soon enough. 🙂 All of these people have layers that get slowly peeled away as the story progresses. I concur, the OST is great!

        OWW is a more…. should I say, ‘painful’ watch. There really are no real ‘bad guys’ in this story, which makes the whole mess so, so sad. My heart truly hurts for everyone concerned. Somehow I’ve become quite attached to these characters. Four more epis to go and no idea how it’s going to end, but for once I’m quite content to just sit back and watch. Writing’s been so assured up till now so I doubt they’ll botch it up in the last minute. Fingers crossed.

        • Something else I really like about AWC — they know how to use silence. Letting the actors convey the emotional feeling of a scene without a musical shove to get the viewer into the right frame of mind.

          When you find a drama you can trust enough to just sit back and watch… that’s an awesome thing. 🙂 I’m glad OWW is hitting that spot for you.

  2. Well I’ve not hid my love for this show, and all I’ll say is, another reason among many, why this show rocks, really really rocks, is that it has a SHOWER SCENE with WOMEN XD. Glad you’re watching this!

    • I’m glad I’m watching it too! I’m trying to figure out when I’ll have a good chunk of time to marathon some more episodes. (I think the next episode is going to be painful and I’ll want to watch the following one immediately.)

      • I remember somewhere around Ep 5 or 6 being really agonisingly nail-biting and me wanting to hit someone or something and being all gutted and completely and hopelessly enthralled. Oh the roller coaster ride of feels, this show.

  3. I have heard so many good things about this drama and it is one that I want to start sooner than later..
    And now reading that you like it so far well.. I should get around watching it.. 🙂

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