K-Drama Premiere: “Love Affairs In The Afternoon” Draws Attention & Sympathy Even With Its Theme Of Infidelity
Love Affairs In The Afternoon strangely absorbs you to its firm invitation in understanding the perspectives of people who succumb to marriage betrayals.
Exploring the reasons and emotions that bring about failed marriage seems to be the direction of Love Affairs in the Afternoon.
Premiere Week Rating:
Interestingly, the foreseen extra-marital affairs that will layer the love stories in the drama reel attraction to the viewers. Probably because of how simple yet relatable the storytelling is so far.
Bannered by Park Ha Sun, Lee Sang Yeob, Ye Ji Won and Jo Dong Hyuk, Love Affairs in the Afternoon is adapted from 2014 Japanese drama. Directing the project is Kim Jung Min, whose popular works include Task Force 38 and Bad Guys. Both mentioned series by Director Kim were neatly constructed. Hence, this total shift from gritty production to romantic story really had my full attention.
Premiere Week Recap
After three years of marriage, Son Ji Eun (Park Ha Sun) is still unable to be pregnant with her husband. Their daily life picture is as boring as it could get and her mother-in-law’s constant coaxing to work on having a child builds up pressure within her. Stress that she can’t bring up with her husband who only has eyes on their bird babies.
When a new family moves in front of their house, she did not expect building a connection to Choi Soo Ah (Ye Ji Won). As Ji Eun works as a part-timer at the neighborhood mart, she accidentally witnessed a steamy picture of her new neighbor making out at the mart’s garage one afternoon.
To make it worse, when she sneaks out a lipstick from the mart, Soo Ah uses it to force Ji Eun in bailing her out of a problem. Apparently, a high school student sees Soo Ah kissing a different man inside her car, and the teenager smashed a pot on her car’s windshield. In the process of calming the student, Ji Eun was pushed inadvertently.
Rushing to the student’s aid is Yoon Jung Woo (Lee Sang Yeob), a biology teacher at the neighborhood’s alternative high school. Earlier, Ji Eun encountered Jung Woo when he helped her pick up water bottles in the mart. As Ji Eun is not feeling well, she steps out of the police interrogation leaving the situation that Soo Ah forced on her.
A maze that does not have an exit
Taking the signal from Soo Ah, Jung Woo follows her and is able to catch her when she fainted. Learning Ji Eun’s health condition, Jung Woo sees to it that she gets home safe and even buys new comfy shoes. The three meet again for the written agreement of not pursuing a case to Jung Woo’s student. When Soo Ah requests a date with Jung Woo, he politely excuses himself.
Ji Eun chides Soo Ah for her brazen attitude and leaves the meeting place as well. On her way home, she sees Jung Woo fully absorbed in taking a picture of a flower. When he explains the meaning of flower, Ji Eun is able to relate it to her life.
Mentioning he has to leave, Jung Woo reveals he is set to pick up his wife. Surprised that he is married, Ji Eun also tells him that she is married.
Meanwhile, Soo Ah’s husband hosts a housewarming party and invites recluse writer Do Ha Yoon (Jo Dong Hyuk) as well as the publishing company staff. When one of the staff picks on writer Do, the party is ruined. While cleaning the mess, Soo Ah notices a sketch of writer Do which felt familiar.
From the encounters of this neighborhood couples, a web of love and deceit will ensue.
Premiere Week Afterthoughts
Watching Love Affairs in the Afternoon without having any idea of what it is was such a sweet surprise.
Coming from the frustration I got from One Spring Night, I should have picked a series without a central theme of infidelity to mend my broken heart. But this series just gravitates because it clearly knows what it wants to achieve in the story.
Threading on a sensitive and complicated theme, the realistic conflicts that depict from the series are somewhat exciting to watch. While I do not tolerate infidelity, I understand how people in relationship need to be the best caretakers of their love. If they fail to work on it and a change of heart happens, cheating is inevitable. An aftermath that would be painful to accept.
I appreciate the classy setup of the series. It has strong emotional frames that are complemented well with subtle yet piercing painful realities coming from the perspective of the characters. Wanting to push Ji Eun to play with fire owing to her lackluster marriage feels like a normal thing to do. Additionally, knowing the truth behind Soo Ah’s risky afternoon affairs raises curiosity.
For its premiere week, I am already impressed on its main leads and supporting cast. It’s strange, but yes I am looking forward to how the unfaithfulness will progress in the next episodes. Ye Ji Won and Lee Sang Yeob are actors who have consistently delivered well regardless of what kind of roles given to them. Hence, I am looking forward to how painful yet liberating the love journey of the characters would be.
Love Affairs in the Afternoon airs on Channel A every Friday and Saturday.
ABOUT THE WRITER
abbyinhallyuland reads and sleeps a lot when she is not traveling. Her calendar reminders are mostly K-Drama broadcast schedules and birthdays of her favorite Korean actors. Promoting K-Drama watching as stress therapy is her life advocacy. She is fond of Spencer Reid, Gregory House, Kenshin Himura, Starwars saga, Haruki Murakami and Hunter x Hunter.
Recommended Korean Dramas: Reply 1988, Nine, Misaeng, Gaksital, Discovery of Love, Because This is My First Life, Descendants of the Sun, My Love from the Star, Healer, Punch, You’re Beautiful,Coffee Prince, Princess Hours, The Greatest Love, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, City Hunter, and The Smile Has Left Your Eyes.