K-Drama Review: ‘Perfect Wife’ Brings You to Follow Middle Aged Woman’s Journey to Find Herself Again

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Second Life Themed in Korean Drama

In the world of Korean drama, plots and twists revolving around family is not something new. Stories that are dramatic and full of surprises are actually the norm and what attracts most of the domestic viewers, viewers in their late 30s, in particular. The drama Perfect Wife is the embodiment of the drama trope, with a story that revolves around Shim Jae-bok, a middle-aged mother of two children and loving wife to her husband.

Due to a difficult financial situation, she must earn money to support her family while still performing her duties at home. She is the kind of woman who will do anything for her family. However, in the process of wanting the best future for them, she has neglected herself to an extent that has almost taken her identity. An unexpected incident in her life would lead her to regain her sense of self and realize the cheerful optimistic woman within her. What exactly is the incident that helped her find a renewed passion for her life? How did she finally turn her life around? Let’s take a look at everything relating to the drama, Perfect Wife!

Meet Jae-bok, A Middle Aged Woman Who is Finding Her Life again

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Perfect Wife is a bit darker and more serious than the normal Korean drama, but in a way that intrigues the audience with the allure of mysteries and dramatic aspects of a typical makjang. The drama tells the story of Shim Jae-bok, a wife and mother who has to carry all the burden in her family due to her useless husband. She works as a contract worker in a firm and has to balance the act of being a supportive mother, as well as being a wife who continually reminds her husband what he needs to do. Everything came to halt once she was notified that her contract with the firm would not be renewed, seemingly due to her age, despite her hard work that sometimes is more empathetic than with your typical lawyer.

Not only did she lose her job, she comes back home to the scene of her husband lovingly doting on a younger girl, a girl he is cheating on her with. She suspects the two are to be married, by the ring on her the girl’s finger. In order to escape her dire situation, she teams up with another worker who was let go from the firm, Kang Bong-goo, to form their own firm with just the two of them, desperate for any kind of work. Once that was up and running, she was met with an obstacle; her husband’s mistress dies under a mysterious circumstance and she now the prime suspect. What is exactly behind the murder? Who is pulling the strings behind the scenes? You have to watch to find out!

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The characters in this drama is very likeable and relatable, such as the characters of Shim Jae-bok and Kang Bong-goo; you can’t help but empathize for their situations. Shim Jae-bok has a strong personality, she’s very harsh and critical of her husband and is the exact opposite of the mistress that her husband is cheating on her with, making us want to cheer her on and have her prove everyone wrong. Meanwhile, Go Jung-hee isn’t very confident and prefers to avoid problems rather than speak out, so it’s no surprise that he finds his cranky wife off-putting, and goes to the girl who makes him feel attractive and masculine.

The way the show covers the topic of cheating and infidelity in a relationship is very fresh and interesting, unlike other dramas that tend to over-dramatize the act of infidelity to the point of romanticizing it. In Perfect Wife, we see how Shim Jae-bok struggles between disappointment and anger towards her husband and using the infidelity as an excuse, her way out of a marriage that isn’t making her happy. Yet, her husband’s infidelity seems to have more up its sleeve, with it also casting a negative light on to her, with the murder and all, and it provided an interesting take on a usually melodramatic subject.

The Cast

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Go So-young as Shim Jae-bok. As a wife who lives for her two children and husband, Shim Jae-bok neglected herself to the point that she has almost lost her sense of self. She rediscovers the cheerful optimistic personality within her after a strange incident that comes her way.

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Yoon Sang-hyun as Goo Jung-hee. Goo Jung-hee is the husband of Shim Jae-bok. He seems cowardly and petty to others, but is actually a nice family man.

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Jo Yeo-jung as Lee Eun-hee. As a woman who comes from a rich family, Lee Eun-hee has the financial freedom and independence to do as she pleases. She meets Shim Jae-bok and becomes involved in the mysterious events that would change their lives.

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Sung Joon as Kang Bong-goo. Kang Bong-goo is a lawyer who dreams of marrying a rich girl.  As long as the woman comes from a really rich family, he doesn’t care if she is divorced or if she has children. A series of events, however, would lead him to fall in love with Shim Jae-bok, who is just an ordinary housewife working hard to support her family.