Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) – Full Season 1 Review

Season 1

Episode Guide

Episode 1 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 2/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 2/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 2/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 9 – | Review Score – 2/5
Episode 10 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 11 – | Review Score – 2/5
Episode 12 – | Review Score – 2/5
Episode 13 – | Review Score – 2/5
Episode 14 – | Review Score – 2/5
Episode 15 – | Review Score – 1.5/5
Episode 16 – | Review Score – 0.5/5

 

Korea has a long line of excellent slice of life dramas. From Sky Castle and Reply 1988 to soapy primetime hits like Beautiful Love, Wonderful Life, these shows effortlessly weave comedy, drama and romance together in a compelling way.

At the other end of the spectrum is something like Penthouse, an exaggerated melodrama with so many twists and turns that you end up with whiplash by the end. And yet, it remains an enthralling and unmissable treat.

For all the good that comes out of Korean television (and there is a lot), there are a few real stinkers. Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) then is 2021’s ugly duckling. Unlike the fable though, there’s no chance of this becoming a beautiful swan, instead relegating itself to the recesses of TV history thanks to 16 episodes of regrettable fluff.

On paper, the ideas here are actually quite good. Three women, each of different ages, are forced to confront the very real possibility of divorce and cheating husbands. It certainly opens up the possibility for some thought provoking drama and commentary on life in general, but the show squanders that with a meandering story and some very questionable design choices.

The story, as mentioned, centers on these three different couples. In their 50’s, Shi-Eun and Hae-Ryun are seemingly happily married with two kids and a big house. Unfortunately Hae-Ryun is having an affair and files for a divorce.

Meanwhile, Pi-Young and Yu-Shin are very much in love with each other and play up the middle-aged couple. Only, Yu-Shin is having an affair.

Our third couple are newly-weds Hye-Ryung and Sa-Hyun. Only, Sa-Hyun has a secret which is – yep you guessed it – an affair.

All three of these stories remain separate for most of the series, not allowing for any intriguing cross examinations between characters or for organic and intriguing bouts of drama to crop up.

Instead, the show makes an absolutely bizarre choice to switch the tone and perspective around the midway point to jump back in time and see how these affairs came to be. Across 1 or 2 episodes this feels like a nice distraction but across 8 episodes, each 65 minutes long, it’s a slog.

It’s not even enjoyable either, and between drawn out dialogue and eye wateringly poor editing, Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) throws away any of the good will it’s built until that point and never looks like recovering.

The characters themselves are a bit of a mixed bag too, with the three leading ladies intriguing but ultimately underdeveloped. When the perspective shifts to the men instead, none of them have any redeeming features so there’s no emotional engagement to be had while they cheat on their partners.

In fact, the show even has the audacity to throw in romantic music during these kissing segments. Trust me guys, there’s nothing romantic about cheating.

It also doesn’t help that the motivations for these cheating husbands simply boils down to physical attraction and lust. In Sa-Hyun’s case, his affair begins by perving on a girl at the gym while she’s trying to work out. As a male myself, this sort of behaviour is precisely why women don’t want to work out alongside us. It’s creepy and uncomfortable – and this is a guy we’re supposed to be empathizing with!

I could go on but to put it simply, Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) is an absolute train wreck. It’s a sloppily edited, poorly paced, mundane, dreary waste of 16+ hours.

With high ratings in Korea and the promise of a second season on the horizon, Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) feels like a prison sentence and by the end you’ll feel like you’re waiting on death row. Avoid, avoid,avoid. This is the worst TV show of 2021.


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  • 1.5/10
    Verdict - 1.5/10
1.5/10

8 thoughts on “Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) – Full Season 1 Review”

  1. I disagree completely. I would definitely recommend watching. Especially season 2. It depicts real life which is often messy and irrational. In no way am I condoning adultery and the destruction it leaves behind. Its moralistically wrong in every possible way. However This drama portrays the complexities behind human behaviour and the impact of decisions made in their marriages and on their families. The children are all fantastic and.the female leads are phenomenal in their roles. Each couple completely different with the men having different motivations for thir affairs.You end up hating some more than others! It’s not only about affairs though. There are other sub themes running through it’s also about human relationships. I found it well acted and exciting to watch. Not too sure about the ghost though!!

  2. The first season was a bit stressful.. Especially after they wasted 8 episodes on a flash back.. But the season 2 is on fire.. They came back with a bang and everything is falling into place

  3. I disagree. Good this is a different drama tackling infidelity. This is reality that a person’s love changes – not a permanent emotional experience. Couples have to work hard to rekindle romance and love for each other m. Men will cheat if they want to. In this drama, you have to know the reasons why these 3 men cheated and all of them fell in love again other than their wives. The lawyer’s wife is a bitch. The professor’s wife acted like a mother to her husband. It’s the psychiatrist who deceives his wife and wants both world. Can’t wait till he finds out the wife discovered his infidelity.

  4. I disagree ! I love this K drama. It’s shows how affairs begin. It shows that it doesn’t follow a certain formula . The two other couples thought the reason why their friend’s husband cheated was because she let herself go, until their husbands had an affair.They were always well dressed. Which goes to show you it doesn’t matter about you appearance. If someone wants
    to cheat he / she will!. I love this show and can hardly wait for the next episode. By the way a lot of women goes to the gym , hoping that a man would hit on them.

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