Rating:
Average user rating 4.8
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VIP: Episodes 9-16 (Series review)

VIP has just finished a rather successful run, and I have to say the show deserved its ratings. While it was a heavy look at some heavy circumstances, the drama still remained really watchable, enjoyable, and compelling right through to its conclusion.

VIP did take a turn halfway through, though — with a very important reveal — and the drama felt a bit different in its second half. This wasn’t the halfway nosedive so many dramas have taken, filling up airspace with, well, air — what was different with VIP was that it spent its first half asking questions, and its second half answering them.

As I mentioned in the midpoint review, one of VIP’s strengths was its gorgeous way of using gray space. The drama wasn’t afraid to have us guessing, and in fact, sometimes it intentionally misled us — or perhaps a better way to say it is that the drama led us on? And that’s what made it such a great watch.

The primary question to answer, of course, was the who/when/what around Sung-joon’s presumed affair. VIP did such a good job of holding back facts we needed, or giving us other facts that turned our thinking in a certain direction, that I was honestly shocked when the affair was confirmed. Even more than that, the affair was revealed to be with the least likely character, the down-on-her-luck office newbie Ohn Yu-ri.

I liked this development a whole lot less than I thought I would (and I wasn’t really expecting to). But at the same time, the drama doesn’t shy away from showing us the aftermath of broken hearts, trust, and marriages — maybe that’s why the second half caught me off guard, when it started to tell us (or at least explain) the love story of Sung-joon and Yu-ri.

I understand these two characters found each other when they were in need, and that they had a lot of past hurt in common, but does VIP really expect me to take them seriously as a couple while I’m also watching Jung-sun in agony for most of the drama? To the show’s benefit, this section was short-lived and quickly undermined. VIP, it turns out, was not telling us about a love affair at all. Or even really about love. The drama was more about relationships — if you can separate romance and relationships for the purposes of the argument.

It makes sense that a drama that’s tasked with answering questions in its second half has to fill in all the holes with backstory. So, a lot of what we see in the last several episodes of the drama is each character’s backstory. Most importantly, it’s that of Jung-sun and Sung-joon. A door that had always remained shut in their apartment is opened to us, and we learn that it’s the nursery for the baby that Jung-sun miscarried.

If VIP was about showing us the cracks that can form in a relationship, then this miscarriage was the moment, or circumstance, that started that break for Jung-sun and Sung-joon. It’s heartbreakingly told, and even more so because it’s so believable and familiar.

That their marriage never had a chance to repair after this event is frightening. We see first-hand the vulnerability it created in their relationship, and the drama’s look at the fragility of relationships and people is not unintentional. Neither are the mentions of broken glass, cracks, and pieces that Jung-sun and Sung-joon so often use when trying to talk about their relationship.

Speaking of, those scenes are some of the most intense in the drama. Jang Nara and Lee Sang-yoon created this amazing, palpable silence between them that were both agonizing and yet filled with the intimacy that you’d expect between two people who have been married for ten years. The subject matter might be grim, but these two actors made it real.

Jung-sun might be the victim in the affair, but she doesn’t wallow for long (or much at all). In her own words, she “went crazy for a while” and had to solve the mystery around the text message and affair. She goes through a very understandable journey of grief and anger, first trying to hold onto her husband and their marriage, then realizing she couldn’t do so without the facts.

It doesn’t take her (or anyone else) long to piece it all together, since the evidence is there, and Jung-sun is understandably shattered. “Cheating is one thing, but this is disgusting,” she tells Sung-joon. She turns cold as ice (wow, I didn’t know Jang Nara could whip out that much of an RBF), and is hellbent on making Sung-joon’s life as miserable as possible.

It’s interesting that it’s not till much later on that we learn the origins of the text message that started it all: it was Yu-ri who sent it herself. To me, this was one of the most charged moments of the drama — realizing that this girl started a fire and pulled the alarm all at the same time. But it’s also adeptly revealed, with the flashbacks and extended scenes that we only saw short cuts of earlier. Indeed, the mechanics that VIP used to deliver its story make it one of the best I’ve seen in a while.

This method isn’t used just for our main storyline — it’s used for each of our leading characters as well. For instance, we were led to believe that Mi-na was having an affair, and watched her leave home, struggle through the early weeks of her pregnancy, and cross the line for a promotion at work.

However, similar to the reveals around Jung-sun and Sung-joon, when the facts were filled in, questions were answered (and assumptions dismissed). Mi-na and her husband’s storyline was about communicating, making changes, and addressing problems in their relationship and lifestyle. I enjoyed that their story was about a new chapter in their relationship, and the healthiness of communication (and the contrast to the lack of communication in Jung-sun/Sung-joon’s relationship is intentional, I’m sure).

Then there’s Hyun-ah, whose story has been my favorite from the get-go (and Lee Chung-ah is just so perfect for this role). We learned not only about her family’s fall from grace, but finally, the reason for her leave of absence from work. Through Hyun-ah’s storyline, VIP addressed sexual harassment at the workplace and attempted rape — but even more than that, we got to see our female characters joins forces against the hegemony, and heal a lot in the process.

VIP told a story where the spheres of work and home were tightly knit together. While perhaps it was a bit coincidental that all of our main players not only worked for the same company, but either in the same office, or a nearby supporting office, it served to up the ante on many occasions.

As is not advisable (but rather inevitable for a married couple working in the same office), Jung-sun and Sung-joon took their relationship war to the workplace. And a workplace setting that was already interesting to watch got even more so, as VIP wove its exciting tale of love and work and revenge and corporate political battles.

While the drama’s subplots were each equally interesting and well-developed, what they did the most, as a whole, was provide a strong balance for the drama. In other words, while we saw the downward spiral of Jung-sun and Sung-joon’s marriage, and even the break-up of Sung-joon and Yu-ri’s affair, we also saw a new couple come together, and a marriage set back to rights. Hyun-ah’s romance with Cha Jin-ho, for example — and especially the way she learned to open up to him — was the perfect story to offset the disturbing look at Jung-sun and Sung-joon’s crumbling marriage.

I started out my review of VIP’s premiere episodes by saying it “wasn’t a happy drama” — and I can conclude with the same statement. However serious and sobering it was, though, it pulled its final message together beautifully. Jung-sun abandons her fury and revenge; she recognizes their relationship has broken, and finally lets him go. Sung-joon, who seemed as shocked as anyone over what he had done, was left to live with the consequences of his actions (and I must say, I found him appropriately devastated).

In essence, VIP was a lot about letting go, and knowing when to move on. It was a painful lesson for Jung-sun, especially, but I think at its close the drama leaves her a better, stronger character than when she started. Scarred, definitely, but also wiser. She learns that forgiveness is better than hate and anger, and though her marriage was lost, she’s able to make peace with her past, whether that’s the mother that left her, or the loss of her own child.

Even so, it’s relationships that are at the core of this drama, and you can’t watch VIP without asking: What makes a relationship healthy, and stay healthy? What makes it strong and lasting? While I think the drama attempts to answer those questions with the stories it tells, VIP also closes with space for us to ask these questions of ourselves.

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Sung joon found something in Yuri that he couldn't find in his wife. I think he was in love with Yuri, but he was too guilty to act on it. When he looked at Yuri he saw his betrayal of his wife staring him in the face. And his character is weak, he cares about what people think of him. In the initial stages the passion outrode the guilt, nothing tastes sweeter than forbidden fruit, but once that affair was out in the open, and the open contempt directed at him with it, he couldn't continue with the affair anymore. He loved his wife, but he was in love with Yuri.

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I get what you meant in first sentence, but I really don't like that expression, it make people get free pass to cheater, as if spouse is obligated to fulfil every need, without reflection why it need to be fulfilled or where it comes from. I don't think he was in love in Yuri, he just liked that he don't have to hide his upbringing around her, and have young girl crushing on him so hard, but never really reflect why he hide that part of himself from his wife.

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I don't see why pondering on reasons of cheating would be the same as giving a free pass to cheating. One's partner is not nor CANNOT fulfill every need the other partner has but that doesn't mean there sometimes isn't needs that a person feels so badly unfulfilled that he/she strays. It isn't an excuse, it is an explanation. Besides, you yourself describe a need at the end of the comment, Sung-joon's need to be seen as who he truly is and that he found the fulfillment of this need in Yu-ri. How's that any different from what the previous comment said about not being able to find something in his wife...

Not having to hide your true self is not something "just". It is a very profound and deep-seated need in all of us and usually something we do seek in our spouses. Sung-joon made a great mistake in keeping up appearances in regard to his own wife because in so doing he denied their relationship the intimacy and strength it would have needed to survive hits like a miscarriage. Although, I think even without the miscarriage the outcome would have been the same because Sung-joon did not truly let his wife in even though that is exactly what he craved for. He dug his own grave, so to speak.

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I don't know, I hated him for starting the affair, but in the end, he never said to his wife, I love you. I love you more than her. It was a madness, because I felt like a hero when she looked at me with adulation in her eyes. When I was with you, I was trying so hard, but everything I did was wrong. I didn't know what to do anymore. I felt inadequate, I felt I failed you.

I mean, I wanted him to TALK to her, tell her why he did it. But he never did. I wanted him to say, I love you. I have always loved you. Forgive me. I will spend the rest of my life making it up to you. I made a terrible, terrible mistake, and I will regret it for the rest of my life. But he never said any of these things. And so I am left, unsatisfied. I don't know what's going on in his mind.

Thr only signs of remorse were when he went to pieces when she fell, and when he wept over the pictures. Is that regret? Or just self-pity? Sadness that he's left alone? That his whole life is gone?

I think to commit yourself to marriage, you have to stay committed. Temptation abounds everywhere. You took a vow to remain true to your spouse, and to know when to pull back when you are about to cross that line is so, so important. I just wish they had shown us more of his thoughts, his remorse...it made me wonder, does he still love Yuri? Did he force himself to stay away from her? These questions. All unanswered.

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Actually they were all answered:
1. Does he love Yuri?
The answer to it was no. He did not love her but he finally found in her, his own sad past which he thought he could love now. That is the clear from the break up monologue of Yuri. It was beautiful and painful for her and it was so true that he had to say sorry. It was self pity.

2. Did he force himself to stay away from her?
Answer is yes, when Jung sun made that step to get back to their bedroom, he knew that Jung sun was from a different world (this is just his point of view because he never shared his secrets with her, he always reflected the society's average behaviour on to her and assumed what she would say inferred from her not forgiving her mom)
and he could have it again, so he really tried. It failed when the mother again made an appearance and then On Yuri's mother died. In On Yuri's love for her mother, he found a place where he could still love his mother. This was in stark contrast that Jung sun was still very angry at her mother. He fell back ...

On his thoughts being hidden: i think that was his true character, he was a kid always to be hidden because he was illegitimate, his thoughts and reasons don't matter to anyone, no one listens to him (other than his mother). He just learnt to keep them hidden.
This childhood of learning can't be unlearnt that easily. Not without some one telling you what you have internalised.

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You are so right, he was so passive entire time.

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I do not disagree with you in kind of... wanting more of him. As a person, I mean, not as a character. Because as a character I do think that was who he was and one of the points drama was making; Sung-joon was and still is awful at communicating. I do not think him being passive meant he had no regrets (and of course there's self-pity, too - so what, people are allowed to pity themselves when they're in pain even if it is due to their own actions) or that he wasn't sad and in pain. I think that this was partly why his relationships fell apart; because he does not really talk about his feelings nor does he seek the other person to soothe her and to be there for her. There are tons of people like this who handle pain by running away from it whether it's their own pain or their partner's pain. Or, in the worst-case scenario, their partner's pain caused by them. In such situations especially people like Sung-joon tend to close off even more tightly and just back away, which is super frustrating for a person who wants to be comforted and reassured. My own bf used to back off every time I was hurt by something he did and it took some time to teach him that I need the exact opposite from him. Now it works better and he stays and comforts me. (However, this is not universal, some people legit do want to be left alone for a while.)

I'm just saying that I can totally understand the frustration but I can also see how a person can be like Sung-joon. And that seeming passive does not mean one hasn't got a plethora of emotions.

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I think Sung Joon's motivation to stay in a relationship is the other partner's need. He felt that Yu Ri needed him more than Jung Sun needs him. His wife is perfectly capable even in the corporate world. But unlike him, she is just not greedy for power. That's another motivation for Sung Jun to choose Yu Ri over Jung Sun, the former being the daughter of the VP, albeit an illegitimate one. I wqould have expected him to be a better person as he knew all the difficulties while growing up being an offspring of an illicit affair himself. He would have known the pain his mother endured while raising him as a single mom. But no, he was just a selfish cad.

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That is why I love so much the way his character was written. From my experience, I think it is close to the way vulnerability entails in patriarchy for men : not sharing enough, not showing enough, not trusting enough (a woman), to sum up : not depending on, too much, on the one person you shared the most intimate moments of your life. The silence he surrounded himself with, finding an escape with Yu Ri that was so cowardly, is typical, in my very humble opinion.

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I agree with you. To many unanswered questions. Why did JS and SJ marriage not worth saving? He made a huge mistake. Why no redemption? Why did he allow Yuri to wreck havoc in their marriage? Need a remake!

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I don't see this particular sentence as pondering on reasons, but more as absolving the cheater. And imho Sung Joon doesn't NEEDS to, he WANTS to, and he made his choice about to who he will reveal his true self, that's on him, not his wife not fullfiling his needs.

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Nobody says his wife was at fault. Literally nobody. You're absolutely right, he made the choice not telling his wife so it is on him and nobody here is disagreeing with you on that. I am simply disagreeing on how you give no room for people's needs or flaws and just jump to disregard them as inconsequential so you can judge a person. Sung-joon did wrong but it does not mean that there we no REASONS behind his actions or NEEDS. Having a need doesn't absolve you of anything because there are many different ways of fulfilling one's needs. Jung-sung actually COULD'VE fulfilled this need of Sung-joon but he didn't let her. He searched fulfillment from a place that ultimately destroyed everything good he had in his life.

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@Arawn I understand where he comes from and what his baggage is, and I'm still will judge him as a person. He did wrong, and nothing will change it.

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Reading comments on past K-dramas I've noticed the thing that commenters are MOST judgy on is 'cheating'. In Korea more that half of all married men have cheated (more that 2x the % of American husbands), which implies an equal number of willing female participants. If a phenomenon is this widespread perhaps it needs to be studied at uncritically to find the cause.

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Mike: While cheating might be more widespread in Korea, Americans don't seem to be any less judgemental about it. I regularly read Reddit and cheating is seen as crime number 1 there. You could probably commit mass genocide and you'd be seen less of a monster than a person who cheats.

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What a beautiful recap of a beautifully written and executed kdrama, @missvictrix. Once again, I marvel at the insights you put into yours. I was pulled deeply into the drama because of the infidelity issue. But then, half-way, I realized that it was more than that. Each character, the women in the company, in particular, have their own interesting stories and struggles. The drama successfully pointed out that any relationship issue can be resolved when both parties are willing to go through the fire for it. Sadly, Jung Sun and Sung Jung (still confused about the names of these couple) were not able to. Perhaps it was because Sung Jung did not in anyway appear to be remorseful about his affair and just as easily turned his back from his marriage. Not once did it show that he struggled or agonized over the choice between his wife and his mistress. Therefore, he so deserves whatever misery he faces thereafter. I am so happy about the Mi Ra and her growing family. What a comple 180 degree turn the husband did for his family. So it os truly doable, huh. As for Hyun Ah, I am glad she took the leap despite the failure of her friend's marriage.

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Ummm... Did you see the last episode? The man is clearly devastated by what he's done and what he's lost. Yes, he didn't try to hold on to Jung-sun, but why would he when she was in so much pain and HE was the reason for that pain. He wanted to alleviate the pain the only way he could anymore and that was letting her go.

He didn't really choose Yu-ri, especially at the end. I mean, he did even TRY to hold onto that relationship either.

The remorse often comes only after we have actually realized what are the costs and ramifications of our actions. Jung-soon does deserve his misery, absolutely. And yet I still feel sorry for him. But that's just me, for some reason I always feel so sorry for people who have themselves destroyed their own lives...

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Yes I finished watching the drama until the finale and I would say Sung Joon chose Yu Ri soon after Jung Sun confirmed their relationship. The VP dad even told him to immediately divorce his wife so Yu Ri would not be maligned as a mere mistress. At the end, it was shown Sung Joon was miserable perhaps because he made the wrong choice having been dumped by Yu Ri as she has herself chose to continue being her rich father's daughter. I would have wanted a more miserable ending for the two of them, Yu Ri and Sung Joon, with Jung Sun riding into the sunset in her motorcycle.

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Sung-Jun was miserable after looking at his wife’s pictures, when they were still together and happy. It dawned on him what he lost, his world, his beloved wife who love him. But what did he do to her? Gave her too much pain and misery...too much...n a very cruel way ..that it made us, the viewers all angry at him. He wasn’t holding on Yuri. Yuri knows he is also unhappy with her. She said herself that “ she always feel that he looked sad when he is with her, and more so now”. Yuri realized it herself that Sung-Jun is with her because they share the same fate, that being the daughter/ son of a mistress. I’m pretty sure it is not Love but emphathy that Sung-Jun felt for Yuri. With her, he feel needed...with his wife, he felt lacking and undeserving (though it was truly his choice not telling his wife about his secret). Also, Sung-Jun felt guilt ( in his so very quiet, emotionless way) especially after Jungsun fell down from the stairs. So he was so read to break-UP with Yuri but true to his character, he can’t even speak up. Oh my, he is so frustrating...and yes, this kind of man existed...one is in my family...

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Wow! So the drama resonated with you on such a level. It is indeed frustrating when you are trying so hard to let someone open up to you. It takes so much patience and understanding and I hope you were able to do that to the concerned family member.

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Sung-Jun was bawled in misery after looking at the pictures of his wife, when they were still happy and together, because it dawned on him what he lost, his beloved wife. Yuri? I don’t think he loves Yuri. They were drawn together as they were both mistress daughter/ son. Yuri herself said during their break-up scene that “ he seems always sad when he is with her, more so now, maybe because she is a reminder of what misery he did to his wife”. He is ready for the break-up but true to his very frustrating character can’t even speak up...

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Sorry for the double post.....Oh, Thank you! Yes, it is hard! Just trying to be patient and understanding because it is one of my most important relationship. I’m usually upfront but not to him. I’m sure he will shun me for many years if I told him exactly what’s on my mind and point out his mistakes. He did that to me a long time ago where he just stopped talking to me for a reason I don’t know until now. And for months he went on with his life normally like nothing happened while I was crying and confused and wanted to talk to him ( he saw me crying but didn’t care). One day, he was finally in a good mood and so I approached him asking what I did wrong. He just said nothing with a straight face. And so now, I learned my lessons. We still talk but if it is something not good about him, I don’t say anything no matter how other relatives pressure me.

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Interesting thing about those photos, though, they weren't of his wife happy. She looked somewhat miserable in those photos. They weren't the expected smiling holiday snaps you'd expect in such a scene. The scene was trying to be more subtle than just 'We used to be happy'.

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I was more interested by Lee Hyun-A and Song Mi-Na's stories. I really liked how Hyun-A was strong but accepted to be vulnerable. Mi-Na's sons were so cute! I was happy to see her husband understand the needs of his wife.

For the main characters and the affair, I was not so interested because I found Sung-Joon very boring. Even their couple scenes in the flashbacks couldn't convince me that they formed one day a nice couple. But the way the affair was showed and how the 3 of them lived the situation was really well written.

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I agree. I love Mi Na's story.it was so different and the her and her husband's growth was excellent. Hyundai's story was good too, I'm glad she found Jin Ho, one of the truly great, well written, male characters.

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Hyundai? :D

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Lol, I did not even catch that, stupid autocorrect😂😂

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Did you invent PPL comment? 🤣

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@kurama, you know what, I just might have, 😅🤣🤣🤣

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I think people didn't believe in affair in first part of the drama, because in Kdrama world it's usually unthinkable that leads won't have happy ending together and everyone, me included, brace themself for a twist that reveal some noble idiocy on ML part. I was elated when it wasn't a case in here, and Jang Nara gave amazing performance. That only thing that did bother me, was ML, I don't know if it was the actor or it was directed that way, but there was zero chemistry between him and actress playing Yuri, not even hint of sexual attraction from him, he was always very sombre.

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I wonder if it wasn't a chemistry issue rather than how drama decided to showcase their relationship. Because I do agree; these people did not look like they were in love or horny for each other. I always felt like Sung-joon was almost... resigned to be with Yu-ri while still having a deep love for his wife and not Yu-ri.

But, what I mean by my first sentence is that maybe drama attempted to paint a little better picture of Sung-joon by not showing him wildly in love with another woman. And also maybe just generally condemning affairs by showing that it ain't actually all fun and games but even the affair partner suffer and nobody really wins. (I don't quite agree with this choice if it was one because it left me scratching my head wondering WHY he even cheated with Yu-ri considering he seemed to be so little into her... but oh well.)

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He looked constipated most of the time when he was with Yuri. Like he had eaten too much kimchi and it was uosetting him and he was holding it in, until he gets to the nearest toilet.

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Well, cheaters always get caught in real life. Cheaters have to make sure they don't get caught, but the thing is, they always let their guard down. I had friends whose husbands took their mistresses to the supermarket and ran into mutual acquaintances. The cheating husbands do what cheaters do - scurry away like rats, and peek out from an aisle. And the funniest thing? That mutual friend saw the rat running.

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They... don't. You just know of the ones who did get caught but cheating is pretty widespread. Not all of them do get caught.

And even when they do, some have been cheating for years or even decades. One of my ex-friends even discovered her father had another family living almost around the corner and her mother had never even suspected a thing; other family had always known, though. And it had been going on well over a decade.

However. Even though I know people would love all cheaters to suffer horrible consequences in real life due to their cheating it doesn't always go like that. Some cheaters end up quite happy. There are, after all, so many different people and so many different situations. Another friend of mine lived in an abusive relationship for 10 years where the guy was so jealous she was barely allowed to speak another man at all. After being suspected and accused of cheating for 10 years she finally DID cheat and left her partner to be with this new man. Honestly, I cannot fault her here because thanks to her cheating she was finally able to walk away and the new guy is so much better and they are happy.

The world isn't black and white.

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K-drama rom coms are full of young women from humble backgrounds falling in love with taciturn bosses with bad personalities. It was nice to see this relationship portrayed as "What in hell were you thinking, especially with THIS guy?" Frankly, it seems at that age 'What does she possibly see in that guy?' relationships seem to be more the rule than the exception.

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I know, right. I loved that she walked up those steps alone, I loved how she took control of her own life. I respect her so much. I rooted for her from start to finish, and I loved how in the end, she emerged sadder, but stronger.

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Yes, I loved that in the end it was about her journey to be happy with herself, and not about trying to glue broken glass of a marriage with little to no engagment from the guy. He lookes so peaced out most of the time when they were talking about their relationship.

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Jang Na-ra always gives a great performance, even when a drama is not well written. She is one of my favorite actresses and has been ever since I watched her in the Korean re-make of FATED TO LOVE YOU.

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I think the show answered the questions it asked in the end:

What makes a marriage work?
It was communication and honesty.
The two things that went missing in Jung sun and sung joon's marriage. He felt scared enough to share his story of birth (because it was also him who could not tell himself that being illegitimate was not his own fault, which just became the biggest reason for having that affair, however unintentional it was in the beginning). His behaviour after the miscarriage could also be seen Just as an extension of him having no idea of what to tell Jung Sun when it was not her fault... He thought they just hide their emotions and keep living on ....

And like Jung sun said when she gave him the divorce papers that he never gave her even the chance to understand him...

It was an exceptionally good drama. The dialogues were very thoughtfully written.

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I know this is an unpopular opinion but I feel so sorry for Sung-joon. :( I mean, obviously, he was the bad guy and Jung-sung was the victim. But through her ordeal she learned to be better and stronger, to communicate and to forgive. she will go on to have a happy life alone or with someone esel.

Sung-joon, on the other hand, STILL didn't learn the lessons he would have needed to learn to build a mutually trusting relationship with someone else. He did not learn to trust and open up. He did not learn to share his feelings and thoughts. He will go on making the exact same mistakes he did with Sung-joon and he (and others) will suffer for it. I know he is completely at fault himself and yet it brakes my heart because I do not think he is a bad person, just a person who made bad choices. :(

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I agree with you, he made bad choices because this was what he inherited (his mother was totally right), unless he learns to question them, he will not grow. And like Jung sun said he did not give a chance to her to understand but also he did not give a chance to himself as well...
He has a long way to go, to learn that it was not his fault and to learn that even though he and his mom made bad choices and wrong decisions it is not the end of the world, it's okay to break down and ask for help... you will notice that how through out the series he has no friends to share really what is happening while Jung sun does share it with her friends and asks for help.

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Yeah, that's a good point. Sung-joon seems always so - alone. The closest human connection moments for him were the happy days of his marriage but even then, we know now, it was all built on sand because he was too afraid to open up and use rocks to build a solid base. I would guess he thought he could count on that what he had at the beginning of the marriage but when hardships came and sand was washed away, he grasped onto the first thing he could find in that profound solitude and it happened, unfortunately for all, to be Yu-ri.

He wanted to be so strong that he refused to rely on anyone else until it was way, way too late.

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Sung Joon had one friend, Jin Ho. They weren’t just colleagues; they played ball together. But he was unwilling or unable to open himself up and seek help.

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I watched this because of your review here, and I must say I love everything about it. It’s dramatic but it’s also about the core of love and life, and that makes it so compelling to watch. So, thank you!

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Amazing review and SO much insights from Beanies, pheww! Judging from the fan wall VIP is not really Bean’s favorite but I know those who loved it, loved it hard! So much has been said about the main trio that I’d like to give a special shoutout to the other ladies.

I loved Hyun Ah from the get go but when her story was finally revealed, it just broke my heart esp since the motivation for her opening up was to save her friend. Despite the horrible tragedy, she always held her head high and even gave the sweet marketing guy a chance to win her heart. Which he did. I think he even cried when he found out what happened. He totally had me at that.

As for Mi Na, i thought she was the one having the affair and the husband would be a typical jerk who never helps out and just neglects the family. But turns out theirs was a comm problem and when they finally sorted out their issues, the couple & their two sons just makes up an adorable little family. I kind of related with Mi Na too as i know how frustrating it is to want to move forward with your career but unable to do so as your efforts aren’t recognised. That phone call she had with her mum was 😭

At the end of it, none of these people have a magic solution nor did their struggles disappear but with a lot of faith and communication, each battle was slowly tackled and won. Beautiful VIP 🖤

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I am so glad I watched this drama. I don't usually like adult dramas, but his was excellent from start to finish.

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I really liked what I watched of this drama, which was about six full episodes and key clips of the rest. I acknowledge that it was a brilliantly crafted drama that deserves to be praised. But the reason I couldn't get all the way through is simply that it made me miserable. I wasn't thrilled, I wasn't moved, I was just miserable. So this wasn't the one for me, but for those who like a really gritty and heavy melo, this is for you.

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I get what you mean. The story hooked me but the overall tone and color of the drama was so dark I had to give myself peptalks While watching..like focus on the story! Anytime Yuri wore shades of pink or there was a bit of sun showed I cheered. Oh and the Subway scenes were bright too 😆

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I was, in fairness, very ill when I started watching this, so that probably brought my mood down even more! 😂

I'm glad I kept dipping in, though, because Mi-na's arc in particular was so uplifting. I think this is the first instance I can think of in a drama where a couple who didn't communicate worked though their issues in a satisfying way!

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I still say Sung jun was just hedging his bets re: Yu ri. His wife from a wealthy family pretty much told him to eff off so that is why he stuck to Yu ri, as not only was she from a wealthy family but also one that could benefit him beyond the monetary.

And that self righteous attitude after the scandal saying he would honor his firing, no dude, you don't get to be on that pedestal. He should have walked the halls in shame and have eggs thrown at him while security threw him out on his ass.

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Yes, they should have shown that and I would be more content. He so deserve all the eggs thrown at him...and more. Sung-Jun is so despicable! All the suffering he gave Jung-Sun both at home and in the workplace is just beyond tolerable. He is worst husband i’ve seen on TV. He needs to be shamed!

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Okay, this is what gets me when it comes to cheating on TV. People act like it is the worst thing EVER.

Sung-joon the worst husband on TV. Really? You've never watched a drama or a movie where the husband beats his wife? Where he tortures her? Or KILLS her? Is Sung-joon really a worse husband than his boss who had MULTIPLE affairs and hired another person to deal with his women when he'd had enough?

Also, I strongly disagree when it comes to shaming a person. Jung-sun is the victim here so SHE gets to decide. If she wouldn't want Jung-soon publicly shamed, no one else has a right to demand it should be done. She did want it at some point but ultimately she forgave him. She's a bigger person than many others, I'd say... (Boss's wife would have a right to demand Sung-joon to be shamed for his actions towards HER but that is a separate issue).

Also, it's obvious Jung-sun did NOT think Sung-joon as the worst husband ever. She was happy with him once and in my opinion, claiming that he's the worst husband ever is disregarding Jung-sun's happy days with him and his importance to him.

Yes, he did wrong but he is not a monster.

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Why are you so into defending him lol? It sounds like this cheating and his story has hit a nerve on your own subconscious..

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Miss Writer, I love every thing you said! And I love the drama! It’s not perfect but I really enjoyed the ride! Kudos to the staff/ crew and the excellent actors for their hard work.

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I enjoyed this drama so much more than I thought I would. Normally I avoid dramas about affairs because I have a hard time having an ounce of sympathy for the one who cheats in a relationship. This show surprised me with its thoughtful treatment of everyone, including the husband and his mistress. I just... left feeling exactly as the show wanted: mistakes were made, and many people suffered for it - but at some point you have to move on. Hatred is draining, revenge is not the right answer.

I just want to give a big huge to this entire cast for working so hard, especially to the main leads - Jang Nara for her astounding performance and Lee Sang-Yoon for having to act through a character whose biggest weakness was expressing himself (to keep a blank expression while knowing your character must be dying inside has to be difficult), and to the director and writers for making the show so poignant and captivating that a viewer like me with adultery hangups couldn't look away even for a second. KUDOS. This is quality television.

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@missvictrix Thank you for the amazing summary of this amazing drama.

It has portrayed every emotion, every struggle and every win right, to say the least.
We saw love, when our main couple took a walk on a way that we thought was endless. We saw fights, misunderstandings and endings. But what struck me the most was how heartbreaks were shown. Lee Sang Yoon's pain as unexpected as it sounds, stayed with me. Don't get me wrong he is awful for making suffer our heroine. But gosh, when he cried, I wondered when was the las time I saw a male character being this vulnerable during a heartbreak. Not when he lost his fiancee in a car accident or other boring stereotypical plot turns. But just a simple heartbreak. It was so relatable.... and it felt unusual how relatable it was.

The second thing that I will dearly remember with this drama was the female sorority. Perfectly written, they were benevolent with each other, forgiving and loving with Min-A. They supported each other, and some of them appeared strong, but never one of them forgot for a second that they were all vulnerable at some point, that all of them needed a friend in every situation they dealt with.
The women were beautiful inside and out, true inspirations.

The only thing that I did not like, was the work they had to do : caring so much for the rich of the rich, going as far as organizing a special team for them to find spouses (aka protecting and preserving a class system which usually becomes rich by exploiting the environment and or inferior classes).. I was not really feeling the pride that serves the craziness of capitalism....
I wish they had chosen another setting for this very human story.

Conclusion : this drama was truly a year-end gift, anyone who didn't watch it missed something !

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Loved the overall of the drama! Though I did want more of Hyun-ah and Jin-ho’s story, I loved how this couple progressed. Jin-ho’s honest but a lil awkward behaviour towards Hyun-ah made me giggle and gave me a breather with everything that’s going on with Jung-sun.

I’ve always thought that Jang Nara is a great actress but I think this is one of her best works! She was awesome as Jung-sun! Her vulnerability, her fierceness, she embodied it so well!

Hands off to the cast and crew for a wonderfully made drama!

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I found this a completely engrossing drama...from start to finish. Also a very satisfying ending. The good end happily and the bad unhappily and that is the meaning of fiction, to quote Oscar Wilde.

I know I am revealing myself as a very petty person, but my favorite part is that our heroine got her revenge without having to actually be a part of it. She can keep her dignity and self-respect, which is lovely, but the cheater still pays the price.

Like I said, very satisfying.

I wish the wealthy a-holes suffered more, but that's the breaks, I guess. Yu-Ri will go on to find a rich boy and will eventually forget all about her first love. It was a little too close to a daddy relationship anyway, wasn't it? I agree with the people here who have noticed the complete lack of passion and chemistry on the part of the adulterous couple. He felt sorry for her and sorry for himself; she was desperate for approval and support and turned manipulative and conniving. You knew this affair wasn't going to last.

One scene that stuck with me is when the heroine tells her husband "I don't really know you." To have an affair is one thing; but he is revealed as a very dishonorable person--his boss's "bag man," is what I would call it? She was drawn to his character in the beginning--a very stand-up guy--and then he turns out to be some skeevy character cleaning up his superior's exceedingly dirty messes. I think that is when she realized she just needed to walk away.

Good on you, Jung Soon. Stay classy!

In the end, he lost it all. One can feel sorry for him, of course, while still feeling he deserved every bit of his misery and suffering. Personally, I hope he has many years ahead of him for reflection, remorse, and (perhaps) reformation.

Love, love, LOVE all the secondary characters and both secondary couples! I'm so glad they, at least, were able to find happiness.

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A miscarriage is a very bad thing but not at all uncommon and lots of marriages survive one (or more). It was the inability to talk to each other and be there for each other which doomed the marriage. The cheating is inexcusable - and you can see that even Sung-joon understands that and literally cannot understand why he did it- but that was because in the end it was a symptom and not the underlying disease. Many people cheat and for many reasons (none of them good) but in this case the cheating was not the basic problem but rather a second problem that revealed the basic one.

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It's true but couple who experience miscarriage or stillbirth faces greater risk of relationship breakup then those who have a healthy baby.

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Sad but absolutely true.

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It is my thinking that couples who go through a crisis in their mareiage such as a miscarrriage would have a deeper and more meaningful relationship as they draw strength from each other while sharing the same pain. Of course, things go awry, especially if one or both decide to just sweep everything under the rug and clam up. It would be a very difficult situation if couples refuse to communicate. In tqhe case of Jung Sun, one year of grieving is too much and it made me wonder why they never sought counseling.

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Drawing strength from each other, sharing the pain (and the joy) and being there for each other is a lot of what marriage is about. But to avoid sweeping things under the rug- engaging in denial- clamming up, etc. one has to have trust in each other such that each spouse can feel that it is safe to share thoughts and feelings with the other- including ones personal history.

To seek counselling (which is a good idea) you have to acknowledge that there is a problem- to each other. And, sadly, sometimes a couple simply lacks enough trust in each other to be able to voice that fact. That is what we saw in this couple's story. Had they had that level of trust then they indeed could have sought counselling - which likely would have helped them to have a a deeper relationship and perhaps even the courage to try again.

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One year of mourning is not unusual as per various traditions.

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Don't you think the writer was grossly unfair to Sang Joon for making him mute during confrontations? The audience (we) never got his side of the story. We only hear from his mom but she always apologizes on his behalf, then from the audience's presumptions.

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Because in the end no matter how sad his upbringing was, it won't change the outcome.

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That muteness underscored his weakness by showing us the extent to which he could not or would not communicate.

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I wonder if the writer intentionally chose the names Jung Sun and Sung Joon. I can’t look at one name and not think of the other. It takes me a moment to make sure I identify the correct person.

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Just ended up smoothly with all the pros and cons it was just right. Life is a matter of choices Happiness is a choice, Optimism is a choice, Kindness is a choice, Giving is a choice, Respect is a choice...This anticipated drama talks about choices...Truly love is hurt but reconciliation is better and moving forward is the best cure!

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After a storm comes a calm.

Great, insightful review. Right after watching the finale, I wasn't sure how satisfied I was with it. Maybe it seemed somewhat lackluster. The drama did an awesome job of creating suspense in the first half, and along with viewer comments/theories, I was anticipating a big reveal behind the affair. So it was my fault for believing there would be a twist. But the drama wasn't just about the affair. missvictrix is right that it was about the relationships.

Cheaters are often shown as terrible, sleazy, mean, etc. so it was interesting to see the contrast here. I was frustrated with Sung Joon and tried to give him the benefit of the doubt several times. Yes, he still cheated. I didn't hate him, but I wanted him to hurt some more. To feel pain like Jung Sun had. However, she endured all of this trauma and made the mature decision to move on without seeking revenge. The way they show their emotions and deal with pain is not the same. I'm accepting that now.

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Cheaters are often shown as terrible, sleazy and mean because many of them are. Not all- there are many reasons for adultery and in Sung Joon's case we were given an example of another kind of cheater - not a reason that excused his behavior but another reason. But in the end, male or female, there are common themes: Selfishness, weakness and a sense of inferiority. All of those were present in Sung Joon, who was not mean or nasty. He may have achieved sleaziness.

People with strong senses of self-worth and integrity do not cheat. Jung Sun is a strong woman- it never would have even occurred to her to cheat. And it is because she is a strong woman that she can make the choices at the end that she did.

What I truly hate are the shows that try to justify cheating or romanticize it- I would put ON THE ROAD TO THE AIRPORT in this category. The reality of infidelity is that it is very ugly. The victims of it do indeed experience very real pain- just as Jung Sun did in this story.

While Sung Joon may not have experienced the same level of pain in this story he certainly does end with a very real sense of loss. That too is very realistic. Part of what made this show so good was how realistic it was.

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I like it that you said the drama wad about letting go. I also noticed, how all "letting go" took place in stages: packing up the baby room, packing up SJ's belongings, then being able to thank him for happy moments together, and even being able to smile at him in the end.

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Unpopular Opinion
By the end of the drama, I felt sorry for sung joon. The choices he made, made him lose everything. His wife, his job and his mistress.
He may not have shown it with his expressionless face, but he loves his wife so much. He brought up the divorce issue first because he knew how much pain she was in because of him and wanted to alleviate the pain by divorce. It wasn't a smart move but he's been shown to make stupid decisions in his relationship.
This is not a drama I'd repeat. I'm glad its over

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You're right @missvictrix! Sung joon and Jung soon's problem is lack of, forgive the word - honesty. Even though JS shared her whole life, her bad feelings for her mother, her distress at the loss of their baby, SJ kept everything to himself. He didn't share any of his feelings. And that is where Yu ri got an edge - she saw SJ at his vulnerable moment and was there for him. I'm not justifying what he did as correct - Never! JS never knew about SJ's father, why is that? Because he didn't want to tell her and that is not a relationship where only one side is honest.

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I have to read again the post of @oppafangirl and I have to say I appreciate it a lot. It was a disinterested person's point of view yet, it is a deep understanding of the character of Sung Joon, more than that of his mother's characteristic understanding and love. I am as guilty as many others who, during the run of the drama, spewed hatred on the character of Sung Joon, exasperated by his silence and disgusted by his infidelity in his marriage and a much disguised greed for power in the work place. That being said, these character flaws of Sung Joon can be attributed to his illegitimacy, however grossly unfair to his mother.

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Thanks for this review! I thoroughly enjoyed VIP and the stories it told about all these women. I particularly liked the way the stories were told, the writing was really great, and the acting stellar.

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park sung jun high and mighty ambition killed their marriage..his greed for a higher position in the company and becoming too ambitious that he forgot that there is no short cut for success...and for these he sacrified his married life, his world that is his wife...he lied to na jung sun right from the start...he has so many dark secrets and wanted to keep it a secret and wanted to come clean and put all the blame on na jung sun...while na jung sun life is an open secret...psj is a weak character while njs is a very strong woman...psj is a lap dog of the vp...he is a pimp/cheater/liar/thief...im so glad na jung sun divorce him..who would live with a jerk like that?...njs married a monster, a wolf hiding in sheep's cloth...he lick his own puke eewww!!!

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