Saturday, June 13, 2020

Drama Stage 2020: My Wife's Bed

There was something deeply uncomfortable about this one. It featured (post-drama) a quotation from Charlie Chaplin saying "Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot." It was supposed to put the events in perspective here, but the episode with its indifferent narrative didn't assure us the events will ever be viewed as comedy.

Because, to be honest, the stepping stone being the foundation of every event in this episode is death. We learn that on the wedding day Jeong-u's newly wed wife gets hit by a truck (of doom) and dies. Which could be avoided if only the woman looked around before crossing the street, but maybe she wanted to get to her hubby so much she just didn't.

A year passes and we see Jeong-u heading to Yina's parents house to move in, which disrupts the daily routine of the folks and also causes confusion among both families. To add - Yina's parents don't treat him as a family member anymore and do everything in their power to get rid of him.

Jeong-u's inability to move on is treated like a mental illness, he's told "he's not normal" for grieving after the love of his life. His attachment to simple things he shared with Yina through years of their relationship is seen not as something nice, but a deviation from the norm. That's why he sleeps in her room - to drown in her presence by proxy.

And this disrupts her parents as well, because they have preserved Yina's room nearly on the level of  a museum - we see her father aligning her picture because it was moved 2 cm left, her mother explicitly states she has nowhere to go and remember Yina. And no one sees the irony in it - they have the space for grieving that they refuse to her husband.

At the same time they probably realize that their memories of Yina are enclosed like an insect trapped in amber and the disruption of the room caused by Jeong-u makes them throw away the bed. Instead of a peaceful removal of the furniture, it falls down and splinters on the pavement, symbolically destroying the last vestiges of the connection between Jeong-u and Yina's parents.

Yina's parents even force Jeong-u to consider dating and another marriage - precisely because they want to do what they forbid him to do - to remember Yina. They even contact Yina's friend, a young girl who had a crush on Jeong-u back then, but who backed away when him and Yina got engaged and then married. And now she's back, sensing she has a second chance.

I watched it because I want to watch and write short intros to the series in the whole, but it made me a bit uncomfortable hearing grieving for a year after a person someone loved for years is abnormal. The episode indeed juxtaposed comedic moments and tragedy charged ones. Jeong-u was clearly a character that couldn't deal with Yina's death (he had insomnia), he was clinging to every memory (like the phone ring) and he was unable to move on. So he was a person in need of a therapy. But Yina's parents as well - preserving their daughter's room in a formaldehyde and being indifferent to other people's pain.
And I don't think jumping on the occasion a guy one had a crush on is free once again despite his explicit words stating he's not interested is a way to treat such a person.