Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) episode 1 recap — the premiere explained

By Daniel Hart
Published: January 23, 2021
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Netflix K-drama series Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) episode 1


Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) episode 1 is an explosive premiere, demonstrating exactly why there was so much hype for this k-drama series. There’s plenty to chew on, and we look forward to where these stories go.

This recap of Netflix K-drama series Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) episode 1 contains significant spoilers.

With the popular The Uncanny Counter ending this weekend, Netflix k-drama kicks off a double bill to introduce the next weekend series — Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) comes highly recommended, so let’s see what this drama brings. 

Episode 1 begins with a flashback of one of the couples. The husband of Boo Hye-rung (Sa-hyeon) sees his future wife play the drums. In the present day, he wants her to play the drums again in the same clothes when she’s older — he’s trying to make a point that he wants to keep the love alive years into their marriage, as they are young and in love now. Boo Hye-rung is in the radio studio, and they have a guest audience. In the audience, Ms Park requests if she can ask a question and berates Lee Yeon-hui for taking her husband, Park Jae-hun. She’s furious and calls her a mistress. Boo Hye-rung joins the conversation and tries to calm it down, but the woman refuses to give up. Nice bit of drama to open up the premiere.

And Lee Yeon-hui hits back

And the drama continues — the new series is demonstrating the performances that we can expect. Lee Yeon-hui finally defends herself and claims Ms Park married Park Jae-hun after dating three men at once and that she intentionally got pregnant, so he had to take responsibility and was essentially trapped. She rips into her marriage. She asks Ms Park if she will divorce him. The embarrassing situation finally deescalates. Afterwards, Lee Yeon-hui cries; she’s deflated after a horrible argument.

Talk of divorce, marriage and appearances

Boo Hye-rung and her colleagues discuss Lee Yeon-hui and whether she’s about to marry a wealthy man. They talk about their husbands and the likelihood of cheating; Boo Hye-rung tells Lee Si-eun that she should make more of an effort to dress every day. Lee Si-eun says she’s too busy and has housework to do as well. They then talk about love and responsibilities, and they all seem to have different perspectives. This entire scene is the premise of the series; different marriage and relationships, and how they can all be unique at different ages and stages. Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) episode 1 gets off to a brilliant start.

A surprise request for a divorce

At home, Park Hae-ryun asks Lee Si-eun if she’d like to get a divorce. She’s shocked, but there’s a feeling this was coming. They have a strong nuclear family, so there’s a lot at stake. Scenes show their family together, but Park Hae-ryun was not in the mood to eat that night with his daughter having her a boyfriend round. Park Hae-ryun and Lee Si-eun go out for a walk. He wants a drink at a karaoke bar, but you can tell he has something heavy on his shoulders — it makes the viewer feel anxious.

Park Hae-ryun wants a new life

And it grows more anxious and sad. Lee Si-eun can tell something is troubling her husband; during karaoke, Park Hae-ryun asks her if he can leave her — he doesn’t want to live with her anymore. Lee Si-eun wants a reason. He tells her they have been together for 31 years, and it’s time to end it. Lee Si-eun tries offering solutions, like a break, but Park Hae-ryun is adamant, he wants this — he wants an entirely new life. It’s a sad scene and indicative of a long marriage ending; the sudden emptiness can be felt in the scene. Lee Si-eun walks home slowly, despondent and lost as Park Hae-ryun follows her slowly behind.

Sa Pi-young visits her mother and makes a cold request

The premiere then delves into Sa Pi-young’s married life, and it’s not necessarily a problem with her husband, but her mother instead.

Sa Pi-young’s mother, Mo Seo-hyang has returned to the country. She wants to see the family, especially her grandchild. Sa Pi-young visits her and asks her to leave the country again and that she will make up a lie. Mo Seo-hyang wonders what she can do to make it up to her. Sa Pi-young doesn’t want her to interfere with her family. There’s a horrible family history, and you can cut the tension with a knife.

Family planning

It’s already established that Boo Hye-rung has a new and exciting married life, and the topic of children is on the table in the premiere. Boo Hye-rung and her husband are trying to have children. Her husband Sa-hyeon is obsessed about having conception dreams, and gets Boo Hye-rung’s parents involved and tells them about his conception dream. At work, Sa-hyeon researches early pregnancy.

Mo Seo-hyang is distraught and reaches out to son-in-law

Pi-young’s husband Yu-sin visits Mo Seo-hyang, his mother-in-law. She explains how Pi-young’s father died because of her. She’s tearful, believing she’ll never see Ji-a, her grandchild. Yu-sin offers to talk to his wife and convince her to change her mind. He also offers to bring over Ji-a and spend the weekend. Mo Seo-hyang is over the moon. But you can tell that this is a bad move by the husband; he’s trying to do the right thing, but not asking his wife will only make the situation worse.

Lee Si-eun tells Boo Hye-rung and Pi-young about her incoming divorce

Boo Hye-rung kicks off the radio show — “Love, Memories, and Music” — the basis of the series is Boo Hye-rung, Pi-young and Lee Si-eun run the show. Afterwards, Lee Si-eun looks miserable, and Pi-young asks what’s up. Lee Si-eun reveals her husband wants to divorce. Boo Hye-rung and Pi-young are in shock. Boo Hye-rung tells Lee Si-eun that she thinks he’s found a new woman and asks if they had sex regularly. Lee Si-eun reveals she’s always too tired, and it’s bothersome, and eventually, he stopped asking — it’s been two years since they had sex. Boo Hye-rung tells her she should have sex regardless of being tired because it’s rejuvenating. But as the viewer, we know that’s easy to say in a newer relationship. Love and sex take hard work and effort over a long period of time. The character is clearly naive, but it’s expected.

The ending

In a flashback, Lee Si-eun and her husband head out and Park Hae-ryun wants to go to a motel to spice things up. She isn’t sure and asks if they can go home. The married couple have a small argument about it. Lee Si-eun just wants to go home to their kids. In the present day, Lee Si-eun looks at her nice dresses and looks at herself in the mirror. There’s a feeling she’s lost herself over the years, and the divorce request is making her believe she needs to find who she is again. Pi-young visits her mother Mo Seo-hyang, and she’s fuming she went to her husband.

Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) episode 1 is an explosive premiere, demonstrating exactly why there was so much hype for this k-drama series. There’s plenty to chew on, and we look forward to where these stories go. It has all the hallmarks of a classic.

Netflix, Weekly TV
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