“Temptation” Special – Final Thoughts With Rinchan

I’m not sure what it was about the drama “Temptation” that produced such a huge divide, the polarization was off the charts. I could take the easy way out and say it was nothing more than fans of the Stairway To Heaven couple who demanded a happy ending for them and (finally) got it. But was that really the only reason? I did read comments from some who were cheering for the OTP that didn’t even see Stairway To Heaven! Were there really people cheering for adultery? That left me feeling a bit unsettled, so I decided to ask my cowriter, Rinchan a few questions.

She is the “Voice Of Reason” to me, her thoughts always manage to calm me down and her ability to analyze characters is truly amazing. She has insights and ideas that never cross my mind or she sees things that I miss. She’s also good at telling me what she thinks, with no sugar-coating, she doesn’t try to pacify me in the least. *kekeke* I know she watched “Temptation” and I wish I had thought to ask her to co-recap from the beginning! But it’s not too late to get her thoughts.

Question: What were your thoughts about the Se Young character?

Rinchan: Se Young is very different from our normal female leads. At times, Kdramas present us with female leads that vary between weak, but bubbly or poor, and hardworking with a positive attitude. Se Young is nothing like that, she is prickly and unapproachable. She is not the friendly type but a person who keeps her distance. In truth, she is actually very vulnerable and her prickly nature is a mechanism that keeps people at bay.

What initially attracted me to this character was the aura that emanated from her. She’s this cool business woman who can hold her own in the boys club we call the business world. I liked the confidence that rolled off her, because it said “I will make you realize, I’m a force to be reckoned.”  She’s not a business wiz, but her hard work and competence make up for that in spades. So my first impression was of this admirable character (because of her success in her field) who needed an injection of humanity. As the drama progressed, it was revealed that this strong, cutthroat persona was simply a façade. Now we can say that how she went after Hong Joo and Seok Hoon was cutthroat. I would add it was heartless but there’s more to what occurred than meets the eye.

To understand her motive, we have to understand that in order to be successful, she has been suppressing her feminine side. She has transformed herself into the male heir her father lacks and denied herself the right to feel emotions. She essentially tried to harden herself, but news of her ailment struck a nerve with her. Although she played it off and acted unfazed by it, as she touched her belly in deep thought, it was obvious that it unsettled her. That moment and her initial refusal of treatment showed that the desire to have a family and be loved never died.

It was at this instance that her vulnerability heightened, and it was also the point in which Seok Hoon became attractive to her. It’s not as if she were unaware of his character, she even knew he was (emphasis on past tense) not the cheating kind. However, she only recently noted the good atmosphere around him. Seok Hoon didn’t experience a radical shift in his character when they met again, the one who had changed was Se Young. There was a change in her mental state which produced that good atmosphere. For Se Young, the moments he stood out were when he was doing CPR, and when he was comforting Hong Joo. What she saw in him was his comforting and healing abilities, two things she really needed at that moment. Therefore when she saw the opportunity, as a business woman, she took advantage and demanded exclusivity, so there would be no reminder that he belonged to someone else.

Question: What did you see as the reason Hong Joo tried to kill herself in Hong Kong? Was she showing a major lack of trust in her husbands abilities to get out of that financial mess?

Rinchan: Hong Joo is the type of person that wants to be needed. Her self-worth, in terms of her romantic relationships, lies in how useful she can be to her partner. She is not simply the wife that provides a warm meal in the belly, and a warm body at night. When Hong Joo decided to give up her life, it was the only way she could see herself as being useful to him. She realized they were backed against a corner, and this was the only way she could save him. Her actions didn’t stem from a lack of trust, but more so because she wanted help him. At the time, they were both distraught and she wasn’t thinking clearly. She solely reacted to the situation. Although people can argue that she had a cooling off period to think things through, it is not quite clear where she began to contemplate suicide. It’s most likely she solidified her determination when she encouraged Seok Hoon to blow the money in Hong Kong, but even if she chose that route of action later on, we have to realize she developed a sense of tunnel vision and all questions of his capability fell in the backdrop. All she could see was his need. As a team player, she saw that the only way to assist him was to give up her life and be a martyr for the cause. It wasn’t about what he could do, but how she could make the situation better for everyone.


Question: Why do you think Seok Hoon allowed Se Young to humiliate or attack Hong Joo’s dignity? He stood there and said nothing! Any idea what he was thinking?

During the argument at the clinic, Seok Hoon looked like a man stuck in the middle and he was quite uncomfortable. He essentially had no right to speak because he was guilty of all the charges Hong Joo threw at Se Young. After attempting to deter  both woman from fighting, he probably realized he couldn’t stop it since he caused this mess. He was caught between the woman he was developing feelings for and the woman he made a commitment to and had no way to please both sides. He couldn’t defend Hong Joo because he was straddling the fence. It is possible that he would have backed Hong Joo if Se Young attacked more directly, such as out-right name calling and character attacks (eg – Hong Joo was a jealous and petty b#@$!). Also, at the time of the argument both women seemed equally matched. Hong Joo didn’t seem to need saving, if she had, he probably would have stepped in. Regardless, as her husband he should have backed her, but as I said before he couldn’t choose sides. His heart was with Se Young, but the logical part of his brain was with Hong Joo.

Question: Do you think or did you see Seok Hoon attempted or desired to save his marriage? If so, how?

Seok Hoon made a show of an attemptt to save his marriage, but it wasn’t all that he could do. He’s the type of guy that stays committed to something as long as he can make it work. Even if he had fallen in love with someone else, he would stick it out with Hong Joo until the end. But the way he let his relationship with Hong Joo end is not in line with a person who was in love with his wife, nor did it align with the actions of a man desperate to save his marriage. When Seok Hoon cleaned up his wedding ring and offered it to Hong Joo, he was acting out the role of the good guy. The speed in which he dropped the issue spoke volumes about his sincerity. It is possible the writer wanted to expedite the breaking up process, (I’m one of those viewers who hate seeing this stuff dragged out) but the process is important. For me, he gave up too quickly. After she rejected him, his reaction was justified but if he cared for her, he would at least cling to her the next day. I’m sure many would think: why drag yourself through that? I say why not? If you love the person, groveling is nothing because that person is worth it to you. It was no longer worth it for Seok Hoon, his heart already left the relationship. In the end, his final act of saving his marriage was one of tossing the dice, he either saves his marriage and looks like a good guy, or is allowed to walk away with the excuse “I tried, but she wouldn’t cooperate so there is nothing I can do.”

Question: We know that there was no physical cheating between Seok Hoon and Se Young until after his divorce from Hong Joo but what about emotional cheating? Is there such a thing and how badly can that destroy a relationship?

Cheating emotionally is a thing! It’s what inevitably led to Hong Joo and Seok Hoon’s divorce. It depends on who you ask, but emotional affairs can equate to or be even worse than a physical affair. However, you may also find those who would disagree. An emotional affair brings about a shift in the marital relationship that a purely physical relationship can never impart. For example, Seok Hoon’s priorities began to change after he developed feelings for Se Young. Recall when Hong Joo decided she wanted to try having a baby again, but on that day Se Young company needed saving because of her own medical crisis. We were able to witness that priority shift. As a stranger we can say saving a multi-million dollar business is important for the sake of all the employees and even the nation’s economy. But saving the people or his friend was not his motive, he acted out of concern for Se Young. That concern was misplaced, his wife needed him.

After countless miscarriages, and enduring the loss of each child, for the sake of saving this marriage, she decides she wants to risk putting herself through this pain again. She needed Seok Hoon before, during, and after that consultation. She needed to calm her worries and fears before the consultation, lend his strength when the doctor told her children were an impossible dream for her, and comfort her during the aftermath. When she went to the appointment, she was building up hope and the bad news set it on fire. There was no one there to help her through her turmoil. We need to understand that though Seok Hoon could not shield her from the pain or even soften the blow, many times when people are at their lowest, it is others that come and pick them up.  I am a believer in girl power, and I admire strong women, but being caught up in your own sadness doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human. Also, being a strong person doesn’t mean you don’t need people, that’s one reason why marriage is so valuable. In the moments when you are suffering alone, who better than your significant other to help push back that darkness by loving and supporting you? Yet Seok Hoon wasn’t there, because his thoughts were filled with worry over Se Young and her problems. His focus on Se Young pushed Hong Joo to the periphery, but he was too blind to realize. Seok Hoon’s emotional affair changed the way he thought to the extent that he could not understand he was in the wrong, he focused on the fact that his actions were innocent.

Question: What about Hong Joo wanting revenge, is that a normal reaction from a victim of cheating? Why do you think she eventually changed her mind?

Wanting revenge is a very normal reaction. People like to see justice met to those who wrong them but most settle for bettering themselves as the best revenge. Very few people find the opportunity to exact revenge in a legal manner. In Hong Joo’s case she found that opportunity in Min Woo. There are times when aspects of her revenge felt like a replay of her waiting scene in Hong Kong. Her revenge allows her to stay in Seok Hoon’s life, giving him the opportunity to return to her. This is also another way for her to fight a powerful person. She basically tried to beat Se Young at her own game. She decided to throw a wrench in Se Young’s life, then Se Young would understand how it felt to lose what she lost and the added bonus would be a Seok Hoon- Se Young break up. In her thoughts clouded by pain, this seemed appealing to Hong Joo, as if giving them the same or more pain would heal her heart. As the situation escalated, she saw that she was only hurting herself. She got stuck with a player like Min Woo, who smiled off her hurt feelings. In a moment of weakness, when she turned to Seok Hoon and he turned away, she realized there was nothing there for her anymore. She simply became more weary of the situation as she reaped more pain and sadness. It took the fight out of her and lead her to realize what she should have done in the first place: walk away.


Question: What are your thoughts about Hong-Gyu (Hong Joo’s brother) and his seemingly quick ability to forgive Seok Hoon? Was it just a “guy thing”?

The whole situation wasn’t about Seok Hoon and his sister, it was about how the philandering blocked his happy dating life. The statement “cheating can happen” is the result of a lot of rationalization. He wants to date Se Jin but can’t because she is the enemies daughter. He also faces the fact there are very few people who are aware of this, therefore by process of elimination Seok Hoon is the only one he can turn to. Hong-Gyu is trying to be loyal to Hong Joo, but its at the price of losing his love, which torments him. When Hong-Gyu went to see Seok Hoon, he wanted someone to tell him it was okay to see Se Jin, without the guilt of being a traitor. He has a long-standing relationship with Seok Hoon, who hadn’t changed in character. In the face of a playboy like Min Woo, Seok Hoon becomes downgraded to a good guy who did a bad thing. There is also a lingering desire that Seok Hoon would get back with his sister, kind of like a child wants their parents back together.  At the time of the discussion, he was still upset with Seok Hoon, but he calmed down enough that he could be civil. I find it more funny that everyone goes to Seok Hoon when they have problems. His character is soft enough to be the epitome of comfort, too bad it can’t be shared with everybody.


Question: The impression left with some of us was that wealthy people place little or no value on the sanctity of marriage. (Se Young, Ji-Sun, Min Woo) Thoughts?

It is more like the incapability to form human relationships. The wealthy characters on the show especially have relationships that were either brought about by blood ties or money. They unfortunately don’t know anything else because I doubt anybody ever approached them with the intention of being friends. Everyone in their social circle are business connections (such as the bank friend) and there is no such thing as loyalty amongst each other, they are all looking after their own personal interest.

Money seems to be the only way they can connect with strangers. Ji Sun didn’t marry Min Woo out of love but mostly likely because of his specs as the head of Ajin group. Hong Joo wanted him because he was powerful enough to fulfill her revenge plot.  Then there is Se Young, who in order to get Seok Hoon’s attention had to buy his time. To make amends with Hong Joo, she tried to buy her as well. Following the logic that you own what you buy, these two don’t understand how to form a bond without money. If they employ you, it gives you incentive to stay. These thoughts are reflected in Min Woo’s words to Hong Joo where he simply stated: go when I tell you and not of your own accord. There is also a similar train of thought when Min Woo blackmailed Se Young’s lawyer to get him on his side. On the other hand, Se Young doesn’t force you to stay but hopes you won’t go.

For people like this, relationships forged with love are things of fairy tales that they want but are not a reality in their lives. Marriage is either a business deal or tapping into a bloodline suitable enough for the next heir. Obviously, cheating is a problem in every social class, but people like Min Woo and Se Young see things from a different scope than a working class member. In business, when a big company wants to enter into a new market, instead of starting from scratch, they buy a smaller company that already has a foot hold in that market. This is essentially what occurred with Seok Hoon and Hong Joo. They know how to love, while Min Woo and Se Young are unfamiliar with it. This tactic worked for Se Young, but not Min Woo.


Question: Why do you think this drama saw such a huge divide amongst viewers?

Dramas surrounding affairs tend to handle the character development and pacing delicately, because the production team does not want the main lead to be hated. The makers of this drama threw all that out the window. I won’t lie, there was a few times where I surmised this whole drama was a social experiment where the writer endeavored to get people to like a scandalous couple. LOL. I did see the effort to make this couple likable, albeit way too subtle to ignore what went wrong with this drama.

One of the biggest issues with the drama is the pacing, the lack of justification for the affair and the nature in which the affair started. First off, its offensive to many to procure the services of another person with a large sum of money and simultaneously try to wreck the person’s marriage. It’s hard to warm up to a person like that unless the writers make her more sympathetic and blasting her with cancer just doesn’t cut it. It is worth noting that this aspect of Se Young could have been kept in the script if they placed greater emphasis on Se Young becoming human. In the midst of all the makjang, it was hard for people to notice the change in her character. She started understanding the greater implications of her actions i.e. divorce means the break up of families and not just two people. Also towards the end, she actually admitted to what she did and wanted to make amends for it. The way she went about the situation was definitely not the best way, but it is her intentions that were worth noting. For someone like Se Young to even begin to notice Hong Joo’s hurt and try to do something about it, even as she knows she could lose Seok Hoon in the process is telling. This was a large step for her.

Then there was the initial pacing, the OTP’s love story was too rushed for many to find it believable, hence why some would see Seok Hoon as an ambitious gold digger. Truth be told, if he were truly an ambitious gold digger, he would have high-tailed it out of there when Se Young’s health and company were failing. He would have headed to New York where success awaits. It’s unfathomable to some that Seok Hoon would develop feelings for her within those 3 days. Some believe they just fell in love, because love can just happen, its fate. They simply accept that at face value which enables them to support them as a couple. After all, they were never physical while he was married. They can also accept his attempt at saving the marriage and not require anymore effort on his part, because Hong Joo didn’t seem interested. Granted, Seok Hoon is not psychic so he wouldn’t realize Hong Joo would stay if he clung to her.

Yet everyone else requires more so that they can believe this couple. The writers attempt to legitimize the growth of their relationship is found when they initially worked together back in Hong Kong. There was a synergy that reflected Hong Joo and Seok Hoon’s which was projected while saving the man at the restaurant. In both instances, Seok Hoon was on the same wavelength as he worked with each woman as a team. To put it simply he clicked with Se Young and then grew interested in her. His interest went from intrigue, to enjoyable friendship/work partnership, and finally romantic feelings. Of course, all this didn’t develop in the course of three days but the 3 days implanted her in his mind and he couldn’t remove her. Unfortunately, we never saw the feelings actually grow, especially if this was done off-screen in Brazil. We just saw a happily married man all of a sudden fighting off feelings for a woman he used to hate. Therefore, as the drama progressed, people who didn’t believe the couple were forced to accept their existence. These viewers could not see their love as true, but as a mockery of the legitimate thing. Hence, every lovey-dovey scene was just a lie, and they were basically told to tolerate it.

 

My deepest thanks to Rinchan for allowing me to pick her brain. I was left feeling oddly out-of-sorts and (dare I say) a bit depressed with the ending of this drama. Even though I realize it’s just a fictitious bit of television entertainment, it bothered me for quite a while and I know I’m not the only one. Reading Rinchan’s analysis and descriptions of the characters and specific events has somehow eased my mind and brought peace into my heart. While I still have no desire to watch either actor in anything at the moment (even taking new screenshots filled me with loathing) I do believe that feeling will fade more quickly now that I’ve read this.

If you have any questions for Rinchan or if something is still bothering you about these characters, please feel free to ask in the comments section. I don’t know how she does it but she always manages to make me feel calmer. I truly wish she had been there on the final episode to stop my mouth from spewing out such venomous anger (and curse words – LOL!) Rinchan – I owe you one.

43 Comments

  • bmore says:

    Still not appeased. Still finding even thinking about this drama too stressful so I just put it out of my mind. I’m going to copy and paste from my prior remark on your final review. Because OWW was such a superior drama to this one in it’s exploration of what cheating entails, I keep thinking back to this:

    “In One Warm Word, Song Mi-Kyung, upon discovering that Na Eun-Jin and Yoo Jae-Hak had never slept together was MORE devastated upon realizing what that meant…that those 2 truly loved one another! Remember her reaction? But, they did not go forward with their love because they realized the far reaching repercussions if they did…and boy did that show do a stunning job of showing all of us exactly what those repercussions were. And Mi-kyung took revenge, viciously, and many people cheered her on! Because her husband was the one who betrayed her, not physically, but EMOTIONALLY! He LOVED another woman. Sex she could be angry about. But to know he loved someone else was a betrayal so overwhelming she could not bear it.

    I blame the writer for constantly messing about with the script (in Temptation) in order to appease the half of the audience that were not buying what he was attempting to sell. BUT. Like Bacom, I wonder. Did he just totally mess with all the STH shippers and they are totally missing out on that fact? It is so unbelievable to me, even if they want to blame HJ for everything, that they could continue to watch the behaviors of SY and SH, which were the antithesis of what kdrama OTP’s are supposed to be, and defend them. How can any one of them not see that those two people’s behaviors to HJ were cruel and condescending in every scene? These fans are also people whose love for kdrama is as strong as ours, who also all realize that kdrama’s entire existence is based on the telling of morality stories. Yet hook, line, and sinker they cheered on this couple as the writer continued to heap on one more preposterous scenario after another. How I wish another couple had taken the lead roles in this to see just how much the opinions of these people would have changed.”

    I hope never to get trapped into watching such a horrid drama as this again. For sure I need to be sure to make sure who the writer is to prevent ever watching anything done by this person again. I want to thank Tessieroo and Couch Kimchi for providing a safe haven of sanity and peace for those of us out here who become WAY too emotionally involved with our kdramas!

    Again, I hope that everyone on this page has taken the time to write or post a review on every site possible. I watched the stars on Dramafever drop from 4 to 3.5 so that is satisfying. Wish it could be lower. Asian wiki could use some down votes! All you have to do is click the button! Any other suggestions, let me know. Yeah. I’m vindictive.

    • tessieroo says:

      Hey Bmore!

      It’s funny, I was finally feeling less depressed about this …until I went to take screenies for this post? Then all those feelings came back when I saw either SY or SH on the screen. (LOL) Absolute disgust and fury – which tells me it’s going to take MUCH longer than I thought before I can watch either of these actors again.

      • bmore says:

        Honestly, I’m so ashamed of myself (since this is one of the things I dislike about the other side’s stance), but I’m not sure I will ever watch anything either of them are in again…which puts me squarely in the spot of what I am always telling others NOT to do…confuse the actor with their role! Still. I am not appeased. I am too immersed in full blown kdrama mode. I want the actors to bow down their heads and admit the shame of their characters and the author on his knees begging for forgiveness for the horrible writing job he did on this. And it’s not like he doesn’t have some great writing on his resume….albeit as a co writer for the best ones. He should never write alone I guess. (I have not seen Jin or Road #1)

        I was looking at the first poster on your review. Now tell me just how anyone can look at that and not see how this thing was originally intended to be written! The position of those 4 in that poster speaks volumes. A loving and stressed couple bracketed by evil. Ugh. HOW did you endure. I cannot imagine how difficult this whole thing was for you. My son is still shaking his head at his mother for being so overwrought! 🙂

        Another random thought. I wonder how much pressure the writer got from The Powers That Be to change his original premise so that the audience who so desired those 2 to be back together could have their wish? Writers also may be put under pressure to change scripts. We have seen it happen many times, for good or bad. They rewrote 2 of Park Si Hoo’s scripts to give him the lead when he was still a newbie because the audience fell for his characters. Who knows how often that kind of thing occurs. Whatever. It’s over and we MUST try to forget it. It took me months to get over my previous The Worst Kdrama I Ever Saw (1.5 on My Drama List). It may take me a year for this one to be cleansed (1.0). I’ll just try not to think about them.

        • tessieroo says:

          Exactly! That’s what I’m always saying too – people confuse the characters with the actors! (LMAO) I fell into the trap myself.

          I’m watching as many other dramas as I can right now, surprisingly that’s helping me forget this one. (even a few T-dramas on ViKi) 🙂 They’re a bit silly and pointless but it’s helping!

  • Lclarakl says:

    @Bmore, I agree with you 100%. I get the characters, but the writer did a horrible job developing these characters. I truly think that the writer decided to write a different story as the drama went on. No writer writes an incomplete drama.

    In regards to DramaFever, I complained loudly to them under my account setting that my 1 star review would not post to the Temptation site. Not trying to say they were being dishonest, but there was some type of glitch. Look at all the low ratings that have come out of no where over a week. There are also a lot of reviews that have 5 stars, but reading the review you know the author intended to give it 1 star.

    The writer could have made this a love story that worked, but not on the back of a kindhearted wife that was treated like crap by everyone. Nor with stupid plots and disjointed storyline. I personally did not find SY’s character appealing at all–not even a little. Although SH is a handsome man, he just appeared ugly to me because of his attitude.

    • bmore says:

      how very odd about the stars. But DF has had so many different glitches it seems like lately, I guess I should not be surprised. There are tons of reviews on there with no stars, so I suppose those are factored in too. UGH. I want to forget this travesty ever existed. Still wishing for something from the actors or the writer explaining this mess. Fruitlessly I’m sure.

      SY and SH…I just don’t want to start again. I have burned myself out raving about this mess…but boy am I going to miss my therapy group! But let’s not meet again like this okay? My heart can’t take it. 🙂

    • Lclarakl says:

      One last thing in regards to DramaFever, the greater majority of the 5 stars came before the drama aired and within the first couple of episodes. Never understood how you rate a drama before it even airs or completes.

      Now I’m going to try and wash this from my mind.

    • Sandy says:

      I also agree @bmore. I appreciate your thoughts Rinchan, but I have somewhat of a different take on SH. Yeah, he could have gone to New York, but the only thing waiting for him there was another job as a salaryman. He wasn’t able to make his own business thrive in the 10 years he was married–his father-in-law’s house was needed as collateral for his business. The writer suddenly turned him around into this smart businessman that he wasn’t with his own business.

      Also missing for me was a little male pride. He was only to happy to accept the $1M dollars from SY knowing she was paying him too much money for the job he performed. He could have told her at the end, when I’m back on my feet I will repay this money. He didn’t, he continued to accept money, gifts, a job and financial connections that her world afforded. If he had hightailed it to New York, he would have been out of that world. When he visited his FIL house to bring home his drunk BIL, the look he gave the room spoke volumes to me.

      Yeah, he may truly “love” SY, but nothing can change my mind that it comes with what she has to offer from a financial support. He runs to her and begs her so much that it makes him look pathetic to me. As I read somewhere else, begging the master.

      Thanks for sharing, but I hate this drama.

      • bmore says:

        His attitude was that all that needed to be done to fix any situation was to have money to do it. That’s why the buying of the rings rang so false. It is still inconceivable to me that there are people out there STILL arguing about him buying the darn rings and making his frozen faced speech about saving his marriage as proof that he wanted to save his marriage. Did he go down on his knees in front of his wife and beg her? Did he wrap his arms around her and tell her he loved her? Did he grab her and tell her he would never let her leave him and that he would never leave her because he loved her? Are these not all things EVERY lover in Kdrama or even real life would be doing if they were truly faced with losing someone they loved? Are these not the same behaviors he used on SY when faced with losing her? HJ was broken and betrayed and was not going to take back a man who so obviously did not want her. She was so brave to hand him those divorce papers, even though it was so apparent it was killing her to do so. How she stared at him, watched him, waited to see some sign of real love…if you had eyes and really looked at what was happening in that scene you would see she was desperately trying to get him to fight for her with LOVE not tokens!

        And I am so glad for Rinchan’s words in addressing the suicide issue. Another bone of contention with these people. I love your description of how you saw her feelings at that time. It expresses what I felt too but could not put into words nearly so well. Perfect!

        • tessieroo says:

          That’s one particular area I really wanted Rinchan’s insights on – the suicide attempt. I didn’t understand it at all initially and my brain became fogged with things I kept hearing about why she did that. (and placing blame on her) So I was delighted to read Rinchan’s thoughts – she described the HJ character with such clarity for me. That’s exactly how I saw her – a woman willing to do anything necessary for those she loves. And she wants to be needed, she wants to feel like there are things she can do for those people that no one else can do. I now totally “get” HJ and love this character even more. 🙂

          • bmore says:

            Yes. Me too. My initial thoughts and argument that I posted just addressed the facts of the statistics of suicide in Korea, the fact that it ranks 3rd in the world in suicide rates. Also that the traditional thought process about suicide in the Asian culture is far different from the Western world’s, though that is changing. Still, WHO’s articles on why the suicide rates are so much higher indicate that one of the main reasons for it is to prevent hardship for the family due to ill health/hospital bills and the financial pressures of job loss/inability to get a job. One of the main reasons for suicide is the ability to get quick insurance money. So in that context her suicide attempt seemed ‘rational’ to her in the state she was in. It was a sign of how much she loved him that she did that…not an easy concept for anyone who has never been in either of their positions to understand. His anger at her for doing such a thing is just as understandable and is what pushed him to make that fatal decision. All understandable…TO US!!!! It’s what happened afterwards that was NOT! but that I don’t need to repeat!

      • rinchan76 says:

        @Sandy I appreciate your response and can understand why you see SH the way you do. In truth you can be a genius business man and still are unable to make money fall fro the sky. In order to even have hopes of making your business work you need money. One of the reasons his company failed was because his partner cut and ran on him with the money they needed to save their skin. Again you can be a good businessman but still fall victim to a poor economy on top of a many number of factors. Therefore SH all of a sudden becoming a great business man over night is not too strange. SH already was a fairly competent business man but SY’s business gave him the resources and connections needed to be successful. Notice how SH and SY couldn’t make it on their own because of their lack of power, even if they both could have been successful because together they have enough brains and experience to make things work. Likewise, intelligence was not sufficient enough to sustain the business. However for a bright mind like SH, all he needed to bring to the table was his intelligence because the company was already established.

        I agree with you on the lack of male pride issue, he could have offered to pay the money back, but the thing is the $1 mil was given in exchange for 3 days and not as a gift. If he saw it as a completed business deal he had no reason to even entertain the idea of paying her back. However, SH never struck me as the prideful character, but more as the type to be unashamed of his actions, as well as tries his best at whatever he is doing until he sees he can do no more for it.

        Also when I mentioned him going to NY where success awaits, I was speaking about it in the context of a Kdrama, not real life. In real life you are right, it i just another salary man job, but in K-land this is almost as good as a promotion because it is like the promise of one upon their return. The banker friend described it as being desirable, because everybody wants to work at HQ. At HQ SH would have a chance to meet different investors and have the opportunity to shine in front of other important people that could scout him, or even promote him. With his talents he could climb the corporate ladder. Recall he told HJ that he will be going to NY for a year or more. Why would he stay at NY for more than a year, 1 reason would be because he still wasn’t over SY, but another reason is because he is doing well there. I agree with you that if he left SY he would lose out on her sphere of influence, but her company was about to go bust, and he knows SY is nothing without the backing of her company so why stay? In NY he stands to make more prominent connections, and the possibility to achieve a high position at the HQ, which is better than any promotion he could get at a branch. Also he wouldn’t be at a total loss if he left Korea because upon his return he would most likely have a promotion waiting for him and we know that he still would have connections with the bank friend. The Bank friend has about the same connections as SY and probably more because a lot of business men come to borrow money from his bank.
        What the bank friend did for SH was essentially a company sending a gifted/promising employee abroad or to school to undergo further training/education with the intention that upon their return they would receive a greater more befitting promotion. If a golddigger were to compare the situation, they would see that they would have to compare the decline of their sugar mama and the promise of life on the fast track in NY. Success vs taking care of a dying broke lover, the choice seems easy if you don’t care for the lover.

        I am not trying to change your mind, because nothing I write can do so, but I find your thoughts worth discussing not condemning. Your take interests me 😉

  • fantast1ksuae says:

    Thanks for your thoughts Rinchan…but Temptation will remain the worst kdrama for me.

    • Sandy says:

      @Richan78, thanks for taking the time to respond to my post. I enjoyed reading your take on the situation, but I still see it differently. There are too many self made millionaires without half the “brilliance” of SH that started extremely successful businesses out of their garage or out of the back of a pickup truck with only a few hundred dollars. They had a great idea and ran with it. SH has been in business for about. I love how in K-dramas people can just step into high level positions without much training–if any. Although, I enjoyed it tremendously, Big Man is a good example. In the real world—-not possible! I’m not saying SH wouldn’t have some success being put in a prepared position, but it was a little far fetched to me.

      You hit on something else when you spoke of SH’s intelligence. He is smart enough to know that he was paid a hundred times more for his 3-day service than he should have been. I would expect him to feel grateful for the help, but also indebted with a need to repay. Instead he felt none of that–I know people like him. Maybe that’s why I see his character the way I do because of those real life reflections.

      More than that. SH is a man who wasn’t willing to suffer. I look at people who give their lives for a cause, when all they have to do is renounce their faith, beliefs or a politic stance to avoid persecution, prison or ridicule. People have gone to prison because they refused to take the easy way out. I ask myself, what would he have done if there had been no SY in the picture? That’s when he would have shown what he was truly made of.

      No, he is my least favorite person in this drama. However, again, I really appreciate you taking time to respond and sharing your insight.

  • tasha says:

    Why do we love Kdramas? Simply because its real enough and we can relate to it in our everyday lives. Rinchan hit the note when she said the Kdramas serve to tell stories about morality and Temptations is definitely not moral. Two heavy weights as main characters didnt help and worse of all it has turned a lot of people off towards them. Would i watch Choi or Kwon in other dramas? Maybe (and its a big maybe) Kwon but definitely not Choi, i just dont like the way she acts. The script and acting depressed me so much i didnt even watch the last few episodes. It is still the worst drama i have watched.

  • kimnana41 says:

    What I learned from this drama is I have lived my entire life wrong. From a toddler I was taught to do the right thing, never snatch what you want, wait your turn and say thank you and please. Well, now I call a foul. From Temptation, I’ve learned I should have crawled over, knocked down and taken whatever or whomever I wanted. Go for the gorgeous guy in college dating my best friend, my sister’s husband, the babysitter, the gardener, the pool guy, the maid – hell, the neighbor’s son. Do whatever you want, by any means necessary, to get your grove on – it’s therapeutic. Once you’ve claimed “other people’s property” (OPP) and if/or when you need absolution, just say sorry, act coy and keep it moving. Sorry, will make my best friend, neighbor and babysitter’s parents forgive me and I can continue to bask in my claimed property. Just say, “My bad.” Oh, how much time I wasted trying to live by the Golden Rule, “Do right and right will follow you.” After watching this, I’m down with OPP too! Forgive me, my children, for the countless lectures on morality. I should have let you hunt and gather with claws and eye teeth exposed, while claiming to have only honorable intentions, as it is not what you do, rather what you profess that defines you.

    What I learned from this post-mortem is I’m not only mad at the writer, I’m mad at the production team as well. I feel trolled. I’m not forgiving enough to give them credit for changing the story mid-production. Rather, I feel they wrote the character outlines to entice viewers who would normally reject a non-repentant adultery themed drama. I’ve seen viewers state it’s a mature drama reflective of true life. I consider myself to be akin to grandma wrinkles, so I’ll call myself mature. I also own the t-shirt for adultery, separation and reconciliation and I don’t hate Angelina Jolie. I only had one experience, so I won’t call myself a subject matter expert. But once around the block gave me enough insight and life experience to know that “I aint no holla back girl.” I will give the writer credit for writing the characters clearly enough that once you joined a team you felt no reason to abandon it. My real, actual life experience had me on HJ’s team from Hong Kong to her final lone journey to happiness. For me, HJ after the silly Korean drama suicide attempt was the only relatable character. But now I know I failed to see how perfect SH was and that SY was his missing one percent. He’s the humanist that taught SY humanity. (I’m writing this out because I need these talking points each time I think about these characters.) I who developed as a mother, a wife and semi-successful businesswoman by age 40, missed out on true success. I should have suppressed my feminine side to compete more calculatively in this man’s world. I could have frozen my eggs and then bought my most appealing employee later in life and become self actualized as well. This would make the hiring interviews way more interesting. LOL

    So in the end, I shouldn’t be mad at the writer, right. I’ve learned to let my grandkids push when pushed. They should throw a good, hard and fast jab when and where they feel appropriate. Bite like Mike Tyson, as long as you win. Just cry when you get caught and say you’re sorry after you take and devour. The lesson is you must live regardless of principles. Just save one last breathe at the end of life to say a Hail Mary.

    Tessieroo your recaps kept me sane. I can’t thank you enough for your sacrifice. Rinchan, thank you also, for the final thoughts. Your character analysis will help me to put closure on this scab.

    • tessieroo says:

      Kimnana41 – ROFL! Okay, I wasn’t expecting that but you just made me laugh full-on for a long time. Thank you so very much for sharing this, I really enjoyed reading it! You have hidden comedic talent in there somewhere, I hope you continue to share it with us! *hugs*

      That was genius. 🙂

  • azraqey says:

    My intention when I first anticipated to watch Temptation because I’m intrigued by the synopses and also the casts. Also, I’m happy to watch more matured drama with the casts that I know. Never once it crossed my mind that it will end terribly like this. My emotion was quite okay on the first half of the drama (as I try to accept it as a Kdrama norm), but it escalated to drive me insane after 10th episodes, yes and yes I feel trolled and deceived by the script and loose plotline.

    I am angry with the production to steer away from the original plot, bad character development and lack justification. Actually, these kind of problems always happen in many dramas, but I can rationalized and resolved it myself through the end. But with Temptation, I failed to do this, and THOSE bad problems become prominent and rejected all kind of logic that I have. I kind of confused, because in any dramas I watched before,even if the lead died I never feel this ominous-like feeling I have with Temptation.

    I agree with what @kimnana41 has stated above; this drama has trumped all the good deeds I believe.

    I’m blaming the writer for the lack of redemption on SY and SH part, and where is the comforting journey for HJ? My biggest disappointment was what they did to my MIN WOO. That was a huge ridiculousness and synopses betrayer. Where the changed MV I need? His character should be the interesting one, should have a total transformation (that I look forward to see) and hell, he should be at least the saviour to this trainwreck (to mask all the fake lovey-dovey SH-SY that tainted my mind). But NO. The writer willing to sacrifice his charavter and make him a jerk until the end. SO WHAT’S THE POINT OF HIS CHARACTER, ACTUALLY??

    For Hong Gyu, now I realized, his usually temperament to HJ must be guilty-driven. He wanted to have his love life, so he lavished his angry feeling to HJ. FINE. VERY WELL BRO. No wonder he seek SH advice. YEAH, SUIT YOU BRO. To hell with loyalty.

    IF ONLY they make the HJ-SH marriage background solidly broken inside or HJ was a sly/bad/rude or anything but kind, I will accept those bad ending. IF ONLY they make SH-SY beg for forgiveness with sincerity and total redemption, my mind will easily be at ease. IF ONLY they make MW character change to save HJ and take her far away and happily together forever, I will bounced giddily and forget those others. IF ONLY Sandy’s ending vision come to life, I will move on peacefully with freshly restored humanity.

    BUT NO. IT NEVER HAPPEN. TEMPTATION WILL FOREVER THE WORST IN MY DRAMA HISTORY.

    • tessieroo says:

      The one thing I’ve learned in that in spite of all the horrible things that I see on the news daily or read about – there ARE good, moral people in this world and I’m not an odd-ball for feeling the way I did about this drama. For some reason, that makes me feel better. And it’s not even that I didn’t know that before? But it’s nice to feel others share an opinion.

      I try not to judge others but women who blatantly and with malice aforethought go after another woman’s husband will never be something I “understand”. It brings about conflict in my brain to put down or shame another woman (I hate it when women do that to each other) but in this case, SY is the worst type of female character I’ve ever seen. I have no idea what the writer was trying to say beyond giving a happy ending for the STH viewers.

  • Kimleechanee says:

    NOPE!!! It didn’t soften my attitude toward this drama. In fact, it made it worst. After Rinchan’s detailed thoughts on Hong Joo’s personality and actions, I despise Seok Hoon and Se Young even more, if that is even possible. I have memorized this writer’s name and will definitely boycott any future work of his.

    I have my own personal experience with adultery after being on the receiving end and it’s not a pretty feeling and not a pretty sight but that doesn’t hinder me from watching dramas with this topic and doesn’t hinder me from “shipping” the cheating couple. What I need is a valid and realistic scenario that would make me believe in their loving relationship. Temptation went down in flames after SY purchased SH and told him upfront her plan to break his marriage. Who in their right mind would fall in love with someone like this?

    In the words of Tessieroo, BALDERDASH!! ( yeah I copped it. I have been saying that word a lot lately and my friends are looking for you…LOL)

    But even in my feels, I understand what Rinchan was expressing and if the writer would have written one story instead of forcing two plots together, just maybe he would have had gained more fans instead of losing them.

    • tessieroo says:

      KimLeeChanee – Hee, tell your friends to blame the English for the term “balderdash”, I’ve read it in quite a few books from British authors.

      Agree, it boggles my mind that SH would feel anything but anger and disgust with this woman who made her intentions very clear from the beginning. But that tells me he didn’t love HJ and was looking for any excuse to get out of his marriage. The writer failed miserably by not showing that.

  • Sandy says:

    I’m so disappointed in this drama there are no words. I would have still hated the drama, but if the writer had at least tried to savage the damaged done to HJ’s character I could have accepted it and moved on. This end capitalized the theme of this drama and put it on my worst list of dramas—#1. Nothing even comes close to it. Sadly, I don’t think I can take watching these actors in anything else. It’s going to take a long time for me.

    The ended could have been so much better and showed growth of all characters. Instead the person he punished the most is the only one that showed any growth.

    • tessieroo says:

      Sandy – It’s going to take me a really long time before I can see either CJW or KSW on my screen again too. I consider this a massive failure on both of their parts to not recognize or understand the hatred and loathing the audience would feel. MAJOR career mistake for both of them.

  • bacom says:

    Thank you Tessieroo and Richan for doing the post Temptation discussion. I enjoy reading Richan’s thoughts, but I still cannot find it reasonable enough to calm my mind. It’s absolutely not because of Richan but because I find this drama is so terrible written that no one can make it sound reasonable to me.

    For me, the character I can’t stand the most is SH, simply because I can never form a strong enough argument of how bad a person he is. With other characters, I can prove my view easily of how bad they are, but for SH, I don’t think I can strongly prove my point of saying he’s a despicable human being, that kind of two-faced man really makes me scared and despite. Everything he did seems to be right, to show he’s a caring, all-for -love person but in my eyes, he’s the most selfish, the most cruel person who can calculate his every move to justify his bad desires and profit him the most. With 10 yrs married to HJ, he surely understands her emotions enough to throw her away without getting his hands dirty. His “try hard” to get back to HJ was executed so cleverly that drove HJ to the point of initiated the divorce thus all blames would be on her. He’s a master of playing the push-and-pull game with SY to make her all his. It looks like SY was playing him but imo, he’s the master of manipulation to make SY want him more and more. Even the thing about not going to NY is also his cleverly manipulation. If he went to NY, he’d loose all the supports from SY’s father, the board, the connections and back to a salary man. Staying with SY makes him become an icon of love, makes SY’s dad smitten to him thus makes the entire company become his eventually. The SH’s character is the main reason why I despite this drama because instead of making me see the power of love between SH and SY, it makes me see a calculated man who makes clever choices to get the most benefit results for him without getting any karma. I really wish the writer would make SH gain nothing from SY’s rich, the writer should make SY’s loose everything her richnes, her company, her status, even her health but SH still decided to stay with her and that’s a power of love I can agree to.

    • tessieroo says:

      Nope, nope and nope – I will never see any “true love” between SH and SY – ever. But for me, the main villain of this drama remains SY. I view SH as one of those weak-assed, greedy, selfish men who only thinks with the lower half of his body – this character is not anyone I would give the time of day to in real life. And (unfortunately) I know quite a few men like this.
      It’s SY who chose to take something that didn’t belong to her – that’s what she set out to do and that’s what she did. So that character gets most of my disgust. I’ve thankfully never met a woman like this in my real life and hope I never do.

  • Lclarakl says:

    @Bacom, and that’s exactly why I hate SH’s character the most. You summed it up perfectly. When he accepted the watch as a gift, after already accepting $1M from this woman, it told me the type of man he is–where was his pride of feeling bought. It also hit me when she asked him if she had nothing, would he stay by her side. His response was, wait and see or something to that effect. He could tell she was really worried about this because she told him, but he didn’t try to put her mind at ease. It was as if he wanted her to keep guessing. The same when she came to his apartment after the nightmare. He didn’t even try to make sure she was okay–didn’t even walk her to the elevator after she had arrived in tears. It all came across as him manipulating her. Before he slept with her, I was thinking that he was trying to manipulate her to teach her a lesson and would return to his wife. Then I realized it was all about the money and what he could get.

    I hate his character the most from the very beginning, then next in line is SY.

    • bacom says:

      @lclarakl, oh wow, for the first 11 episodes, I cling to the exact same hope that SH just pretended to be good to SY and made her so smitten, and then he let her know the feeling of having her happiness taken away, but nooo this writer is not that smart to think about that twist. How perfect it is if this drama had taken that plot, SY used Temptation to break up SH and HJ, then SY got punished by anotherTemptation designed just for her!

      • tessieroo says:

        There are SO many ways this drama could have been more interesting, with more insane twists but the writer tried to make this about first love and “learning the meaning of true love”. (which is garbage in my book since I see no “true love”). I no longer have to wonder what the Korean audience thinks either thanks to Netizen Buzz. (LOL) I’m happy to learn they think it’s trash. I’ll bet both Dr Jin and Temptation follow this writer around forever. Ahahahaha, he’s doomed.

  • Lclarakl says:

    @Tessieroo, enlighten me. What is Netizen Buzz? I’ve been wondering how the Korean public felt about this drama. I have to admit. I’m loving seeing people changing their ratings on DramaFever now that the drama has ended and others putting their ratings out there.

  • tessieroo says:

    Here:

    http://netizenbuzz.blogspot.com/2014/07/tv-spoilers-seduction.html

    I’m addicted to this site and visit daily, it’s kinda like a major “gossip” rag. (LOL)

  • Toni says:

    Wow…much to do about nothing. I believe even though my opinion is unpopular, that this drama portrays how people change, how a marriage can disintegrate for many different reasons, the imperfections of people and relationships, and how we manage to piece our lives back together, we hopefully and painfully learn from our mistakes, try to forgive and move on. It was a very realistic and adult drama. Kudos to the writers, cast and crew for having the courage to be in the real world and to depict a real story. Morality has its place but who of us can be the judge of any of these people? It was a very well done K drama. I welcomed it, looked forward to it, applauded it and liked the ending. There I said it. Five stars!!!

    • lclarakl says:

      I agree that a marriage can disintegrate for many reasons and this portion of the drama was realistic. However, the writer wasn’t realistic in regards to how the characters responded. This drama didn’t show people piecing their lives back together. It showed a man who was extremely loving to his wife, fall out of love pursuing a wealthy woman. The watch did it for me. If the drama showed people piecing their lives back together, I truly missed it. The person who was devastated and life torn apart and given unrealistic emotions and reactions for their character’s personality was the wife, HJ. What was there for SH to piece back together? He wanted out of the marriage so that he could freely pursue the woman he hadn’t exactly fallen in love with, but wanted to pursue the feelings he was developing. It wasn’t realistic to think that a loving brother would side and understand a cheating husband and do things that would hurt his sister? My brothers would not? Is it truly realistic that a woman truly seeking revenge against their cheating spouse would protect the reputation of that cheating spouse to family, friends and workmates? Not in the world I know. HJ’s character was used by the writer as a tool to open up a way for SY and SH to be together and not paint SH in too bad of a light for those who wanted the romance between SY and SH. Would someone who was willing to die for the man she love in order to help him out of debt truly rush into marriage with another man to seek revenge? Revenge that she could have handled all by herself just by opening her mouth and telling the truth? The reason why this drama didn’t have closure on a number of topics is because I do believe the writer changed the plot somewhere along the way and it really became a disjointed mess. For me, SH became the most unlikable character and I hated SY’s cruelty. Lastly, once you’ve been removed as the CEO by the board, they are not just going to put you back. Nor was the drama realistic in that SH who was not a successful businessman (which can be seen especially by the fact he needed collateral–using his in law’s house), would be able to defeat a successful business man like MW or that he was as good as they depicted in this drama is laughable. I don’t think there is any father out there would back SH after knowing his daughter paid a million dollars for him and this man left his wife. SH’s actions spoke to his character–the person he is inside; no father would want that type of man for his daughter. This drama was written in a style of convenience to create a love story of SH and SY and it didn’t work for me. It’s like the writer inserted different information to change the plot, but didn’t see how it fit into the overall story–contradicting plotlines. The drama One Warm Word was more realistic to me–that’s what I see in the world today. Not the turn a blind eye while the wife is constantly bashed for being a good wife.

      • Toni says:

        Temptation
        Very well written and concise synopsis. I do see some of your points about the writing. I did watch the drama over again, so I could see some of the points everyone was making and be objective. I do have a couple of comments:
        SH was not necessarily a bad business man but a poor judge of character. His partner was the one who embezzled and ran the business into the ground. I believe he, SH was being a good friend and because of that his business suffered. Many businesses are embezzled by employees without the CEO becoming aware of it. Two, SH was a good business man with a lot of great ideas when he first met SY in the interview process. She felt a connection with him then, which is something she did not want to admit to herself and which is why, I believe, she did not hire him. She tried to make up for this when they met the second time.
        Three, SH did admit his attraction to SY, but also told her he would not do anything about it. In the mean time, he admitted his wrongdoing to his wife and asked her forgiveness. He asked her more then once if she was sure about giving up on their marriage. He went to the Han River more then once to contemplate his lost marriage or what he could do to save it. Four, I agree, the revenge plot was silly and just a typical Korean drama insertion. It did not work, except for the fact that HJ realized it was ridiculous and grew from it. People do have bounce back relationships, so this is not an unrealistic marriage. MH is kind of the inconsistent character , in that he seems to have finally found love, want to hold onto it, but then does not know what to do with it when it interferes with his company. Of course, it seems that he is regretful but does not know how to stop the spiral. If HJ had truly loved him, perhaps it could have worked out for both of them.
        Finally, SH, goes to Brazil, and tells SY, that if he stays, he may end up hating her.
        He does not just fall into her arms. We are also led to believe, that he is working there for two months, and making something of himself, and becoming more financially independent. We do have to read between the lines in this case.
        He does come back, and his marriage is over, and that is when the relationship begins to unfold between SH and SY. I do not think at this point, that it is anything but a normal transition as they work together and begin to care for each other.
        Notice, at the formal party, he tries to kiss her, but she does not accept it. She too is being cautionary at this point, I think.
        I also believe we see a truly nice development of their love and of SY’s first love and get to feel with her how that feels, imperfections, highs and lows and all.
        Anyway, this is how I see it, which is why my opinion is, that this is a slice of real life.
        Things don’t always happen in nice little boxes or how we want them to. We just all make the best of it, have sometimes many regrets and move on the best we can in a civilized manner. Which is why, at the end, all the characters try to resolve their issues without bitterness and live in an as honest, though imperfect way as possible.

        • lclarakl says:

          @Toni, You and I will not agree on many of the points you’ve stated. You see a different man. The financial business world is where my career is firmly established and I can say without a doubt that the fact SH needed collateral (not his own collateral, but that of his father in law), speaks volumes of his business lack of success. I do not see the development of their romance or love, it was just there. The writer, probably by accident, painted SH as having a bad character. It’s seen when the people who have supported him for years, he turned his back on them as if it was nothing–all for money; because the thought of suffering a little was too much for him. I could go on and on and on. For me, there was absolutely nothing to like about SY nor HJ.

  • bmore says:

    Your post is very thoughtful and I think you, like us, have spent much time thinking about this drama and the people involved. For us anti’s (for lack of a better word!) it all boils down to the basic moral message that was given in this drama. SH gave in to Temptation, he emotionally cheated on his wife, fell out of love with her and in love with SY. The writer did a horrible job of explaining why he no longer loved his wife after clearly showing us a happily married couple (and continuing to show us this in the weekly opening sequence. Until that was one day cut off.)

    SH’s ‘attempts’ to salvage his marriage were weak at best. He showed her no love or affection, never spoke words of love, never touched her, and he made no emphatic statements to her of how he would never allow her to leave him nor would he ever leave her (like he did with SY during one of their fake ‘break-ups’). The opening episodes clearly showed him holding HJ’s hand, wrapping her in his arms in bed at night (after 10 years of marriage, pretty amazing in and of itself), in a happy and loving relationship. Where did that disappear to? And why?

    This was a man going through the motions of the ‘right thing to do’ to save his marriage. HJ saw through it immediately. What wife in her right mind would not? He had stopped loving her and she knew it with every fiber of her being. It’s why she broke down in the bathroom prior to handing him the divorce papers. She could see it right then as he was sitting in front of her in his body language and the way he was treating her. Gone was her loving husband. He had already left her for another woman. She knew it. The audience also knew it. So the arguments that he ‘tried’ to save his marriage are specious. The guy had moved on. Everyone knew it. And so be it. That in and of itself, better written, could have been worked out.

    Many of us still believe the original intent of this show was that SH and HJ would end up either back together or divorced AT THE END and the show was originally meant to show the repercussions of Temptation on HJ and her family, and SY and her family. But, it changed direction when someone made the decision that SY and SH had to be back together to placate the STH crowd. There is no better indication of this than if you look at the way they truncated the story line with SY’s father and sister and how she NEVER admitted to any of her family nor closest friend what she had done, and lived in fear of them finding out. Her own evasions speak volumes about the wrong she had done and that she knew it. And the fact that the writer dropped that ball infuriated all of us because, unless you were blind, how could you not see why it was done that way. Korean society and her family absolutely would not condone her behavior and she did not want her shame to be known, especially by her beloved little sister. So instead of having her admit her wrong…they just dropped it.

    The whole thing for all of us was not the FACT of the marriage breakup, but the fact that there was no retribution for HJ. But even WORSE, no apology. SH owed her an apology for cheating on her emotionally and owed her an apology for abandoning his marriage. He KNEW he was at fault, admitted he was the one who had changed, but he never said it to her. I recently rewatched one of my fluffy romcoms, Oh My Lady. In it, Siwon’s character meets up with the ex of his Lady and angrily tells him he must apologize to her for cheating and for leaving her because she cannot begin to heal until she hears those words. Even a light weight romcom had enough sense to know that!

    And then there is SY. A woman who with intent and forethought set out to destroy a marriage and NEVER ONCE apologized for her wrong doing. A woman who continued to smile at and jab at HJ in every encounter or conversation she had with her. This to a woman she had grievously wronged, yet never showed a single sign of shame or remorse to. There is NO way anyone watching this show could not see that HJ was in extreme pain over the loss of her husband. Her revenge was centered on her hatred for SY and what SY had intentionally done to destroy her marriage and she continued until the very end of the show to display behaviors that indicated she still loved her husband. Of course, it was hopeless for her to do all of this…the man didn’t love her anymore. But the one who is abandoned and betrayed is often not rational when dealing with their grief and anger.

    The final straw was the horror of watching SY try to make HJ her nurse! HOW do you explain away such a cold and calculating thing? Can you imagine ANY divorced woman in the world who had been through what HJ had been through, deserving such a slap in the face by the woman who had been so successful in intentionally taking her husband? What kind of thought process goes on in the head of someone who would shove themselves into the life of a woman who she knows she damaged irreversibly? At the very least, if she did not have the courage to apologize for what she had done, she should have had the politeness, the kindness, and the shame to remove herself from HJ’s life and not continue to push her success in HJ’s face. As I have said before, SY set out to destroy that marriage, she wanted to prove it was built on sand, and she absolutely proved that SH had feet of sand. From the moment he went into that hotel room, knowing that sleeping with that woman was on the table, willing to jeopardize his marriage to save them financially, he gave in to the Temptation. If, once SY backed off, he had cut off ties with her, not continued to seek her out, perhaps he would not have given in to Temptation. But the bike ride, the splashing in the water, the fake need to have the overnight business trip along with hanging up on his wife to care for the ‘terrible injury’ to SY (causing her to call out his name when she knew he was on the phone with his wife), all added up to the fact that SH had succummed to Temptation and his fascination with the power and beauty and money and comfort that SY dangled in front of him.

    Temptation was rewarded, but, the writer did give it a double edged ending. There will be retribution and retribution from God or fate or whatever you want to call it is going to happen. The cancer that SY has been given will cause a terrible death and she will never be able to have children. SH will be punished by having to watch and care for the woman he loves as she battles this terrible illness. In this also is the sign that the writer and director knew that what SH and SY had done was wrong. There will be no happy ending for them. HJ though has healed herself as best she can on her own. The writer has given her the chance to go on and find a new and a happy life. We were lucky enough to have one of our group write that ending for us and it gave all of us a lot a peace.

    None of us are going to change our minds about how we feel about this drama. This group was too emotionally wrapped up in the characters and our feelings to find any excuses or rationalizations to make us feel better about SY and SH. I’m sure everyone on the other side thinks we are all nuts, but we have each other to hold on to and this site gave us the freedom and the outlet to heal our broken hearts. We are all far too Involved in this drama and frankly, we all want to stop thinking about it and stop writing about it. But here I am again. I cannot seem to stop myself from making my justification for what I believe I saw in these characters. It is painful because I absolutely loved KSW and liked CJW okay (haven’t seen much of her stuff). Now I’m not sure I will ever watch anything either of them are in again…or at least not for a very very long time. I absolutely don’t want to think of this drama ever again nor have any reminders of it. And watching them will just bring it back. God forbid they ever do one together again! 🙁

    Thank you, really, for sharing your thoughts in such a positive way. I absolutely agree that this drama may have made an attempt to show that bad things can happen in marriages and lives can go on, but I feel it failed utterly in that attempt. One Warm Word is the perfect drama to watch to see how this should have been done.

    • lclarakl says:

      BMORE,

      Again, THANK YOU! I’m still emotionally drained from this drama and I couldn’t have written a better response that capsulate everything you’ve just stated. Your response is absolutely a perfect reflection of my own thoughts. Every time I see the word Temptation, I feel disappointment in the overall message of the drama.

      Thank you for clearly reflecting our thoughts!!! Very well written!!

    • tessieroo says:

      Bmore –

      Brilliant, articulate response as usual and I really enjoyed reading that. *bighugs*
      “esto también pasará” – this too shall pass.

      Also agree, One Warm Word was a much better drama, totally brilliant.

    • bacom says:

      Thank you so much BMORE for a wonderful read, your essay should be an official final review of Temptation

  • Toni says:

    LCLARAKL:
    We probably will never agree. To see the development of the love and of SH and his business skills, you need to watch the drama again from the beginning. Many people use the collateral of their family to develop a business. This does not make them less of a business person. Many relationships start out rough, in passing or as friendships. Nothing is just “there”. It starts from something. It can develop into love or like. Anyway, I really enjoyed this drama, the acting and the writing. It was a nice change from the norm, and that I will never change my mind on. At least it got us all talking!

    • lclarakl says:

      We agree to disagree….. It was a nice change for you, but it was horror for me. True it did get us talking. I would love to do some talking to the writer. I would love to know why he changed the plotline.

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