K-Drama Thirty-Nine is barely halfway into its run but it has already hit a bout of criticism. While everyone is in love with the stellar cast, the story set-up has been criticized for romanticizing extramarital affairs. If you’ve not yet caught up with the drama, be warned about spoilers ahead.
The story surrounds three friends, Cha Mi Jo (played by Son Ye Jin), Jung Chan Young (played by Jeon Mi Do) and Jang Ju Hee (played by Kim Ji Hyun). They are best friends on the cusp of forty. In the last year of their thirties, Chan Young is diagnosed with cancer. Her friends set out to make it her best year ever.
Chan Young has long been in love with Mi Jo’s high school friend, Kim Jin Seok. However, due to her family circumstances, Chan Young was unable to follow Jin Seok to study overseas after high school and broke up with him then. He ended up meeting Kang Sun Joo and marries her after she gets pregnant. However, he continues to see Chan Young as he returns her feelings. They go out to movies and support each other emotionally but he never crosses the physical boundary for it to become cheating.
Jin Seok leaves Sun Joo and asks for a divorce after tensions heat up and he admits he knows that Sun Joo’s son isn’t of his blood. He goes to Chan Young’s house and ends up eating dinner with her friends and family. Sun Joo storms over to find him and Mi Jo prevents her from spoiling the happy day.
Mi Jo begs Sun Joo on her knees, to just leave for today. She wants to give Chan Young a happy memory with the man she loves. Mi Jo ends up fainting on the streets after the encounter.
Despite the loyalty between the friends and the pitiful complications between Sun Joo and Jin Seok, netizens are criticizing the drama for romanticizing extramarital affairs.
- “It’s so displeasing”
- “The third party girl’s family came to the house…? I wondered what was up. This is crazy”
- “Wow I’m doubting the writer’s thoughts”
- “It was a drama I looked forward to but all of the characters’ set-ups are displeasing so I’m not watching it. It’s to the point that it makes me wonder if the writer herself is in an affair.”
- “I kept being displeased while watching the drama”
- “Crazy bitch acting up”
- “Ew. The actors are too good for this ew. It’s a pity about their eye (for choosing a drama)”
- “Really if I was her friend I would let her hair get pulled out so she would come to her senses”
- “Isn’t it crazy? They let that air? Is everyone sane?”
- “Sigh…I didn’t like the set-up and script but the actors are so good at acting that it’s such a pity.”
Netizens are emphasizing that the blame is on the writers and not the actors. The production team has yet to give a statement.