Kwon Sang Woo and Choi Ji Woo Give in to Their Temptation as the Drama Switches Up the Couples

I’m thoroughly enjoying watching the SBS Mon-Tues melodrama Temptation. It’s rounded the corner from the first half of its run and narratively everything is all shaken up. Whether a particular viewer likes the way things are unfolding depends on how one approaches Temptation. This is a story of four equally messed up adults, two very rich and two very poor, and a strange only-in-dramaland tempting game where all the elements are perfectly aligned. Female lead Choi Ji Woo‘s Se Young sees a married couple played by Kwon Sang Woo and Park Ha Sun who are financially at the end of their ropes. She is attracted to the husband Seok Hoon and is emotionally sociopathic in her thought process that she offers him a huge sum of money equal to the staggering debt he owes in exchange for three days of his life where his body belongs to her. It’s sounds so sleazy and tawdry and the wife Hong Joo thinks so as well, but since she was planning to kill herself because of her husband’s debt, he takes the offer even believing that Se Young wants him as a gigolo for three days.

Turns out Se Young wants to play mind games and merely keeps Seok Hoon around for chaste company, but the kicker is that she won’t let him contact his wife Hong Joo who of course thinks her husband is providing sexual services. This three days turns everyone’s emotional knockers upside down and despite paying off the debt Hong Joo and Seok Hoon fight to no end and end up divorcing. Even SBS knows this drama conceit is absurd so allows the two leads Se Young and Seok Hoon to actually be adorable and date now that he’s divorced and she’s way more fun for him to be around that his whiny now ex-wife. These new drama stills will make plenty of fans happy as the usually cold Se Young has thoroughly melted for Seok Hoon and he’s finally able to act on his reciprocated attraction to her. There are also new stills that show the two second leads hugging as well, though it feels less romantic and more a comforting embrace. 

Over on the rich people side, second male lead Min Woo is a total playboy and has gotten close to angry Hong Joo who he hires to babysit his illegitimate son and he’s also constantly battling with Se Young over business supremacy. Temptation has the annoying characters (Hong Joo and Min Woo) who have shit happen to them and refuse to let it go, thinking everyone else is at fault and then being vindictive about it afterwards. But it also has less annoying and way more interesting characters (Se Young and Seok Hoon) who suck as human beings by trying to rationalize away crossing the line little by little. Basically roles models this drama does not have.

I hate everyone in this show if I were to assess their thought process and decision making skills, but good lord is it fun to watch the bad behavior flag fly without shame every which way. I’m pretty sure Se Young will die in the end but until then imma going to enjoy the romance bits with her and Seok Hoon. I make no moral judgment about cheating, divorce, etc. when watching this particular drama because it’s not the right drama for that. It’s just a K-drama fantasy vehicle where impossible elements happen to reunite Choi Ji Woo and Kwon Sang Woo in a supposed adult and serious setting but is simply a less stupid framework than their Stairway to Heaven together

I think my sympathies lay more with Seok Hoon, ergo I’ll be happy to support whatever he wants, simply because Hong Joo is so freaking mentally and emotionally childish she needs to wise up and realize the world does not revolve around her. Sure lots of shit happened to her and Se Young is a horrible bitch but then again, Hong Joo contributed her fair share to the eventual fall out of the marriage. If Hong Joo had pride then move on and stop wallowing in the past misery. The best revenge is to be better off afterwards. I wish I could cheer Hong Joo on but as a bitter divorcee she just makes me want to roll my eyes and tell her to buck up and come back to the real world party when she’s put on her big girl panties. Since watching Hong Joo is so aggravating even if she ought to be the more sympathetic character, I’ll just enjoy boarding the dramaland only non-judgment ship that is Seok Hoon-Se Young. At least the view is more fun over there.

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Kwon Sang Woo and Choi Ji Woo Give in to Their Temptation as the Drama Switches Up the Couples — 41 Comments

  1. I’m hate watching this to see Se Young die TBQH. The drama writer must have been on some special kind of crack when he thought there would be anything remotely sympathetic about this synopsis.

  2. I agree with Rina 100% I don’t see the fun part of breaking up a married couple who are desperate for money for your own selfish reason,,because she likes him WTF, this series is sending out the wrong message to an already pretty messed up world. Karma is a bitch Se Young watch out.

    • do you actually watch the drama? Se Young did not break that couple, yes, she’s being mean to them, teasing their relationship by giving them ambiguous offer like she was seducing seok hoon while in the reality she just need him to help her with her project, but she did not seduce him at all, it’s seok hoon that first fall for Se Young by buy her time back for $3, even after that, she tried to tell Hong Joo to trust her husband, but Hong Joo is just too childish to accept that. I actually feel sorry for Se Young more than Hong Joo

  3. I like your take on this drama, it after all Kdrama, throw logic and moral judgement about divorce/affair/ temptation out of the window and we can all enjoy this drama a lot more. I am just glad to watch our STH’s OTP reunited again, and don’t they both look absolutely gorgeous together ??. I really hope the Writernim does NOT kill off SY’s character, then it will be a repeat of STH, aish…. Give us a happy ending, please, Of course I know many viewers of this drama beg to differ. Thank you, Ms Koala.

  4. I haven’t watched this but just based on this post I’m SO thankful that Yoon Eun Hye passed on that character & this drama. Mirae’s choice was bad enough for a good long while. Please have her find a good project/drama soon!

  5. I am tempted to watch, but if Se Young dies, I am afraid I’ll end up cackling instead of crying buckets like the way I did in Stairway to Heaven.

  6. koala finally! i was waiting for your thoughts about this drama. But what i really hope is that SY didn’t die. please writer.

  7. I like her coat. That’s all I can say. Because my mum taught me not to say anything if you don’t have anything good to say 🙂

    • I agree, they’re perfectly match, so compatible, there was really TEAMWORK even in their respective role playing, CONGRATS for the two of you! FIGHTING!

  8. I tried to watch this, but it just annoys me. I`m glad Yoon Eun Hye isn`t playing this stupid character and I can wait little more for her new drama hoping it will be at least a little better

    • yup the wife role is getting on my nerve. But i wonder if eun hye in it i will love it? who knows. But i really miss YEH. Where is she miss koala. can u find her for me?

  9. I definitely love this drama and a huge fan of the beautiful choi ji woo. Her character Seyoung actually saved two people, Seokhoon and Hongjoo, from jail and death, respectively. They’re the ones who decided to divorce, Seokhoon because he fell in love with Seyoung and Hongjoo because of her insecurities and overactive imagination. I love the Seyoung character and beginning to dislike Hongjoo (subtly an immature and somewhat evil character)immensely! Writers, please ensure there is a happy ending for seyoung and seokhoon!

  10. Up to now, I do not like any of the 4 leading characters but the drama is still intriguing. I was sympathetic towards Hong Joo and supported her divorce. If only she could move on with her life instead of being vengeful.

  11. The wife (ex-wife) is my favôurite character. The suicide thing was really stupid but she did for her father and her husband.

    I don’t think I could trust my husband after he passed 3 days with another woman and kept on to see her after that… She want to divorce because she doesn’t want to be suspicious all her life. It would be poisonous.

    Until the last episode, she never shows an love interest for the CEO guy.

    • I agree with you. A lot of people are forgetting that we see “behind the scenes” but the wife Hong Jo did not get our vision. When she calls her husband, he is with CEO and does NOT call her back, late at night. She has a date with her husband at the hospital, a big step and he bails on her and finds the CEO. Again it was innocent but circumstantial enough to convict. She has the right to be depressed and a little whiney. But she does need to pull herself up a bit.

    • I like Hing Joo too.

      Honestly, I do not like all 4 leads but the one my sympathy goes out for is Hong Joo. I do understand her feelings and decision for divorce (I think its reasonable.. of course she would be messed up after her husband stayed with another woman for 3 days and as if that was not enough he continued to seek her out after all the time).
      Its absolutely human to hold onto a grudge after someone has done something bad to you and messed up your life, its better to let it go and be happy – its the best revenge but the hardest one.

      If Hong Joo was the main character and the drama was to get revenge everyone will be supporting it but now she is disliked. I also do not like her whiny, but I hope its just a stage and the author will write her character progress and develop. As for SY dying I do not believe it… but if so I can only say – karma is a bitch.

  12. hahaha I love your take on this drama its so addicting to watch exactly your words throw marriage/divorce/temptation out the window you wil find yourself loving this drama…I’m just thankful the KSW has landed HIMSELF on a kdrama which i love watching him in.

    Must see

  13. Thanks Ms. K for mentioning the drama, I’ve been watching on and off and although I’m not that invested in it, it’s nice to see an adult drama dealing with divorce and adultery. I quite enjoyed Warm Words, but I realise I might be in the minority. You can tell Temptation is going for a classic a la Stairway to Heaven atmosphere – the choice of music emphasises this -. Warm Words was much more complex and showed a deeper knowledge of women and relationships. In Temptation you know that CJW’s character is wrong from the beginning but you actually feel for her. Not that I’m accepting her behaviour, but I think there are deeper issues at work, trust being obviously the main topos. But it’s not handled all that well. I thought it was abrupt to have KSW’s character suddenly acting on his attraction to CJW so soon after the divorce. I mean, he was buying wedding rings when his wife brought out the divorce. Some scenes are clearly for fan service. On a shallow note, I love CJW’s wardrobe 😉 on par with Jeon Ji-hyun in that alien thing… Waiting to see if near-adultery-temptation-infidelity is really punishable by death…

    • KSW went to Brazil for 56 days after the divorce which takes 30 days to get approved, So it was 3 months after she requested the divorce that they were seperated.

  14. thank you so much koala for doing a write up on this kind of enjoyable drama. i agree with everything you say. i really think this drama is quite complex because it is hard to root for any of the characters fully and it is hard not to enjoy the chemistry of the two leads… though my one complaint is CJW and KSW way of speaking is so grating….

  15. I have only seen the first episode so no opinions yet, just wanted to say DAMN, a drama with a MAN, not a boy!! Thank you drama gods!!! KSW…… I die.

  16. I’ve watched some controversial movies with way more despicable characters but the difference is they were well made movies and well acted.

    This looks like a hate-watch kind of drama since the plot premise is somewhat twisted and it seems some characters are plain annoying. I’ll keep it in mind for when I’m in the mood.

  17. The discussions on Soompi are amazing, thought provoking & annoying me to no ends. I have been reduced to finally join the shipping war and dissecting certain characters that can be interpreted through various and bipolar ways. I make a promise to myself not to touch that Soompi thread but I break it over and over again, only to be annoyed at myself afterwards. It’s true what they say, there’s always a first time for everything:
    1. Realizing that I am not as relaxed on dramas as I thought I was,
    2. The day has come where I pump my arms with joy whenever CJW is kicking ass
    3. I’ll be down with the coconuts if she dies

    • Ah, the shipping war. I feel you iatetoomuch (btw love your handle it describes me perfectly ^_^). I stay clear from Sompi’s thread for I don’t think I can survive out there. But, as Mary Ann said it’s rather impossible for everyone who watches this drama to be impartial. I haven’t started watching yet but even then I’m already boarding the Stairway to Heaven couple’s ship.

      Will wait to see whether it’ll sink or not before watching it.

    • my thoughts exactly, SY is such a badass character I’m rooting for her so much. I get a thrill watching her come up with snarky comeback to those who try to put her down.I really hope this story doesn’t end on a sad note or worst kills one of the leads to send some type of moralistic message. Please writer nim a happy ending!

  18. This drama has left no one in neutral. It seemed so many married women were supporting the ex-wife while many of the single ladies were wondering: what’s the problem and where is the trust. Personally, I love the new (lead) couple and will feel sorry if the infertile ex-wife gets manipulated by the player CEO and his Mom into either wife or live-in concubine/babysitter status. This drama at the halfway point can tell so many stories involving all the charactersm including the jealous older daughter’s story. (Roy, not SY, may be the one who dies.) Great series.

  19. this drama is really well-written as far as characters go. even though the plot seems weird and twisty, i kind of find it all believable. i learnt it is writer by the writer of “time between dog and wolf” — one of my all time favorites.

    the chemistry between LSY and SH is so great that it is hard to see any other outcome. i also think when a rich and beautiful woman buys a man, the fact that he assumes it must be for sex is kind of an interesting premise isn’t it. i felt like SH was actually rejected when LSY did not ask for his body and his subsequent attraction to her is premised on this initial rejection. i think there is some very interesting stuff happening with regard to gender and reversal here….

    happy watching and thanks again for speaking about this drama

  20. I like the comments made by ockoala, however lets not be too hasty in thinking SY will die. I would hate that happening! SY and SH needs to have a happy ending, maybe even have a child and end up with a happy family..writers have done a great job in bringing SY and SH together, amazingly making me, a married woman, cheering for them. SY definitely needs to stay alive. Hate the mentality of some korean writers thinking drama success equal lead female character dead. Not so, happy ending equal drama success in my book. Writers and director for this drama definitely know how to intricately tell a good story, keep it up! Enjoyed every episode, thanks!

  21. I am a huge fan of the fabulous CJW. The best thing the writers or whoever picked to play the leads was to select CJW and KSW. Definitely an awesome choice!

  22. I wish the ex -wife can just move on.They all have faults but to be vindictive and involving others in the process is purely evil.She’s the one who insisted having a divorce.

  23. We are currently watching it and I cannot stand the ex-wife. OMG, what an annoying character. She basically sent her husband in the arms of the other woman, by being suspicious and not trusting him.

  24. I hated this drama and I hated SH and SY the most. The only person worthy of being admired was HJ. She was a true strong woman. Something that SY cold never claim to be and a good thing because she’s with a weak man, SH.

  25. Congrats and Hi Ms. Choi Ji Woo, go comedy performances… perhaps you would be able also to give justice to your new role… You are the best actress I ever discover in my search to view KoreanDrama. After viewing “Winter Sonata” and I cried, another tears I shed, Stairway to Heaven. Am maybe one of your fans here in my country. More power and hope everything is fine with you and family.

  26. I just love this…the chemistry of Choi JiWoo and Kwon SangWoo is amazing for me. Never let’s me down since 2003. Let’s not be hypocrites about how events can sometimes turn into something like what others hated in this drama.

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