Familiar Wife Korean Drama Review

Familiar Wife Korean Drama - Ji Sung and Han Ji Min

Familiar Wife is a fantasy romantic comedy about a man (Ji Sung) who is unhappy with life as well as his wife (Han Ji Min). He then gets the chance to travel back in time and change things which results in a future where he is married to his college love and his original wife is now single and very different. But he realizes everything isn’t as great as it seems as he begins to rekindle his relationship with his wife and wonder if he made a big mistake by altering time.

Well, you know I’m a sucker for time travel dramas, especially when they involve the future getting changed. So I was completely ready to jump into Familiar Wife. Aside from the fantasy angle, there’s a good mix of humor and seriousness in the drama along with some high stakes for our central characters.

Familiar Wife Korean Drama - Ji Sung

Ji Sung plays Cha Joo Hyuk. He’s an employee at a bank who isn’t very happy with his life. He struggles at his job and after years of marriage and having kids, he’s not thrilled with the changes his wife has undergone. But when he gets the chance to go back in time and change things, his life takes a completely different turn with unexpected results.

Familiar Wife Korean Drama - Han Ji Min

Han Ji Min is Joo Hyuk’s wife, Seo Woo Jin. Woo Jin takes care of their kids plus works a job. It’s a lot of stress, and she doesn’t feel like she gets enough help from Joo Hyuk which leaves her quite frustrated and angry all of the time. But when time changes, she undergoes a drastic transformation.

Familiar Wife Korean Drama - Jang Seung Jo

Jang Seung Jo is Yoon Jong Hoo. He’s one of Joo Hyuk’s closest friends and they work together. He’s a fun and good-natured man. In the alternate timeline, he ends up taking interest in Woo Jin which sets up some complicated situations.

Familiar Wife Korean Drama - Kang Han Na

Then we have Kang Han Na as Joo Hyuk’s college love, Lee Hye Won. She comes from a wealthy background, is spoiled, and is used to getting what she wants. She’s completely different from Woo Jin. This makes Joo Hyuk face quite an adjustment concerning his new wife and how it changes so much of his life.

The opening episodes of Familiar Wife set things up well to showcase the difficult lives both Joo Hyuk and Woo Jin have. The situation they are in can be relatable to many people. You’ve got Woo Jin working a job plus taking care of the kids which leaves her completely frazzled and short tempered. And she doesn’t feel like her husband acts responsibly to help her out enough.

Then Joo Hyuk is weighed down at his job and just wants to come home and relax, but his wife is usually snappy and doesn’t have time for him. He’s a bit self absorbed and doesn’t realize how much of the problem he is in the relationship. Though I really felt bad when he just wanted to have a little fun and play on his game console. He had it hidden and tucked away on the floor in a closet where he would secretly play late at night.

Familiar Wife Korean Drama - Ji Sung Familiar Wife Korean Drama - Ji Sung

But at the end of a frustrating day when he just wanted to play, his old console broke leaving him completely defeated. I’m sure many of us can relate to that feeling of just wanting to enjoy a simple pleasure or distraction to get us through only to have even that taken away. His tears in that small moment were so sad. And he decides he wishes he had a different life.

And then things suddenly change after a trip back in time has unexpected results. At first, it looks like Joo Hyuk’s new life is perfect as he has married his college love, lives in a really nice house, and is treated well at work because of his new family connections. But of course, things are never that simple.

Familiar Wife Korean Drama - Ji Sung and Han Ji MinFamiliar Wife Korean Drama - Ji Sung and Han Ji Min

We get to go on a journey with him as Joo Hyuk is no longer married to Woo Jin, and she has a very different life because of the changes. She’s still single and has the spunky and captivating personality he originally fell in love with. He is able to see her in a different light and fall for her all over again.

He also gets the chance to understand her and realize that he wasn’t the only one struggling in life because she was miserable too. And that he was a huge reason she turned out the way she did. He has some serious growing to do, and I loved how his character progressed. That’s always a fun and lovely story to watch play out.

I liked how the drama depicted Joo Hyuk rekindling his feelings for Woo Jin by using events in the new present to trigger memories from the past of them originally falling in love. He was reminded of the reasons he fell in love with her by seeing her in the new timeline. But the changes in time have set them up a part from each other.

Familiar Wife Korean Drama - Jang Seung Jo and Han Ji Min

He’s married already and soon realizes that Hye Won isn’t quite the dream girl he imagined. Then Woo Jin has a budding relationship with Joo Hyuk’s buddy Jong Hoo. And these two are so fun and comfortable together that it’s easy to see why they would want to date. All of this puts Joo Hyuk in a terribly awkward position of trying to navigate his rekindled feelings for Woo Jin. It was very interesting to see play out.

Familiar Wife Korean Drama - Ji Sung and Jang Seung Jo

I also really loved the relationship between Joo Hyuk and Jong Hoo. These friends had such a fun rapport with each other. They joked, laughed, and even cried together. I liked that they were close in multiple timelines and that their friendship was always important.

I found Familiar Wife to be a mostly pleasant watch overall, but some scenes were a bit drawn out with a few draggy spots here and there. But the characters were so enjoyable and the banter between them was so fun that it really helped. At it’s core, this is a drama that focuses on relationships, so executing that point so well really tied everything together.

Familiar Wife Korean Drama - Ji Sung and Han Ji Min

Familiar Wife was an entertaining story that nicely highlighted how what one person does can greatly affect another. While our individual struggles are important, others are struggling too. And just because you have regrets and think you want a different life, it doesn’t always mean it would work out the way you thought it would. The drama is both contemplative and fun in a way that made for a thoroughly enjoyable journey.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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About Kay

Greetings! I’m Kay, creator and author of Kdrama Kisses. Kdrama Kisses is dedicated to bringing you the latest in kdrama casting news, drama trailers, reviews, and more. Happy drama watching to everyone!
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31 Responses to Familiar Wife Korean Drama Review

  1. I’m about to watch this one… But I have to finish “Terius Behind Me” and “Where Stars Land” first before jumping into another drama. 🙂 I don’t wanna juggle three kdramas at the moment. LOL! As always~ great review Kay!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kate says:

      Ha, I’m watching the same ones, but I started Radio Romance last night because I needed a romance to fill up the time as I wait for new episodes – LOL 🙂 May be a while before I start Familiar Wife but it sounds great – and who among us didn’t shed tears like Ji Sung when his console broke after DF went off the air!!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kay says:

        I seriously felt so bad for Ji Sung when his console broke. It was just too pitiful, lol. And then yes, less than a week later my DramaFever broke! Not sure if that’s funny or sad though, hehe

        Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Yes, those should keep you busy for a few more weeks. Three dramas at once would be a lot to juggle. And this drama will be ready and waiting for you when you need something new! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. MyKDramaticLife says:

    Yes! A 7.5 is high enough, right? Well, as for me, I also love time travel dramas. I’ve been always watching the new and old ones, from Rooftop Prince (10/10), Manhole (8.5/10), Go Back Couple (9.5/10) to Deserving of the Name (10/10). I just enjoy time travel dramas as well.
    And for Familiar Wife (8/10), I did enjoy it also since it has Han Ji Min and Ji Sung. But it just kept on reminding me of Go Back Couple, so I couldn’t give it higher than 8 since I just really really like the Go-Back couple. Hehehe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I think a 7.5 is high enough 🙂 I thoroughly enjoyed it. Another time travel drama lover! I just never get tired of those. Rooftop Prince is one of my all time favs and Go Back Couple was amazing last year! Glad to see you loved Manhole too. That drama got a lot of hate and terrible ratings, but I really enjoyed it. It was just plain fun!

      I think the first couple eps of Familiar Wife reminded many of us of Go Back Couple which made it hard not to compare it. Once it got deeper in I was able to separate the stories more though. Go Back Couple was definitely better, but I still really liked Familiar Wife 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • MyKDramaticLife says:

        I agree! 🙂
        Manhole received many likes-and-dislikes from the viewers, but I am one of those who really enjoyed it despite all the ups and downs of the story.

        Liked by 1 person

        • MyKDramaticLife says:

          Oh my gosh! I just noticed that you are currently watching Cunning Single Lady (8.5/10) with my Joo Sang Wook ahjussi. 🙂 Gosh! That drama was simply heartwarming too. Can’t wait for your review on it. Don’t forget to highlight the younger Nam Shin. HAHAHA.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Kay says:

            Yep, I decided to work in an older drama after it came highly recommended to me (and the DramaFever debacle altered my plans a bit too). I really like Joo Sang Wook, so that had me interested right away. Didn’t even realize Seo Kang Joon was in it until after I started it which was a fun surprise 🙂

            Like

        • Kay says:

          It really was a fun drama. I love stories where we get repeated alternate futures. And it was played heavier on the comedy which was a lot of fun. I loved how Pil would change in the timelines too so we got to see him be variety of different characters 🙂

          Like

          • MyKDramaticLife says:

            True! Pil really was very annoying on the first episode. But as soon as he went out the manhole and tried to act like a new different character, I immediately liked him after! My favorite parts of the drama were the teary ‘ghost’ Pil episodes and that thrilling wedding finale. Oops! SPOILER ALERT. Hahaha.

            Liked by 1 person

            • MyKDramaticLife says:

              Re the time travel dramas, I forgot to tell you also about Tomorrow With You (6/10) and Tunnel (9/10). Both dramas have their own bads and goods. Nonetheless, time travel dramas really is one of cups of tea. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              • Kay says:

                Oh yes, I liked both Tomorrow With You and Tunnel. I believe I gave them both 7’s. Lee Je Hoon and Shin Min Ah had some seriously crackling chemistry. They gave me all kinds of chills! And I really liked how much they drama utilized the time travel concept. But I’m right there with you, time travel is one of my favorite genres 🙂

                Like

            • Kay says:

              Haha, yeah, Pil really cracked me up. And just whole manhole concept in general. And yes, the ghost Pil episodes were great! I really had a lot of laughs from that show 🙂

              Like

  3. D says:

    I really enjoyed this drama in the beginning but somewhere in the middle, I dropped it. I really liked Go back couple and I thought I was going to like this one too but for some reason I could not continue on with this one. 🙂 Great review nevertheless…cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Yeah, I think similarities to Go Back Couple in the beginning hurt it. Go Back Couple was definitely better, so that doesn’t bode well for comparison. Plus this drama was a bit more slow paced without as much of a strong direction in terms of plot. Even I thought it was draggy at times. Luckily, I found it mostly pleasant though, and I liked the actors a lot. Plus my immense love of time travel dramas probably didn’t hurt 🙂

      Like

  4. raistlin0903 says:

    Awww, what a truly heartwarming and wonderful review. I especially liked the last paragraph you wrote, and I really think that one is so true. There are a lot of things that I found relatable in your review one of them being that simply pleasure or distraction to help us get through (and to have that taken away would be really sad 😢).
    This sounds like a truly wonderful drama (timetravel even though it’s not a main theme for this is always something I like as you know) and one that I think I might watch during christmas. It sounds like the perfect time for it 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Korean Drama Update for October 2018 | Kdrama Kisses

  6. MyKDramaticLife says:

    I just remembered it. The Jealousy Incarnate (8/10), Jo Jung Suk oppa had a guest role in here. He even had his character as Kang Sun Woo of Oh My Ghost (9/10). I had fun watching him together with Han Ji Min and Ji Sung. It was also quite a surprise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I loved that Jo Jung Suk guest starred in the drama and reprised his Oh My Ghost character! I agree, it was fun seeing him and his interactions with Ji Sung and Han Ji Min 🙂

      Like

      • MyKDramaticLife says:

        It was like paying Han Ji Min back since she also had a cameo role in Jealousy Incarnate as Hwa Shin (Jo Jung Suk)’s blind date. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Haven’t you watched that drama yet?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay says:

          I watched the first few eps. Liked it but really wasn’t in the mood for a cancer drama so I bailed. I wouldn’t necessarily say I dropped it, but it’s definitely on long term hold, hehe

          Like

          • Kate says:

            Jealousy Incarnate is definitely not a “cancer drama” as it seems in the first few episodes. Worth sticking with it 😉

            Liked by 1 person

            • Kay says:

              Do they wrap that up pretty quickly? After 3 eps, they both had cancer and still needed treatment, and the ep 4 preview seemed to continue the story, so I was like, I’m out of here! lol

              Like

              • Kate says:

                It’s more like as the series progresses it didn’t focus on that so much as the entire cast and all their storylines which I found compelling. The cancer storyline was more under the surface throughout and allowed for some strangely light comedic moments which is weird to say but drama did a great job of keeping itself centered on the characters. It was not “heavy”. l absolutely adored the leads having seen them in other things so maybe that’s my bias here but all I can say is trust me 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

                • Kay says:

                  Yeah, I didn’t think the drama would ever get too heavy since it was already pretty comedic. But I really wasn’t liking how much time the cancer story was getting. I really like all three of the leads, so I was disappointed since I wasn’t aware of that story line going in. If it does still run throughout, it’s probably good I put it on hold for now. I have to really be in the right mood for that even when it’s done in a light way. I don’t recall, did you watch Greasy Melo? It’s from the same writer and it had some similarities to this drama, but I didn’t want to spoil anything if you hadn’t seen it 🙂

                  Like

                • Kate says:

                  I haven’t seen Greasy Melo yet but had added it to the list because Jang Hyuk is in it so I’ll see it someday 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Kay says:

                  Okay, I won’t spoil you then 😉 It has a similar quirkiness that Jealousy Incarnate has, and I absolutely loved the cast. It does sort of drag in the second half, but it was a mostly pleasant drama. And there was Jang Hyuk 🙂

                  Like

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