woman who falls in love with another man, and the young man
who tries to seduce her… as well as the people who chase
December Fever is the story of a dangerous love affair between
a married woman and a dying man. It introduces us to people
with double standards and other falsehoods, as well as people
who sacrifice themselves for family. In addition, it’s
a story of a father and his dying son as well as a tale about
the conflicts between and their mothers-in-law. It holds a
mirror to everyday life with comic and interesting characters.
Fever differentiates itself from the conventional Korean dramas,
with its apparently boldest content in dabbling with secret
affairs, questioning moral values like commitment, responsibility
in relationships etc. This is no longer a clearly black and
white defined world but one with moral ambiguity and uncertainty.
begins with a light-heartened scene in which an ordinary housewife,
Oh Young Shim (Um Jung-Hwa) is piggybacking a toddler and
busily going around the house doing her daily chores. At the
same time, she is actually participating in a “live”
singing program over the radio, and happily singing a love
song dedicated to her husband, brain surgeon, Min Ji-Hwan
ago, highly educated Ji- Hwan has chosen to marry pregnant
20-year-old, rural girl, Young Shim over his childhood lover
out of responsibility. Apart from suffering the aloof treatment
by his husband, she often has to fight back her tears from
the incessant open distaste showed by her mother-in-law and
younger sister-in-law. Both dismiss her not more than just
a housemaid because of her poor, humble family background.
Despite all these, Young Shim remain devoted as a mother and
wife, who yearns for the love of her husband and acceptance
and respect as the eldest daughter-in-law by his mother and
same time, she also has to endure the omnipresence of Ji-Hwan’s
childhood lover, who remains single and even at important
occasions, often appears by his side in the name of a close
friend or “soul-mate” as defined by Ji-Hwan; when
once questioned by Young Shim. A chain of unexpected hilarious
events let Young Shim got acquainted with a 27 year-old undergraduate,
Park Jeong Woo (Kim Nam-Jin). Their similar family background
forges the initial bond of their friendship.
architect-to-be Jeong Woo has interrupted his university academic
course a few times due to financial problems. For his brother-in-law
was a troublemaker and often has to be bailed him out. His
ex girlfriend, Song Ji-Hye (Choi Jung-Won) has ditched him
and married better-off Ji-hwan’s younger brother, a
surgeon himself too. But Ji-Hye and Jeong Woo still like each
other and under her initiative, both continue their contact
secretly. In an attempt to cover up her secret affair, Ji-Hye
ended up hurting Jeong Woo. Unknowingly to anyone, Jeong Woo’s
world shatters to pieces upon being diagnosed with only a
mere 3-months lifespan due to a serious brain tumor. He decided
to use Young Shim as a means to revenge on Ji-Hye.
his decision sparks off a beginning of a ill-fated, touching
relationship between him and older, married Young Shim. It
has actually blossoms into one that transcends over the age,
societal acceptance and biasness. Would he, despite his grave
sickness, able to save Young Shim, a damsel in distress? Or
in fact, is it a twist of roles, Young Shim, saves him from
the coldness and loneliness? Should it not be Ji-Hye, who
claims to love him whole-heartedly, till death parts them?
of the actual larger age-gap between the lead cast, Kim Nam-Jin
and Um Jung Hwa, they have exhibited flawless chemistry and
their on-screen compatibility is convincing and definitely
comfortable to the audience. Hunky Nam-Jin, although from
model beginnings, has proven to be a relatively good actor.
It is no wonder that Jung Hwa, a singer in real life, gets
to show off her golden voice with ease in the show.
to the typical tear-jerky man-woman relationship, I think
the plot is extremely engaging and well written in character
development. And it slowly begins from the elements of hilarity,
happiness, sadness, and heart-breaking ending.
characters reflect the different facets and obligations of
life. Apparently, nothing is not what is seemed. Through Jeong
Woo, his responsibility of being a filial, good son and brother
inevitably is a priority over his own desires and dreams.
Ji-Hye, on the surface, is a blissfully just-married wife
but still secretly seeks the attention and love of her ex-boyfriend.
Ji-Hwan, is a responsible father but has not been a caring
husband till his realization of his true feelings towards
his wife, Young Shim. All it came just too late. Young Shim,
still as innocent as the rural girl 10 years ago, thought
that her biggest blessing was to marry Ji-Hwan. But only her
encounter with Jeong Woo awakens her that perhaps she can
have a world beyond being a dutiful wife and mother.
story-plot that might not be favorable to the conventional
likes of audience. But perhaps some blatant truth in it ruffles
the feathers of the others.
with its hilarity, happiness, sadness, and heart-breaking
by Alicia Tee