Title: Private Lives (English title) / Private Life (literal title)
Main Cast: Seohyun, Go Kyung-pyo, Kim Hyo-jin, Kim Young-min
Writer: Yoo Sung-yeol (My Beautiful Bride, Heartless City)
PD: Nam Geon (Temperature of Love, The Royal Gambler)
Timeslot: Wednesday and Thursday / 21:30
Private Lives tells the story of four different con artists whose lives got entangled due to their own scheming.
Major trope: Con within a con
[Major Spoilers ahead]
I would have added ‘marrying the mark’ as one of the major tropes in the series except that the supposed wedding of con artist Cha Joo-eun (Seohyun) and ‘ordinary’ corporate employee Lee Jung-hwan (Go Kyung-pyo) didn’t happen in the end. Because as it turns out the con artist herself got swindled. Before I expound on that, let me tell you first how it started.
Joo-eun becomes a con artist to get revenge. Her father Cha Hyun-tae (Park Sung-geun), who’s a small-time swindler, fell victim to the trick of professional swindler Jeong Bok-gi (Kim Hyo-jin). The scam eventually led to the fall out of her family and Joo-eun wants Bok-gi to pay for her crimes. She learned the art of trickery from her mother’s colleague Hanson (Tae Won-seok). Together, they tried to catch Bok-gi’s latest scam but eventually failed. After getting out of prison, Joo-eun somehow craves a normal life but on her supposed last con with Hanson, he met Jung-hwan. She eventually agreed to marry him but in the end, she learned, it was just a marriage scam.
Phew, that’s what happened to the first two episodes of Private Lives. I’ve tried to congest it as much as I can but my words aren’t enough to capture the jampacked premiere of this new series. The storytelling felt like a well-performed con. I was just casually enjoying the first few minutes of it and the next thing I know I was already wrapped up in the world of deception where I should trust no one.
While Joo-eun’s back story was told in detail, we only got a glimpse of the fake life of Jung-hwan. He came across as normal and ordinary; something that Joo-eun wishes to have. But there were hints in his dialogues and actions that implied Joo-eun is about to get doomed. And she was indeed got tricked. Although, I don’t think Jung-hwan is just an ordinary conman who’s into romance scams. Kyung-pyo also had shorter screen time (he only appeared in episode 2!) but his character introduction was the most impactful. Saying his character is intriguing would be an understatement. He has this air of mystery on him that feels enthralling and dangerous at the same time. I’m already itching to watch next week’s episode to know more about him and his connection to Bok-gi and another mysterious character Kim Jae-wook (Kim Young-min). I believe Private Lives’ real plot is just getting started and (hopefully) there’ll be more unexpected twists and brilliant manipulation in the coming weeks.
-I have to apologize for the crappy synopsis because I feel like I haven’t fully figure out everything about this series.
Image credit: JTBC