'Private Lives' Episode 1: Seohyun plays con artist fueled by revenge, portrays tricks of trade beautifully
One of the refreshing ideas that 'Private Lives' depicts is how everyone at the moment is living off of selling their privacy to each other. The idea of sharing your thoughts, plans, and anything private on social media is an act of choosing to sell your privacy to feel accomplished. Despite cherishing our privacy when we look at a larger perspective, it is all in the details. These details that we share freely is all being analyzed by large corporations to sell us different things. The world is a big bad place with everyone being conned and sold things that they do not need and in such a world, a young girl watches her con artist father falling for a con and ending up in jail himself.
This young girl Cha Joo-eun (Seohyun) decides to exact revenge for her father and enters the dark world of cheating people to earn her livelihood. As much as her father wanted her away from the business that he and her mother ran together, Joo-eun ended up becoming a scam artist as well. To learn how to be a successful scam artist, Joo-eun assists her mother's partner in odd jobs and earns money. Over the years, as she waits for the woman who scammed her father to return, the only thing that keeps Joo-eun going is the possibility of being able to watch this woman fail because of her.
It is at this time that she coincidentally sees this woman walk out of a luxury clothing store and her plan for revenge begins to form. Initially, her mentor Hanson (Tae Won-seock) tells her that the woman that they are after is not someone who can be caught by them because she is way out of their league. However, she is adamant and decides to go after this mysterious woman herself. Hanson is unable to let her take the risk by herself and so he decides to help her.
The two of them find out that this woman is now running a pyramid scheme scam and to fool her, Joo-eun enters the scheme as a member. She convinces the man who runs the accounts of the place to change his account details and in the process, she also ends up getting caught because the third player in this scam is none other than her mother.
Her mother is known to be greedy and it is this greed that traps her daughter. Turns out the woman that Joo-eun is after is called Jung Bok-ki (Kim Hyo-jin) and she is not someone who can be easily fooled because at the end of the episode, despite Joo-eun and her team moving the amount to a bank that they could control, she got caught. The episode had begun nine years after Joo-eun's father was arrested, and we saw Joo-eun exit a correctional facility.
So what we are watching at the moment is Joo-eun's life after and before she got arrested. While this in itself is fascinating, 'Private Lives' has also done another impressive thing by not introducing the male lead so far. Go Gyung-pyo plays Lee Jung-hwan in the show and he is introduced as a salaryman working for a corporate company. How his life tangles with that of Joo-eun would be interesting to watch.
'Private Lives' airs on JTBC on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9.30 pm KST and can be streamed on Netflix outside South Korea.