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My Secret Romance - TV - Review

My Secret Romance - Poster

My Secret Romance

Native and/or alternative titles: 애타는 로맨스; Aetaneun Romaenseu; Frustrating Romance; You Drive Me Crazy
Year: 2017
Countries: South Korea
Languages: Korean
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama
Director: Kang Cheol Woo
Writer: Kim Ha Na
Cast: Song Ji Eun, Sung Hoon, Kim Jae Young, Jung Da Sol, Lee Hae In, Baek Seung Heon, Kim Jong Goo, Im Do Yeon, Lee Kan Hee, Nam Ki Ae, Park Shin Woon

Synopsis: Cha Jin Wook is a son from a wealthy family who runs a large company. He usually only pursues short-term love, but when he meets Lee Yoo Mi, who has never had a boyfriend before, he changes. In a dating world full of busy people who tend to flirt and chase “some” relationships rather than having meaningful connections that allow them to show their true feelings, this couple has a one-night stand. They meet again three years later, whereupon they kick off a shaky push-pull romance that’ll keep them on their toes as they fall in love.


Reasons for starting this drama:
  1. Sung Hoon
  2. Just 13 episodes
  3. Sung Hoon
So this is the story of how I started this drama and believe me, I started expecting My Secret Romance expecting a lot of cheesy romance but the clichés here went beyond  my expectation! Let me do a check-list about it:
  • Hot rich male chaebol ✓
  • Poor but happy-go-lucky girl ✓
  • Rich male chaebol is a playboy ✓
  • Poor girl has never been in a relationship ✓
  • Rich guy falls for poor girl and changes ✓
  • One night stand ✓
  • Fall in love because of one night stand ✓
  • Complicated family relations ✓
  • One sided love ✓
  • Male best friend friend-zoned by girl ✓
  • Chaebol’s dad sabotaging relationship with poor girl ✓
My list can go on and on and on and on and on and on…….. (you know what I mean!!!!).

One Night Stand - My Secret Romance

So why did I watch this drama in its entirety? Well...despite the clichés it was cute and fun. This does not mean that it was incredible and a must watch. I can’t say that but to simply while some time away, this drama isn't too bad.

The first 10 episodes were actually quite good. Funny, cute, romantic, exciting, interesting. But then I don’t know what curse has been cast on the Korean drama industry, even if the entire drama is going perfect and Ho! So wonderful...the ending is bound to have problems. Mind you! I find very very very few dramas who have escaped this curse! Basically, to put it simply, the last 3 episode were a complete disaster and I so wish I had not seen it. It really made me question whether the first 10 episodes were simply a figment of my over-active imagination.

But, despite it all. This drama is quite nice for a one time view (especially if you love cheesy romantic comedies). Both the leads, Cha Jin Wook (played by Sung Hoon) and Lee Yoo Mi (T’ara’s Song Ji Eun) have great chemistry and the supporting actors had their own charm. I especially loved the Lee Yoo Mi’s mother Jo Mi Hee (played by Name Ki Ae). She was so eccentric and full of life and could seem immature and childish but actually was quite wise. In the drama she used to be an erotic actress and she never hid the fact and proudly told everyone about it. I think she took a lot of guts and showed how brave and mature she was to live life on her own terms and not be bothered by what society or others think about her.

Even the kitchen staff at Daebook Group was a thrill to watch. They made a lot of dull moments fun and full of comedic energy. Another person whose role was so important in making this drama enjoyable was the Secretary Jang Woo Jin (Played by Park Shin Woon). His quirky personality paired with his unique dressing sense really made me love his character. I especially loved the way he would give instructions by mimicking and quoting the exact words. It was like he was mocking but at the same time you couldn't be sure. He was really a jewel in the drama.

Adorable Leads - My Secret Romance

The story is basically about Cha Jin Wook who is a chaebol but super immature. He lives of his dad’s money and does what he likes. He is very sexy and has a ‘I'm sexy and I know it’ attitude (this song immediately came to my mind when I saw him at first!! Ha ha!) On the other hand Lee Yoo Mi is a hardworking girl who loves reading erotic literature. She is kind and bright but has never dated anyone before. She is also shy and very unlucky. Almost everything that she tries to do becomes ruined yet she always tries to carry a positive attitude.

Basically one fine day, by fate, both our leads cross paths in a resort and end up spending the day with each other. By the time night falls, they are a little tipsy on a bottle of fine and end up giving into their passion which results in a one night stand. Lee Yoo Mi escapes in the morning without saying a word and that was it. Cha Jin Wook stops being a playboy, stops goofing around and gets serious about life and his family business.

Cha Jin Wook catching Lee Yoo Mi just as she is about to fall - My Secret Romance
Cha Jin Wook catching Lee Yoo Mi
just as she is about to fall
Then it is 3 years later when, again by twist of fate, Lee Yo Mi ends up working in the same place where Cha Jin Wook is the head – Daebook Group. At first she pretends to not know him but with Cha Jin Wook’s constant meddling she can no longer pretend to not remember that fateful night 3 years ago. So, slowly and because of Cha Jin Wook’s manipulations they eventually start dating. But, when his father finds out he makes a big deal out of it and tries to stop them and stop them he does till eventually they get back together (through a long and arduous process).

So, this is the gist of the story. Pretty cliché, right? But there are few elements (like the ones I mentioned above) that make it a nice, cute and fluffy romantic comedy drama. Plus it just being 13 episodes helps~ (I mean when I saw Suspicious Partner has 40 eps… I had an heart attack but then I found out each episode is just 30 minutes so it is basically the same as any other drama)

The cinematography didn't really stand out to me. It was your average drama stuff. Nothing more to add here except that at the end of every episode they would show certain scenes from that episode with a few extra scenes or background commentary. This was quite entertaining and fun. In fact I didn't realize this happened till the 4th episode because the moment the OST would start at the end I would close the video. So, don’t you guys forget to watch it! Ooh! Also at the beginning of every episode they show a few scenes in comic form. I really loved this too… Well, well, well! I did have things to add after all!

The acting of the main actors as well as supporting was pretty good in my eyes. In fact, I saw Song Ji Eun’s acting for the first time here and I gotta admit that she is pretty good at acting (at least in this drama). Though I did find her character annoying at times due to the constant whining and running away that Lee Yoo Mi did.

But, the drama was definitely good in one point – when they showed the romance of the supporting actors. It wasn’t too much or too less, more like filler scenes but they were really well done and I loved watching them. Especially the secretary and the cook’s quirky romance.

The music was quite nice as well. It was light and sweet so matched the concept of the drama quite well. I really enjoyed it. There is even a scene where Song Ji Eun a.k.a. Lee Yoo Mi sings at the karaoke which was lovely too albeit a bit long. In fact, in one of the scenes Cha Jin Wook even comments upon Lee Yoo Mi’s lack of singing skills (which got me snorting with laughter).

Overall, I would say it is a decent drama. I cannot get myself to explicitly recommend this to anyone because it thoroughly depends on your tastes. If you can digest romances then you should get a restraining order for this drama but even you enjoy all those teenager fantasies of fairy-tale romances with the damsel-in-distress and knights in shiny armor cheesy love stories and dive straight into this drama. Even though the end is disappointing the first 10 episodes are definitely worth it.

  • Cute rom-com 
  • acting 
  • Lovely supporting characters
  • Too cheesy, too clichéd
  • Ending is not at all satisfactory
Recommended to:
  • Rom-com lovers
Not recommended to:
  • Those who flee from romance
  • Story: 6
  • Acting/cast: 9
  • Music/Sound: 7
  • Overall: 6
Have you seen this TV show? If yes, what do you think about this show? Comment below! If not, does it sound interesting to you?

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