Secret Love Affair

Secret Love Affair (2014)

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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,965 users
Reviews: 23 users

"Secret Love Affair" tells the story of secret romance between Oh Hye-Won, a woman in her 40's, and Lee Sun-Jae, a man in his 20's. Oh Hye-Won, works as the director of planning for the Seohan Arts Foundation. She is elegant and excels at dealing with other people. Oh Hye-Won becomes involved in a love affair with Lee Sun-Jae. He is genius like pianist in his 20's.

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48 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Jun 18, 2014
  • Overall 9.5
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
Imagine all the negative prejudices possible that one can have against a drama, and then add a little more negative biases; that's exactly how I felt before watching this drama. I hate love affairs, so I thought I could never ever bring myself to watch this. Watching the first episode was a momentary insanity for me, and guess what? I was blown away by the brilliance of this drama!! The majestic combination read more of perfect acting and breathtaking portrayal of their passion, the amazing directing and cinematography, and most of all the phenomenal choice of classical music got me hooked.

I think this drama is severely underrated and in my opinion mainly because of its poor choice of title "Love affair" brings out the notion of betraying romantic emotions of someone and their trust at the deepest level. It's a dirty and unforgivable act. However, this story is about anything but love affair. Granted the female lead is married, but in this scenario, considering her marriage and how the relationship is, I don't think anyone who will watch this would think that this was a love affair, it simply doesn't fit the category!

This is not your average light and bubbly love; it's dark, complex, passionate, bitter-sweet, and even sometimes torturous. It's a battle where we'll cheer as hard as we can for love to win against all odds. It's a story of growth and maturing oneself through experiencing love, a story of how easily one can lose oneself if s/he is chasing the wrong goals, and how they can still go back to true happiness regardless of their past/bad choices. It’s a story to show how love can change one for better or the worse.

Before analyzing the rest of the drama, I just have to say that I LOVED the music in this drama!!!!! They played so many beautiful pieces that were very well integrated within the flow of the story. Also, unlike your average drama, the music actually added meaning and depth to the drama. Most of the pieces were classical music played by the main leads (and let me tell you, I still cannot believe that they are actors not professional pianists!!!) There was one song that was not classical music, and it fitted the drama better than Cinderella's glass shoe fitted her. Anyone who has any appreciation for classical music is going to enjoy this drama enormously. And I'm not overselling it by stating that it's through the music that we can truly understand their passion, their fears and their love.

The pacing is slow, but surprisingly it didn't bother me at all. I loved that I could take my time and savor their every single gaze, touch, and emotion. The slow pace allowed me to synchronize my emotions with them; to not only understand, but also feel how they felt for one another. I guess the only negative point of the drama is the business part of it, but trust me; this one is not as bad as the others out there. It’s not the strongest part of the drama and the writers try not to get very technical with it. But I think it wasn’t that poorly written/executed. In the scale of the drama as a whole, it didn’t bother me at all!

The characters are complex, and it takes time to truly understand them. There were times that I was very annoyed with the main actress because I didn't really understand her. Nevertheless, as the drama progressed, my understanding of the characters deepened and I start too feel their pain, their hope and most of all their passion. It had been a very long time that I had felt such complex emotions with such intensity. It was almost like I was one of them.

Well I can go on and on, but I want to keep this review at a semi-reasonable length to allow ppl to read it. So if you're a fan of classical music, or if you want to go on a very emotional and bittersweet journey of love, fear and loss, I would recommend you to definitely give this a chance.
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40 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
May 15, 2014
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
One thing before I rave about this drama. I don't know why they called it Secret Love Affair when it wasn't a "secret". Maybe the LOVE was a secret, because the other characters were shocked at what Oh Hye Won did at the end.

This drama is excellent. Love unexpectedly blossoms through music. I can so relate to Oh Hye Won. Sometimes a person feels like they are just moving from one read more necessity to the next (even if she was a little greedy) with out really thinking about how you are living your life. Then some one walks into your life and changes everything. The way the director portrays every emotion through music is so wonderfully done. I love that the writer actually assumed we would know what the character was thinking. The music is amazing. I even cried. Crying while watching a drama is rare for me.

Yoo Ah In is combustible. His emotional portrayal of Lee Sun Jae was perfection. I don't know any actress that could have played the roll of Oh Hye Won better than Kim Hee Ae. I really don't know how she gave off a feel of innocence. I felt like she was reliving her youth. Good for her. I was totally invested in the main characters. The rest of the people were good too, but I could have cared less about their characters. I think that is what the writer wanted. There is no second male lead. No one for you to care about except the two lead actors.

The music is phenomenal.

I say watch it. Maybe younger people wouldn't really be in to it. It isn't action packed or anything. It is a real romance.
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Make a Recommendation More recs (11)Recommendations

The basic plotline (affair) is obviously similar. But also the complexity of the relationships. Both are drams that are darker, more intense romances that really challenge views and make them think about love and life.
Recommended by alexa
Secret Love Affair is an amazing show. Definitely on par with Master's Sun. So if you already watched MS 2x and would like a change of flavor. Try Secret Love Affair which also portrays a strong female lead - a very smart mature relationship that will warm your heart and brighten your days.
Recommended by CjRun

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Comments (131)

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    mali Jul 8, 2015

    a drama that is intriguing on so many levels. Those that thought this was boring oh well it was just black and white. This movie had so many layers. I don't even care for classical piano, but I was totally emotional when he played with the orchestra looking for her. Love, music, trust, betrayal, got everything in this.

  • Reply
    Mo-chan May 11, 2015

    I LOVE this kind of movie/drama, where you can feel idk like the poesy of the acting and the purety of the moment they share. I found myself crying over the way they portrayed emotions in some scenes, it was AWESOME.
    I downloaded Billy Joel's Piano man, that scene got me heartbreaking too

  • Reply
    beloved89 Mar 21, 2015 - edited

    Some decent parts...but the ending dropped my rating a lot.

  • Reply
    bLoodYThoughtS Mar 21, 2015 - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    alexk345 Jan 10, 2015 - edited

    Yoo Ah In is a worst actor. Anyone like this acting need to check their head. He just rushes everything because he can't emote much. I hate to see this guy in a drama. can't stand him. he annoys me. Great lead actress and good story

    • Reply
      winterlasting Feb 14, 2015

      you can have an opinion, but you don't need to bash others. Seriously. Don't like don't watch. No one is forcing you. -.-

    • Reply
      Marooya Dec 6, 2015

      I didn't like the drama but I found his acting quite amazing, even though I dropped this drama I'm really very much interested in watching something for this guy. What exactly made you say that he is worst actor? I could think of tons of names who can be labeled as that but not Yoo Ah In.

  • Reply
    alexk345 Jan 10, 2015

    I hate the hero. He annoys me with limited acting. He was same mess in fashion king. Another limited actor get a chance by influence? bad casting director

  • Reply
    anonymous1112 Jan 5, 2015 - edited

    I watched for episode 1 and tried really hard to finished it! It just toooooooo boring! IMHO

    • Reply
      Mo-chan May 11, 2015

      You didn't get the feels ^^

  • Reply
    jumpstar Dec 31, 2014


  • Reply
    Lunacordelia Dec 23, 2014

    Such a beautiful drama!

  • Reply
    iamsarah Dec 6, 2014 - edited

    Amazing story of two unintended lovers that came to be a home for each other while one was an elegant slave. Just finished it and although this was most definitely not perfect it was in it's on way perfect.

  • Reply
    NicEgUy Nov 24, 2014

    I just finished it and it was amazing.I like story and acts specially Yoo Ah In that was awesome.

  • Reply
    bertkhua Nov 18, 2014

    Good drama but i dont like the ending of this drama. witch's romance is better than secret love affair...

  • Reply
    jumpstar Oct 12, 2014

    i think somehow jtbc is special.

  • Reply
    ReyBo Sep 19, 2014

    boring show .

  • Reply
    Chrisstina Aug 29, 2014 - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »


  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    Mar 17, 2014 to May 13, 2014
  • Aired On:

    Monday, Tuesday
  • Network:

  • Duration:

    60 min.


  • Score:

    7.6 (scored by 1,965 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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