Secret Love Affair

Secret Love Affair (2014)

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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,924 users
Reviews: 22 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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44 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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39 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 (129)

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  • Reply
    Mahnoosh Jul 24, 2014

    i didnt like it ,, i watched 2 episodes ,, and i just dropped it !

  • Reply
    MonikaB Jul 21, 2014

    WONDERFUL DRAMA...very glad I watched it! Great writing, great acting (there was incredible chemistry between the leads) & great music. Slow? Not to me.

  • Reply
    sakuraKhey Jul 17, 2014

    Right now is summer and as a happen to live in a tropical island it's really hot. So so hot you sweat just from thinking. And yet I sit to watch this drama and cannot help but wonder why are they sweating ALL the time and still have their coats. If it's not sweat why their faces are so oily!?!?!

  • Reply
    KarolK Jun 20, 2014

    i was fast forwarding all the time watching this show.. there were some scenes that are nice. everything is so real which is good, but overall incredibly boring...

  • Reply
    witlily Jun 14, 2014

    This drama have mature love story and chemistry lead actress is awesome.

  • Reply
    faroohaa Jun 11, 2014 - edited

    does it have a sad ending???

  • Reply
    bojinator Jun 7, 2014 - edited

    anybody know any other series tht have passionate luv like this series?

    • Reply
      abracadabra Jun 12, 2014

      Try Que Sera Sera, it's a great drama - passionate and intense with many different feelings... Queen In Hyun's Man also is excellent, though its genre is different... And Secret Love isn't bad either...

    • Reply
      bojinator Jun 12, 2014

      thnks! ( ` w `)//

  • Reply
    meganjoy12 Jun 5, 2014 - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    SpicedSugah Jun 1, 2014

    Congratulations for winning Best Director and Best Writer on The Beaksang Arts Awards! Secret Love Affair is a great piece of art.

  • Reply
    KdramaQueen89 May 28, 2014 - edited

    i really want to watch this but scared of a sad ending. please tell me if its happy??

  • Reply
    rationalbeings May 27, 2014 - edited

    It took me some time to collect my thoughts on this drama. At times it feels like it's been directed/written by two different people. The romance was breath taking, with chemistry that explodes on screen when the main characters have barely touched. The acting was convincing and you could feel the struggle the main lead goes through. It is one of the few older woman/young man dramas where the male lead isn't all manly, yet is naive and vulnerable.
    That set against an almost painful to watch background of office politics and corruption really makes one feel robbed of what could have been. The business aspect of this drama was confusing, badly executed and extremely exaggerated. You can't help but wish they had focused more on the couple rather than waste time on dramatic business deals that didn't make sense.
    In terms of music I have to say though that the piano pieces didn't move me at all. I was enthralled when I watched Nodame and expected the same here, but found myself skipping the piano scenes. I don't know what it was but it didn't touch me like Nodame did.

    • Reply
      Sterl-z May 27, 2014
      Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    rainecat May 27, 2014 - edited

    I wouldn't be surprised if YAI won best actor for this. But don't quote me on that since I don't catch that many dramas. ha I'm just saying...
    Whether you like the couple or not, there was more emotion in a single scene of this than the entire series of your popular romcom of the year.

    As for the other part of the drama, honestly, it was a real task getting through the politics. But maybe it's me.

  • Reply
    abracadabra May 24, 2014 - edited

    This incredible drama affected my heart so deeply.... Despite the slow pace, it was so intense and emotional. Clash of power, greed and pure love - it sounds like a cliche, but not this time. Through fascinating multilayer story main actors gave us brilliant performances. Drama bonus - excellent music. Perfection...

  • Reply
    tiitek May 19, 2014 - edited

    Loved main couple- I think it\s been a while since I've seen acting that moving and beautiful. This drama when it comes to acting skills is at the same level at Winter the wind blows or even better... Never was a fan of Yoo Ah In but in SLA I fell in love. How he created the character is unbelievable, he moved me each time. I cannot find words to describe how wonderful it is that SLA gave him a chance to shine! Finally! Cannot left a comment without mentioning Kim Hee Ae - she’s a great actress a true lady that conquered everything and everyone. Her mixed emotion her struggle OMG – I am so in love! Gtreat great drama! Never watched a series that shows that love can be that strong that unbearable. Watch it!

    • Reply
      SpicedSugah May 21, 2014 - edited

      I completely agree about the acting. This drama did not show the affair as cheap and dirty, but instead it showed how loving some affairs are and why some people have them. I don't know too many women who would not be tempted by a strong and loving LSJ.

  • Reply
    Sanashi May 18, 2014 - edited
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  • 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 1,924 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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