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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  • Reply
    Sanashi May 18, 2014 - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    KamZ May 17, 2014

    One word...IMPECCABLE! <3

  • Reply
    MinaVIP May 16, 2014

    It started of really good but got a bit dragged out and boring in the middle in my opinion :s it had a good ending though but it's sad that I couldn't give it a 10/10 in the end because the chemistry was amazing. Oww well, it was a nice watch anyway.

  • Reply
    zukuu May 15, 2014

    This drama was like an intricate Ballet. Every emotion SJ felt was compounded by every piece he played. And HW gracefully fell into each piece with every emotion and decision she made. The power play just added to the emotional pull of this drama. Loved it, loved it, loved it.

  • Reply
    ochan07 May 15, 2014

    It was one of the best Kdramas I've seen so far. Great characters, great acting, great writing, it is a really well done drama.

  • Reply
    SpicedSugah May 15, 2014

    This drama was the highest rated drama on the JTBC cable network.

  • Reply
    HAVA-RAVA May 15, 2014

    Wow this was really good ! It started a bit slowly but I was glued to the drama so that I skipped school today because I wasn't able to sleep thanks to watching this drama whole night and day. Really good ~

  • Reply
    Viande May 15, 2014 - edited

    Beautiful and mature drama. I loved how they showed us so many casual but meaningful conversations and events. Characters were realistic and interesting. This didn't feel like K-drama at all but more like a film.

  • Reply
    lexies May 15, 2014

    Finally we have a female lead who is smart and capable and not clumsy, ditzy or unrealistically selfless. Very strong character until the end.

  • Reply
    sunflower63 May 15, 2014 - edited

    I was quite disappointed with this drama as it had started out really well with a nice setting of classical music piano players. I was expecting something as exciting as Nodame Cantabile (mostly music wise). However I found the story really to be boring most of the time and I wasn't at all involved in the love affair either which was a little too cold and detached for my liking. The remainder of the plot was also unsettling with the horrible rich and patronizing family in the background. The filming was done mostly in dark settings with many quiet moments and this enhanced the slow pace of the story. My rating is 6 only because I enjoyed the great piano classical music even though I was yawning for most of the time so it could have been lower than this. What a waste of a plot which could have been developed much better.

  • Reply
    KimiChan May 15, 2014

    the ending is sooooo good,,,, love yoo ah in's acting

  • Reply
    SpicedSugah May 14, 2014 - edited

    Loved the drama. I'm ready for part 2. It would be great if he became a world class pianist and she got out of her situation without anyone knowing. Then she shows up at his concert and he sees her in the audience when he takes a bow after playing.

    So, I hope there's a part 2 coming.

  • Reply
    xoxo May 14, 2014 - edited

    Great ending imo. to get over this drama now

  • Reply
    Ladybritaky May 14, 2014 - edited

    By the way, could someone tell me in wich episode they listen to Piano Man, for some reasons I missed this scene and I would like to rewatch this episode.

  • Reply
    catzfin3st May 13, 2014 - edited

    The ending to this drama wasn't as disappointing I thought it would to be. Overall this drama was really good.

    • Reply
      Ladybritaky May 14, 2014
      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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