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
    kit1186 May 10, 2014 - edited

    Is next week really going to be the last week because I can't take it anymore

    • Reply
      feih94 May 11, 2014

      me too XD i'm just watching it to know how it ends...

  • Reply
    Sara May 10, 2014

    Yoo Ah In is SUCH an amazing actor. he totally is in the character and puts so much emotion in every scene. I'm blown ! *____*

  • Reply
    SpicedSugah May 8, 2014 - edited

    LSJ's version of Mozart's concerto (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) was filled with so much passion, anguish, frustration, sadness and wonder she reacted that way.
    That was a great scene.

    • Reply
      prettytin May 9, 2014

      true! he put all his emotions there

    • Reply
      lily_b May 12, 2014

      Yes, it was incredible. That's the way to send a message with music! Wow.

  • Reply
    GirlOfTheEast May 8, 2014

    I found the first eps reeeeeeally good but the last weeks it's going down and down... :(

  • Reply
    sanadonghae May 6, 2014 - edited

    I hate this drama

    • Reply
      kit1186 May 10, 2014

      Why do you hate it? I hate it because it's boring

    • Reply
      xoxo May 11, 2014

      No one's forcing you to watch it.

    • Reply
      kit1186 May 11, 2014

      yeah but if it's coming to an end may as well finish it

  • Reply
    kit1186 May 6, 2014

    I'm confused is this show going to be 16 or 20 because on other websites it says this show is going to be 20. I would rather have 16 since I can't take watching this drama anymore.

  • Reply
    _Pien_ May 6, 2014 - edited

    I love this drama. The combination of the story, the acting and the music makes it something totally new for me. I really appreciate the script writers who don't feel the need to spell everything out for the viewers but instead depend on the ability of the viewer to read between the lines. It's really refreshing. Also major props to the actors and the music.

  • Reply
    zukuu May 5, 2014

    I just marathoned the past 12 Eps and my heart is in my throat. I kept wavering about whether to start it and omg I'm so glad I did. Each Ep is like a short film. <3

  • Reply
    Mo-chan May 5, 2014 - edited

    I'm waiting for it to finish so hard that i'm afraid it won't be as good as i expect it to be :/

    I'm such a noona romance lover so i also hope i won't be deceived on that part :D


  • Reply
    lily_b May 3, 2014 - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      _Pien_ May 6, 2014
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      lily_b May 6, 2014
      Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    trueturquoise May 2, 2014

    Hmmm.....I have no idea whatsoever how this is going to play out. I am really enjoying the drama so far, though! Just two more weeks!!!

  • Reply
    nytwp May 1, 2014 - edited

    Hnnnnggggh, if they don't mess up the ending now, this is so going in my Top 5. And wow, the car scene at the end of episode 11, just wow. It was really long, but there wasn't even a cut and when she started to cry, my heart really hurt. The acting in this drama really is something else.

    • Reply
      sternchen May 2, 2014 - edited

      My thoughts exactly. I am glad this only has 4 more episodes :) Not because I don't like it but because, it is immensely intense with all these long emotional shots. I'll keep my fingers crossed for an end that is worthy of this fantasic show!

  • Reply
    KdramaQueen89 May 1, 2014

    If this has a happy ending I'll watch it. I'll have to wait 2 more weeks to find out!

  • Reply
    Chocobana Apr 30, 2014 - edited

    Any predictions as to how this drama may end??? Waiting to hear you guys~ :D

    • Reply
      nytwp May 1, 2014

      This is the first time I feel like an open ending would be best. I find their love to be so beautiful, it would tear me apart, if it ended badly for them.

    • Reply
      Chocobana May 1, 2014

      Hmm, yeah, I think a lot of people would be okay with an open ending because it would be a little difficult to try to satisfy one of the two extremes (the affair works out, the affair doesn't).


  • Reply
    svnplstw Apr 30, 2014

    his crying at the end of episode 12 just about killed me.

    • Reply
      Chocobana Apr 30, 2014
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      mssarahlm Apr 30, 2014

      agree to that T_T


  • 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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