Secret Love Affair

Secret Love Affair (2014)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,890 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.

  • Native title:

    밀회
  • Also Known as:

    Milhwe;

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wolfgirl9
41 people found this review helpful
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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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purplenette
36 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 (126)

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    gouletjo Apr 11, 2014

    I'm only at episode 5 but Oh my god! this show is just pure joy for me. This acting is way beyond what we usually see in dramas. I never really felt the love in the "backhug scenes" in asian dramas I've watched so far but this one was the real deal. The music is epic, I hope the producers will release a ost for this drama. Well not a ost but a score...

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    Lindysaducos Apr 11, 2014
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    mstfydgrl08 Apr 11, 2014
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    MaTiN Apr 11, 2014

    i am the only one feeling that this drama is a bit awkward! not in a bad term... by the meaning of just awkward.... everything is a bit weird! its reaaalllyyy different in every aspect compare to other dramas that it make me feel they are not acting the way they should. but in another time i say whats wrong with it?!! i don't know but this drama make me confuse. someone tell me I'm not the only one thinking that.
    although i find it a bit confusing and awkward i am still curious about their growing relationship!
    the confusion is so much that i can't tell anything of this drama.

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    meighy Apr 10, 2014
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      Aya97 Apr 12, 2014
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      VioletSakura Apr 12, 2014
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      meighy Apr 17, 2014
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      LMitsuki Apr 17, 2014
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      meighy Apr 17, 2014
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    Ara Apr 10, 2014

    I was hesitant because of the age gap but the leads have amazing chemistry and the actors are so convincing in their roles! Not too interested in the company politics to be honest but I'm invested in the romance.

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      kit1186 Apr 11, 2014

      Really I don't feel the chemistry at all between the actors.

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      sam30317 Apr 15, 2014

      ME NEITHER!! I had to drop it b/c the side stories are VERY confusing, boring & just out of place

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      kit1186 Apr 16, 2014

      Yeah I'm getting really close to dropping it. This show shouldn't be 20 episodes. It would be better at 16 so I could just finish it in 3 weeks instead of 5.

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      sam30317 Apr 16, 2014

      Lol!! Im watching A Witch's Romance now, also a noona- drama or whatever u call it. Hopefully, it will make a better replacement for this show

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    therg814 Apr 9, 2014

    Does anyone know of some other dramas that get a little down and dirty? I don't mean like a porn, lol, but I get tired of the cutesy hand-holding and 1 or 2 pecks on the lips...too much innocence for adults! I'm open to any and all suggestions! Thanks!

    • Reply
      efflorescenteloquence Apr 10, 2014

      If you want stuff with real kisses try Autumn's Concerto, Queen InHyun's Man, Cruel City, Innocent Man, Missing You, Operation Proposal, My PS Partner, A Moment to Remember. Idk what you're looking for lol but all of these had really good kisses as in they were both active :P But you probably already watched most or all of them >.< I try to go for the Taiwanese because its always more mature, you'll have to dig though because most are so freaking draggy or terribly cliched

    • Reply
      xtinx78 Apr 10, 2014

      You can try the concubine (Movie)

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      Naaada Apr 10, 2014

      You can try also I need romance 1/2/3 !

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      Ellie Apr 12, 2014

      secret love <3

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    gouletjo Apr 9, 2014

    Wow! At first, I was hesitant to watch this show. I thought the synopsis was simple and uninteresting. Oh boy! Was I wrong ?

    Everything about this show screams masterpiece. Stellar performance by the cast. I've seen many many movies, us/euro tv series, asian dramas and I rarely have the feeling I had while watching the second episode. Tears of joy roll down my face. It's true :-)

    I still have chills from the scene where they were playing together in the piano room. They look like they had intercourse. They were even catching their breath afterwards. I watched it twice. It was freakin awesome. And, Kim Hee Ae, wow! she's oozing classiness and elegance. She's mesmerizing! Even the music is exceptional. Great drama so far. I really hope the writers won't make the mistake of botching the end. A guy can hope.

  • Reply
    minhinnie Apr 9, 2014

    I'm so confused about ep 8 ?_____?

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    Rangadeviii Apr 8, 2014

    Just watched episode 8. Still wonderful, but it seems writers are going to make us die from frustration.
    Got fooled by the 'scene' from the end of ep8, if you know what I mean... Hahaha! ^^

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      locurabella Apr 9, 2014
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      xoxo Apr 9, 2014
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      Rangadeviii Apr 9, 2014
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      Peace25 Apr 9, 2014
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    gouletjo Apr 7, 2014

    Wow, I just watched the first episode. It was great. I'll do some binge watching with this show. I'm impressed so far! finally an adult drama I meant an adult romance.

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    ChaCha Apr 7, 2014

    i really dont know why im watching it xD

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    DramaLoverSara Apr 7, 2014

    watched ep 7 raw , times like this when i wished i new korean !:(

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    Ransa Apr 6, 2014

    I have just started this drama .. and I want to take a moment to appreciate the acting here *applause*

  • Reply
    Lindysaducos Apr 5, 2014

    The writers are killing us softly by not giving any previews for the upcoming episodes >_<

Details

  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

    Drama
  • Episodes:

    16
  • Aired:

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

    Monday, Tuesday
  • Network:

    jTBC
  • Duration:

    60 min.

Statistics

  • Score:

    7.6 (scored by 1,890 users)
  • Ranked:

    #1225
  • Popularity:

    #543

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