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My Secret Romance

Details

  • Drama: My Secret Romance
  • Country: South Korea
  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday
  • Network: OCN
  • Duration: 60 min.
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance
  • Tags: Chaebol, Rich Man/poor Woman
  • Rating: Not Yet Rated

Statistics

  • Score: 7.6 (scored by 5,765 users)
  • Ranked: #1352
  • Popularity: #153
  • Members: 11,713
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manicmuse
39 people found this review helpful
May 31, 2017
Overall 7.0
Story 5.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 4.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
This is the kind of drama you watch strictly to get a your romance fix! If you're not a romcom fan then don't even bother with this one, but If you are a a fan this could be worth watching if you keep your expectations realistic. This one is like a romcom snack. There are enough likable characters, cute moments, and a decent enough story to keep it entertaining, but there isn't really much substance. What really matters is that the 2 leads make a good pair, and that's what kept me watching.

Song Ji Eun is cute as the shy and repressed Yoo Mi, and Sung Hoon is perfect as the "sexy and he knows it" typical spoiled chaebol's son Cha Jin Wook. Of course their paths keep crossing in the expected ways, and their chemistry goes from annoyance to playfulness and then escalating quickly... VERY quickly. I think that's what initially got me hooked. Still, it was obvious pretty early on that there wouldn't be much to this story. As cute as they were as a couple this love story got repetitive pretty quickly, and towards the end was so unrealistic and overly cheesy that I stopped being interested in them at all. Their inner monologues tried so hard to be deep but they seemed really shallow, and the stakes just didn't seem as high as their reactions made them out to be. The more dramatic it got the worst their acting got.

I think the drama did have some entertaining supporting characters. I enjoyed the mom, even if she was a frustrating mess, and Nam Ki Ae is always good at playing a mess of a mother. I liked the second lead, although he didn't have much of a story to work with. My favorite was the Secretary, who's suits made him an instant scene stealer, and his boo in the kitchen staff. The supporting cast helped to make some of the most repetitive moments easier to sit through.

Even though this drama is shorter than most, I still think it was too long. It could have easily been 10 episodes, or maybe even less. I still found myself eager to watch more moments between the two characters, but in the last episodes it was like they just gave up and started to rely on flashbacks! Ugh! The flashback abuse in this drama is pretty epic. Not only does every episode end with recaps that were super literal, extra cheesy, and felt completely unnecessary, but the final episodes almost seemed like music videos strung together with fan compilations of all the cutest scenes. The last 4 episodes are almost unwatchable because it was mostly everything I already saw. They repeated scenes so much that they lost all of their previous charm, including the kiss scenes.

The music is also super cheesy, which matched the show well, but it was driving me a little nutty. There was even a moment where Yoo Mi sings for so long I though it was turning into a musical. So I give the music a 4 for simply not being my taste. Not to mention the damn sound effects. Someone got a little too happy with the sound effects machine!

Would I watch this again? Maybe. I would probably skip the last episodes 10-12, but it's entertaining enough to watch if I need another quick romcom fix. The ending is such a let down, so I'd really have to have run out of other things to watch.

Overall this is a quick romcom you can easily binge watch, but I say keep your finger on the fast forward button for those repetitive flashbacks. If the idea of literally falling into someone's arms sounds too corny, or if a boss using abuse of power to flirt with an employee sounds like a reason to visit HR not a premise for a love story, then maybe you should watch a different kind of drama instead. I really wish they would have put more effort into the story, but for what it was, I was entertained enough to keep watching. For those not scared away by these mediocre reviews I'd say lower your expectations, and enjoy this cheesy romcom snack. (get it... she makes food :( sorry! )

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ShannonKFleming
53 people found this review helpful
May 30, 2017
Overall 4.0
Story 4.0
Acting/Cast 4.5
Music 3.0
Rewatch Value 1.5
This started out cute and fluffy, but the last few episodes were miserably drawn out.
EP 10-12 were painfully slow, they could have been cut and pasted into 1.5 episodes.
13 was ehhhh.... This isn't a masterpiece, the writing is loosely constructed and poorly executed. The story has little depth or substance to hold it together for 13 hours. I can't connect with the female lead's choices (especially in the later half) or her pitiful deer lost in headlights expression...I was hoping it would be a drama somewhat like 1% of Something since the director is the same, but it doesn't even come close in comparison. I Liked Ep. 1-9 but Ep. 10-13.5 are a hard sell.

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kingsqueen
6 people found this review helpful
May 30, 2017
Overall 5.5
Story 5.5
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 2.0
I was looking forward to this drama quite a bit - I love a good rom-com, and I like Sung Hoon and wanted to support his drama. I initially dropped this after the first episode, and against my better judgment decided to keep watching. The first episode looked cheap and sloppy. The dialogue was cheesy, also. It was just bad.

The middle episodes were a bit better, but this was no great drama. It was still pretty cheesy, and the epilogues at the end of each episode were strange. They didn't add anything to the story at all. They were just basically little recaps. Episodes 11 and 12 could have been cut out almost completely. Episode 11 was basically all flashbacks and had zero plot movement. Episode 12 was a lot of the same. I'm not sure why they needed to stretch it out so far. Ten episodes could have wrapped this story up well. As for the romance, they didn't totally sell it to me as the characters were pretty shallowly developed. The two had a one night stand and didn't see each other again for three years, but yet he can't forget about her? She was a pretty weak lead honestly, and there wasn't anything so special about her that I bought that he was pining after her for three years. And the chemistry between the leads was only so-so.

The music was ok, also nothing special.

I wouldn't recommend this unless you were really hard up for rom-com. I fully admit that I only gave this show a second chance because I have a soft spot for Sung Hoon after his roles in Oh My Venus and Five Children. I was really hoping that he would have a great lead role in a rom-com, but this wasn't it. I feel bad for the actors of this. I think they could have done better if they had a better story and better production.

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Citrusses
3 people found this review helpful
Jun 4, 2017
Overall 2.5
Story 2.0
Acting/Cast 3.0
Music 3.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
Wow, I don't know where to start.
The story has so many plot holes and very little of characters developing. Writer seems like didn't even try to make it into a good drama. Seems like it was written by a teenage girl that had just hit puberty.
Cast was okay I guess, they didn't shine very much but they did their best. It's very hard to act something written so badly, applause to actors as it gives me hope to see them in a better written drama.
Music was alright, but there were moments when music emotion didn't fit with character emotions and seemed out of tune.
Rewatch value: I'd never waste my time on a drama like this again. First maybe 3 episodes gave hope that it could be good, but it went so much down hill that I'd not recommend anyone to watch it past that.
Overall 2.5. Hopefully writer and director wakes up and in new project have less plot holes and more of characters development.

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RaquelLeite
3 people found this review helpful
Jun 1, 2017
Overall 4.0
Story 4.0
Acting/Cast 3.5
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 1.0
I was excited about this drama, and even enjoyed the first few episodes although I expected more. Well telling the truth, I expected much more from the drama itself.

The story was simple and in general it was beautiful, but ... I felt they tried to get the melodrama by force and it did not go well. The characters themselves were not the best either, so I did not find the novel very plausible, especially her.
For me, the best characters were undoubtedly the secretary and the kitchen girl, I found a lot of joke to both of them.

There were times when I felt sorry for the child because no one but her friend cared for him, and all the misunderstandings she indirectly created were excused and I honestly did not understand what the girl's problem was about the kid.
I feel this would be a gret mini drama or a two episodes drama.

The music was good.

I do not advise to see and I will not see this again.

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Charming92
5 people found this review helpful
May 30, 2017
Overall 8.5
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 6.5
My secret romance is like those old mansions you see deep within cities in Europe that date back to the medieval times etc. Sure there are people who love these things, but I belong to those who are all for demolishing these old villas in favour of new exotic buildings. That being said, sometimes you enter these mansions and you are so shocked and surprised by the unique wonderfulness of the interior design that you end up questioning your personal beliefs (personal experience!).

I am happy to admit that my secret romance is exactly like that. Starting it I had no expectations and I had braced myself for the impending, inevitable hard-drop! Even though, I can easily name this the cliché-est kdrama I’ve ever watched; the cheesiest, corniest, fluffiest shit I’ve ever put myself through, yet against all odds, I deeply loved it and honestly I stand here in awe of it. As a rom-com hater, how is that even possible? Well, looking back, I can name a few things.

Secret Romance, despite its heavy cliché-ridden self, had this exclusive, borderline inexplicable dosage of fresh air in it. Kinda contradicting isn’t it? Well, that is the main reason it was so good!

Starting off, the drama is characterized by its archetype characters. Cute female lead in need, shy, naive, with sad mommy issues in her backstory striving to survive and make a living y’know, usual stuff; paired with the uber classic chaebol hawt arrogant womanizer. Been there, done that. What secret romance did differently, ultimately breaking the mould of rom-coms in the best way possible is the realistic and natural expression of young adult sexuality. HELL TO THE YES PEOPLE! No more over-romantic, fake and unrealistic holding hands as the expression of ultimate love. It was ‘bout time drama gods!

More specifically, sexual jokes, innuendos and gestures, taboo job occupations, actual kissing, underwear clothing products and finally the acquittal of sex as a despicable act in kdramaland! There is nothing wrong with expressing sexuality people and it was about time we saw that in kdramas.

In all honesty, I have never witnessed a better romance development in a kdrama. The flirting felt real, the chemistry was exquisite and I enjoyed every moment they had building up their relationship. Nothing about it was really new, but it was the way that it happened that not only felt right but left extremely close to me as a person. The archetype characters strayed only a little bit away from their lanes just to make the drama that much more addicting.

Moreover, nothing about the romance was idealized here (finally); but rather, it was so fucked up that it ended up being relatable – expressing how we can hurt but also heal through an unexpected relationship, how easy it is to misunderstand and how easy it is to misinterpret. So relatable it felt too real! All in all, the best part of the drama for me, besides the lovely chemistry, was the natural expression of sexuality in its complete spectrum, while always keeping it real, cute and never filthy or awkward. I salute the writers for taking a chance here and actually making it work.

Having said all that, I cannot argue that secret romance was perfect. Critically assessing the drama, I have to admit that there were no substantial side characters or stories, most of them misused and underdeveloped. Simultaneously, while there was some basic effort to make the characters feel real giving them stories of their own to grow on, these backstories were barely ever elaborated on and were resolved abruptly at the end out of the blue.

I can safely say, the drama is not perfect and the more you think about it the more problems could be found. This is a drama to just smile and spend 13 fun hours doing nothing but letting your heart flutter. However, the fact that the drama did romance so well and touched upon -otherwise normal- stuff that are for some reason unheard of in kdramaland easily make me give this a well-deserved 8.5 just for that.

As far as the acting is concerned, no awards will be given here, but I don’t think anything was problematic.

I should mention at this point that Song Jieun is my 2nd ultimate bias in kpop (and my list is big, so I do love her) so I might be lenient and biased when I say that I absolutely loved her as Yoomi, she felt thoroughly real and behaved very accordingly to her role. She definitely had this role down and was a perfect match. Since her last project that I couldn’t help but drop, she was overwhelmingly improved and I can’t wait for her next drama.

I will not stay and talk about trite things like how unrealistically handsome Sung Hoon is, like everybody with a pair of eyes can see that. I will talk about how good he is, considering he’s a former athlete though. I am not entirely sure how flexible he is as an actor, and for a moment there I did believe that he won’t be able to act in any role other than the arrogant womanizer chaebol, but let’s not be quick to judge. I’d love to see him again, preferably in a different role next time.

Concluding, my secret romance is like a good pasta dish in a lovely restaurant. You know what it is, you’ve had it a thousand times but each time it is as good; and to top all that off, this plate of pasta has a very unique ingredient inside it to spice things up and leave a unique experience. Therefore, I would wholeheartedly recommend this drama to every rom com lover and honestly pretty much everyone who is looking for an easy watch.

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PHope
2 people found this review helpful
Jun 1, 2017
Overall 4.0
Story 4.0
Acting/Cast 6.0
Music 2.0
Rewatch Value 3.0
This drama started okay, though you do not expect those scenes in a k
drama (not that I minded, but it was a surprise). The story is okay,
kind of interesting, especially when it came to the little boy's real
family (the boy was adorable by the way!!). But then, from episode 10
till the end (thank the production that made it only 13 episodes long,
there would have been zero point in dragging the plot for another 3
episodes), the episodes were a few new scenes and everything a repeated
parade of flash backs, from everyone's point of view. That was my main
problem with this drama. Actually, the performances weren't bad, and
the love triangle had it's moments. So, 4 out of 10.

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Soap
2 people found this review helpful
May 31, 2017
Overall 6.5
Story 6.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 2.0
Me being a hopelessly romantic who loves cheesy romance dramas absolutely liked the first episodes and the story development. The development in the first few episodes was great imo and i really loved the chemistry both actors had. But around the last episodes ( let's say around episode 10 ) it became just unnecessary messy between the two main characters, which - as many already wrote - could have been sum up in about one episode, not 3. I also have to admit that the ending wasn't anything special as I wished for. In my opinion it could've been designed better :/

Anyways, I loved the first episodes and I loved the actors, OST was quite okay ( a few nice songs here and there ) but I don't think I would rewatch it due to the last episodes being somewhat dragging.

I would recommend watching this if you're totally into cheesy romance as well and might be willing to stick with the last few episodes even though they might be boring

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Elle
2 people found this review helpful
May 30, 2017
Overall 6.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 6.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
My Secret Romance has a fresh setup and premise since the drama starts with a one night stand, but overall this drama is pretty cheesy and cliche. This dramas love for pretty standard Kdrama tropes is probably why is keeps on sneaking into viewers "guilty pleasures" lists. There isn't anything very original about this drama, but man, does it make me super nostalgic for the classic Kdramas of the early 2000s. I feel like this is one last hoorah for the tsundere male lead ... even at its best ... there are some really cringe-worthy moments. This drama has a fairly low production value. From the sound effects, the audio mix, the shooting angles, they all leave something to be desired.

Yes, this drama was pretty painful to watch at times, but I did shamelessly enjoy it in parts hee hee! I probably wouldn't reccomend this drama ...

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SusieQ
26 people found this review helpful
Apr 24, 2017
Overall 9.5
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 8.0
This is one of the dramas I would like to binge watch just because 2 episodes per week ain't enough. It's a very typical kdrama romance, but very light on the angst so it's very enjoyable to watch. I never expected much from the leads. I've only seen SungHoon in Noble, my love and I'm not impressed with the acting there but he is a surprise in MSR, he improved alot in the acting department and I especially liked the way his eyes expressed how he feels during the last part of the ep 1, the one night stand. I felt that the acting on both leads made the scene passionate but less racy. The story so far is fast moving, no unnecesaary scenes (the beauty of 12 episodes).
I recemmend this to those looking for a romcom with great kissing scenes.

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hardpliers
3 people found this review helpful
May 30, 2017
Overall 7.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
I was really looking forward to this drama. I mean, REALLY REALLY looking forward to it. The trailers and teasers were so intense and made the series stand out among the rest of the 2017 dramas.
Even now, I feel wronged by my own decision to rate this drama quite high up there. I was actually quite disappointed that it didn't meet my high expectations. The story is predictable, not very unique but simply enjoyable enough for me. What I really disliked was the filming style. Now, I know what a low budget drama looks like. However, I mainly wanted to see Sung Hoon oppa's acting once again since I feel like he was born to play a prince charming/rich guy in a bubbly and cheesy romance drama.

To simply describe what this drama is like, I'd say it's "almost every romance Asian drama cliche jumbled up into a draggy but cute 13 episode cycle". Would I re-watch it? Probably not. Would I recommend it? Yes, if you are single and ready to watch a romantic story that you probably want to take part in someday.

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Divy
18 people found this review helpful
Apr 30, 2017
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 10
It is funny and there is not a moment of boredom. Every episode had made me laugh. The actors have good chemistry. So, if you want to watch a funny, romantic and a cool drama - with lots of kisses- this one is for you. But, I think episode 12 is kind of a filler episode and they should have combined 12 and 13. But, anyway loved it.
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