The series revolves around the narcissistic Lee Young Joon, the vice president of a company run by his family. He is very self-absorbed and thinks highly of himself, so much that he barely acknowledges the people around him. Lee Young Joon has a capable and patient secretary in Kim Mi So who has remained by his side and worked diligently for 9 years without any romantic involvement. However, Mi So now want to set her life & focus on herself so when she decides to resign from her job, hilarious misunderstandings ensue. After 9 years of their strictly-workplace relationship, can it now develop in something more?
(Source: AJ at MyDramaList)
~~ Adapted from the webtoon "Kimbiseoga Wae Geureolgga" by Jung Kyung Yoon.
Cast & Credits
As soon as the drama finished, I saw a lot of reviews here that criticized how cringy, forced, and cliche the romance story was, and how shallow the characters were. I don't necessarily disagree with that, but that doesn't take away from how enjoyable and funny the cringy, forced, and cliche romance story was. The characters were shallow, but they were still funny and likable in many aspects. The point of the show isn't to come off as masterfully written story that leaves the audience in awe at every turn, but rather just to be an easy lighthearted drama for romance-comedy lovers to enjoy during their free time.
On the other hand, I've also seen people rate the story a 10/10, and calling Secretary Kim one of the best romance-comedy dramas of all time, which I'm going to have to disagree with. The reason being that there have been other romance-comedies such as Coffee Prince and Secret Garden that simply had a better story line, had more relatable characters as well as character development, and overall were a lot more memorable and enjoyable than Secretary Kim.
The overused story in Korean drama fantasy land of rich chaebol company owner male falling in love with the innocent female who is not-so-rich and is working hard to pay her [family's] debts and bills. Ha, the classic. Nothing much to analyze but it's yer old same old same old happily-ever-after romance-comedy story in Korean lala land. Although, if there is one thing to touch on, I personally did not like the dark childhood past of Lee Yeong Joon and Kim Mi So. It was even more forced than the romance in the show, and it didn't add anything to the show as a whole. In fact, I would go as far as to say that took away from the show because it tried to be something the show wasn't (a touching, dark show) and failed miserably at it. Somebody feel free to tell me exactly what the point of that past was besides to force down the audience's throats that our two protagonists were destined to be together because they had a bizarre past experience with one another as children. Moreover, because of this useless past childhood story, I feel like the drama killed the "supposed to be second lead" character in Yeong-Joon's brother, Lee Sung Yeon. That character was annoying for most of the story, and the show tried to make us pity him towards the end, but I just couldn't see the point of his character at all. What a complete waste of Lee Tae Hwan's character. I couldn't tell if he was supposed to be an antagonist character, but he ended up just being an annoying nobody .
I see people talking about how draggy the story was, but I actually felt the story was fast-paced in comparison to other korean romance comedies I've seen. I mean seriously sometimes kdramas take numerous episodes for the main character to realize he is in love with the girl, and then another few episodes to finally tell/show the girl he likes her, and then another few episodes until they're finally in a relationship. At the very least in Secretary Kim, that draggy "I think I like you" part is completely skipped and they jump right into the meat of the romance rather than the annoying "be a dick to the girl until she realizes somehow through a fateful incident I was always there for her." Now that I think of it, I guess Lee Yeong Joon did kind of do this... But no matter, the romance didn't feel as draggy to me as other romance-comedy dramas which I appreciated.
The acting was definitely the highlight of this show, and I'm not sure I would have enjoyed the drama without Park Seo Joon and Park Min Young, along with all the side character actors such as Kang Ki Young, Hwang Bo Ra, Pyo Ye Jin, Kang Hong Suk, and literally everyone. A big thank you to all the actors in this drama for making the show what it was. They weren't charismatic or anything crazy impressive, but they sure as heck did their job in livening the cringy and cliche as heck roles.
Also, I just want to mention how amazing Park Min Young pulled off the clothing she wore in this drama. I heard she started a fashion trend in South Korea with her secretary clothing.
Music wasn't anything really impressive, and there wasn't a real soundtrack that really caught my eye, but there were a lot of okay songs so I'll just give it a 7/10.
I usually don't re-watch dramas because I don't feel the same kind of enjoyment or excitement when I already know everything that's going to happen or be said. The only dramas I re-watch are the ones with scenes/lines that really help me move forward in life when I'm feeling sad or tired. I feel like the re-watch value for Secretary Kim would be rather low, considering it's all about the heart-fluttering scenes and the childish forced comedy that after watching the drama once, you would know exactly what would happen and it's no longer as heart-fluttering or funny as the first time through when you watched it without expecting it.
Overall, I gave the show an 8 because it was highly enjoyable and I found myself smiling and having a good time which really is the point of spending hours of our lives watching dramas right? If a show is enjoyable, it has done its job. I would recommend this drama only for those who enjoy lighthearted romance-comedies and aren't picky with how "well-written" the story and characters have to be. Anyone looking for anything serious, tragic, or thought-provoking, this is not the drama to watch. Even if you want a romance drama that has a dark-side and will have you crying and dying to know what happens next, this drama is not the one to watch. This drama was purely for cute comedy relief and complete nonsense romance.
This is just my opinion on this popular show. Everyone will have differing opinions on dramas, nobody's ratings are right or wrong; all ratings are subjective. Just enjoy yourself and try not to hate too hard on other people's favorite shows~
Story [8/10] The story isn't exactly anything new or mind-blowing. Why does it deserve a 8 for the story then? The thing this drama does well is it does its comedy and romance very well. The story is your typical rom-com in the sense that you know how it's going to end. You start out with two people who meet. They fall in love. We see some angst in their relationship and bam they end up happily every after at the end. This drama is not too bad in the fact that the middle of the story is not to predictable even though the ending is easy to predict.
My main complaint from this drama isn't really the plot. As you can still have great k-dramas without complex plots. The thing that bothers me is the fact the characters are one dimensional (in addition to the simple plot). You can literally describe a lot of the characters in the drama in one word. I.e. You have a character who is the narcissist, one who who is loyal, one who is the klutz, another character who is frugal, and one who is lustful. If you've watched the drama, you probably know who I'm talking about. I find that stories that deserves a 10/10 has stories/characters that the viewer/readers can relate to and make connections with. I had a hard time making connections in this drama since the characters all seemed very unreal. I do realized that it's a drama and things are dramatized. However, at the same time, I don't believe the drama deserved a 10 in the story department (although I wanted it to be a 10). Hence I'm just giving some reasons as to why I docked points from the story category. This drama does great in the rom-com department, but not so great in the character development department.
Acting [10/10] The acting/cast in this drama was fabulous! I am especially a big fan of the two MC's acting. I especially loved their facials expressions. There are some pretty good kisses in this drama too if you know what I mean ;). My favorite one is probably the "chair push kiss". Someone should make a meme out of that. I also really loved Park Min Young's facial expression during the many comedic scenes. It's like she knows how to make the perfect face for the right moment. I was already a fan of Park Min Young and Park Seo Joon. However this drama has made me an even bigger fan now!
Music [9/10] I generally don't give music scores higher than an 8. However, I must say this drama did a very good job with the music. The music often made funny moments even more funnier. Other times it made awkward moments even more awkward. I think you essentially get the gist of what I'm trying to say here. The music in this drama helps put you in a certain mood when you hear it. Not many dramas do a very good at this. Often times the music is barely noticeable and does nothing to make a certain scene in a drama better. That's not the case here.
Rewatch Value [8/10] I also don't generally give out a high rewatch score. As most dramas are often a one and done kind of thing. However every so often you find a gem where you feel like a part of you is missing after you finish watching it. What's Wrong With Secretary Kim is one of those dramas. It makes me sad that this drama is coming to an end. There were so many moments where my emotions were bursting through because of a certain episode. Some times I was angry at the MCs for being annoying. Other times I'm anxious for the MCs because I want their relationship to go well. MOST IMPORTANTLY I spent a lot of time laughing while watching this drama. I would give this drama a 10/10 if we had emotional involvement as a new category.
Overall the story is probably the weakest link in this drama. Although a 8/10 for story is still great (in my subjective opinion). However, I often like to bring up both the good and bad thing about the drama. The drama does not get a perfect score for the story from because it's sort of your typical rom-com plotline with some one-dimensional characters. On the flip side it gets a 9 from me because it does its rom-com moments very well. You can feel the romance and the drama makes you laugh every single episode. It's probably one of the best rom-com I've seen in a while, if not to date!
The acting/cast is probably the strongest link in this drama. One of the things I noticed a lot in this drama is the facial expressions from the MCs. I really loved Park Min Young and Park Seo Joon's facial expressions in this drama. As I felt like their faces really added flavor to certain situations and made everything seem more realistic and hilarious. The music was also a very great asset in the sense that it played up certain moments. It made certain cute/funny/awkward scenes go from a 9/10 on the cuto/funnio/awkwardo meter to an 11/10!
All in all, this drama excels in many areas. It's definitely one of the best(rom-coms) dramas of 2018 that I've watched so far(what a great year for good dramas!). I recommend you go and watch it if you haven't already.