Secret Garden (시크릿 가든)
«Kim Soo Han Moo Goe Bugki Wa Doo roo mi Sam Cheon Gab Sa Dong Bang Sark Chi Chi Ka Po Sa Ri Sa Ri Sen Ta Weo Ri Weo Ri Se Bbu Ri Ka Moo Doo Sel La Goo Roomi Heo Ri Kae In Dam Byeo Rak Seo Sang Won eh Go Yang ee Ba Du Ki Neun Dol Dol ee…» [explanation here!]
Synopsis: The drama tells the story of Kim Joo Won, an arrogant and eccentric CEO who maintains the image of seeming perfection, and Gil Ra Im, a poor and humble stuntwoman. Their accidental meeting marks the beginning of a tense, bickering relationship, through which Joo Won tries to hide a growing attraction to Ra Im. To complicate matters further, a strange sequence of events results in them swapping bodies.
Country: South Korea
Genre: comedy, romance, drama, fantasy
Casting: Hyun Bin, Ha Ji Won, Yoon Sang Hyun, Baek Seung Hee, Lee Jun Seok etc…
Secret Garden is a classic. It was actually one of the first drama I watched and in any case, the very first where I developed a sort of “forget to eat, forget to sleep” addiction (except maybe City Hunter but they don’t play on the same level…Secret Garden is way better huhu). My taste evolved a lot with time and now I’m more in search of aesthetic, well thought out dramas than pure rom-com (well depends of my mood!). So I was quite sceptical when I started to watch for the second time this drama just to make this review “crap, I’m going to see all the defaults, and it’s going to ruin the good memory I had. 100% sure >_<“. But I was sooo wrong. Sure I saw all the defaults (and there were many!) but I was as much moved than the first time I’d watched it. I cried. I laughed. A lot! It’s the kind of drama that you can eat up in one day without feeling like s*** afterward.
I’m going to try to be objective. For the addiction, the magical atmosphere, the scenery (specially when they are on Jeju Island) and in general the characters I’d gave it a 10. But I can not ignore the few flaws that are presented. The plot in itself is not that original (except for the supernatural part).
1. protective/possessive guy ✓
2. the rich, arrogant guy who falls in love of a poor woman ✓
3. the opposition of the family to such marriage (specially of the mother) ✓
4. the unavoidable melodramatic events that bring ✓———————————————————–
5.——-> the human sacrifice for the beloved ones ✓
6. soppy songs (ex: during the Christmas party at Joo Won’s house) ✓ -> NB: the ost is not that bad, it’s just that the songs are not always played at the right moment and are not subtle at all.
7. soppy reply (“Why are your dreams so terrible.” “Because you’re in my dreams” “Are we unhappy in your dreams, too?” “Still, come…tomorrow and the day after” *puke*) ✓
8. the “they lived happily ever after” ending ✓
9. actors that overplay for a bit ✓ (but don’t worry we get quickly used to it -except Ha Ji Won’s laugh which was really too much! >_< – and along the episodes you’ll see how talented they are)
Actually it just lacked the girl gawking like an idiot when the guy barely touch her lips (they made lots of effort here!).
But strangely all those flaws didn’t have impact my appreciation of the drama. Everything was somehow well-balanced thanks to the supernatural elements that brought some originality to the plot, the great writing of the characters (specially the main couple) and the actor’s performances.
Hyun Bin was the cornerstone of the drama. His play was perfect from A to Z and his character was wonderfully written. I’m pretty sure I’d have less loved this drama if it had been another actor playing Joo Won’s role. If we analyse his features one by one he is not a character that we could qualify as nice. He is arrogant, hurtful, condescending and only swear by money. But in fact he is terribly moving. I’ve seen 110 dramas and for now, Joo Won has been the only character that made my heart flutter as much because of his cuteness (and pervert spirit huhu). All of that result from his obsession for Gil Ra Him. Sure he is hurtful. Specially when he asks her to disappear in the foam like the Little Mermaid (that’s poetic!) once he has finished to play with her (much less poetic! what kind of man does that?! O_O). But somehow we can’t hold a grudge against him. The lack of understanding between them (they live in two different worlds) leads to intense verbal exchange which were delightful for eyes and ears.
I can’t conclude without mentioning Binnie’s acting. A well performed character has to turn the audience upside down. Here it’s a big success. I’m pretty sure he broke lots of heart with his tears and made all of us laugh to tears (specially when he had to make us believe that Gil Ra Him was in his body). He had numerous facets to play and managed to do it without any fault. Since Secret Garden he became one of my favourite (if not my favourite!) actor.
[If you want to learn more about him and Secret Garden you can watch the show “Taxi”. He reveals how he prepared his role, what was the most difficult to do etc…]
Gil Ra Him (Ha Ji Won) charmed me less than Joo Won (how much I wanted to kill her every time she pronounced 죄송합니다 -I’m sorry/excuse me). Ha Ji Won was good but less than Binnie. If Binnie convinced me right away when they had exchanged their body that wasn’t her case. I needed more time to believe her even though Ha Ji Won is a great actress. Now let’s talk about her character. She is a tough woman and not the kind to let herself being trodden upon. She doesn’t mince her words. But as I say she is a tough WOMAN. So she is also weak (cause everybody know that girls are fragile, right? -_- normally it bothers me but in Korean dramas I learnt to bear it) and easily hurt by Joo Won’s words and by the state of mind of rich people in general. Her character was also paradoxal: she could beat several men on a film set but could’t beat Joo Won when this one took her by force in his arm and dragged her. Well I can’t complain cause it provides some cute scenes ( KYAK!) but…*sight*
I had mixed feeling for Oska. He is not really interesting all by himself. He is just a playboy and a capricious singer (well he grows up for a bit along the episodes) that had a “rough” past on the romance side (bouhou!). I actually disliked his relation with Seul cause it was very predictable. Both of them were only interesting when they were trying to make the other one jealous. In other word they were necessary to the plot only because they served to feed the main couple. Otherwise they were just boring and every time we were leaving Gil Ra Him and Joo Won to go with them I couldn’t help myself to yawn (metaphorically speaking). So I wasn’t fan of his romance but on the other I was of his relationship with Joo Won specially when this latter and Gil Ra Him had exchanged their body. It lead to hilarious scenes!
I have to mention Joo Won’s mother played by Park Joon Geum. She is the archetype of cliché: the evil mum that doesn’t want his son to marry this poor, ugly, uneducated girl. It’s impossible to feel sympathy for her character but Park Joon Geum was so good at playing it! Actually this actress always plays that kind of role. Look at Emergency Couple, Heirs, Ojakgyo Brother, Smile You etc…Always the monster in la…hmm..mother in law. Oh what have I said? I felt some sympathy for her! once! in 19th episode. It lasted 2 sec but she moved me! (>>>>SPOILER– when she knelt in front of Gil Ra Him. Sure she had not changed her mind about them being a couple but I admired how she threw her pride for a second and knelt in front of that “inferior girl”- SPOILER<<<<)
If we analyse every character one by one they all have flaws -just like the drama when we analyse it point by point. But somehow it doesn’t matter and we can’t help to love them.
Just let yourself drift away along the episodes without thinking too much about it! I assure you, you’ll love it! (+ Binnie ❤ ❤ ❤ )
Note de MissWho : 10/10
Note de Whoovy : 10/10
Note finale : 10/10