My Secret Hotel (마이 시크릿 호텔)
Synopsis: This drama will be about a woman who runs the wedding planning division of one of the country’s top 1% wedding destination hotels. And while planning perfect weddings for the elite, she’ll be caught in a love triangle between her ex-husband and a new man while a murder at the hotel turns things topsy-tuvry.
Country: South Korea
Genre: Romance, Drama, Mystery
Casting: Yoo In Na, Nam Goong Min, Jin Yi Han, Ha Yun Joo etc…
Yoo In Na (not my favourite actress but still; always nice to meet a friendly face), Nam Goong Min and above all Jin Yi Han in the same drama! I had to watch this, at least for them. At the end it wasn’t as rewarding as I was expecting though…bouhou ><. The first episode struck me. I was surprised by the atmosphere of the drama. Actually nicely surprise. The banal romance seemed to show some spice. I think it was a good idea to add this touch of mystery. It felt like watching a game of Cluedo. It was quite enjoyable even though at the end the murder case had almost completely disappeared. Actually this mystery touch was what prevented me to flash forward the drama or give it up. I wanted to know who was the killer of the hotel! That was the only element of the drama that aroused the little curiosity I had left, cause let’s be honest the story was pretty flat otherwise. There were no twists and sometimes the script was a bit far fetched or badly written (what was that publicity stunt for “We Got Married” all about, in episode 7 & 8? I’m a big fan of Nam Goong Min and Hong Jin Young couple in the show but was it really necessary to make her appear in My Secret Hotel? In my opinion it came completely out of the blue, was useless, unnatural and above all a drag!).
Every episodes seemed the same. Repetition and repetition. I remember this scene where Goo Hae Young imagined Nam Sang Hyo and Jo Sung Gyeom making love (so to speak, we don’t see anything). I never saw such repetitiveness! All we were doing was going forth and back between Goo Hae Young imagining the scene and the content of his dreaming. Funny at first, boring at the end. But I think I REALLY started to lose my interest when the scriptwriters played the second marriage card between Nam Sang Hyo and Goo Hae Young. It was too quick and the explanation was pretty poor (and I think that was one of the main reason that made me despised Nam Sang Hyo’s character). I would have preferred to see the scriptwriters come to their end in a more rational way. The second point that bothered me was the love triangle. I can’t stand to see heros struggling for their love until the last minutes. I was so annoyed by the heroine slowness. So annoyed to see her make enter Nam Goong Min’s character into my top 10 of the most pitiful third wheel in dramaland.
So Jo Sung Gyeom was the pitiful guy of the show *aish* (thanks again Nam Sang Hyo!). Even though he wasn’t as convincing as Goo Hae Young in the role of the passionate lover, he was really sweet. Maybe a bit too sweet. I don’t get how he always managed to keep more or less a cold head in front of Nam Sang Hyo, considering her behaviours. You could argue that it was normal since most of the time Nam Sang Hyo was not “really” responsable for what was happening. Still you can’t deny that it was well and truly her fault to get married for the second time to Goo Hae Young (and excuse me, but her reason was the silliest I had ever heard!). It was well and truly her fault to be that weak in front of Goo Hae Young, whereas she shouted loud and clear that she and him were ancient history. Anyway let’s go back to Jo Sung Gyeom. The poor tended to completely disappear in the last episodes and when we were seeing him he was always hurt by Nam Sang Hyo. I think he hit the bottom when in the 14th episode he got knocked over by a car just to save Nam Sang Hyo (when I think about her, leaving him all alone in the hospital to go quarrel with Goo Hae Young…oh boy how much I pitied him) and when in the 15th he decided to give Nam Sang Hyo up (I admire that) plus learnt the truth about his father’s death. SO PITIFUL! I was eventually happy by his end (even though it was too wishy washy. The last minutes were not necessary in my opinion) and how he finally excused himself toward Nam Sang Hyo about clinging onto her during this whole time (in my opinion SHE should have excused herself for her behaviour and not the opposite). That was nice to see a third wheel for once pronouncing that kind of words in such cool/ sincere way.
Like you probably got by now, I didn’t really like Nam Sang Hyo’s character. Her indecisiveness got me very bored and I think she was the character who acted the silliest way. I really hated when she eventually agreed to marry Goo Hae Young only for the sake of the hotel. How silly was that? As if someone would accept to marry a guy/woman just for his/her job? Marriage is not a game as far as I know. When she came back to say to Goo Hae Young that she finally accepted to stay with him a whole week just because the reporters had found out about their false marriage -and thus brought trouble to the hotel-, I wanted to see Goo Hae Young slapped her…really hard cause she really deserved it. In fact I didn’t like her character cause she only hurt the guys. I didn’t like to see how much they were under her thumb. I understand that she was hurt in the past but didn’t get why she didn’t explain herself clearly from the beginning. Lack of communication my friends! lack of communication! The end could have been easily reached if she had spoken with Goo Hae Young earlier to clear their misunderstanding. Yeh I know the drama would not have existed if so, but at least that would have spared me. Watching guys you like getting hurt by a heroine you don’t really like, is not that pleasant.
On the other hand (I think that’s the only thing I really like about Nam Sang Hyo) she had a really good chemistry with Goo Hae Young during their lovey-dovey scenes (I mean Yoo In Na and Jin Yi Han had a really great chemistry together). I really believed in their couple thanks to their play. It was all in the way they looked at each other, both when it was lovingly or angrily. They expressed really well their feeling making their couple more than believable (contrary to Nam Goong Min and Yoo In Na..well to be fair they had not a lot of scenes together)
Goo Hae Young was a nice character without being of great shakes. Maybe a bit of a drag at some point (when he chased Nam Sang Hyo too hardly). I enjoyed watching his childish fights with Jo Sung Gyeom. That’s pretty much the only time the drama managed to bring a smile on my face (that and when he imitated Lee Sun Gyun! Jin Yi Han has such a sexy voice, swing and sing! why so perfect grrr). I think I would have appreciated him even more if he had been less weak in front of Nam Sang Hyo -cause that lead to a chase that came only from him and never the opposite. He actually only “gave up” in the last episode…in my opinion that was a bit too late.
Soo Ah as a second female lead was quite irritating. She did a great job since it was what was asked of her -being annoying. Actually her superficiality made her quite funny at the end. I started to finally appreciated her story when she completely disappeared of the show (too bad for me. She passed from the second female lead to the insignificant supporting role). I was a bit disappointed to see her story with her driver ended like that (I was so happy to see this unknown actor again! I had seen him in Bad Guy and had found him strangely charming with his depressed face…well here he was a bit too depressed to my taste though. It was kind of painful to see him that weak)
For those who don’t mind length and repetitiveness give it a shot. For those who are more of the impatient type like me, I don’t really recommend this drama. I think you can find better romance (at least more thrilling than this one). If you don’t watch this drama at least go listen its ost! it was a really good one (I mean the songs not really the instrumentals).
Note de Dushbadou: 6.5/10
Note finale: 6.5/10