Synopsis: Min Hyuk is a rich guy who has everything but a good personality, and burns with revenge after he found out his lover was killed in a hit-and-run accident. Yoo Jung is a woman who takes blame for those accident. She is a woman who refuses to give up on life even though she′s been thrown into despair. She goes to prison in her boyfriend’s place who causes the hit-and-run accident but she gets betrayed in the end.
Country: South Korea
Genre: Melodrama, Romance
Casting:Hwang Jung Eum, Jisung, Bae Su Bin, Lee Da Hee etc…
Here I am, back to the source while waiting for the end of Kill Me Heal Me. Secret was a good way to quench my thirst -at least for a week- of Jisung-Hwang Jung Eum interaction…unfortunately I’ve watched it even more rapidly than the first time and I’m now again out of option, crying everyday waiting for the release of the new KMHM episodes snif snif.
Anyway I was as much into the drama as the first time. Secret is not a drama for everyone. It’s a pure and true melodrama. That means that in each episode extreme and improbable twists happen to the main characters making you wondering what are actually the chances for that happening to an ordinary person. The heroine (I haven’t watched a lot of melodrama but it seems to me that most of the time it’s the female lead that goes through all the hardships) seems like the unluckiest person on earth and you’re stunned by all the different means used by the scriptwriters to torture her. To be honest melodramas are far from being my favourite genre because of its essential nature. I never really liked being forced to pity a character. But Secret is one exception to the rule. I was completely addicted to this drama (and still am! look at me, 2 years later re-watching it and falling in the same kind of hypnotic state). Yet my first impression was pretty bad: both Jisung and Hwang Jung Eum’s play seemed false to me (except when this latter cried) in the firsts two episodes, leaving me a bit despair as for the following ones. But the drama eventually managed to grasp my attention and I’m now almost ashamed to have found Jisung and Hwang Jung Eum’s plays awful. As much flaws a melodrama has it also has some advantages. It makes you react. It conveys strong feelings maybe even stronger than any other genre (not always in the best sense of the term unfortunately. Most of the time it only makes me cringe). Secret made me cry my eyes out. It made me want to strangle the second lead: VERY BADDLY. It made me smile. It touched me from A to Z. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it was perfect but for me it was pretty close from it. An amazing ost, beautiful pictures, a well-written plot -even though it pulled some classic strings- and a bunch of very talented actors. What more could I have asked for?
The character in themselves were pretty bad. I mean when we think about it apart from the heroine, they were all distasteful. When you try to analyse them it’s pretty hard to find positive qualities or any good justification to explain their behaviour. You understand the process, how they all became like that but it’s still hard to really sympathize with them. And even if, in a moment of weakness, you manage to forgive them there is always a new element that makes you go back to square one.
Let’s start with Min Hyuk (Ji Sung). Let’s be honest this guy was a big scumbag (I’m just re-using Jisung’s own words to describe his character). He was the downright filthy guy who enjoyed harassing the heroine. To the point that after a while you even come to wish to see him drop the case. Such a mean glue. He was egocentric and always thinking that he was the only one suffering (“You’re just whining to let people see you’re hurting” SE YEON> could not have been better said). He actually made me think of a cat (you know how cat enjoys playing with their prey before eating it alive? Min Hyuk seemed just the same). He was odious in so many way (like the time when his shoelace untied itself and he asked his secretary to tied it up again. *a slap in the face, that’s all he was deserving*) that it became hard for me to explain to others why I was liking him. After careful consideration I was always coming to the same conclusion: Jisung’s play. I’m pretty sure it would have been hard for me to appreciate this character if it had been played by another actor. This ahjussi has this amazing ability (and sex-appeal) to give you goosebumps with one smile, one glance. Everything goes through his eyes. If Yoo Jung- Min Hyuk couple managed to make my blood churn of excitement it was mainly because of the incredible chemistry of both Ji Sung and Hwang Jung Eum. Their story was the best part of the drama and I have rarely seen such intense spark in a couple. So yeh Min Hyuk was a jerk, but on the other end his personality really helped intensify the romance. And this last point was the source of my addiciton to this drama.
Kang Yoo Jung (Hwang Jung Eum) was the unluckiest girl in the world but without for all that making my eyes roll. That was the first time I was seeing a heroine cries that much (for good reasons! don’t compare her to some whinny and hateful female lead) and she managed to broke my heart more than one time. Well her innocence sometimes got on my nerve though. I couldn’t stand An Do Hun’s behaviour toward her and was pissed to see that she did nothing about it. Love has its limits. More it went, more I was wishing to see her baulked at him. I understood why she felt guilty: inconscioulsy she had actually felt that they had not only knocked over a barrel. She had just decided to ignore her first intuition for selfish reasons (everyone would feel a bit guilty in such situation). What annoyed me was that she seemed to actually believe to be the only/true culprit of this affair whereas she was not. Fortunately the drama eventually took the path I wanted and she moved from passivity to action (assa!).
An Do Hun (Bae Su Bin- this guy always seems sad: in. each. of. his. drama) would have deserved a good dozen of big slaps in his face. The funny thing about him and Min Hyuk is that they both evolved in the character they were not really meant to be at first. Min Hyuk became more rational along the episodes, evolved in the right direction while An Do Hun became the worst -really the worst- kind of guy that we can find in dramaland. I should have expected it anyway. Bae Su Bin has always played the ‘evil role’ in all the drama I’ve watched with him. What I hated the most about him was his hypocrisy. Constantly telling that he tried to dissuade Yoo Jung from going to jail. But in my opinion it didn’t really try. If he had been really decided to take the blame (like he should have) instead of her he would have gone to the police station denouncing himself. A bit easy, pal. I don’t understand how he even believed that it would end well for him. The second thing I liked the less about his character was is lack of rationality and his obsession for Se Yeon. He felt Min Hyuk’s net tighten around him and yet he seemed more preoccupied to be Se Yeon’s puppet than anything else. I hated him being that submerssive to her. At the end he regained a semblance of consciousness… it just made me pity him even more. Screw all you want, at the end you’re the one being the more screwed.
Since I’m at it I would like to say a few words about his mother who was in my opinion as awful as the son (like mother, like son). She claimed wanting the best for her son but in the end you can actually feels that her original goal was in fact only about her. She wanted to be admired/ well-perceived by the society and she used her son to serve her own purpose. She was selfish…a more horrible kind of selfishness than even Min Hyuk’s one.
You can put Se Yeon (Lee Da Hee) in the same category as An Do Hun, except that she was distasteful right from the start, though we can’t put the whole blame on her. Min Hyuk played a big part on her character’s building. I was actually as much hurt as her when she was humiliated by him in ep 6 (>>>>mini spoiler-when she went on stage, and sang her love for Min Hyuk. Seeing him leave the room while she had specifically asked him to stay until the end was very embarrassing and infuriating-mini spoiler<<<<). I totally got her character and felt somehow strangely close to her. But at the end it was just scary, pitiful and boring to see her being that obstinate. The poor girl had no ounce of pride left.
One last words about the character. It would be a shame to not mention at least Yoo Jung’s father. This man really played with my emotions and I would like to applaud Kang Nam Gil’s performance.
Secret is a drama that messes with you. I remember being a real wreck once it had ended. Even if you don’t really like the melodrama genre, give it a shot. It really is worth the try (at least for Jisung and Hwang Jung Eum’s beautiful partnership).
Awesome teaser, awesome drama!
Note de Dushbadou: 9/10
Note de Whoovy: 8.5/10
Note finale: 9/10