I just know I’m probably going to loathe all the main characters in the upcoming KBS melodrama Secret (English title Secret Love) starring Ji Sung as an emotionally dysfunctional second generation chaebol, Hwang Jung Eum as the girl who he thinks killed his girlfriend, Bae Soo Bin as a prosecutor and douchebag boyfriend to Hwang Jung Eum, and Lee Da Hee as a rich girl who likes Ji Sung. I’m simplifying but you get the picture. From all the stills I’ve seen, Ji Sung’s character seems to be a very physically aggressive ass and I really hate that type. Similarly the billion and one stills of Hwang Jung Eum working various part time jobs with a very earnest and optimistic expression makes me want to slap her (wake up, this ain’t no manga!) and see if she actually has a personality and backbone unrelated to bending over backwards to put her boyfriend Bae Soon Bin through law school and exams. Her sacrifice and dating him for the past 7 years comes to a screeching halt when they get into a rainy day car accident right after he proposes to her. See, all the Candy heroines always have the worst luck in life. Since Bae Soo Bin’s character just passed the prosecutor’s exam, he convinces Hwang Jung Eum to take the fall otherwise he’ll get his licensed stripped. She agrees and even endures a trial where HE’S the very prosecutor arguing to put her in jail for the accident, which took the life of Ji Sung’s character’s girlfriend.
Hwang Jung Eum ends up in jail for 5 years and comes out to find that everything has changed and her sacrifice only means she’s a moron for believing in Bae Soo Bin’s empty promises. Ji Sung has been nursing a grudge against Hwang Jung Eum even after she’s served her time and plots to get even more personal vengeance against her. Lee Da Hee fits into this story somehow, probably because she likes Ji Sung but Bae Soon Bin might be plotting to marry her rich skinny self to social climb even more. Who knows. The PD behind the camera directed School 2013 and both Dream High, while the screenwriter is a newbie that apparently won a script competition with this story. I actually think nothing about Secret looks bad, the stills are fine and the cast can all act. My biggest hurdle is actually the two leading ladies – I don’t have a problem with their acting, but Hwang Jung Eum seems to have finally gone overboard with her facial changes because she looks positively freakish in this drama with her face pulled so tight over all sorts of modified features. She was adorable in Giant but has since then totally gone the way of Seo Woo if you ask me. Lee Da Hee seems to be following the same trajectory, so seeing them is both distressing and distracting. Sigh, I’ll know tomorrow if it’ll be worth the eye pain to watch this drama which is billing itself as the next Nice Guy.
Secret teaser (KBS World English subbed):