Secret Garden (Set-Up Preview)

(credit to o-cha from soompi for making this wonderful anticipatory poster for Secret Garden – thank you!)

Word on the street is that Secret Garden will start filming in a few days. Seriously, does either Jang Hyuk or Ha Ji Won ever sleep? If Jung Woo Sung wasn’t headlining Athena, based on the spy caper genre and IRIS’ track record, Secret Garden would hands down be my most anticipated drama of the latter half of 2010.

It’s with a script by Kim Eun Sook (who wrote my beloved City Hall, and I have enjoyed parts of her other dramas as well – she does have a talent for writing dialogue), and has a premise that I have not seen much (if at all) in a K-drama – a fantasy body-swap romance. Hhhhmm, hello there, Jang Hyuk will spend half his time playing Ha Ji Won’s character, and vice-versa? And they fall in love? Sold!

Man, if Kim Eun Sook can write something borderline intelligent, Jang Hyuk and Ha Ji Won will sell it and make you believe it. You can take this to the bank. Plus, I love Yoon Sang Hyun, and another reason why My Fair Lady was a wrong vehicle for him is that he needs to act opposite actors his age otherwise the rabid youth fangirls are going to complain he’s ancient or some shit like that.

The below synopsis and character descriptions were taken verbatim from the soompi Secret Garden thread (I have put everything in quotes, so credit and many thanks to o-cha and all the soompiers in that thread), though I have cross-referenced with baidu and made some slight edits.

Read and be interested, because I sure am. Of course, there is a possibility that the set-up may change as filming commences. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that whatever happens, Secret Garden will provide a meaningful canvas for two of my favorite K-drama stars to collide and make magic.


Secret Garden is a romance fantasy drama brought by the winning combination of Kim Eun Sook and Shin Woo Chul of the Lovers series, On Air and City Hall. The drama tells the story of Kim Joo Won, a seemingly perfect man yet with certain arrogance and childishness in him, and Gil Ra Im, a stuntwoman whose beauty and body are the object of envy of top actresses. One day they went deep into the mountains and entered a strange house. A strange grandmother offered them chocolate to eat. The next day they found themselves changing bodies. This drama will replace the weekend drama ‘Life Is Beautiful’. The drama is scheduled to premiere in September 2010.”

Character Description:

Kim Joo Won (31 years old) — Jang Hyuk

He is a chaebol with a haggard look who only cares about himself. He is a department store owner. All of his employees dislike him because of his character. He is a man who is unmoved by women. He doesn’t know anything about love or romance. Little by little he falls for Gil Ra Im’s unique charm. He thinks about Gil Ra Im often. He thought that there’s no way he could like her. But why does she keep appearing in his thoughts? He takes out his anger on other people. Filled with jealousy he did something extremely childish. One day at a special event for the department store, a woman will be chosen to go on a date to Jeju with Oscar (since he is the main model). The woman chosen is Gil Ra Im. He created an anti fan café for Oscar. Serves him(Oscar) right for choosing her as number one. The arrogance of Kim Joo Won is unbelievable as he believes that “God must be a woman. That’s why she made me.”

Gil Ra Im (28 years old) — Ha Ji Won

She has a nice body, a pretty face and has good control of her body movement. She is a stuntwoman. She can forgive a penniless ugly man, but she can’t forgive a man who has a slow jab punch. She still has a supermodel S-line body no matter how much pork roll and soju she eats and drinks. Even with only using free cosmetic samples her face is luminous. With that face and body, why is she only an action actress? She is a woman that laughs freely. She is the envy of other top actresses. There is only one woman like her in the world. One day she met the thoughtless, immature Joo Won. She thought that God must’ve not been in His right mind when he created this person. This man has no interest in other people’s suffering. This man has even less interest in other people’s feelings. This man is sweet and dangerous.

Oscar (31 years old) — Yoon Sang Hyun

He is Joo Won’s cousin. He is a chaebol [over-the-hill] hallyu star. [This role has the possibility of being both LOL funny and poignant, and both are absolutely Yoon Sang Hyun’s strengths. I am terribly pleased he got cast in this, even if he’s the second lead. Yoon Sang Hyun pines like nobody’s business.]

Yoon Seul — Kim Sa Rang

A CF director with beauty, ability, and money. She harbors a one-sided love towards Joo Won, who doesn’t pay any attention to her at all. [I have never seen her act before, but she gives off a Kim So Yeon vibe, and that is a good vibe to be having.]

Ssun (23 years old) — Park Jae Bum

He is a newbie singer who can’t stay still in one place. One week he’s in Munich, the next week he’s in Paris, and the week after he’s in Istanbul. His father left his family because of his mother’s affair. Because of his mother, he doesn’t trust women and he doesn’t love either. Music is the only thing he relies on. How did it come to this…. He wants to let go of himself until Oscar came to his side. He finds himself wanting to go to him. [Eh, no comment on Jay’s ability or talent as an actor. Hoping for the best, natural charisma onscreen goes a long way, especially as a secondary character.]

All in all, I am tickled pink with excitement. Knowing that Athena won’t air until November, whereas Secret Garden is airing come September, I’ve gotta bump this baby up on my anticipated list and start stalking it like the mad woman I know I am going to become. Secret Garden sounds like what would happen if in Who Are You?, Yoon Kye Sang and Go Ara‘s soul’s switched bodies, rather than Yoon Kye Sang having two souls in his one body. Oh the possibilities.

(I just want once again clarify that I did not write the synopsis or character descriptions, or make the poster, all the hard work goes to o-cha and all the soompiers in the Secret Garden thread – I simply want to spread some Secret Garden love and hope they don’t mind).


Secret Garden (Set-Up Preview) — 6 Comments

  1. Despite this writer being behind that HORROR that was On Air and the MIDDLING Lovers series (haven’t seen City Hall so can’t comment on that one) I am STILL excited! The synopsis sounds ok and the two leads are two of my faves. Please let this one not be a stinker like others I had anticipated so much this year.
    * is looking at you Road Number 1*

  2. como espero que se estrene este drama por supuesto lo protagonistas son mis favoritos esta bueno el poster muchas gracias por la sipnosis

  3. I’m going to contain myself until it comes out since I’ve already been burnt with CU & Road#1. With Athena I know what I’m getting but this one has undecided written on it. It has great actors who I happen to really love (the pairing of JH and HJW is a match made in heaven) but it has a writer who I mostly don’t love so I’ll wait it out because if I get too excited I’ll only be inviting heartbreak if it doesn’t pan out.

  4. @ Kristal, momosan, nycgrl

    Okay, we all have to hold hands through Secret Garden. Because I know some of you don’t like Kim Eun Sook, but even someone who likes her (i.e. Me) have to admit she has a tendency to turn her second half of the drama into a PoS! (I’m looking at YOU Lover’s in Paris!).

    Anyways, @nycgrl, if you suffered through CU, you can withstand SG with us! And I cannot wait to snark on Athena with you all! Hahaha, love everyone in that drama (minus shrieky with style fake violin playing Sujini), but the plot could be as coherent as me singing Italian opera.

  5. Well,I just finished watching SG, and I will have to say it is one of the best tv dramas I have seen through the actress/actor performance.I hope Ha JiWon is dating Hyun bin,tho these two are rumored to be–hehehe.Even though Ha JiWon’s acting skill is > Binnie,I think these two are good together,wish them the best.

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