First Look at Kim Hee Ae Romancing a Much Younger Yoo Ah In in Secret Love Affair

The upcoming jTBC cable drama Secret Love Affair with Kim Hee Ae and Yoo Ah In is about as low key and non-buzzy as it gets. It’s scheduled to air in March after Can We Love with Uhm Tae Woong and Eugene wraps up. Speaking of which, heard Can We Love has gone bonkers and I’m so glad I was banking that for a rainy day. I love me some Uhm Tae Woong but I can do without extra crazy right now. I know the 19-year age difference between Kim Hee Ae and Yoo Ah In got eyebrows raising when it was first announced last month that they would do pairing up for a drama together. But that age difference is precisely the central passion and conflict of a drama where a much older successful married woman falls into a torrid love affair with a genius pianist 20 years her junior. I have to admit that the age difference doesn’t bother me, whether it be this gender pairing or switched with a much older man-younger woman combo, and ultimately it falls to the story about why they would be attracted to each other. Prime Minister and I did it marvelously with explaining the attraction in both personality chemistry and romantic stirring between the two lead characters played Lee Bum Soo and Yoona (with a 21-year age difference).

There isn’t much synopsis to go by for Secret Love Affair beyond what I just wrote, but this drama comes from truly exemplary production credentials. The PD helmed two of the best reviewed dramas in recent years in The End of the World and A Wife’s Credentials (all underrated jTBC gems) while the writer wrote A Wife’s Credentials as well as older dramas like My Love and Lawyers. While neither the PD nor screenwriter has massive hits or lots of name recognition, their works are regarded as quality fare that eschews anything makjang or nonsensical. It might not be the stuff that appeals to the masses looking for a fun watch but it’s highly likely Secret Love Affair will show this very odd love affair in a contemplative and thoughtful light. The first stills are out of the two leads shooting the poster for the drama and I quite love the old world visual effect. It’s clear that Kim Hee Ae looks lovely at her age but undeniably still like Yoo Ah In’s elegant aunt. But to the casting director’s credit, not every younger man can pull off an old soul pathos and Yoo Ah In is one of those guys that always seems like an old man stuck in a young dude’s body, plus he excels at playing rebels so this really may work. Rounding out the cast is Park Hyuk Kwon as Kim Hee Ae’s husband and Kim Chang Wan who is currently lots of fun playing the lawyer buddy of the resident alien in You from Another Star. I don’t think this drama ever had a chance to be a big ratings hit nor does it feel like it was aiming for that in the first place. It might just be a meaty delicious sexy treat and that’s why I’m keeping my eye out for it.


First Look at Kim Hee Ae Romancing a Much Younger Yoo Ah In in Secret Love Affair — 31 Comments

  1. I’m looking forward to this drama. Yoo Ah In will probably be great in this role.

    I just wish they’d style Kim Hee Ae differently. They made her look even older! They should have kept her hair down, loose and straight.

    • I like her hair. So what if it ages her? It’s not like she’s 21. People say that age is not a factor in love, so age really shouldn’t be a factor! It’s not about a guy who falls in love with a 40 yr old in a 20 something body, it’s about a guy who loves a 40 year old woman. She looks wise/age appropriate, and I love it.

    • There have been a few stills released from the show and her hair is down and straight.

      Personally I don’t think she looks old at all.

  2. I am looking forward to this because I could use something that is “contemplative and thoughtful.” Kim Hee Ae is exactly the right actress for this because on the surface it would not seem like she would be the type that a younger man would fall for, but the more you think about it, the more it would seem like she is exactly the type a younger man would fall for.

    Side Note: I love the OTP in Can We love and wish the whole story was just about them (there would be enough there with Uhm Tae Woong and Eugene’s plot); however, I hate everyone else in the show (with the exceptiong of Uhm Tae Woong’s cousin (another great part). Everything and everyone else is crazy. It is like our OTP and the cousin belong in a completely different drama.

    • LOL, totally agree with you about Can We Love… Enjoying Eugene and Uhm Tae Woong and the cousin played by Kim Sung Su… They are soooo fantastic and pleasant to watch. However, others forget about them esp. the character played by Kim YuMi, with a friend like that who needs enemies… And she looks soooo plastic.

    • LOL – too true. I was helping to sub, otherwise I would never watch Can We Love b/c I want to slap everyone else apart from the OTP… but who knows, may be by next week, I’ll want to slap them, too.

  3. she had that good vibes with Lee Seung Gi when they were doing Noonas over Flowers…i didn’t feel that much of an age gap, if fact they were cute…but i don’t know about Yoo Ah In. maybe that’s the point of the drama.

  4. I’m waiting for this. I’m lovin the story! I didn’t know he’s a pianist! that makes even more sexy! Oh well, I’m all for delicious sexy treat here! Not bothered about the age gab either. 19 years might be alot to some people but hey it’s there everywhere and everyday! But yeah, I hope that hairstyle isn’t like perment! a successful woman doesn’t always updo her hair.

    They can bring it on. I’m sure.

  5. Gahh, I was hoping for a teaser~ I’ve always like Kim Hee-ae and I’m excited to see Yoo Ah-in in something good.

    “…Can We Love has gone bonkers” Really?? I guess it’s not a bad thing I left off around episode 7 due to time constraints. That and Kim Yoo-mi’s character was starting to get on my nerves.

  6. This interests me…but Yoo Ah In must ” step up to the plate” and convince me he’s really into Kim Hee Ae to keep my interest. Need to see some sparks fly and want to see her purr.

  7. I wonder if this being cable and it being a noona romance (ajumma viewers seem to mind age gaps less when they get pretty boys) means it won’t be as half-baked as ‘Prime Minister And I’ on the skinship department.

    Considering how *insert sarcasm* well that ended and how passionate things were between them, I am not too hopeful about this. But then it doesn’t interest me as a series, so I won’t have to witness that prudishness again.

    • I don’t know if you’ve seen Ahn Pan Seok’s previous works but holding back is totally not his style. He goes for realism above all else so if we’re getting a passionate love affair (as the promo has previously stated), it’s gonna be steamy (or as steamy as you can get on cable). This isn’t a trendy drama like PMAI so I wouldn’t be worried about that.

      • I have only watched ‘The End of the World’, but I hope you are right and that this drama finally paves the way for adult, realistic romances and ones not solely based on young pretty people.

  8. What was that line? Meaty and delicious and sexy? Oh my.

    Remember Lee Jung-jae and Lee Mi-sook in An Affair? Not that I can forget – having watched it ten times or so.

    I know YAI will bring it. He knows how sexy looks and feels. This will be one of my favs this year.

  9. i am really looking forward to this. hopefully, it is as you want it to be – thoughtful and contemplative.

    i disagree about can we love though – i am still enjoying the drama thoroughly even if there are characters there that are selfish and desperate to the point of emotionally blackmailing their best friends. and the other main one has been living a lie all this time. all still pretty plausible except perhaps the incredible coincidences in degrees of separation.

    i still look forward to seeing what is going to happen in that drama. let’s hope a secret love affair will be a good or even better follow up to it.

  10. Just being an Ahn Pan Suk production is enough to convince me to watch. And he picked Yoo Ah In, that is a big affirmation for his acting ability.

  11. The thing with Kdramas is that they never do big age-difference romances any justice. There is no balance and sometimes they fail to do a proper casting like Prime Minister and I. For me it just screams “Child abuse” not to bash actors here or anything, but the show could have done way better than Yoona.

    Same here, I understand that he is 20-something and she is 40-something, and I could see instant chemistry between the leads, but I wish that they have done something in terms of styling that would tell me that this is not another cliche. You can be 40 and still look fresh and young and you can be 20 and still look mature and balanced for your own age.

    So because I really want to enjoy this, I pray that they escape the typical recycled elements and surprise me with a modern love story.

    • I’m almost 100% positive that looking “fresh and young” is the cliche for all Noona romances. I don’t see why there is this unreasonable expectation that women HAVE to actively look beautiful, and why people have an aversion to women who are contemplative. I’ve seen this happen over and over again, and it’s seriously discouraging female characters from being anything but the “strong” female character stereotype of loud, feisty women.

  12. jTBC always has great dramas yes but a bit disagree on the CWL has gone bonkers. One must really watch and see things going in the show before deciding a show is just simply going crazy. CWL is very solid and fast paced as a “rom com” so there are times I even wonder what problems they can give to the drama characters for them to solve coz hey, the people there? They communicate! No longing glances thingy or unspoken love hangin in the air coz the people in that show aren’t polluted with most drama infectuous infection: drag the story to prolong the show coz that’s all the meat they have to fill a poor show.

    The direction they’re heading to in CWL now isn’t what people most like, but it’s still done way better than any other production which chose the same route. Less draggy – not even close, no non-sense development with illogical explanation on why particular things happened.

    You should watch it yourself actually, before deciding on something 🙂

  13. This must be very good drama to look forward to, with YAI acting capability we assume this is a quality drama we’re gonna follow, FIGHTING!

  14. This looks interesting. I like that they didn’t style her to look younger. If he falls for what’s inside the package- personality, smarts, etc- then it shouldn’t matter if she looks her age and would actually underscore this point. Besides, she doesn’t look matronly or dumpy, she looked sophisticated and confident in these pictures.

    I do wish that she wasn’t married. For me, it kinda taints it bec she would be cheating on her husband, right? Unless he was a total jerk or abusive, then it’s ok. LOL! But I could just concentrate on their romance and enjoy it if there wasn’t that issue.

  15. in NOF she had awesome chemistry with seung gi who is also 20 years younger than her. and she does not look 47 going 50 ajumma. great for her to be able to do a hot noona romance. but sad if the drama will not get any attention and will just drift by.

  16. Yoo Ah In is one of the rare people who is both handsome and cute. He has such a beautiful face.
    I adore Can We Love. It’s not like other dramas in which the OTP fight and break up for stupid misunderstandings. I love Uhm Tae Woong’s character. He’s out of this world. He is not shy when he tells Eugene he loves her and misses her, so cute.Of course some parts drive me crazy, I am talking about Kim Yoo Mi. She makes people who don’t curse, curse. She is that evil but the plot needs that. Because when there is a problem between the OTP, it doesn’t last long. In the same episode UTW takes care of everything. And these problems are not stupid misunderstandings etc. They are very serious things. For example, Eugene is a divorcee with a kid and her son was against her relationship with UTW, and her ex is very clingy, he even threatened her to take her son away from her if she married UTW, things like that. But all the problems settle in at most 2 episodes so I think the latest problem with KYM was necessary because in dramas, the OTP must have angst right? It’s a must.

    TBH, I watch CWL for only the OTP. They are extremely cute and adorable. UTW and Eugene have the best chemistry I’ve ever seen. They have cute and funny moments together and so many hot and passionate kisses.

    It’s worth watching for them only.

    I’m looking forward to SLA with handsome YAI. Fighting! !!

  17. I do find its refreshing that Kim Hee Ae look likes Yoo Ah in elegant aunt. Since usually in noona romance, the noona often fall to these category:
    1. A beautiful but naïve, pure noona, or sometimes immature (eg: I hear your voice, what’s up fox)
    2. A beautiful, success in career but cold or forget how to love noona (eg: I need romance 3, dalja’s spring)

    So, I’m happy with Kim Hee Ae elegant looks who actually shows her age. Its feel different and I hope it is.

  18. I am so late watch this drama im realy like this drama i like kim hee ae so elegant beauty and acting so good i become like all drama kim hee ae

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