First Impressions: Secret Love Affair

I think I’m in love. I just watched the fist two episodes of Secret Love Affair again and after I’d finished I wanted to click play, start from the beginning again. And this was my 2nd time watching them too. I was ‘this’ close to writing this piece after the first viewing, a few days ago but it was late and I was too tired. I also wanted to watch the epis with subs as my Korean is still not good enough, so lot of the dialogue goes over my head and with this one, the words too matter. Afterwards, I just didn’t have a proper moment to dedicate for the drama. I really, really wanted to watch it again without any outside distractions. It was never far away from my thoughts though. I kept mulling and mulling, trying to figure out what to say, how to convey to words what I felt. I’m not very good at that at all you see.

First off,  the characters were not what I expected based on the few character descriptions I’d seen in passing. The whole premise makes so much more sense now that I know where they all stand. What drives them. And driven they are, each in their own way. So.Much.Passion. Mostly contained and held back, hidden behind civilised facade. The explosion is going to be quite spectacular. Sun Jae is the catalyst that sets things in motion. That’s my firm view on things at this point.

Sun Jae… I was the most surprised by him. I did not expect him to be this sweet, this innocent, this…. heart wrenching. OMG! He’s going to be eaten alive in that environment. He is totally clueless of the shark infested waters he is about to enter. Yoo Ah In is so, so good. He totally disappears in the role, even his mannerims are so different from the real him. This isn’t to say that the rest of the cast is any less stellar. It’s a joy to watch them. This production crew truly knows how to pick their folks.

Secret Love Affair is not going to be to everyone’s taste. It feels too real and somehow comes too close. That makes people uncomfortable. This is no mindless piece off fluff to watch to pass the time.  It’s full of rather horrible people and yet I think they are fascinating. What makes them tick? What motivates them?  It’s an interesting peek behind the scenes of the moneyed art and cultural world and academia linked to it. All that back stabbing, petty rivalry and professional jealousies that seem to extend everywhere in these people’s lives. They look like they have it all but are they happy? Do they even know what that means? I doubt it.

I love how economical and understated Ahn Pan Suk’s direction is. As always. There are no extra florishes or unnecessary underlining of scenes or moods. His shots are beautiful but he is not grandstanding with them. Just lovely. The OST is just as well chosen and used with an economy that most Korean drama productions could take note of. Silence really is golden at times. I hope people like classical music as there is going to be a lot of it. 🙂

I know this is going to end in tears. How else could it go? She is couple of decades older and their backgrounds could not be any different. She is married and he has a girlfriend. But, there is a connection and it’s quite evident from the first moment they meet. There is something that draws them together and it’s not entirely physical either but goes deeper. Soulmates? Can’t tell yet. They both have a passion for music and the piano, that is quite clear too. Guess I’ll be stocking on tissues then as I’m in it for the long haul.

9 thoughts on “First Impressions: Secret Love Affair

  1. This is a very beautiful drama. You are correct that it feels real and the actors are amazing… jtbc gives us quality dramas that it blows me away… thank you and good luck!!!

  2. Yup, the frist episode already swept me along in such a way that I knew I’d be a gonner for sure. It’s been so long I’ve watched a drama that affects me in this deep a level. I guess I could say that ‘it hurts so good’. ;D

    Well, I’m glad you did find your way here in the end. The more the merrier, eh? 🙂 There’s still not much real content as I’ve mostly just been moving some of my LJ ramblings here. It was kinda fun reading all that ‘old’ stuff, ha.

  3. I remember watching the first episode and just… gah. I knew this drama was going to swallow me whole. Love it, so, so much!

    (I am so glad I found your account by the way. I’m still dumbfounded I missed it. But that you picked Sun-jae out as the catalyst from the first episode… love your insight. 🙂 )

  4. I refuse to watch anything live! Its too stressful. Ill read all the comments and marathon it in the future. But there are too many good comments about this a A Wife’s Credentials so even though it doesn’t have a premise that attracts me right away I’ll have give it a try. Now the question is, where do I start? so many dramas!

    • There was a time I used to have as many as 4-5 currently airing dramas on rotation. XD With rl more busy these days, I can’t manage more than one or maybe two. Every once in a while I try to squeese in an older drama to marathon at leisure.

  5. I’ve only seen most of E1, raw, but I get what you mean. It does feel different than much of the other dramas we’ve got out there. It feels like a movie more than a drama, in its tone and sensibility. I’m curious to see more myself, but I don’t know if I can handle watching this live. It seems to consume everyone who dips their toes in 😛

    • You may be wise to be a bit wary. 🙂 It really is a drama that sucks you in it’s world and does not let go. Have you seen A Wife’s Credencials? It’s by the same team and has the same kind of pull. Luckily I didn’t watch it live so I was able to keep my sanity, heh. It’ll probably be much harder with this one. Sigh.

      • I’ve got A Wife’s Credentials lined up for.. soonish 🙂 I can’t seem to make a meaningful dent in the long list of dramas I want to watch, but I definitely put that on there for a must-check-out! ^^

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