[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “My Secret Romance” Episode 7
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[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “My Secret Romance” Episode 7

One of Yoo-mi’s more comforting qualities is her sincere desire to be helpful. At least, that’s the sense I got from the odd scene where Jin-wook contrives a work-related reason for him to cook dinner for Yoo-mi, and Yoo-mi simply looks at the entire situation like it was an actual job and not merely a thinly veiled excuse for Jin-wook to spend time with her. Although I suppose it helps that Jin-wook himself probably believes his own ridiculous excuses.

Of course, this sounds like the last several episodes really. “My Secret Romance” does not appear to be in any hurry to get us to any direct romance, even if it constantly teases us with scenes like that kiss. Which for once is actually enhanced by the epilogue, which states fairly explicitly that the kiss didn’t actually last that long. It was just all the sparks flying off in Yoo-mi’s head that made it seem like a protracted dramatic moment.

These are the ways that “My Secret Romance” almost manages to feel like a pastiche of a “Real” romantic story- there’s just barely enough of a self-referential attitude when it comes to any given joke that it’s easy to get the impression that “My Secret Romance” isn’t taking itself seriously. But for the most part it is. The story is just standard Cinderella stuff. Although as is the case with Cinderella itself, the other characters tend to have more interesting motivations than the actual leads.

Consider Dae-bok, whose main motivation here is exposed to have less to do with corporate shenanigans and more the typical old person desire for grandchildren. Which is a good motivation to have, since it demonstrates to us that Dae-bok’s grumpiness is coming from a completely different place than what Jin-wook has been assuming. Then there’s Hyeon-tae and Hye-ri, who are acting like the lead characters in a completely different love story.Their relationships with Jin-wook and Yoo-mi are instructive mostly in how they don’t work.

Well, that works better with Hye-ri though. Hyeon-tae seems to be flirting with the idea of actually maybe coming on to Yoo-mi at some point. Hyeon-tae moves about as slow as Jin-wook, though, and the actual lead character has a much better head start so…eh, whatever. Honestly, I have trouble getting that excited about “My Secret Romance” because, pleasant though the drama may be in general, the story really is almost completely devoid of genuine surprises.

Review by William Schwartz

“My Secret Romance” is directed by Kang Cheol-woo, written by Kim Ha-na-I and Kim Yeong-woon and features Sung Hoon, Song Ji-eun, Kim Jae-young and Jeong Da-sol.

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