Everything Jin-wook does in the pool with Yoo-mi was taking things a bit too far. It’s hard to hate him too much, though, since everyone knows full well that Jin-wook is taking things too far, yet they just can’t bring themselves to hate him. It would be nice if we had more people’s word to take for it than just Yoo-mi’s. Recall that Woo-jin’s softened demeanor toward Jin-wook is entirely a result of Jin-wook’s actions during the time timeskip.
Elsewhere, the earlier part of this episode has an interesting parallelism wherein Jin-wook and Yoo-mi’s more naturalistic approach to romance is compared to Hye-ri’s philosophy, as explained to Hyeon-tae, about the proper technique necessary in order to make a potential romantic partner want you. It’s obvious which strategy is supposed to be character because Jin-wook makes progress and Hyeon-tae does not.
I still can’t decide whether Hye-ri and Hyeon-tae are supposed to end up with each other. That’s the logical end game of their sharing all this screen time together. And yet, as usual, the pacing in “My Secret Romance” is so slow I’m often left wondering whether anything happened in any given episode at all. Jin-wook and Yoo-mi make incremental progress toward a relationship, and they also have another wild kiss.
Oh, well I guess there was that foreshadowing near the end, as well as the promising preview, that gets into detail about Yoo-mi’s puppy. I find it funny how from Dae-bok’s perspective the idea that Jin-wook and Yoo-mi share this horrible secret is more plausible than what’s actually happening, which is that Jin-wook is sneaking around like a teenager to be with a girl he’s assuming his dad won’t approve of. And I also like how the promise of potential domestic comedy will be a change of pace from the usual shenanigans.
Beyond that, though, “My Secret Romance” is formulaic to a fault. Even the secondary characters don’t really add much. Yoo-mi’s co-workers don’t even show up at all, which makes me feel somewhat less guilty about my apparent inability to tell the women apart. I’m still kind of sad that “My Secret Romance” still hasn’t delivered on the promise of Woo-jin’s hot date. But then there are so many subplots just vaguely brewing in the background with no real expectations of delivery that really, why should I single that one out as anything special?
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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“[HanCinema’s Drama Review] “My Secret Romance” Episode 8″
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