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Secret - A Must Watch

I have a new addiction and I thought I’d share my secret (bad pun apology). Secret has all my pet peeves yet I am still hooked like a blubbery fish.

We begin with the heroine being sentenced to five years in prison for vehicular manslaughter.  And then in a slightly choppy edit we flashback to a few days in the past and the lead up to the crime.

Kang Yoo Jung has been in a seven year relationship with her boyfriend during which she has helped pay for his education while working part time jobs as a substitute driver, a toll booth operator and the odd job here and there.

Anh Do Hoon is the boyfriend – a newly anointed prosecutor. (Is there a specific theme that is played whenever a snively coward enters the scene? Coz we need something like that whenever this guy shows up. )

Cho Min Hyuk  is the heir to a large conglomerate and is in love with poor and pregnant Seo Ji Hee. She has disappeared and he is desperate to find her.  In an effort to get over her, Min Hyuk amuses himself by seducing women, getting bored by them, throwing their clothes outside and leaving them half naked.

His father is an a*hole (and probably responsible for Ji Hee’s disappearance) and thinks of his son as an asset to be pawned for political or monetary gain. In his colorless world, Shin Se Yeon is his only friend.

She won’t declare it, but Se Yeon is totally in love with Min Hyuk. And Min Hyuk has no idea. He's obsessed with finding Ji Hee and when he does, it's too late.

Do Hoon is driving Yoon Jung home in her ancient decrepit car. The wiper blades stop working and the rain makes is hard to see ahead. They hit something, neither of them know what it is. When Do Hoon gets out to investigate, he sees Ji Hee lying by the side of the road covered in blood and barely breathing. Yoo Jung comes out as well but all she sees is a big barrel that she assumes is the thing that they hit. Do Hoon doesn’t correct her and they drive off.

When a policeman comes by to investigate the next day, Yoo Jung says she was the driver. Of course she doesn’t know the magnitude of the crime till much later.

Min Hyuk is livid and wants Yoo Jung, whom he sees as the person who walked away from a dying pregnant woman, punished to the full extent of the law. He manipulates Do Hoon to do so, knowing quite well their relationship. And Do Hoon being the coward that he is, does as asked. It’s a classic case of better her than me.

Yoo Jung now realizes that they truly did hit someone that night and that person died. Her guilt at the death and her love for Do Hoon outweigh her concern for herself and she takes her sentence without complaint. Even when her child is taken away from her and her father dies, she still believes she deserves the pain.

The real story starts when Yoo Jung is out of prison five years later.

Min Hyuk still wants her to suffer, but he’s also torn when he does see her suffer. She is nothing like the cold hearted killer he thinks she is. She’s warm, forgiving, and goes against everything he expected her to be.

Yoo Jung doesn’t know the part Do Hoon played in her sentencing and thinks that Min Hyuk is the sole reason her life is messed up. But she believes herself responsible for Ji Hee’s death and takes everything Min Hyuk throws at her.

This is a classic a melo. We have the rich arrogant chaebol, the self sacrificing heroine, the rich cool female second lead and the bad guy.

So why do I recommend this, you ask? Well, because of the layers.

Actually, no. That’s the snob-in-me’s answer. Yes, the characters are layered and the script is tight and the plot doesn't have any holes, so far. But that's not why I'm watching this.

The real reason I’m recommending Secret is because it is so very romantic. This is traditional heart tugging, tear jerking romance without even an ounce of soppy.

Min Hyuk is not your average chaebol who wants to get his way. He isn’t even your average on-a-revenge-spree anti-hero. He’s the guy who can’t forgive the callous human being who left a woman, his woman, to die. He’s the guy who wants to hate the killer, but ends up being a reluctant (and unwelcome) knight-in-shining armor to her. He’s just not as cruel as he wants to be.

Yoo Jung is not your average candy either. She might have given up her freedom to save her boyfriend, but the path to that decision was not as simple as “I will give up my life for you.” Do Hoon is so skilled at manipulation that Yoo Jung had no chance to even consider other options.

There is nothing in this that hasn’t been done before, but just the central conflict adds so much more to each scene.

The pacing is excellent so far (I’ve watched up to episode 8). Both Ji Sung and Bae Soo Bin are excellent in their roles. And Hwang Jung Eum is killing it as Kang Yoo Jung. The chemistry between the leads is crackling (No really, I swear I can hear the sizzles).

The first four episodes of this drama are the weakest (probably because Min Hyuk and Yoo Jung don’t have many scenes together). The editing is choppy throughout. But all this can’t take away from the fact that this drama is like crack on crack.

Secret will make you weep like a baby one minute and then clutch your racing heart the next.

If you’re still hesitant, skip the first four episodes and start with episode five. If you love tears and heart tugging romance, you’ll marathon the drama in one sitting.

Image Credit: www.soompi.com

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