Another round of finals are over, and, of course, what do I do but start a new drama. As some of you might know, I am very picky about the casting of noona-dongsaeng romances. Secret Love Affair surprised me because the casting was so on point. I’m falling so hard for this drama. If the drama keeps going the way the first 2 episodes have been playing out, I might just die of happiness. There has been a serious drought going on in the drama world. No decent drama has come out in a longgggg time. I Need Romance 3 was cute but extremely unrealistic as leading man Song Joon was unbelievably perfect and totally without flaws. But anyway, I have interspersed this spastic review with sexy promo pics of our leading couple. Kim Hee-ae does not look 46. She is amazingly hot! And Yoo Ah-in is just a chameleon of adorableness.
Kim Hee-ae is Oh Hye-won a 40-year-old planning leader for a huge music school/corporation (Seo Han Arts Foundation). She is extremely capable and successful. With her good ear for music, she has built herself an ideal life with a huge house, nice car, and live-in maid. Her husband Kang Joon-hyung (Park Hyuk-kwan) seems to be a mediocre, not-too-accomplished music professor. He seems kind of useless, although he direly wants to pick up a talented protege and gain the Dean’s position at the school.
Hye-won works for the very difficult and spoiled CEO of Art, Seo Young-woo. Young-woo struggles with her stepmom, Han Sung-sook the chief director, for power within the organization. Young-woo’s dad is the chairman of the organization, so daughter and stepmom vie for his affections and put up a front for him. Hye-won mediates both sides although she seems to lean toward Sung-sook. This isn’t surprising since Young-woo seems to harbor some hatred for Hye-won and unfairly bitch-slaps Hye-won out of nowhere in episode 1.
Yoo Ah-in is such a gem in this show as 20-year-old Lee Sung-jae. His many facets slowly reveal themselves as the plot progresses. His expressions are nuanced yet so obvious and relatable. He comes from a poor background and moonlights as a delivery boy with genius piano talents.
The characters cross paths when Joon-hyung hears Sung-jae sneaking into the performance hall and playing on the performance piano right before a huge concert. Joon-hyung saves Sung-jae from being caught by the security guards and wants to take Sung-jae as his protege. Joon-hyung asks Hye-won to confirm Sung-jae’s talents because she has a better ear for musical ability.
Thus ensues the meeting between our hero and heroine. Hye-won listens to Sung-jae play a whole day straight. Their connection seems instant and electrifying. Her ears fall in love with his music. His confidence surges as she discovers his talent. It seems as if they don’t need to communicate with words. They barely converse verbally but seem to connect on a outer-worldly musical level. What made the deepest impression on me was their reaction after meeting each other. They couldn’t seem to remove themselves from the time spent together. Sung-jae just has this shy giggling expression for days. Hye-won can’t help but smile at herself in her reserved manner. I would not call it love at first sight but a deep deep bond was formed. And don’t even get me started on there impromptu duet. Sorry, I don’t be to be explicit but it was like music sex.
I haven’t been this captivated by a drama since the start of Reply 1994. Previously, I had some strong dislikes for noona-dongsaeng romances, but all the stars aligned for this drama.