In a mildly intriguing plot twist, we discover that Jin-wook's constant pestering of Yoo-mi is less schoolboy crush and more his acting out feelings of harsh resentment for the terrible lie Yoo-mi told him three years ago. You may be wondering what possible offensive lie Yoo-mi could have told Jin-wook in the context of a one night stand and, well, it's actually a pretty convincing one in terms of offending Jin-wook. Although Jin-wook does come off as rather petty for caring about it.
More notably, Jin-wook himself is aware of the fact that his obsession with the lie reflects badly on him as a person. I can't stop giggling at that mental image of him staring at the secret box fully aware of how completely insane it is for him to maintain this keepsake for so long. Alas, much like Jin-wook's coat that Yoo-mi accidentally pilfered, it's the kind of object that Jin-wook does not want yet cannot bear to throw away since it doesn't actually belong to him.
Unfortunately this particular plot point is the only one of real interest in "My Secret Romance", which moves surprisingly slowly considering how short the drama is supposed to be overall. For a sense of perspective, it's only at the cliffhanger Jin-wook even meets Hyeon-tae, his oddly disinterested rival. I find Hyeon-tae a somewhat intriguing character, in that he resists any effort to be romantically entangled with Yoo-mi for reasons that aren't clear.
It's almost as if Hyeon-tae is legitimately romantically uninterested in her. While that would be the obviously logical direction to go, the overall clichéd nature of "My Secret Romance" is such that I'm skeptical Hyeon-tae is hiding anything more interesting than an exceptionally well-hidden crush on Yoo-mi. Observe how the second female lead, Hye-ri, gets character development in the form of...we find out she's a bad cook. That's it.
In all fairness I'm mostly nitpicking "My Secret Romance" for not being great or exceptionally impressive. When taken for what it is, a fairly generic web-inspired romantic comedy, "My Secret Romance" is mildly diverting and generally inoffensive, so as casual fare, watching it is a generally pleasant experience. Although...what's the deal with the epilogues? As far as I can tell they're just deleted scenes which were deleted for good reason. They're not very good. If the production team wanted to pad for time, why not just put them in proper sequence?
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Romance" Episode 4"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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