Love & Secret – E01

Girl next door turned single mom.  Will she still manage to achieve her dreams and will her picture perfect family be able to handle this?

 

THE RECAP

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We start in the fall of 2013 in NY.  It’s pouring and our main girl Areum Han (Areum) is getting dumped in the park.  He tells her that he doesn’t love her and she is nothing to him.  She does what will make all girls cringe … she clings on and asks why he’s doing this.  He tells her to go home since she will likely get a cold in the rain and PULLS OUT OF her grip.

“You were the one who wronged me! You were the one who hurt me!” Areum yells in desperation.  [DF – ANOTHER LYING CHEATER?!  I’m in for the ride and will watch this through until this arsehat gets his comeuppence! = =x]

Areum continues that she will forgive him.  She grabs him in a backhug and apologizes that she was the one who was wrong… the JERK drops her hands and has the audacity to protect her pride.  [DF- Hope you slip in a puddle in break a bone.]  Areum falls to the ground crying.

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Next, we’re in the bathroom.  She’s stressed because the pregnancy test says she’s pregnant.  She goes to a clinic, presumably to get an abortion… Coincidentally, a lady comes out carrying a baby.  Next thing we know, the CHEATING ARSEHAT IS IN A CHURCH GETTING MARRIED and Areum gets there in time to see the vowels and the ring exchange. [DF- OMFG WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS GIRL’S LIFE?]

Areum stands in silence watching the ugly arsehat smile at his marriage, holding his baby in her stomach.

[One Year Later]

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We have an interview of a Han family.  The interviewer asks for the secret to the family’s educational success- his daughter is studying abroad and his son is in medical school.  Mr. Han says that he didn’t do anything special.  He let his children do whatever they want.  Mrs. Han even adds that they didn’t have tutoring.  She starts to say something about her daughter and Mr. Han interrupts so she starts playing hostess.

Turns out that Areum got into NY Fashion School.  The interviewer asks if this was influenced by her father, who is in the government’s cultural bureau. The mother starts to brag again and Mr. Han cuts her off.

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Meanwhile, unbeknownst to her family, Areum is on the plane with her baby in economy class.  The baby has pooped and the neighbor passenger acts the witch, yelling at Areum for not taking the baby to the bathroom and stinking up the cabin.  Luckily, Areum’s passenger on her right bursts out in Areum’s defense when the one on her left starts saying that Areum is the reason that Koreans are getting a bad name.  She has some good choice words, making the rest of us feel better about how a mother shouldn’t be so quick to judge another’s daughter.

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Areum takes her baby and runs to the bathroom.  One’s occupied so the flight attendant presumably, brings her to the bathroom at the business class cabin.  Background music alerts us that Sung Woon Chun (Sung Woon) is going to be Areum’s love interest.  She goes into the now empty lavatory and he returns to his business class seat.

A flirtatious girl starts up a conversation with him.  He asks about her jacket and she tells him that she will send him a message.  He tells her that he’s not that interested and leans back.

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We turn to Seung Woon’s house.  His younger step brother finishes writing in his diary and his stepmother checks it.  The kid seems sweet.  But the mother (Soo Ah) gets angry when she reads that her son is affected by his stepbrother not living at home, ignoring his mom and always being angry at their father and grandmother.  The journal also lets us know that Seung Woon is the Vice President of a company.

Soo Ah gets a call from Mr. Chun and answers it as, “Yes, Mr. Chairman.” [DF- WOA…age gap.  I can see why Seung Woon’s mad here…] He tells her to get ready for a trip to Yang Pyeong on the weekend.  She asks about Seung Woon, who will be tired and he tells her that her spoiling of Seung Woon encourages his bad behavior.

Areum dotes on her baby daughter.  She thanks her neighbor, who talks about taking care of her daughter who just gave birth.  Areum looks a bit sad since her mother didn’t come to help her…[Is the baby a secret?]

Next crisis, Areum isn’t producing milk and the baby is hungry!  Earlier, she accidentally trashed the baby’s powder.  She goes and cries to the flight attendant about needing baby formula.  The flight attendant tells her to come to the business class, where another passenger requested accommodations for her baby.  She gives her some baby milk from the business class kitchen.

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Interestingly, Areum passes by Seung Woon, who is looking at employee profiles and she’s on there.  The plane goes through turbulence and Areum drops her milk, which flies on to Seung Woon.  Like an ajumma, she tries to dry him off, except…it’s his private area…

Seung Woon is pissed, more than the spill, he’s pissed that she touched him. He threatens to  file a claim for sexual harassment.  Our girl has learned to defend herself in the states and retorts back that there’s nothing for him to make a big deal about, which she checked when she touched him.  She stalks off.

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Areum’s brother, Jin Woo is listening to music and looking at a site about auditions his mom comes in.  [Hmmm… someone doesn’t want to be a doctor?]  Mrs. Han expresses her worry about the fact that Areum hasn’t communicated with them in months.  Seems like they don’t know that she’s on a flight back to Korea.

Mrs. Han calls Mr. Han.  She suggests that they all go to the U.S. to visit Areum.  Mr. Han angrily responds that a government employee’s family is also part of the government!  They can’t just up and go to the United States on vacation!  They have an image to maintain…. [DF – Oh dear…Daddy dearest has no idea what’s about to come…]

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Sunhwa (Mrs. Han’s little sister?) calls to ask for $30,000 to pay for her rent and creditors.  Turns out, the business hasn’t been doing well.  Debt collectors interrupt the conversation.  They tear apart the house looking for the husband and money.  Sunhwa’s son (Heung Min) tries to diplomatically diffuse the situation.  He decides to even lecture the debt collectors for thinking he would tell them his father’s location.  The debt collector pulls the kid off the table and Heung Min falls to the ground.  Sunhwa cries that her son’s not breathing and the debt collectors leave.  Sunwha tells her son to pack their belongings.  They are going to Seoul to their aunt/uncle’s house.

Areum shows off her fashion designs to her daughter (Tiffany!).  She is going to submit her design (trench coat?) to a competition.

Areum talks to her friend, who was supposed to take care of Tiffany while Areum joined the competition.  Except, she went down to Jejudo.  She asks if there is anyone else that can take care of Tiffany, but there is no one else…  Then to make matters worse, Areum gets stopped on her way out by customs.  The nice seatmate from earlier tells Areum that she will take care of Tiffany, so Areum can go.  However, like all grandmothers, she gets easily distracted and  thinks that Seung Woon’s suitcase is hers.  She puts the baby carrier on his cart to inspect Seung Woon’s suitcase to his irritation.  They talk about whether or not she should be able to open up the suitcase when her husband comes out, with their luggage case…  Nice grandmother is so relieved, she forgets about Tiffany…

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At inspections, they think Areum’s baby formula is drugs and she doesn’t help the situation by acting maturely.  So the officer goes to test it while Areum stews…and…

Seung Woon comes out to meet his secretary, who him know that there’s a baby on his cart!

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MY TWO CENTS

This is a daily drama so the pace is faster and slower at the same time.  It runs for 30 minutes and a lot of things happen in each episode.  While the colors are not as vibrant and the actors/actresses not as famous, it is the medium between a novel and T.V.  Each episode is like a live-action of a chapter of a long novel.

Strengths – Looks like the pace is quick.  We already have potential set-ups for conflicts such as the governmental official’s picture perfect family with now two secrets (i) a young single mother and (ii) a son who wants to go into show-biz.  Doesn’t seem like communication is the strength.  Additionally, the set up of Seung Woon’s family is ripe for mindless storytelling.  We have the nice and naive step sibling, an incredible age gap…and a step-mother, who I am not sure is evil or just frustrated that her old step-son is disrespecting her at every turn.  Only time will tell whether the main male and female leads can carry the show.

Weaknesses – The thirty minute timeframe means that a lot gets thrown at you with less development.  The two main leads were not show-stealing enough that I am in love with this story yet.  It seems to border on the fun-addictiveness to the weak/hackneyed rehash of cliches.  Cliches can be fun and addicting (ie- Birth of a Beauty) but they can also bore you to tears if not done properly.

 

 

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