First time OCN dips its toes into the romance-comedy genre, and it goes ALL in cheesy. But hey, I like cheese.
- Sung-hoon (from Oh My Venus) as CEO Cha Jin-wook. Previously a playboy, he sobers up after a one-night stand with Yoo-mi, and works hard to earn the grudging respect of his dad and Board of Committee as Daebok (not daebak) CEO.
- Song Ji-eun (member of Secret) as Lee Yoo-mi. The typical Candy in the rom-com. By chance, she ends up working for Daebok, and her one-night standee becomes her boss.
- Kim Jae-young as Jang Hyun-tae. Popular novelist and also book-café owner. He is Yoo-mi’s buddy and also plays the third leg in the romantic triangle.
- Jeong Da-sol as Joo Hye-ri. The bitchy second female lead, also a contender as Jin-wook’s wife-to-be. She is a popular newscaster.
3 years ago: Yoo-mi flunks yet another job interview, and back home, she picks up a wedding card under her door. Her mum is getting remarried – again – and she is invited to the wedding reception in a Gyeongju resort.
At the same time, Jin-wook is punished by his dad for getting on to the front page news with yet another scandal with a model in a club. In his defense though, he didn’t DO anything. In fact, he left early – to feed his pet stray cat at home. (aww) Not that Daddy Cha believes him, so Jin-wook is sent to the company’s resort in Gyeongju – to work as a bellboy.
Naturally, the idea of “working” is alien to Jin-wook. He basically musses things up and gains the ire of the Manager (who is instructed by Daddy Cha to keep him in line). Manager orders Jin-wook to pull his act together to serve the guests at the wedding reception in the resort that afternoon.
During the wedding reception, Yoo-mi is horrified to find her mum (Mdm Jo) unabashed showing off of her rather colorful past. Mdm Jo had a history as a soft porn actress, and during the wedding photo montage, various (ahem) interesting pictures were shown on screen. While Mdm Jo preens, Yoo-mi (and her new father) look mortified.
Yoo-mi flees the wedding recept and slams right into Jin-wook, who is languidly pushing the wedding cake to the reception. Manager is upset that Jin-wook caused a customer distress (cos Yoo-mi got cake ALL over), and instructs Jin-wook to go up to Yoo-mi’s room to placate her.
Jin-wook does that, with a bottle of wine, only to irate Yoo-mi even more with his “sorry-but-not-sorry” attitude. After showing him out in anger, she uncorks the bottle and plans to drink it while in the tub…only to slip on the shower room floor. Jin-wook, who lost his car key in Yoo-mi’s room, happens to hear her soft pleas for help and rushes her to a waiting ambulance…only to find that Yoo-mi hasn’t committed suicide (he mistakenly thinks the splashed red wine on her is blood) and is well and fine.
Our OTP chance upon each other the day after the embarrassing incident, and end up sharing a bottle of wine at a beach to make up. As they spend more time together in their half inebriated state, they each revealed a little of their fears and end up making out in Jin-woo’s car.
Next morning, Yoo-mi is horrified and flees from the car, taking Jin-wook’s clothes with him (by mistake). While poor Jin-wook is teased by a bunch of ahjummas who came to the beach for their morning stroll.
Although he is angered by having to face the nosy ahjummas alone, Jin-wook is more upset with Yoo-mi running away without leaving her name. He only has a 500 won coin Yoo-mi gifted him that afternoon. And that coin becomes his cherished lucky charm.
3 years later (now): Jin-wook is a successful CEO of Daebok, and even models the underwear which the company produced (cos his PR team convinced him to do so). But he is also well known for being a task master, and pretty harsh on his staff, and himself. He finally collapses due to malnutrition during a meeting.
Meanwhile, Yoo-mi congratulates herself for having scored a job at Daebok as a nutritionist. Unfortunately, her colleagues don’t seem to like her, and she is assigned the additional task of providing dosirak (lunch boxes) to the recuperating CEO 3x a day. Yoo-mi isn’t a terrific cook, and all her lunch boxes are returned by Jin-wook, who politely cites he has no appetite…
…until he finds out WHO is the new nutritionist. Cue petty Jin-wook tormenting Yoo-mi to prepare all sorts of stuff for him, and him insulting her cooking skills via his secretary. He finally gets Yoo-mi to “see him”, and Yoo-mi is shocked to discover the annoying CEO is none other than the guy who had the one-night stand with her.
Tried and tested formula for a kdrama romcom. OCN is definitely playing in safe waters. We have the cool chaebol, who actually is a warm, fuzzy teddy bear underneath – he feeds cats! And the hardworking but juz as hard luck Candy, who despite all the trials she goes through, remains upbeat and cheerful.
There isn’t anything “wow” about Secret; the characters are pretty 2D, the acting is subpar and the plot is straightforward. But like a drug, kdramas’ romcoms are an easy watch, and while you KNOW for SURE the OTP will end up together, you still love the maybe-maybe-not moments of the romance. Especially when the male lead torments the female lead and later grovels like hell to win her back…I seriously don’t know why I watch these shit, but I still do.