Drama Casting & News
New KBS melodrama Secret prepares to wring tears
by | September 4, 2013 | 75 Comments

It’s kind of strange, but amongst all the time-travelers, aliens, and super-powered folk in dramaland these days, the conventional melodrama is becoming the rarer species. Not that I’m one to complain about that, since my melodrama tolerance is lower than most. But KBS’s new Wednesday-Thursday drama Secret has two things going for it: a solid cast (led by Ji Sung and Hwang Jung-eum) and a pretty twisted premise, enough that I’ll give it a chance to win me over. It sounds a lot like Nice Guy, but Nice Guy was compulsively watchable, so it’s not a bad association.

The drama stars Hwang Jung-eum as the sunny, optimistic heroine who’s about to marry the love of her life, up-and-coming prosecutor Bae Soo-bin. He’s spent his whole life taking care of his disabled father, while she’s spent her youth sticking by her boyfriend’s side through it all. Then one fateful day he’s behind an accident that leads to a woman’s death, and Hwang Jung-eum, believing naively that love conquers all, takes the fall for the crime.

Ji Sung plays a second-generation chaebol who’s got it made in life and doesn’t believe in things like love, until he meets the one woman who changes him and opens his heart. He doesn’t even realize just how much he loves her until she dies tragically and suddenly, and it’s too late. That’s the setup behind the stills down below, where the leads meet for the first time in the police station, and Ji Sung believes that Hwang Jung-eum killed the woman he loved. (Still, do you maybe want to rethink going with that as your promo image, Show?)

The drama will then jump forward to after the heroine serves her prison term for the crime, and Bae Soo-bin has left her high and dry. Ji Sung will have a new fiancee in Lee Da-hee, the daughter of a congressman. She’s privileged and spoiled, but she’s also capable and smart, and is tired of being the little doll that her father wants her to be. The only reason she tolerates the engagement is because she grew up knowing Ji Sung. The true complication, of course, is when the hero starts to fall for the woman he swore to tear down in revenge. Because… uh… there’s a thin line between love and hate? Listen, I didn’t say it was going to be logical, did I?

Secret follows Sword and Flower (with a break for a few drama specials) and premieres September 25 on KBS.



75 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Yasmin

    First thing that comes to mind? Thank god HJE has normal hair xD

    • 1.1 zeTgi

      same here!

    • 1.2 lemon84

      Seriously its same here! I really hate her hair in other 2 drana before.

    • 1.3 Genie

      lol I was thinking the same thing too haha

  2. Leona

    We growled about Hwang Jung-eum;s hir before… yet even when it look better… it doesn’t suit her….
    hmm I like the subject of the drama….

  3. snow_white

    I’ll give this a try….and yay for the normal hair πŸ™‚

  4. Meighy

    Ugh…I love Ji Sung, I absolutely adore him, but I hate melodramas

    • 4.1 tearfulheart

      You took the words straight out of my mouth.

    • 4.2 jademwong

      Same here -_-

    • 4.3 Ennayra

      Same! I love him because of “Protect the Boss,” but I did watch Nice Guy, so if this show can manage that, I’ll give it a try.

  5. mj

    Love melos love both leads and loved nice guy and this sounds a lot like it so im for sure watching this

  6. Luluhoo

    Looks a little brutal. Does strangling someone naturally segway into wanting to date them?

    • 6.1 mary

      I’m hoping Ji Sung discovers early on who the real culprit is before falling in love with HJE.

      Otherwise, the romance feels too forced.

      • 6.1.1 DIANDRA

        Actually it will be more interesting if Ji Sung falls in love with her not knowing the real culprit.

        Imagine all the angst, brooding and shower scenes from that Love-Hate relationship.

        • kpoppin'

          I’m with you there. There could be some serious angst because Ji Sung keeps thinks that HJE is responsible for his girlfriend’s death. And shower scenes? πŸ˜€ *salivates at the thought of it*

          Also, what’s with BSB ‘strangling’ her? Keeping her from revealing the real culprit behind the accident? (Why am I suddenly reminded of Yellow Boots?)

  7. JoAnne

    Love Ji Sung and the ladies…I feel bad about it but Bae Soo Bin’s face makes me want to hit him, always, so I will enjoy hating him in this. Bring it on!

    • 7.1 MariD

      Have you watched Brilliant Legacy? He was the perfect second lead in that show! I luv him to pieces & I refused to finished the show after she kissed LSG. I don’t care if LSG changed! Second lead was perfect from the start! Stupid girl!
      Anyhow.. Since I saw that before 49 days, I just pretended he was a different actor, cause yep, during that show I too wanted to punch him.

      • 7.1.1 Jacqueline

        He was so dreamy in Brilliant Legacy.

      • 7.1.2 queencircles

        Lol. I wanted to punch him in Brilliant Legacy…

  8. Dur

    That’s one ordinary dress on Hwang Jang-eum.

    Her hair is better this time but I dnt like the dress. Eesh.

  9. Sophia

    *sigh* another predictable male drama lead. Love ji sung but this character sounds just like every other lead out there. For that matter, so does the female character, annoyingly naive and stupid. That said, I might watch just for the actors

  10. 10 Noelle

    With her going to prison and finding out her bf left her, I kind of want her to be cold and hard. Like her fairytale has been shattered and anything that resembles it she’ll be wary of and doubtful of.

    Also is it just me or does BSB always seem to be playing the good guy that always ends up being a true a-hole?

    • 10.1 ilikemangos

      “With her going to prison and finding out her bf left her, I kind of want her to be cold and hard. Like her fairytale has been shattered and anything that resembles it she’ll be wary of and doubtful of.”

      So like song joong ki’s character in nice guy after he takes the fall for the murder.

      • 10.1.1 respechae

        LOL even that one photo with Ji Sung about to strangle her, he looks like Song Joong Ki.

      • 10.1.2 Ennayra

        His character was really interesting, but I have a huge SJK crush, so I’m biased.

    • 10.2 skelly

      I totally agree – is she still going to be perky and optimistic after years in prison and being dumped by the guy she took the fall for? If so, I will wonder if that stint in prison included a lobotomy… or that drama staple, amnesia.

  11. 11 Yuhotarubi

    I like melodramas and this one seem so twisted, and I’m willing to give it a try, just to see how Ji Sung’s character falls for Hwang Jung Eum’s.

  12. 12 fun-lugha

    Guess I’ll pick it up from when she returns from jail…

  13. 13 Hmm

    Somebody give Lee DaHee a lead female role. She gave me a good impression in Can You Hear My Voice

    • 13.1 Ennayra

      Yes, I really liked her in that drama. πŸ™‚

  14. 14 Lisa-Loo-Loo

    This sounds traumatizing…but I loved Nice Guy. Well, maybe it was more that I love Song Joong-ki (Yeah, that was mostly it. I would watch him, as he watched ice melt…just sayin’). This cast is good though. I have one question: will Bae Soo-bin ever play another good guy? Cause he seems to be drawing the “big jerk” card a lot. I miss his Shining Inheritance, nice Oppa.

    • 14.1 kanz

      Bae Soo-bin played nice, wise King Jeongjo in Painter of The Wind. But he was mere supporting character in that drama…

    • 14.2 Chloe

      Bae Soo-bin was definitely the nicest guy ever in Dong Yi

  15. 15 april

    I’m already excited to watch this drama. Guess i have another drama to wait for every week…:)

  16. 16 Locturne

    I think I could get on this boat… especially since Empire of Gold is nearing its end and I’m not going to have much to watch then. And given the dramatic drama of EoG, I guess I’m now immune.
    but I’m a little chary about Hwang Jung Eum.
    And I don’t trust her hair (and yes, hair is essential)

  17. 17 Jay

    This would be a lot more interesting if the girl, after serving her prison term, came out determined to get revenge. Sounds like she’ll be another perpetual victim though.

  18. 18 virgo21

    I don’t think I can watch another drama with Bae Soo bin as the ‘bad’ guy or 2nd male lead. Sigh.

    • 18.1 Genie

      I know me too I wish he gets a lead role or be a good guy.

  19. 19 Arhazivory

    This sounds twisted. Hmmm…I love the cast though.

  20. 20 Dahiana

    Omo omo this sounds good actually, I mean I don’t have the best judgement when it comes to dramas I usually decide to watch a drama only if dramabeans is recapping it. Nonetheless this sounds interesting and also I know some of the cast members. I am Looking forward to it and of course Lee Min Ho’s new drama!!

  21. 21 leslie

    I love…all of them!

  22. 22 Abbie

    This does sound a lot like Nice Guy, which means I’ll probably watch it. Nice Guy was a compelling show, and this one probably will be too. It sounds really sad and good at the same time. And I’m usually not a lover of melodramas. Still, this should be a good watch.

  23. 23 Sajen

    Woot it premieres on my birthday, too bad I most likely won’t watch it, yet. Also I’m not a misogynist I swear but I kind of like the first promo picture with the blurry left half. Then again I look at the clarity of the other pictures and wonder if the blurriness was intentional, or if they were just too lazy/busy to fix it.

  24. 24 dreaming....

    Lee Da-hee!! Really wish she can score a leading role in her next drama. That girl is amazing.

  25. 25 lily

    Sounds.. typical kdrama-y. I’m gonna pass.

  26. 26 Kit

    The whole cast is just … so … pretty. And ridiculously talented to boot. (Why a melo sigh.)

  27. 27 bebeswtz

    Love Ji Sung –> He can portray a pretty good chaebol, even if it’s a “typical” one that we see in every. kdrama. possible… Ji Sung always seems to put his own little charm into his characters, and no doubt he’ll do it again for this drama =) Especially if this chaebol he’s portraying is dealing with more-than-normal lovey dovey circumstances

    Always have and always will love Bae Soo Bin, but I’ve actually never seen any of his evil roles (Temptation of An Angel, 49 Days… although, I did follow recaps for the latter), I know…. all y’all true, hardcore Bae Soo Bin fans can come at me now *braces self*

    The only work I’ve ever seen of Lee Da Hee is, if you can believe it, is the very recent “I Can Hear Your Voice”, and she rocked my socks in that drama so I’m looking forward to more of her work =)

    Hwang Jung Eum…. I’m indifferent with her…. she’s never really gripped me in any of her works or made me hate her, although, I DO feel sorry for all that her hair has been through for the last 2-3 dramas she’s been in lol We’ll just have to see if she will capture my attention (good or bad) in this one =)

    Bring on the melo and the Secrets kekeke

  28. 28 pleinair

    LOL the three of the leads are taken in real life πŸ˜€ kekeke~~~

  29. 29 Karen

    I actually like the fact that he falls in love already knowing who she is and that she’s not really the culprit it’s gonna saves us a lot of unnecessary angst and anger later on in the story

  30. 30 Penny

    Is it just me or Hwang Jung-eum looks a lot like Han Ji Min?

  31. 31 Cocoboo

    The story’s kinda interesting. I wanna watch a drama w/ Ji Sung.

    I haven’t watched Nice Guy yet, but I sorta want to watch it before I try this one.

  32. 32 kumi

    Serving a prison term for somebody else never ever ends well.
    A drama law.

  33. 33 mira

    OH God, I can’t wait for this drama. Not a fan of melo specially if it has something to do with, you know, revenge, where the hero is trying to take revenge on a man and falls for his daughter ? Every single time…
    Never saw a hero actually wanting to take revenge on the heroin where she is actually a victim too
    OMG OMG I see the perfect tear jerking, heart wrenching romancen coming my way soon XD
    Also have been dying to watch Ji Sung’s(my Domyoji) drama. Was so excited for the Great Seer but skipped it since I did not want to ruin my experience of “Faith” πŸ˜›

  34. 34 mint

    Yeah… the plot sounds pretty twisted. but, I love Ji Sung and I love Lee Da Hee. Also, I think it’s kind of funny that Lee Boyoung’s co-star/friend in IHYV is now in a love line with her future husband! hee hee

  35. 35 Kdrop

    Waaahhh, why Ji Sung? Why?? I don’t want to do a melo, but…I must…now. x__X;

  36. 36 Elfie

    I wasn’t too sure about this drama but after seeing the stills, I am definitely going to give this a try. I was a big fan of Nice Guy, and I just really like Melodramas in general. Ji-Sung and Hwang Jung-Eum are also a plus! πŸ™‚

  37. 37 Helena

    Hwang Jung Eum, Ji Sung, Bae So Bin. Wow this is really a solid cast, I love all three. You need excellent performers for a melo, it’s a difficult piece with usually sensitive matters thrown.

    I like that its already make a strong & unique impression with the first stills of pure hatred from male lead & pure fear/sorrow from female lead. Unlike some of you, I prefer the guy to fall in love before he knows the truth. This will has bigger impact, add the melo mix of confusion, guilt, angst.

  38. 38 Beng

    i think i love the storyline. will watch.

  39. 39 Valleydale

    Hmmm….I’m feeling rather ambivalent about this one. On the one hand, the premise sounds somewhat, dare I say it, boring, and potentially paint-by-number. On the other hand, the cast is really great. I have a limited tolerance for melo, so I’ll have to be in the correct state of mind to surrender to this one. I can be had, however, if it’s well written, has compelling characters, and lots of sexual chemistry. Just sayin’…

    I’ll admit I absolutely loved Can You Hear My Voice, and The Baker King Kim Ta Ku. Just reading the premise to Nice Guy turned me off so completely, though, that I didn’t even consider giving it a gander. If I do decide to peak at this one, I’ll probably pick it up starting with her release from prison. I’ll just read recaps of the setup scenes.

  40. 40 Valleydale

    That would be “peek”, wouldn’t it? LOL.

  41. 41 Viki

    Watching this ‘cuz I love Hwang Jung Eum and I really ended up loving Lee Da Hee’s acting from I Hear Your Voice so I am watching her projects from now on. and Jisung is daebak.

    Haha, Da Hee gets to work with the couple back-to-back…just finished working with Lee Bo Young and now she’s gonna work with Ji Sung. πŸ™‚

  42. 42 Suzi Q

    Sounds like a plot from Nice Guy..I’m surprised they haven’t named it Nice Girl.
    HJE is suppose to serve a prison sentence for her scumbag bf, so she should finally have normal hairdo. Her last couple of dramas were like helmet hair from hell. Please get her to a good hair dresser.

  43. 43 kanz

    Ji Sung is really handsome in the picture stills!!
    Oh why he’s already taken by Lee Bo Young??? *kidding

  44. 44 emma

    bae soo bin playing a bad guy again??ohh i feel sorry for him.i like e story but not e leads,will see how it goes…

  45. 45 Alicia

    thank you GF !

    BAE SOO BIN is getting married soon, no time for lead

    role. Revenge drama, tired of it, so will skip off to some

    other drama.

  46. 46 niKai

    I’m soooo anticipating a damn good melodrama. The last one I enjoyed was “Will It Snow for Christmas?”. None has come after that that makes me want to spent time watching from ep1 till the end. Unless I just dont know my genre, I could’ve actually been watching one without recognizing it as such. Haha.

  47. 47 Sunshine

    Strangely I am intrigue and I wanna see this…hmm maybe I might be up for a melodrama this year.

  48. 48 Lixie

    Whatttt?? Oh noes! This IS Nice Guy all over again!!! I don’t want to follow but I have to, hate that! My love for good dramatic angst will make me watch always hoping things will make sense even if they keep defying logic all the time. Besides, I like Hwang Jung Eum and even if she wasn’t there, Bae Soo-Bin! He could drag me into this alone! Why can’t he get the lead, Why?????

  49. 49 The Real CZ

    Hwang Jung Eum
    Lee Da Hee

    Hwang Jung Eum AND Lee Da Hee? I’m there.

  50. 50 exquisitemelody

    I hope there’s a good twist to this story and it’s not Nice Guy: Nice Girl. I like the guys, and I like melodramas, so I’ll probably give it a shot!

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