Rating:
Average user rating 4.2
197

Secret: Episode 1

Where does the time go? Secret premiered on KBS this past week to some pretty dismal ratings, which either means that their time slot is still cursed by previous drama Sword and Flower, or that the hype machine wasn’t strong enough. Alternatively, it could be the sense of déjà vu one gets while watching—so far, Secret isn’t doing too much to deviate from the revenge melo norm (or even just the drama norm). Self-sacrificing Candy heroines and haughty second-generation chaebols and untimely deaths, oh my!

If you can pretty much guess the rest, does that mean the secret’s already out?

 
EPISODE 1 RECAP

We open in the midst of a hit-and-run trial, where defendant KANG YOO-JUNG (Hwang Jung-eum), already convicted, takes to the stand for sentencing.

Unshed tears fill her eyes as prosecutor AHN DO-HOON (Bae Soo-bin) lists her crime aloud—not only did her irresponsible actions take the life of a young woman, but also that of the woman’s unborn child.

Do-hoon sentences her to five years in prison. The sound of the judge’s gavel seals her fate.

The next sequence is shot like we’re in someone’s acid-fueled nightmare, otherwise known as a wild pool party for the super rich. Our hero, JO MIN-HYUK (Ji Sung) isn’t all that interested in participating until it comes to besting his friend in a wooing competition with a well-known actress.

Min-hyuk has only to swoop in with a charming smile and a hotel room key before they’re making out in said hotel room, with the actress stripping in front of Min-hyuk before she takes the requisite foreplay shower.

“This is no fun at all,” Min-hyuk sighs. Aww, you poor thing. Life is too easy for you, isn’t it.

Min-hyuk is gone by the time the actress is out, but he’s thrown away her only set of clothes to prove that he’s a real class act.

Ah, so we’re in a flashback to explain the events leading up to the trial, since we find a cheerful Yoo-jung working as a designated driver for hire. She has to struggle to put on her passed-out passenger’s seatbelt, and as she’s leaned over him he opens his eyes to ask, “Who are you?”

It’s our errant rich jerk Min-hyuk, who’s no stranger to designated drivers. But while stopped at a light, Min-hyuk bolts up from his seat when he recognizes a woman on the sidewalk.

It’s only when Yoo-jung is already driving that he yells at her to stop the car, before he decides to take matters into his own hands by grabbing the steering wheel from her.

Yoo-jung screams as they swerve dangerously through traffic, unable to gain control of the car when Min-hyuk’s trying to kill them.

She skids to a halt in the middle of the street, whereupon Min-hyuk jumps out and starts running haphazardly through busy lanes to try and catch up to that woman.

He loses her once he gets to the subway, and so he eventually returns to Yoo-jung and his car, only he wants to drive and she refuses to let him. She even tries taking the keys, but Min-hyuk literally wrestles her to the asphalt to pry them from her hands.

She manages to steal them back and throws them over the bridge and far out of their reach. Min-hyuk sets to chasing her… in the streets… where cars are still driving. I know he’s drunk, but what’s her excuse?

Yoo-jung runs for her life, leaving Min-hyuk stranded. Later, she treats her scrapes and bruises from her scuffle with him while her friend chastises her for not using her prosecutor of a boyfriend (guess what, it’s Do-hoon from the opening) to go after Min-hyuk, but Yoo-jung quickly shushes her—Do-hoon doesn’t know she’s working as a designated driver and she wants to keep it that way.

She and her friend go back and forth over the merits of staying faithful, which Yoo-jung would know more about—her and Do-hoon have been together for seven years, and she’s 100% sure he’d never leave her.

Still drunk, Min-hyuk wanders to a small rooftop apartment of someone he knows. When banging on the door gets no answer, he uses a key to get inside, unknowingly stepping over a scattered pile of unopened mail. There isn’t even one light on. Uh oh.

He fails to notice anything amiss and passes out on the bed. We enter another flashback as he remembers being woken up by his then-girlfriend SEO JI-HEE (Yang Jin-sung), who looks a lot like the woman he was trying to drunkenly chase down (which I’m sure was the point).

Apparently, him going to her place to sleep off a hangover wasn’t unusual, but at least their life was idyllic and sweet. They bicker romantically while wrapped in each other’s arms, and as Ji-hee leans down to give him a kiss, the Min-hyuk of the present sheds a tear in his sleep.

It was only a dream, and he wakes up on her bed alone. His secretary knew to find him there and tries warning him against coming to this apartment to sleep as per his habit ever since Ji-hee went missing.

Min-hyuk could care less about his father’s business when Ji-hee is still yet to be found. Ah, so that explains why he was so desperate to chase down that woman who looked just like her. As for how long she’s been missing, we don’t know.

A short cut to Do-hoon shows him preparing for a job interview(?), while a short cut back takes us to Min-hyuk as he tries sneaking into his lavish estate unnoticed, despite the fact that there’s at least one maid per every square foot in the house.

Min-hyuk’s little sister catches him on her way out to school right before their father, CHAIRMAN JO (Lee Deok-hwa) all but drags his errant son into a meeting to discuss the fact that he’s bleeding money without contributing a single thing in return.

Chairman Jo wants to take back Min-hyuk’s inheritance and give it to his brother instead, and vows to dissolve his upcoming marriage to a rich heiress.

Min-hyuk need only half-heartedly promise that he’ll do his duty as a son for his dad to give him another chance, but he has to promise to pay more attention to his future bride.

The woman who vouched for him in front of his father helps him out again by giving him a ring for his fiancée—and though she’s revealed to be his stepmother, Min-hyuk treats her with contempt by calling her ajumma. “Don’t smile like that in front of me and don’t act like a mom, because I can’t stand it.”

His harsh words hurt her, though she does her best to hide her feelings in front of him. So far she’s only tried to help him out.

In true Candy style, we find Yoo-jung working another odd job as a toll booth cashier. What’s less Candy-like about it is that she’s working all these jobs to help support her boyfriend, a fact that everyone knows. Still, Yoo-jung is nothing but chipper about it.

Min-hyuk picks up his fiancée and longtime friend-of-the-family SHIN SE-YEON (Lee Da-hee), though it becomes clear that she doesn’t share his same cavalier attitude toward their marriage.

He sees it only for the business deal that it is—her family has the important political connections, while his has all the money—but he’s at least happy that they knew each other as friends first. She’s not, and tells him he can just throw the ring away.

Since neither of them really want to get married, Min-hyuk proposes a deal. If she brings up dissolving the marriage first, he’ll give her anything she wants. He just can’t be the one to suggest it, because his father would literally wring his neck.

While driving home from the airport, they end up driving through Yoo-jung’s toll booth. (Small world, isn’t it?) They immediately recognize each other, and a sly grin crosses Min-hyuk’s face as he lies that he forgot his wallet in order to torment Yoo-jung and hold up the line.

In a twisted way, he is trying to thank her for not letting him drive drunk the night before without actually saying the words. Since he doesn’t have money to pay her, he happily offers her collateral instead—the diamond ring that Se-yeon refused.

I like his cheeky reply to Yoo-jung’s shock by reminding her that she’d just told him she loved him (as part of her greeting to every customer, she says, “I love you, Customer!”), so why refuse a loving gift?

He forces her to take it by tossing it to her in the booth while Se-yeon mutters a protest. Yoo-jung jumps out of the booth to try giving the ring back, but Min-hyuk rolls down the window just enough to grin and tell her that he’ll come back to collect it tomorrow.

Yoo-jung chastises him for not respecting the almighty dollar as well as the woman sitting next to him, but Min-hyuk just leaves her as a speck in his rearview mirror after a wink and a smile.

Se-yeon is angry, though she denies that it has anything to do with the fact that he gave her ring away and more because it made someone like Yoo-jung pity her. It seems like more than that, though.

After Yoo-jung’s coworker marvels at the expensive ring, she ends up tsk-ing Yoo-jung for spending an insane amount of time an energy making Do-hoon a cake for their seven-year anniversary when he hasn’t even called her all day.

“You’ll only get hurt by doing this,” her coworker mentions after sucking on a helium balloon, and Yoo-jung’s happy-go-lucky smile disappears for the briefest of moments. Maybe she knows it’s true.

Do-hoon ignores Yoo-jung’s call as he meets a woman (he can’t be such a douche that he’s on a date, right?), but in order to save face in front of her coworker, Yoo-jung talks as if he picked up the phone. Ouch.

We cut to Do-hoon’s mother as she discusses the blind date she sent Do-hoon on, which tells us right away that she has no love for Yoo-jung. (And also that he was on a date. But maybe not by choice.)

Unfortunately for them I suppose, the naive Yoo-jung comes to their humble home with her arms full of groceries and the cake she made. Do-hoon’s father has the decency to look just a little bit guilty as he limps to the door to let her in, and his mother hurriedly hangs up before Yoo-jung can hear anything.

Yoo-jung acts the part of the perfect daughter-in-law, preparing a full meal despite Do-hoon’s mother’s protests. Does she not understand social cues, or is she choosing to ignore them?

She ends up having to pick up Not Mom’s cellphone, and the matchmaker for Do-hoon’s blind date immediately starts talking—the woman loved Do-hoon, and her rich family is ready to buy him an office. Yoo-jung definitely hears all this even though she passes the phone to Not Mom as if she didn’t. Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.

Not Mom tries every kind of hint available to get Yoo-jung to leave, and Yoo-jung eventually listens. She must know they don’t want her there, but acts like it’s all okay.

After she’s gone, Not Mom has no qualms about eating all the food she left behind for Do-hoon, even noting that Yoo-jung is a good cook despite the fact that (wait for it) she doesn’t have a mom. Phew, thank goodness she reminded me before I forgot that orphans are the lepers of drama society and are to be expunged at any cost lest they spread their parentless-ness to any able-bodied, talented child on their way up the social ladder. Thanks, Not Mom!

At least Yoo-jung has a father who owns a small pastry shop, which he’s looking to expand to make Yoo-jung a more desirable prospect for Do-hoon. Yoo-jung claims that her pretty face, pretty body, and loving heart are all that she needs to marry a prosecutor—but it just seems like she’s talking a big game. I’m not sure she believes it.

She has a mini-meltdown with her dad and stomps off to her room to revenge-eat the cake she made for her anniversary. That’s when all the tears she’s been holding back start to flow, which is when she notices the ring box of Min-hyuk’s she brought home.

She tries on the ginormous diamond ring in a moment of longing—not for the ring itself, but for a married life with Do-hoon. Her dad sees the ring and thinks it’s her engagement ring, and she doesn’t have the heart to deny it.

However, once Dad tells her that Do-hoon came to see her, she rushes out to greet him. She’s a bit reluctant to get in his car without knowing the destination, but Do-hoon all but pushes her inside with a happy grin on his face.

Se-yeon is a guest at Min-hyuk’s family dinner, but when he motions for her to bring up the engagement breakup as promised, she instead turns to his father to ask if they could announce their marriage sooner. Eek. Abort, abort!

Min-hyuk is in shock, even though he can’t properly show it while at the table. Se-yeon sticks her nose into the air and begins to act like a lady of the house, reminding an almost-stuttering Min-hyuk that she has the right as his future wife (just to dig that fact in a little deeper).

Do-hoon takes Yoo-jung out for a date at their favorite restaurant, which seems to have a permanent installation made up of their cheery polaroid pictures from over the years.

She tries to muster up the energy to be mad, but her will seems to melt away when Do-hoon takes her by the hand and asks her to forgive the blind date—it won’t happen in the future. He even knows that it’s their seven-year anniversary, adding that he wouldn’t be where he is now without her.

“What I received from you, I’ll repay until I die… No, I’ll repay you even if I’m dead,” he adds with a smile. Then he passes over a ring box. “Yoo-jung-ah, will you marry me?”

The diamond Do-hoon puts on her finger is beyond modest next to the one she just tried on, but Yoo-jung cries with happiness all the same. It’s cute how he still calls her pretty even when she’s puffy and tear-soaked from crying. Now I kind of wish we weren’t in a flashback so we could’ve known this side of Do-hoon first, because at least then his eventual turn on her would’ve been a surprise.

“Do you like me?” Min-hyuk asks Se-yeon when they’re alone. “You don’t, right? So why do you want to marry me?”

“What I really want is you,” Se-yeon coolly replies. When he blusters, she explains her reasoning: Since her father will arrange a beneficial marriage for her no matter what, she’d rather marry the man she does know versus the one she doesn’t. And that man is Min-hyuk.

She knows about his relationship with Seo Ji-hee, and tells him he’ll have to end it—after all, how was he expecting to live with her after his family threw him out without a dime?

He reminds her that he hasn’t broken up with Ji-hee, causing Se-yeon to all but shrug. Why doesn’t he tell that to his father and go marry her? “You can’t, right?” she asks knowingly. He’s been living well for the months Ji-hee’s been missing, yet Se-yeon knows he couldn’t live a day without daddy’s money.

He knows it too but he still replies, “Right now, you… you’re really no fun.” Girl better keep an eye on her clothes.

Back at the restaurant, Do-hoon sings a love ballad for Yoo-jung, and it’s made all the more endearing because he’s a horrible singer. After the song he announces to everyone that he loves Yoo-jung: “Let’s be happy together!”

However, Ji-hee has been watching the exchange with a longing expression, having gone to the restaurant to collect one of the polaroids they had of her and Min-hyuk. She picks up a phone to call him…

…As we find Min-hyuk trying to broach the engagement topic with his dad, but the second he mentions a possible future divorce, Chairman Jo glares him down.

Min-hyuk finally picks up the phone after ignoring a few calls from an unknown number, and the second he hears nothing from the other end he knows it’s Ji-hee. Despite his father’s protests, Min-hyuk tracks her call to the restaurant and rushes off to find her.

Do-hoon drives his new fiancée home in the pouring rain, but some car trouble holds them up. Meanwhile, Min-hyuk isn’t the only one to have tracked down Ji-hee’s location—she spots his scary secretary on the lookout for her and runs away. Has she been running all this time?

Yoo-jung is able to hit her old car into working again, and the two set off. She holds his hand in the car to thank him for marrying her, which he touts as nonsense—she’s the one allowing him to marry her.

“I love you,” she says. He smiles, but doesn’t reply in kind. She tries again, “I love you.” And again. Why isn’t he saying it back?

An oncoming truck flashes its lights, causing Do-hoon to let go of her hand to narrowly steer them out of harm’s way. For what feels like five whole minutes, the car skids around on the wet asphalt as its two occupants are thrown around inside.

The car bursts through a street construction area, flattening signs and road blocks until Do-hoon finally slams on the brakes. Just in time, too—they almost hit that fake person directing traffic. (Also, they would’ve been impaled by a forklift if the car had gone just a little bit further.)

Do-hoon gets out of the car to see what damage they caused, but something on the road gives him pause. Yoo-jung worries when she can’t see him in the rearview mirror and gets out to find him.

He all but jumps at her from the bushes, “I told you not to get out!” But when she asks what the damage was, he just points to a smashed barrel. She sighs in relief even though he’s in a hurry to just go, though he helps her roll the barrel off the road for others’ safety.

She wants to call the insurance company, but Do-hoon’s angry insistence that she doesn’t frightens her. He explains that he had wine at dinner and doesn’t want to make the situation any messier, and she buys it.

Of course, Yoo-jung takes this all as a sign of luck—despite her bump on the head, they’re both safe. “I think we’re going to live well for a long time, don’t you think?”

Do-hoon pulls her into a desperate embrace. “That’s right. Let’s live well.”

Min-hyuk’s secretary calls him about Ji-hee, who he’s found crumpled up among the accident debris Do-hoon and Yoo-jung left behind.

So Do-hoon hit her… and then hid the body? Only not really?

Do-hoon drops Yoo-jung off at home and suggests just scrapping the car. Ever the frugal one, Yoo-jung claims that a few repairs’ll do the trick—having no idea why Do-hoon is so eager to get rid of it.

As a way of goodbye, Yoo-jung covers his worried face with kisses and leaves none the wiser. She tells her dad about her proposal and jumps into her bed like a kid, her eyes fixated on her shiny new ring.

Min-hyuk arrives at the scene of the accident in time to see a bloody Ji-hee being pulled into an ambulance. His secretary (who was working for him the whole time and isn’t a baddie), tells him about the hit-and-run, but Min-hyuk can’t get over the shock of seeing Ji-hee like that and chases after the ambulance.

Do-hoon, still in the same banged-up car, drives by the scene in time to witness everything. He even has to stop the car when Min-hyuk crumples to the ground in front of it.

“I told you I’d catch you if you ran,” Min-hyuk murmurs. “I told you I’d find you no matter where you hid. I told you not to die without my permission… Don’t die,” he pleads.

A policeman knocks on Do-hoon’s window, causing his heart to stop even though he’s only told to wait until Min-hyuk’s secretary has time to drag his master to safety.

Then, Do-hoon drives away.

 
COMMENTS

Cold openings can be a really useful way to set the tone of the story and catch the audience’s attention, since the ideal reaction is for us to want to watch just to see how the story reached that point. Empire of Gold is a great example of the cold open done well, since my perspective on the events in the opening scene changed so drastically once I saw them revisited later, once the show had added plenty of context. Context, as it turns out, really is everything.

So then by comparison, Nice Gu-… I mean, Secret’s cold opening left me feeling, well, cold. It’s like telling someone the punchline of your very long joke in an “I promise this’ll be funny!” way, only… you’ve just lost your punchline. Same goes for a dramatic punchline, which this show gave away in its opening before it spent the rest of the episode adequately bringing us (mostly) up to speed. There’s one point in its favor.

Another positive point is that the directing is competent (if not a little trigger happy with the acid-trip party scenes and ridiculously slow motion car accidents), the writing is somewhat decent (in that it’s there), and the actors are committed. It’s just not a very engaging watch when it’s all said and done, and while I’d lay part of that blame on the paint-by-numbers revenge melo storytelling, revenge melos are by their very nature pretty paint-by-numbers, aren’t they? The memorable ones find ways to break out of that mold to become something more, and while that level of genre transcendence (or just genre goodness) isn’t completely out of the realm of possibility when it comes to Secret, I just really, seriously, would-almost-bet-money that this isn’t going to be that kind of show. I’d be happy to be wrong though, since dramaland has been missing good revenge melos lately. (No, Shark. I said good revenge melos.)

As for the characters, I wasn’t really a huge fan of anyone—with the small exception of Se-yeon, who I could at least understand. And that’s saying a lot for a character who makes it so that the man she wants has no choice but to marry her. But she was the only character this episode who at least bothered to explain herself. And you know what? Her rationale made a weird kind of sense, even if it is a raw deal for Min-hyuk—if her father’s going to marry her off to just anyone, the only choice she can exercise is whether she marries the devil she knows. Unfortunately for her, that devil is Min-hyuk. Unfortunately for Min-hyuk, he’s crazy.

I like Ji Sung in most things, even if I haven’t liked most of the things he’s been in lately (okay, maybe just The Great Seer), so even though this script won a KBS screenwriting award, I don’t know who’s to blame when it comes to us not knowing who he is. Is he the bored second-generation chaebol? The petty and cruel playboy? The doting lover who just wants to live a normal life? The rich boy who doesn’t want to live a normal life and loves daddy’s money? The devil-may-care funny guy? The loyal friend? The scary-when-he’s-angry drunk dude? Right now he’s too much of everything and not enough of anything.

And then there’s Yoo-jung, a living amalgamation of every Candy ever (with only half the fun). I’m giving her character a bit more berth than deserved right now, if only because she’s just at such an extreme that I assume it must be purposeful in order to highlight her eventual awakening and/or change down the line, maybe even while she’s in prison for a crime she didn’t commit. There are plenty of options on that front.

But there’s also that one very frightening option, in that she might not change at all or just very little, and that this version of her is the one we’ll more or less have for the rest of the run. If so…

 
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This looks kind of interesting, despite my initial impression after hearing about it. I'll have to check it out for Ji Sung.

And for once, Hwang Jung Eum has normal hair! Thank god for that.

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True. On the other hand, her plastic surgeon went too far with the jaw shaving: It's like her chin is pointy and half her cheeks are missing. Add the big eyes and the veneers... She looks like an alien now and not a pretty one.
She was OK in CYHMH. That makes me sad, really. :(
PS: Thanks Heads for the recap and the enlightning comments. I hope that the viewers will have satisfaction with the story: I don't get either why this script won an award.

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I'm always distracted when the actor/actress I'm watching has terrible hair or looks like he/she just left the plastic surgeon's clinic. Case in point HJE, I'm disturbed by how she looks and the story isn't helping either so I'm gonna have to say a big NO to Secret. That's one drama off my list

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I could not pass the first 20 min of the drama and then I tried going for the 2nd ep.. I could not get past the first 5 min of that one... Although I love Ji Sung the drama makes no sense to me, I concur with heads, the only character who e see has some sort of explained existence is Se Yeon, right now for everybody else just exists... Which is not enough to pull/ compel me to watch the story. Sorry but it's a no thanks... There are other drama's coming to Wed- Thurs that will make a better choice for me.

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Usually I try not to spend too much attention on the whole plastic surgery ordeal with actors and actresses but this is one of those cases where one person takes it too far to the point of distraction. Her facial proportions are all sorts of wrong, and not in the natural kind of way.

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Yeah... I can't finish Full house take two although i love Park Ki Woong because keep irritated by her face...I mean she was pretty...I watch her old drama The Person I love and when she showed up with her new face in I can hear your heart I hardly know her...sigh...There is a lot of korea actresses who go too far with plastic surgery such as HJE, Park Si Yeon, Nam Gyu Ri, Seo Woo...I think I will skip Secret...
Just want to know..if they can shave the jaw..can they get their jaw to noramal again??

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I don't think so. I always wonder, how all these poor women will act, when a different kind of face gets en vogue. When I saw a picture of Crayon Pop for the first time I asked myself 'What about your future look in five years.' They all look alike.
After a little more than one year watching Kdrama I realized, that I'm already tired of those interchangeable faces and I stopped watching certain actresses like Han Chae Young due to their ps.
Same goes for Lee Da-hee, so I'll give Secret a pass although I like Ji Sung.

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If you mean the twins in Crayon Pop, well, they are identical ones. It doesn't look like any of them got a face job.

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To be fair the identical twins in Crayon Pop are the Main Vocal amd Main Rapper/Lead Vocal so you could just be confusing them

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I guess it is not just me that thinks there are too many interchangeable plastic faces. I find it very difficult to tell some of them apart.

Ran across a YouTube video not long ago about the subject, and a plastic surgeon in Korea said that it is not uncommon for women to walk in with a picture of some actress or idol saying "make me look like this". Pretty sad, really.

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It is possible to restore something like that botched jaw line, but it is a lot harder than it was to shave it off, since it involves grafting.

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I could deal with the jaw shaving, if it didn't come with what look like really obvious lip fillers.

I have no problems with actresses getting work done for their careers' sake, but only as long as it doesn't detract from what they are actually doing onscreen. I can handle Park Shi-yeon ok since she's talented and could still move her face as of Nice Guy, but HJE's look is just distracting me here.

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Park Shi Yeon had workd done? which part? I got a little confused feeling when I watched back her in My Girl, but I cant pointed it out,
and Lee Dae Hee in Secret or Lee DaeHee in my girl?

LDH from MGirl for me also looks really different in Miss Ripley, but again, I also dont know which part made her look so different. :(

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she admitted it once in Entertainment Weekly I think. She shaved her nose and chin, and at botox to lift her eyes.

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I thought of the same thing too regarding the plastic look of hers. As shallow as it is, I have to admit it's just too distracting to continue the drama because of that. The same applies to Seo Woo and Nam Gyu Ri. Can't ever watch their stuffs because of their look.

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i thot i was the only who noticed her face, she looked much better in can you hear my hear, even in giant drama but her face in this drama is quite obvious she's gone under the knife? i don't get it though she looked good already so why do these actors/tresses are so paranoid with their looks? if not i think the word i shld use is obsessed? :( bottom line: she doesnt look as pretty as she used to be, her face looks shallow etc.

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She's had the same face since Giant. Perhaps fillers, but the structure has been the same.

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2 examples here in the same drama, both Lee Da Hee and HJE had major work done, but HJE face is now unbalanced and distracting. LDH though does not have that affect.

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I don't understand.. Why they get to much surgery until their face become to different. Same thing like joo ji hoon face. I think lot of hollywood actor n actress stay with them original look n get famous bcoz their act not face..

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It seems to be mostly a Korean thing, perhaps some combination of low self-esteem, fitting the trend, desperation, and efforts to overcome poor acting ability with looks.

When you look back at some of the most famous Hollywood actors, there are quite a few that nobody would call particularly good looking, yet they managed to have great success because of their acting ability.

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agreed! however i noticed that silver stallone lately must've gone under the knife his face looks awful i may be wrong but he doesnt look as handsome now! but i guess Korea must be top of the list when it comes to plastic surgery! even when they have crooked teeth they changed it to some kinda capping the teeth like bae yong joon, he looked good with crooked teeth in his early dramas such as hotelier, papa etc but when he did winter sonata you noticed a change & to me his crooked teeth was much better

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Most of the big stars - female especially - have gotten some work done. Nothing as obvious as the Koreans have gotten done, but they certainly have had subtle work done: Michelle Pfeiffer, Angelina Jolie, Demi Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Aniston (nose), Rosanne Barr, Kate Beckinsale, Jane Fonda, etc.

Then, there are those like Melanie Griffith, Meg Ryan, Daryl Hannah, Nick Nolte, Megan Fox, Cher, Jennifer Grey, Nicole Kidman.

Then, there are some of the makeovers of past stars: Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, Rita Hayworth, etc.

I'm not a fan of plastic surgery, especially the extreme ones like the ones popular in Korea. But let's not act as if Hollywood has been above all that.

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wait, Joo Ji-hoon got something done? But WHY- his face was perfect already!

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No he didn't, he just got really thin.

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When one of you mentioned she was in "Can You Hear My Heart" I was like, oh was she a secondary character? Then I looked her up and realized she was the main girl from CYHMH. What the actual heck. I completely didn't even recognize her and I liked that drama. Wow - she looks really different here.

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Thank you <333

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Thanks for the recap :)

I guess this week's episodes will show if I stick with the drama^^

Episode 1 was no burner though ep 2 kind of made me curious on what's next. I'll just have to wait and see what this week's episodes will be like. But there is a big chance this one is getting dropped (there's just too many dramas ahead that I am really looking forward to).

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This is one of those dramas I may end up casually watching just to see how bad it can get (and because there is not much else looking worthwhile for the new season, including Heirs).

I usually give new dramas about 4 episodes, and so far this one is not looking good for going past that.

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Still debating this one. Thank you for the recap.

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Another show that the law plot will be laughable.

Not sure if this is considered spoiler, but! SPOILERS NEXT:

I'm already not liking the main guy.

It was an accident, sure, it killed his girlfriend but... it was an accident, the person already must be in pain.

From what we saw on the long preview: even on jail, the main guy will not be satisfied and will make the girl's life a hell. Maybe will make her lose her baby, and thanks to her being in jail her father will die, her fiancee will dump her and even when she goes out of prison, after 5 years!, he still wants to take revenge and ruin her life - WTF . She paid for her ''crimes'' already, suffered enough, the guy should leave her alone....

I don't buy ''my girlfriend plus baby was all I had on my life'' because it wasn't like the guy and girl planned to ruin his life and kill his girlfriend, it was an accident, so I can't think his reasons for revenge are good enough.

He ends up being the spoilt rich guy....

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There is a spoiler code, now (:

I think it's and then , if I remember correctly. Anyway, for next time. Just in case.

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spoiler and /spoiler in the html bracket things! It didn't show up in my previous reply but, yeah.

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I don't know how to make the spoiler thing, just know how to put it on bold or italic lol please show me how to do it... thanks ^^

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I dunno how to make it show up but it's pretty much the same technique you use to bold and italicize text but instead 'b' or 'i' it's the word "spoiler". JB mentioned it once some time ago, I think.

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Mmm hit and run is not an "accident".

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oooh, I forgot about the part he runs, ops it is a crime...

but still, the revenge the main guy is going for is over the top...

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running is what makes it a crime... Which he should know BECAUSE he is... wait for it.....

A PROSECUTOR!!!! Which makes the whole premise of this (the show) moot. Sheesh.

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yup. he being a prosecutor and knowing law... this is such a plot flaw - or they really want to make him that stupid? I mean, really? He knew it was an accident...

now because of it he'll lose the woman who really loves him, his baby (I think) and his job too in near future, I bet it. lol

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yes it is. fleeing the scene of an accident does not make it a a propos thing, it does make it a crime because you should always stay and check the vic and call for help but, fleeing does not make it less of an accident..

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Since someone moved the barrel she rolled off the road then someone else was there and saw them. That would indicate the woman was already dead and that someone had dumped the body there maybe.

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The barrel disappeared, she asked police about it and they say there was no barrel, so I think maybe another person killed her. But even if it wasn't her boyfriend that did it, he still didn't rescue her and this is a crime too (at least in my country)

And the fact he is a prosecutor and knows law, and know it was an tragic accident if he helped and rescued her... but nooo he got afraid and ran off. Maybe the girl could even be saved if they rescued her in time.

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I think your prediction is pretty close. I fully expect one of the first scenes of her after getting out of jail to be her washing dishes in some tiny restaurant.

It makes even less sense when you go back to where it is pretty obvious that the spoiled rich guy would not have married the girl anyway, since he would then lose all that money - yet he is still being psycho after five years enough to keep wanting "revenge"?

This is shaping up to be one of the most makjang series in quite a while.

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Laughed entirely too much at "foreplay shower". I might have pulled something, even. LOLLL~!

OK! Gonna read the rest now, lol.

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I initially planned to watch Secret..only because of the cast....but dropped the idea as so many shows are premiering soon and there is no time for typical revenge melodramas which never have any emotional connection.

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Same here. No connection with revenge.

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Really? I didn't plan to watch Secret until my brother forced me to watch it because of the plot instead of the cast. ...I usually watch dramas based on the cast instead of the plot, but my brother said it gets better and the plot makes up for the cast. I mean. he said its more EMOTIONAL and shows their love build up instead of loving someone immediately after 2 episodes which we should see with the Ji Sung and the main woman cast. :P

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Is it me or... Ji Sung seems very stiff? IDK it is weird seeing him here, I even say ''blink'' please when he stares at things forever...

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Haha, yeah, even I felt a little awkward when he stared unblinkingly....I liked him in the only drama I saw of his (Save the Last Dance for Me) and he seemed like a decent good actor. But here, I'm having second thoughts. Could be the writing and directing too....

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Yeah. unfortunately not ji sung's strongest first outing. He looked a bit awkward in the first episode with his facial expressions. I think he plays sweet/goofy characters the best.

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Yay, Heads! Are you perhaps going to recap this series? I wish you would. :)

I'll admit, I'm a fan of melos, even the conventional ones. This drama has all the sort of things that I know I will like: an opposites-attract OTP, revenge storyline, angst stemming from a deep love-hate relationship, etc, etc. I even like the leads.

However, unfortunately, the execution was a bit clunky. Like you said, the cold opening didn't work out so well here and made the rest of the episode rather boring. I'm just waiting for the story to get to the opening bit again before I take a more serious interest in it.

Then there was Min-hyuk who was so many things at the same time (playboy, lazy chaebol, doting lover, etc) that I couldn't seem to connect with his character. I find the heroine a more believable character because I could find her actions logical by her line of thinking but not for Min-hyuk.

As for Lee Da-hee, I wish she had changed her look and wasn't sporting the same one from her previous drama. It makes me think of her only as Prosecutor Do-yeon.

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How can Bae Soo-bin be SOOOO hawt in period dramas and so "not" in contemporary ones? (It's a puzzle to me. But it lends weight to the theory that some nerdy guys would have a totally different appeal had they been born 400 years ago.)

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I watched this first episode and was super bored by the time the hit & run happened. I guess melo is really not my thing. I hope the show does well in ratings because I really like all the main cast.

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First episode was sorta boring for me. Felt like nice guy redux except alot less fun. The one thing that reeled me in for nice guy was definitely moon chae won's bitchy character. Watching secret, i felt like i wasn't seeing anything new. A rather standard revenge melo with a very standard candy heroine, which i'm tired of seeing. Also makes it hard watching hwang jung eum whenever she's on screen because her face is absolutely so over-done it is distracting.
Don't know if second episode gets better but this drama is going to be a no go for me, no matter how much i love ji sung.
Thanks for the first ep. recap Heads!

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yeah, what made Nice Guy's OTP storyline interesting was the heroine's willingness to be bitchy and vulnerable at the same time.

Secret just has me wondering how a Candy like HJE's character has the money for all that very obvious work done on her face. The closest we've got to an interesting character is the second lead girl.

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Yeah. I too found Lee Da Hee's character in this show way more appealing than our heroine.

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So... I guess I'm kind of late on this, but Lee Boyoung and Lee Dahee costarred as frenemies in I Hear Your Voice, and now Lee Dahee is playing Jisung's fiance, but Jisung and Boyoung are married in real life... o.o Does anyone else find this kind of stuff fascinating?

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yup. me too.. IHYV just keep popping up (more like i have yet forgotten Prosecutor Do-yeon) but JS+LDH=secret, LDH+LBY=onscreen rivals, JS+LBY=married. LOL amused

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I was wondering if this drama was going to be recapped. Yay!!! Thanks HeadsNo2. I haven't found the time to watch it yet but I am planning to. Hope it will pick up.

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Second episode is better. I like the slow motion and the lighting and the new direction. I think they are using a new camera to live shoot the drama. With story, it is har to tell. I am looking forward to episode 3 in fully sub after Master's S un. :)

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yeah, this one doesn't make me feel optimistic. And the fact that it's competing with Master's Sun makes me feel even less optimistic about this week's ratings, even when MS is doing business in the high teens range and not the 30s/40s a la Iris/Chuno etc.

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Also, for some reason I thought Secret would be competing against Two Weeks because I saw the show still in the 'recapped series' thumbnails, and didn't realise it was actually finished and the last recap written!

(bad Lee Jun-ki fan, I know)

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If they had her chasing around trying to find the real killer, and doing amazing feats, it would add some excitement.

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You hit the nail on the head about Min-hyuk. I couldn't put my finger on what bothered me so much about him, but your comments summed it up; he's just too much right now.

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oh noooo...Bae Soo Bin...when i can see him in a happy bright character...

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Thanks for the recap.

I admit, I used the FF button during the 1st episode, a lot in the first half. I found episode 2 more interesting, there were things I didn't expect. This week will show if I stick with the drama or not.

As many already said, watching Hwang Jung Eum is...distracting... and I also have problems with her high pitch voice. So far I'm in for the second lead Se Yeon.

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Hey, can I ask you a question? I tend to not fast forward dramas because I feel like I'll miss things if I do, but I know a lot of people do fast forward. Don't you worry that you might miss something that has direct bearing on the plot? Or like, how do you know which bits to fast forward? How do you know which bits will be boring and worth fast forwarding?

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I do it very rarely because of the reasons you mention. But here, I just didn't have enough patience to endure the scenes. Not Mother being horrible to Yoo Jung, for example. So I FF to the next scene. I don't think I missed much :--)... When I realize that I have the tendency to FF too much, I just drop the drama. My time is precious... and there are many dramas on my waiting list :--)

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In most dramas, even ones I don't care for much, I don't FF that much. But there are exceptions - I tend to FF on most of the overly long crying scenes, flashbacks, and those long walks along the lakeshore.

One of the few exceptions was YTBLSS - which I fast forwarded about 90% of, and even skipped a lot of episodes, but that was one of the worst dramas EVER.

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Why does the heroine work her butt off to support her boyfriend if he is a prosecutor? I thought prosecutors were paid well :/

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The accident is his first case.

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I don't think this is supposed to be happening, but Lee Dahee's character is the only one I have any inkling of liking for.

Your comments about everything are spot on HeadsNo2; this show is the epitome of the worst kept secret ever.

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What I can't stand is HJE's acting. I stood all her cheery and hyper acting in CYHMH just because of two male leads and now because of Ji Sung and BSB.
I'm hoping that storyline turns different than what I have made in my head because everything seems so recycled. the only intersting character is LDH's character so.
As for BSB, I breathe a deep sigh ans wait for time when he gets a role that he hasn't done before. ..

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The problem with this show is that it's too much like Nice Guy but without the fantastic directing and solid acting and with a formulaic plot and shallow characterisation. It's a shame, because generally the cast can do better. But it's like no one's really trying when the material is this dumb.

I wish KBS would do something different instead of trying to replicate the success of a show last year. I haven't seen a single good show on KBS this year, they need to get their act together tbh.

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Heads, thanks for the recap.

dismal, yep, that about sums it up.

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Yes! Dismal.

The premise wasn't that great to begin with (too cliché/we-'be-seen-this-sorta-thing-before), but I thought the details they used to flesh out that premise just made it rather unwatchable.

The lead actress is beyond dumb (sorry, no sympathy for her. At all). The two lead guys are jerks.

Only the second female lead – the one from IHYV – I had any inkling of sympathy for.

All dismal enough to put me off after a single episode.

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Never liked Hwang Jung Eum, granted I have only seen her in "Can you hear my heart" and she's the reason why I couldn't continue with the show.

Despite not liking her in that role, I thought she was relatively attractive until...this show.

Something's off with her face, something's just not quite right.

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OK just read all the other responses, I get it, it's her jaws and OTP plastic surgery.

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wait next epi :)

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I must be the only one that liked the first ep and second too. :) I don't know much about melos so maybe things are less cliche for me.

I do find very interesting that everyone was so crazy for Nice Guy which was horrible for me and this one is miles better but still gets so much criticism. All characters from NG were so paper thin and absurd to me and here, at least so far, I think they are rather complex and interesting. Call me crazy. :)

What's wrong with having a lead that's flawed and a jerk? No I don't think he was too much at once, people are contradictory all the time and he really wasn't, for me he is a spoiled brat who was loving, ironic but insecure and afraid to loose daddy's money. It's not that hard to understand. Candy, let's call her that, does look like a anime doll but it doesn't bother me for some strange reason, plus she showed some verve and humor, tossing his keys and fighting with the boyfriend, she does make sense. Most of all I like the fact that the future villain had good intentions and a real reason to do the horrible things he did even if, no, he can't be forgiven for leaving the scene and letting her be blamed.

Maybe people are being too much influenced by the reviews?

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Hum. Before the review was posted here, my twitter thread was already full of bad comments: After ep 2 maybe half of the viewers want to continue (4 eps 'good old try') but they are ready to drop it if it doesn't improve...

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The thing is there are a lot of repetitions here of what's being said on the review like the lead being confusing which I disagreed completely. If maybe the bad reviews had different opinions I wouldn't have gotten that impression. Plus there people that didn't even watch the show.

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Hi Lixie, excellent post! You are not alone in liking Ep 1 and 2 :) I haven't watched "Nice Guy" so can't compare the two dramas. To be honest I watch mainly Bae Soo Bin dramas only so colour me biased :)

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Lixie - I think what bothers a lot of us about this is that in the first two episodes it hit far too many of the most common clichés in k-dramas. To be honest, I don't have high hopes for this, based to a large extent on what the recap noted - "a living amalgamation of every Candy ever". The Candy girl is nearly always stupid and naïve in these dramas, but she takes it to new levels.

As far as being influenced by the reviews, I watched ep1 and ep2 long before I read any reviews, and my main thought was that just when you think that Candy Girl cannot get any stupider, she actually DOES get stupider. And I have to admit that at least some part of not liking the lead is her rather odd looking

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@Windsun nobody will EVER beat Jandi for me. Not EVER. Prosecutor Princess is really getting close though, she is giving the girl a run for it's money! I'll have to decide once that horrible dreck is finished. :)

Back to our Candy I just don't get why she is being so dumb for people here. I wouldn't do what she did but I CAN understand and I get the feeling these are the same people that last year understood Maru so I don't get it.

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I might give this a try if se-yeon were the main lead. But even reading about this Candy was enough to bore me. (And mind you I am not even against candy heroines. Just that this one sounds really dull).

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this episode just makes me confused. fullstop. don't mind reading the recaps but def gonna skip it when it comes on KBS world.

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HeadsNo2, many thanks for recapping Episode 1 (it was an unexpected treat to come across this). I have enjoyed the show so far - admittedly mainly because I love BSB to bits. :) I think the main cast is doing a good job so far (really don't care if they have undergone plastic surgery or not, as long as they put up competent acting performances).

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"Denial isnt just a river in Egypt"-HAHAHAHAHAHA\
Thanks. for the recap! i'm not sure if i should continue watching this. I hope you recap it,though.

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Does anyone know the song in the first two episodes?

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Hi mungunb, are you referring to the song at the end of each episode?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecvf66VZoYE

Navi (나비) - 불치병 (Incurable Disease) (Feat. Kebee of Eluphant)

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thanks you're so amazing <3

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I'm a real big fan of Hwang Jung Eum but I don't think I'll continue watching. I don't like the cheap look to the drama lol

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Sorry but I couldn't even finish reading the recap so I definitely know I would not be able to finish the actual episode. This one's a skip for me.

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I'm working on a new drama proposal . . . it involves a Candy-like girl who is actually a serial killer who does nothing but seek out, meet-cute, and assassinate Second Generation Chabols. To save the Republic of Korea from suffocation under the dark curtain of their odd, toxic mix of obnoxious, brooding selfishness and angst.

Once this is done, she knows, the young women of Korea will have time tg raise the nation to new heights of power, and decent, middle-class young males will be able to get dates.

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I would even buy the Blu-Ray for that one :D

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I really like this drama! Please do not stop subbing please! Let's give it a try:)

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I'm sorry but I still can't get over his deep V-neck. I never understood that appeal on a man.. who doesn't even have any cleavage to show off.

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This is probably a spoiler, but so be it:

As of episode 3, the Candy girl does not get any smarter...

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the first episode wasn't able to arouse my interest to continue watching this drama.nevertheless, i willl go on just to see if there is any progress and rising of plot in the succeeding eps.

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3rd Episode wth the twist of her carrying boyfriend's baby came very unexpected and I look fwd to what's ahead.. her baby being taken away (by revengeful man), probably using the child to further intimidate her once she is out of prison.

Must be tormenting for the bf knowing that the child is his and not able to acknowledge it.. later her abandons her?

Pse keep recapping and updating us, I feel this is going to be a nice drama, unfortunately I do not understand Korean..

Secrets? I have one too tht I am not able to share with anyone, not even my mum..

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I haven't even watched 3 ep yet but if he did all that it's already much darker than I imagined and it's a good thing because the hero is like a villain! Twisted, I like it! :) Had enough of Nice Guy always promising he would do terrible things and never actually doing NOTHING!

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it's surprising the rating of this drama isn't that good? this however reminds me of the plot in Yellow Boots with Lee Yo ri where she was incarcerated for a crime she didnt commit & had a baby in prison! i luvd that drama though it was long it was worth the time! i actually wanna rewatch it one of these days! secret is quite good i'm addicted to it as much as i did with YB drama!

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So just watched episode 4 and spoilers ahead*

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Spoilers!

Sooo, he got her baby, wtf, first time the main guy really do bad things like he says he'll (In nice guy and Bad Guy both didn't really do bad things, they all toyed with their enemy daughter's feelings and that is it -oooooooooh so evil- lol)

But the main guy really did a lot. Wow. I'm afraid of what he'll do in the future, I rope no rape scene happens, because this is TOO much for me to handle, so I hope at least this don't happen. But kdramas wouldn't go there, would they ?

Well, so I'm hating second guy too much, WTF man, your fiancee, the woman you say you love, go to jail in your place, have your baby on jail, making both suffer there, she suffers a lot, gets a burn scar, a crazy guy says he'll make her life a hell, and you still do as he asks, not because you want to protect her but because for your own fucking job/life? Wtf? Does he not know how to be grateful? And ashamed for all she did? Plus from the plot it seems he'll betray her, dump her... wow, he is low.

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I *hope

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just watch ep 4 also
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little bit spoiler !!!
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i think this drama do a good job for me, everything going fast and now, i didn't have any idea how the main gonna be together or at least have feeling to others. I have watched nice guy but this drama have more sense to me, the main girl from the 1st ep show how much she loves him and work overtime for a better live. For poor people who really have a small chance to have a better living, it's logic to sacrifice yourself for a better future husband carrier. They know law is not only about truth but involves money, and since she fixed the car illegally, she has been wrong. I thinks it's not about love, it's about ruin a long path that will never comeback, this is the real life! That's why it seems bad.

some doesn't really like because it's dark or so evil or the not-logic decision maybe just see the drama in general or didn't try to watch the drama. But I like the detail that show more feel in it. I liked the prison scene, not all people who injustice go to prison, bad people also.

for plastic surgery, i don't mind it cause the story is worth, not only actor face, about typical candy girl, i mean there's a lot people in despair or poor and try to be the best, why it always be candy, because the chaebol? That's why the story complicated, power to handle by big people.
anyway is not about revenge from the poor who's been injustice. She acknowledge it, she just want to finish it well and save her fiancee. the villain who just jobless and wanted to revenge cause he feel life must pay with life but the girl and the baby still alive. but the main girl have asked him why he did this to her cause she can't understand and the villain also ask himself.

It just a bad fate happen because time and reaction gone bad. even a prosecutor can't handle a feeling like you've killed/crash someone when he just got placement in office.

my friend said don't watch movie based on real story, cause it much more complicated and scary, well i think i found that kind of feeling here even this is not based real story. and i'm going to continue watch this drama

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Well I don't know if you guys already knows it or not, but Secret ratings keep increasing super fast. Episode 4 this Thursday recorded 10.7% nationwide and 12.7% Seoul. Already entering double digit numbers and the best among all KBS2 Wed-Thurs dramas recently. As a fan I'm happy ^-^

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I totally agree with mischa89! Secret love fighting!!!!!!

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I guess i can talk about Secret here... i am quite hooked.

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why no recap for this one T_T the story gets my brain (and heart) twisted but I'm loving it.

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sad there will no further review..after the 4th episode this drama just keeps getting better.. and now i'm addicted to this~

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Same here... Tried it since I'm a fan of makjang (weird obsession I know ^__^)... and this drama is getting better with every new episode!!

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I finally caught up. I like it.

I wonder if step-mommy dearest killed the gf as I did not see any flying bodies from the accident.

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