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My Secret Hotel: Episode 1

tvN kicks off their “killing romance” with My Secret Hotel, and there’s definitely plenty of secrets to go around for everyone: dead bodies falling from the sky; past lovers making unexpected appearances; assistant managers who continually go missing; and, of course, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” What’s not a secret are the delightful characters that populate The Secret Hotel in what promises to be another cute’n’quirky tvN rom-com.

EPISODE 1 RECAP

Wedding coordinator NAM SANG-HYO (Yoo Inna) strides confidently through The Secret Hotel, the picture of competence as she checks in with the executive chef, checks the hall and its thousand guests, and ensures that everything — flowers, orchestra, microphones — is as it should be.

Everything but the ice sculpture, which is broken and melting beyond recognition in the corner of the stairwell. Sang-hyo demands to know where Assistant Manager Hwang is since he’s responsible for the ice sculpture, but he’s nowhere to be found.

Sang-hyo’s troubles keep coming when an irate wedding guest blames the hotel for her wallet going missing. But it’s all in a day’s work as she smooth-talks the guest with a promise they’ll look into it after the wedding, putting out that fire efficiently.

It’s too soon to pat herself on the back, though, because another hotel employee runs up to report another problem, this time with the groom.

He’s sprawled out like a diva on the waiting room sofa when Sang-hyo arrives with chamomile tea to calm him. But GU HAE-YOUNG (Jin Yi-han) doesn’t have a problem with nerves — he’s just dealing with the hangover from last night’s drinking binge.

After Sang-hyo politely asks if there’s any other problem, Hae-young snidely asks her how there could be, since every detail has been carefully planned — and by her, no less. She reassures him that she did her best, and the charged moment between them stretches until they’re interrupted by the arrival of the other coordinator, Yang Kyung-hee, who says it’s time for the groom to take his place.

As Hae-young makes his way down the aisle, he gives one last lingering look at Sang-hyo, who pointedly ignores him. But as soon as he walks past her, she sighs and thinks to herself that it’s finally over: “Goodbye, Gu Hae-young.” She turns around and they’re back-to-back, walking in opposite directions: she towards the exit, he towards his bride.

Except neither of them reaches their destination. Drops of blood have been pooling on the skylight above the hall, and one finally makes its way down, right in front of Hae-young. It makes his stop in his tracks, and a good thing, too, because immediately following is a body, crashing down to land at his feet.

Sang-hyo turns around and pushes her way past all the shocked wedding guests who are screaming and running for the door. She arrives by Hae-young’s side and stands in horror at the sight of the dead body.

Time-jump!

Two weeks before the incident, Sang-hyo is in a staff meeting, where The Secret Hotel’s general manager LEE MOO-YANG (Choi Jung-woo) and managing director JO SUNG-GYUM (Namgoong Min) are in a heated argument about the financial status of the hotel.

GM Lee insists it’s just low-season and that’s why there are so many empty rooms, but Sung-gyum says that they need to start being proactive to make the hotel the popular destination it used to be.

Except there’s currently a rumor going around that, ever since Sang-hyo became the wedding planning manager, couples who get married at that hotel get divorced within three months. It turns out the rumor is based on a phone survey Sang-hyo did with the guests who had previously married there in the past year, which revealed that 27% of the couples did, indeed, divorce — but it was supposed to be an internal document for the PR team’s eyes only, and Sang-hyo swears it was destroyed right away.

Even so, those details were somehow leaked and published in a news article just that morning. Sung-gyum warns her that he’ll be watching her closely to see how she cleans up this PR mess.

Meanwhile, Hae-young is in the middle of his own staff meeting at his architectural firm. Or to be more accurate, he’s in the middle of playing a game on his phone while he occasionally shoots down his staff’s building designs, declaring them fit more for a toilet or dog house.

A sudden arrival interrupts the meeting; JOO JUNG-EUN (Hwang So-hee) storms in, calling Hae-young a bastard as she waves his wedding invitation in his face. He casually brushes her off but does a literal spit-take when she says that he needs to take responsibility for “wronging” her.

His staff is shooed out but tries to eavesdrop, assuming Jung-eun is going to reveal that she’s pregnant — but instead she demands Hae-young take responsibility for her eight-year-long unrequited love. Pffft. She insists that it’s all his fault that she fell for his handsome looks and knee-melting smooth voice. He agrees that he’s guilty of that and dismisses her with a nonchalant, “So sue me.”

When she brings up “that Las Vegas girl” he once loved, he’s suddenly flustered and kicking her out of the office. After she’s gone, he wonders how that past love would react to the news he’s getting married, smiling to himself as he remembers how “Las Vegas” looked like a rabbit when she was surprised.

Sang-hyo is busy inspecting CCTV footage to determine when a wedding guest’s wallet had been stolen, bemoaning the fact that there have been so many thefts recently. She’s called in to meet with Sung-gyum, who surprises her by referring to her as one of “his people” (instead of considering her to be one of GM Lee’s people) before asking her thoughts about the leaked PR document.

She believes someone is maliciously targeting the hotel, an idea he promises to take under consideration. After Sung-gyum dismisses her, she nervously waits a moment before sharing her concern that his combative relationship with the GM is making the hotel employees anxious. He tells her to tell him more about it over dinner, and she does her best to cover up her flustered reaction to his invitation.

Back at the Wedding Coordinating Department, Kyung-hee reveals that they’ve had another cancellation thanks to the rumor about the divorce curse. Sang-hyo’s pretty sure she knows who leaked that document — and speak of the devil, that person arrives. It’s PR manager YEO EUN-JOO (Lee Young-eun), who feigns shock that Sang-hyo would think she’s responsible for such a thing.

She’s looking for some celebrity couples that have gotten married there so she can write a positive spin on the hotel’s wedding department, but Sang-hyo thinks they should focus on upcoming weddings instead. Kyung-hee suggests the daughter of a cosmetics tycoon who’s set to marry in two weeks — she comes from a rich family, and her soon-to-be husband went to Harvard, so he’s part of the elite. Eun-joo agrees, provided the groom (whom no one has seen yet) is handsome enough.

Eun-joo waits outside the elevators, making up excuses to linger until she sees Sung-gyum down the hall. Then she scrambles to pretend that they just “happened” to run into each other. As they ride down together, she coyly asks him out to dinner, but he tells her he already made plans.

Those plans happen to be waiting for him in the lobby, and Sang-hyo smirks at Eun-joo’s dumbfounded expression when she realizes Sung-gyum is having dinner with Sang-hyo. Both ladies are determined to stake their claim on the handsome managing director, but it looks like Sang-hyo’s one step ahead, because the front desk staff immediately switch their bets from Eun-joo to Sang-hyo.

Over dinner, Sung-gyum asks about Sang-hyo’s past, making it obvious he’s studied her personnel file. Lightly glossing over the fact she was married previously, he points out that she worked her way up from waitress to manager of a Las Vegas hotel. He’s curious why someone who reached the role of general manager would suddenly come to Korea to work in a lesser position — was there some trouble?

Sang-hyo reassures him she just wanted a new challenge and felt a calling to return to her homeland, having been adopted by an American couple. But she spins the interrogation back around on him — she heard that he had been given an offer to work for another hotel. Why did he chose The Secret Hotel instead?

He admits there’s a special reason, but distracts her by complimenting the food, saying that Eun-joo thought it was delicious, too. He’s thinking of hiring the chef to work for the hotel, and wanted to verify the chef’s talents. Oh, did Sang-hyo think this was a date? She laughs and says “Of course not,” but the way she viciously cuts up her steak shows that she’s not thrilled to discover this was simply a work outing.

The next day, she charges into GM Lee’s office, demanding that he fire Assistant Manager Hwang Dong-bae. He’s always late and absent without notice, neglecting his responsibilities to the wedding planning department. But the general manager refuses to fire him, and instead tells her he’ll to move Assistant Manager Hwang to another department.

As promised, Eun-joo and Sang-hyo meet with JUNG SOO-AH (Ha Yeon-joo), the bride-to-be that they’re hoping will garner good PR for them. She reassures the two hotel managers that of course her fiancé is handsome — and they can find out for themselves when he walks through the door. Surprise, surprise; it’s none other than Hae-young.

Both he and Sang-hyo are astonished to see each other, although she quickly overcomes her shock, plastering on a bright smile and greeting him with a professional hand-shake. But when both are home alone in their respective apartments, they grumble at the sudden reappearance of each other in their lives. Hae-young, in particular, is especially put out that he didn’t get to see Sang-hyo’s surprised “bunny face.”

The next morning, he tries to convince his fiancée to change the wedding venue, but she has her heart set on marrying at The Secret Hotel. Sang-hyo had assumed that the couple would be switching venues (because if Hae-young had any conscience, that’s what he should do), so when she finds out that Soo-ah and Hae-young will be sticking with their original wedding plans, she digs up his contact information.

They meet at a coffee shop where she hands him a list of available wedding venues, asking him to find somewhere else to get married. But he instead muses over the fact this is the first time they’ve seen each other in seven years. Sang-hyo can’t believe that he won’t agree to change venues, and instead prefers have her manage his wedding — but he shrugs and says it’s not like anyone knows he and Sang-hyo were once married.

She tries to hide her emotions as Hae-young laughingly recalls that their wedding was a mess — they had just walked into any old place and, bam! Married! But when he adds that their married life was even more of a disaster, it’s too much for her and she says he’s gone too far. A tear trickles down her cheek as she excuses herself and leaves. Hae-young ponders to himself: “Did I really go too far?”

Sang-hyo drinks alone at the bar, Hae-young’s words ringing in her ears. Sung-gyum arrives, surprised to see her there. He joins her at the bar, mentioning that he’d been there previously with Eun-joo, which leads Sang-hyo to ask if he’s purposefully being vague and playing the two women off each other.

But he sidesteps the question, and she goes back to brooding over how much she hates weddings. Sung-gyum teases her that this must just be a spinster’s hysteria (always the planner; never the bride), but when he sees Sang-hyo turn away with tears in her eyes, he realizes there’s something more serious.

A dolled-up Eun-joo arrives at the bar and greets the director expectantly — only to discover he called her out not for a drink, but so she could him take care of a passed-out drunk Sang-hyo. Ha!

It takes the strength of the both of them to carry Sang-hyo back to the hotel, where Sung-gyum tries to keep her upright while Eun-joo rushes to get a room ready. A very drunk Sang-hyo tries to convince Sung-gyum that’s she’s perfectly sober. Her boss finds it hard to take her seriously, though, when she does some silly little dance moves and then slurs: “Managing Director, will you marry me?”

She’s determined to marry as soon as possible, muttering she should be “first.” When Eun-joo tries to drag her away, Sang-hyo sits down on the floor in protest, refusing to budge until Sung-gyum answers her marriage proposal. He can’t help but smile at her ridiculously cute drunken antics and, to the utter shock of Eun-joo (and the nosy front desk staff that have been watching), agrees to marry her.

In the morning, Sang-hyo wakes up bewildered in her hotel room, suffering from a painful hangover. With only vague memories about what happened the night before, she makes her way to her office, where she’s greeted by hotel staff who applaud her marriage proposal. As the memories slowly return, she practically dies of mortification, banging her head miserably against the wall.

When she spots Sung-gyum in the hallway, she tries to hurry the other way. But too late — he already saw her. They step outside for a private chat and he asks if she’s able to work today, since, y’know, she had so much to drink last night. She reassures him she’s okay, and then sliiiiiiides all the way to the far corner of the bench when he sits down next to her. He asks if she remembers proposing to him, but she feigns innocence, pretending she can’t remember anything.

When he asks if she also doesn’t remember kissing him, Sang-hyo blurts out that she just asked him to marry her — she never kissed him! But he’s caught her in her lie, and asks if they should could married ASAP, like she originally begged.

She bows in formal apology, promising it will never happen again. Sung-gyum sighs and says it’s a pity — he thought she had really meant to marry him. But he forgives her, anyway (and she still seems unsure as to how much he’s joking). After he leaves, she cringes in embarrassment until she remembers who was responsible for her drunkenness: “Gu Hae-young, this is all your fault!”

Sang-hyo arrives at the Wedding Coordination Department, surprised to see the constantly absent Assistant Manager Hwang at his desk. She warns him that the workplace isn’t a playground, but he’s not worried. Even if he’s not around much, he’s still aware of the rumors about her marriage proposal to the managing director. The ice pick he’d been cleaning gets awfully close to her throat as he tells her that he plans on getting to know the managing director much better now.

She tells him to put the ice pick away, and he laughs. Oh, and by the way: Gu Hae-young called to say he’s canceling the wedding. Sang-hyo tries to hide her ecstatic reaction, pretending instead to be worried for the couple when Assistant Manager Hwang points out that it’s bad news for a couple to cancel a wedding. He adds that the groom will stop by later to fill out the paperwork.

Later, Assistant Manger Hwang is busy working on an ice sculpture when he’s interrupted by General Manager Lee warning him to be careful about Sang-hyo. Assistant Manager Hwang mockingly asks if it’s because she demanded he be fired again, adding that if she finds out who he and GM Lee truly are, she might think otherwise. He lets out a maniacal laugh as he brandishes the ice sculpture drill in GM Lee’s face. Creepy.

The hotel staff is all abuzz about Sang-hyo’s proposal to the managing director, gossiping that since Hae-young and Soo-ah cancelled their wedding, Sang-hyo and Sung-gyum can use that date instead.

But Hae-young overhears the women, and is all steely-eyed determination when he enters Sang-hyo’s office. She’s delighted to hand over the cancellation form (practically attacking Kyung-hee when she politely suggests that the groom reconsider), but he’s stuck thinking about the idea of Sang-hyo getting remarried.

Making his decision, Hae-young rips up the cancellation form. The wedding will continue as planned, much to Sang-hyo’s dismay.

COMMENTS

What a cute first episode! I’m still not sure what a “killing romance” is yet, but I definitely am enjoying the bubbly charm of Sang-hyo as she manages the chaos of the Wedding Coordination Department of The Secret Hotel.

In fact, I think I like everyone in this drama — including the minor characters that I’m probably supposed to hate, like Eun-joo and Soo-ah. So far everyone is serving their purpose and they’re all delightful. As a life-long fan of whodunnits, I’m definitely curious about the murder mystery — it seems pretty obvious that GM Lee and Assistant Manager Hwang are somehow involved with the dead body from the first few minutes of the episode (and part of me is speculating that the dead body is Assistant Manager Hwang himself, because GM Lee seems like a pretty shady character).

But I’ve also got my eye on Jung-eun. Did anyone else see how she smirked and calmly left the wedding hall when all the other guests were in a panic, or was it just me? She’s definitely on the “suspect” list, not the least because of her long unrequited love for Hae-young (and I think I’ll even make a bet that she’s a reason why Hae-young and Sang-hyo originally broke up, since she’s apparently been in love with for eight years, and the last time the ex-couple saw each other was seven years ago).

Speaking of Hae-young — I think I’m supposed to not like him because he’s a bit of an arrogant diva who is more determined to find a petty way to get back at Sang-hyo (who, let’s not forget, he currently believes to be engaged to be married to Sung-gyum). But I don’t. I mean, I don’t not like him. Maybe it’s just my love of Jin Yi-han (helllooooo, Empress Ki Tal-tal feels!), but I think he’s actually a really fun character, and he and Yoo In-na have such a fun chemistry that I do believe their characters must have had a wild, spontaneous, and completely unforgettable relationship back then. It’s pretty obvious she’s the “Las Vegas” girl — so I’m assuming they had a whirlwind romance and a quick wedding in Vegas. But I’m definitely looking forward to their backstory to be revealed.

I’m still a little iffy on Sung-gyum, though. Perhaps it’s because his character reminds me so much of his character in I Need Romance 3 — both are the sort-of-sweet, sort-of-hardass type of boss who seems charmed by the leading lady, who clearly has a thing for him. But I haaaaaated his character in I Need Romance 3, so it’s a bit of a struggle for me not to assume he’s somehow going to completely break Sang-hyo’s heart. Even forgetting my bizarre post-drama hang-up, Sung-gyum clearly has a secret, one that I’m assuming is tied to his combative interest with General Manager Lee. I get the feeling Sung-gyum is on a secret mission to keep an eye on the hotel and the finances, but who knows why yet. Other than obviously something shady is going on there.

On the flip-side of my weird actor’s-previous-roles hang-up, I’m absolutely adoring Yoo In-na. I’ve never really been a fan of her work, and I wasn’t sure if she would completely win me over this time. But I’ve been proven wrong! I love her as Sang-hyo and can’t think of anyone else I’d rather have playing the role. She’s utterly charming, both when she’s making silly faces and eking out a tear or two. While I’m totally sure which gentleman I’m rooting for to win (or win back) her heart, I do know that I’m looking forward to watching her confidently steal theirs — and maybe solve a few crimes while she’s at it.

Because this show is going to be about the mystery, too, right? Or will I have to get drunk and selfishly beg for more than just a fun and frothy rom-com?

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Unfortunately, while I can praise this drama for it's brilliant storyline and pace. The components of mystery blended with love works really well, since it keeps the audience tense. I get nervous in half of the "love" scenes since there is always someone looking shady.
Not only that but the cast is great, they work really well. Sure, it's only the first two episodes but even the leads have great dynamics.

But... I'd have to complain that they made Hae-Young's fiancée too purposely.. dull. Annoying and very irritating, it's obvious they make no plans to turn her into an actual human being. I'd sympathise at the fact she's treated as an object, but how can I when it seems she has no self-respect for herself? I so wish that I could see a couple with actual feelings for each other. Making her like this just turns off everyone. Deliberately. Making it more excusable for what I feel is gonna happen soon.

But even so, the first two episodes were great - I'm just disappointed that the writers had to go to this extent to push a love triangle. Such a cliché and classic move to do on a character.

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I didn't find HaeYoung's fiancee annoying. I was afraid they would make her really horrid and shrewish to get us to root for the ex lovers but despite coming across as a bit immature, she seemed sweet and likeable enough. And I think we saw too little of her so far to call her dull.

Why do you say that she seemed to have no self respect? In this episode, we saw her trying to stand up to her fiance to get what she wanted. She didn't just go along with it when he said he didn't want to have the wedding there and I'm pretty sure he rushed to cancel the contract so that she wouldn't be able to stop it from going through.

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To me she comes across as way too cutesy - super aegyo seems to be her main trait.

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With the exception of the three main leads, the side characters (which include the fiance) run a spectrum of caricatures. She provides awesome comic relief, and I think it's a smart editorial choice. Because if she was any smarter, she totally would catch on that something is amiss between NSH and GHY. She fits the trope of a spoiled heiress who is completely needy, a bit of a hypocrite, two-face, a tad dim, and not self-aware but silly and unabashedly brazen. She's such a mash up of sorts that her role is not meant to be taken seriously, i.e., just not a serious love contender. So thus far MSH (plus previews) shows a love triangle than a rectangle. But I must say NSH's rival YEJ is awesome. I think she's a serious contender for JSG's affection. So NSH is flanked with female rivals on both sides with a total farce of a character on the one hand and on the other, an ambitious, competent one that would appear in less outlandish, more realistically set rom-coms.

This whodunit drama is addictive and refreshing!

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Okay perhaps you don't find her annoying, but it's so obvious that her only role in this is to be used a plot ploy. It's really tedious to watch because her character deserves more development. There's a character like this in ALL dramas.
And I meant in episode 2 - that was my mistake. Her husband acts distant and indifferent towards anyones eyes. I won't spoil anymore, but that's what I meant.

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Funny that you say that when we actually got to know she has another plot of her own (as of latest in Episode 6). I still like her though. She may be a bitch at some points in the story, but seeing till Episode 6 I actually begin to like her.

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I agree with you that the fiancee is an irritating type. Whenever I see such a person in drama, I say that te guy would be better off getting himself a chihuahua - it will also cling to you, but doesn't demand expensive bags and clothes. There should be a limit to being an airheaded, spoiled daughter of a wealthy family.

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That was my impression also. I generally hate that type of character in dramas, but thankfully they don't usually last long - they are usually sidelined or reduced to secondary characters.

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LOL, i'm not the only one who hate Nam gung Min character both here and i need romance 3. Is he the male lead or second lead? i hope he didn't end up with "Yoo in na" character. I like the other guy much better

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He is a very stiff actor. He looks and acts the same in every drama. I found the characters, the plot and this first episode extremely boring. Like this is very bad, type of boring. I predict the drama petering out around 6 episodes, cause there is just not enough story there.

Compare this episode to the somewhat similar Discovery of Love first episode, in terms of chemistry, plot and willingness to continue watching. I rest my case.

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Discovery of Love is already DOA (Dead on Arrival). Looks at the ratings. Unless they Princess Aurora one of the leads, it will be competing with Pretty Man for the worst rom-com of this decade.

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I also really hated his INR3 character - the smirky, superior attitude, the blowing hot and cold to maintain unfair advantage in a relationship, the cruel-in-public and nice-in-private hypocrisy.
I am really sorry to see that the same character - even down to the clothes! - has set up residency in this TvN show. Is he going to be like this stock character that travels from show to show, wardrobe rack clacking behind him in the corridor?

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LOL!!!
You really cracked me up.Thank God I'm home and not at work otherwise everyone would be giving me funny looks.
Just imagining him literally moving his wardrobe from show to show!

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I really hope he plays a different character too. I first saw him in Can You Hear My Heart and really liked him there, but I super hope this isn't the same character as in I Need Romance 3!

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I feel bad for the guy…I started watching MSH, but stopped once seeing NGM's character on screen interacting. I like him in WGM, but how he acts on screen, not so much. I hope this drama will do well, cause I really like TvN…but I guess I'll be reading the recap only.

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This was a great first episode! I've never watched anything with Jin Yi-han but I've grown to like him already. And Yoo In-na is charming!

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"I've never watched anything with Jin Yi-Han"

...omg. Watch Empress Ki, is all I have to say. GO. GO WATCH IT NOW.

http://dramacool.com/empress-ki-episode-1.html

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YOO IN NAME!!! Which is an ancient Korean name meaning "Who needs cheekbones to be beautiful?"

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YAAAAAAAAAAAY. You guys are covering My Secret Hotel too. Awesome! Thank you!

I've only watched episode one so far and truthfully, I'm not sold on it yet but I laughed at times, Yoo Inna is cute as a button and I am intrigued to see how they plan to handle the murder mystery, although I hope they're not telegraphing the killer so soon.

I actually like how enigmatic the Assistant Manager is. I really don't know what his deal is. Does he like Sang Hyo? Is he just this way with everyone? What's his deal, man?
Why is Hae Young so darn grumpy and how is it that a lifelong friend of his only found out he was getting married when she got the invite? Also why is he marrying the second lead from INR2? (I always thought she was adorable.) He doesn't seem particularly interested in her - is it just to use her family's connections?
Why do they keep putting Yoo Inna in those high-waisted pants? I don't think she's a tall woman and those pants are not doing flattering things for her physique, although they're beautiful pants on their own.
In addition, the uneven layers in Eun-Joo's hair are driving me crazy. It just looks like she got a bad hair cut.

Also I'm excited to see the right hand man from Master's Sun playing a bad guy. I thought he was going to be a similar character here but clearly he is veeeeeeeery shady too. I hope he doesn't die.

I think it's odd (but not in a bad way) that the show constantly has this fuzzy look around the outer edges of shots which make the whole thing seem like a dream or a flashback.

I hope that we get to see more of SangHyo being competent and composed because I felt that she was a touch too unprofessional at times here. I know the circumstances are far from ideal BUT STILL, rein it in, honey.

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Highwaisted pants are meant to elongate the legs and make the figure look taller
(Tricks of styling)

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It's working. YIN looks much taller than she really is. Well, plus the enormous platform shoes don't hurt.

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I think Yoo Inna looks good in those clothes. She has quite the banging bod and those clothes flatter her quite well.
I saw GM Lee first in City Hunter and he was the most evil of the council of five, Chun Jae-man, so when I saw him in Master's Sun, I was uneasy, just waiting for him to become evil again. So, I'm not terribly surprised by his character here.

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Definitely agree on the bad haircut, if you're gonna layer that way, at least make sure the front sort of blends in with the back. It looks so odd with the front being so visibly shorter than the back, like someone took scissors and just cut that section off.

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Thanks for recapping My Secret Hotel Odilettante.

Absolutely love the styling and fashion choices for Yoo In-Na's character Nam Sang-Hyo. Sometimes dramas go way overboard with "what in the world" wardrobe choices for 1st leads.

The interior design choices for Secret Hotel are quite eye-catching. Now this is how staff uniforms for a drama with the main setting and location primarily taking place in a hotel should look like. (**cough Hotel King**).

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Oh, I love it!

It reminds me of Clue, but at the same time of all the mindfucker films like "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" or "Lucky Nr Slevin". Because it is dark. But, you know, fluffy-dark, k-drama-dark. ^__^

Obviously, Tal Tal (ah, names...) is adorable. And Inna is fluffy. And she plays a GREAT drunk! :D
The only thing that's weird is that nobody notices their weird staring battles ... And he doesn't seem interested in his bride-to-be in the least. But who would (in Dramaland) if they met their soulmate again.

It seems like a exes-coming-back-together done right. Please do it right, Drama! Onegaishimasu!

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Yoo Inna is so pretty and adorable! I just want to root for her and see her character make the wedding planning business a success at the hotel.
It was funny when Hae Young compared her to a rabbit. I kept thinking how much I agreed with him.

Boss Sung Gyum is so intimidating that I could really feel the embarrassment Sang Hyo felt when she realized she proposed to him!
He's on another level yo.

It's still early for me, but I don't see the romantic chemistry between any of the leads yet. Hae Young + Sang Hyo have a past I want to know more about.
What happened in Las Vegas.... how they met, etc. It's been 7 years!~

The murder thing didn't get developed much in this episode.
All we got is a dead body and it wasn't revealed who it was yet... I'm pretty sure I know who it is though.
Most of this episode was spent dealing with Sang Hyo and Hae Young. I wonder how serious are the writers gonna go with the murder factor?

Overall, I'm excited about this show. Things really picked up in Episode 2~ ^-^

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And now for sth completely different:

Ive just read that the writer of MSH died midway (,_,) so episodes 5 through 16 were written by a different person. Does anyone have more information on that?

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I heard that too. The writer Kim Ye-ri, who wrote the first 4 episodes, died of cancer and so she had to be replaced by another writer. Kim Ye-ri also wrote the first 8 episodes of Lie To Me. I'm hoping the new writer doesn't take the show into wtf territory and manages to develop on the foundation and make it better.

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ms. koala also mentioned this on her blog and added some more detail that the writer sketched out the entire story. so thankfully the writer stepping into her shoes has something to work with. my fear remains that the dialogue won't keep up as there are some snide and underhanded comments made between the exes that cute, endearing and comedic.

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YAY!!! Every time I see a drama without a Dramabeans recap, I always feel like the watch is incomplete. So thanks for the recap, odilettante!

I just love this one. Absolutely adore it. And I think most of that love is dedicated to the fantastic, intense and completely absorbing chemistry of the two leads. Going in, I had zero expectations other than I wanted to see YIN and JYH not getting wasted like they were in their last dramas. That wish is fulfilled, clearly.

Sang-hyo is awesome. She can be emotional, but she's also strong and knows how to do her job. Hae-young is my favourite though. I love how nonchalant he shows himself to be at work yet is clearly competent at what he does. He's extremely childish but underneath it all, he's emotional and obviously very affected by Sang-hyo.

The way he thinks of how she'll react, the fact that he wants her to, that she has the power to make him cancel his own wedding and then re-instigate it - its proof that he hasn't gotten over her at all. I'm just so pleased they're exploring those obvious feelings right from the word go.

Bottom line is that I'm in love with this. So much that its probably enough to not make me go through major withdrawals when MND ends. I hope the romance keeps coming in abundance because I couldn't care less for the literal killing when YIN and JYH has the power to kill with their explosive chemistry.

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Agree with everything you say. Particularly about the leads -- there were moments when you really felt how painful their break-up had been to both of them. Some subtle acting there made for a heartfelt scene (although I might be thinking of episode 2 here).

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Oh wow! I didn't like the first episode. It felt slow to me. But reading your recap makes me think i should think again. Maybe i'm not giving it a fair chance. I'll give it another try. Thanks.

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I agree it was neither a quick paced nor a very tightly told beginning of a story. I guess I used the ff button a little here and there...

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When I wasn't sold by the end of this episode, I reminded myself that Witch's Romance had a disappointing first episode too but it still turned out to be a great show so I don't want to write it off just yet. I haven't watched episode 2 yet though.

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Same here. Felt it was pretty slow too. I used the FF button a few times and found out I didn't miss much. Anyway, will continue watching and hope it gets better.

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I absolutely have to share my shallow squee: I am in love with Yoo Inna's style in this drama. Finally a girl who knows how to dress for work! Fashionable but not loud, individual but not weird, appropriate but not boring. And her black trousers at the end of the epidode are a masterpiece <3.

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Her heels are much too high. I've worked on my feet before and ugh, my feet hurt just looking at her shoes.

That said, I was inspired by her silver heels to go lI don't remember if it was in episode

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Her heels are much too high. I've worked on my feet before and ugh, my feet hurt just looking at her shoes.

That said, I was inspired by her silver heels to go l looking for silver shoes. I don't remember if it was in episode 1 or 2 that she wore them.

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The heels were indeed high, but they had a purpose in the second episode. LOL. A satisfying feeling to watch high uncomfortable shoes be used in the way I've imagined so many times.

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I have been waiting to watch Jin Yi Han as a lead! I was really excited because in episode two they played a new song by my personal favorite Korean musician Neon Bunny. And got confirmation that it is going to be on the soundtrack but when is the OST going to be available I can't seem to find any information about it?

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I really am enjoying the soundtrack! On most dramas, the music kinda fades in the background for me (or I tune it out because it gets repetitive and grating after awhile), but so far, I'm loving everything I've heard so far. So refreshing and catchy!

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I have not made up my mind on this one yet. After two episodes it seems a bit disjointed in parts, but my main concern is that it seems to be getting filled up with extra characters - I have already lost track of who is who, and more keep showing up.

At this point no idea - aside from the leads - as to who is just peripheral filler or real characters, but there seems to be a lot of them.

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Same impression about the number of characters - there are so many that I had problems deciding whether it is one person or two similar people, not to mention that it was hard to figure out what they are up to - who is a jealous colleague and who is a humble hoobae. I know that it's only the first episode, but still we need some clear exposition...

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I am loving this show, largely because of the leads. Yoo Inna is my second favourite actress after Yoon Eun-hye, and after seeing her be terribly wasted in YFAS, which I loved anyway, I'm so glad she's back in a lead role again. The chemistry between her and Jin Yi-han is so hot I need to pause and take a breath whenever they are together.
*spoiler???*

I'm almost certain the reason Sung-gyum hates GM Lee is because he thinks he has something to do with the death of his father. I wonder what the secret between GM Lee and Assistant Manager Hwang is. And I Am certain the dead body is Hwang. 100% sure.

I'm really enjoying this show so much.

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I absolutely loved this episode. It was mysterious, funny, adorable, smart, and fun. Just watching the charged intro to our main couple before the wedding made me curious about their backstory - they were both trying so hard to be detached, yet behind what they were saying, you could feel the tension in the air, and all the things they wanted to say but couldn't. Wonderful acting between the two; you could already feel their chemistry crackling and sizzling, and it got me pumped up and ready to go from the very start.

My favorite part of this episode though was definitely the drunken proposal. Oh my gosh, did I laugh. I veered between sympathy, humiliation, glee, and horror. I can not even imagine doing something that mortifying in front of my boss (or anyone, for that matter). . . but his reaction, Eun-joo's, and that of the staff looking on, totally had me rolling. If I'm being honest, I'm not sure why everyone seems so standoffish about Sung-gyum (then again, I fell in love with him in Can You Hear My Heart, so maybe my bias simply flows in the other direction). But I thought he was a fun, intriguing second-lead, particularly with how amused he seems with Sang-hyo. Not many people (bosses especially) would be that understanding or cool about getting stuck with a drunk employee; and even fewer would be willing to joke around at that same employee's expense later on. It made him seem more accessible somehow, and less like the hot, rich heir on a pedastal few could ever hope to "snag". It makes her petty rivalry with Eun-joo that much more amusing, because Hae-young aside, they both have an equal shot. The fact that Sung-gyum has secrets too (to be fair, they ALL do) just intrigues me all the more! Which is one reason I love every character; they're complex, interesting, and realistic. Even the minor ones, like Hae-young's fiance, stalker, and the hotel employees feel like (albeit) exaggerated versions of people we all know.

And thankfully the second episode just improved upon the first. Together, these two episodes flowed seamlessly together, and set up the stage for an intriguing, clever murder mystery with a healthy dose of romance. I've been craving a rom-com with a new creative spin, and apparently this is just what I've been waiting for. Let the killer romance begin!! ^_^

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Thanks for recapping guys!!
I'm following this one because of Jin Yi Han (Tal Tal *-*) and Yoo In Na. Love them separately and I hope together they will have nice chemistry.
So far I like Yoo In Na character a lot, she is funny and charming. He is a bit like a spoiled child however. But I hope things will change in the future. :D

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I'm a fan of whodunits and watched the first two episodes back to back. I liked that they throw out all the big questions right away.

Not sure which guy is supposed to be the male lead, but I like Sung-gyum better, so clearly it's a sign that he's the second lead. Ah, me and my love of beta-heroes...

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LOL, your last lines made me laugh. But I don't think Sung-gyum is a beta hero, at least he seems more alpha than Hae-young. He's second lead for sure though, because kdrama rules state that ex-lovers almost always end up together. Plus the amount of emphasis on Hae-young and Sang-hyo's lingering feelings indicates that.

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Really? I thought for sure the manager was the lead.

Kdrama rules love to show a romance from the beginning so he's clearly in the lead.

The other guy was shown as a bit selfish and I bet he will somehow be blamed for the quick end of their marriage.

I hope this won't be another divorce show, if it is i'll drop it despite liking Yoo Inna..

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Nah, I'm certain JYH is the lead. The fact that Hae-young's fiance is the kind of characters most drama dispatches, him and Sang-hyo being previously married and still being obviously in love with one another - I'm so very sure Hae-young is the lead.

As well, Hae-young being selfish or a bit of a jackass is kdrama male lead's trademark vs. the nice guy Sung-gyum who's always there for the girl. But tvN could troll us all and pull a AM94 shipper tug war and make them both seem like contenders. I hope not because the shipper war in that was so ridiculous it killed the fun in the drama.

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Ok I will watch ep 2 and come back to post again on the recap or the OT. I hope I can prove you wrong Mandy ehehe, I don't want to have second lead crush! :)

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@Lixie - Lol I shouldn't have assumed you already saw episode 2. It sheds a whole lot more light on the lead equation so I guess we'll just continue this in the next recap. And I see you're in the opposite ship? Let the war begin =P

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Thank you for making me aware that this was airing! And also thank you, odilettante, for the recap. :) I'm not quite sold on this drama yet but I immensely enjoyed the drunken proposal by Sang-hyo and her initial awkwardness afterwards. That's definitely an amusing female lead after my liking and I can't wait to see what's lying buried in her past.

Even though I'm already thoroughly charmed by Sung-gyum's smile, I cannot deny Hae-young's intense chemistry with Sang-hyo. There are definitely lasting feelings here and I'll be damned if the two of them aren't endgame. Alas, this probably means for me marvelling at Sung-gyum without any hope for a romantic happy ending involving him (suddenly remembering all my Geun-woo feels). However, I'm sure it'll be entertaining nonetheless and Sang-hyo/Hae-young will soon win me over in no time.

Oh, and did I mention already that I loved the scenes with Eun-joo? I really hope she'll stay relatively sane during the course of the show and will drop some bombs of pure meanness for the sake of good, delicious drama. I also wouldn't be averse to her becoming friends with Sang-hyo in the end because female cattiness and jealousy is so overdone and her character would profit from some more nuances. Plus, we've already got some real baddies here, so there's no reason why she has to remain this antagonistc, right?

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Ha! As I noted previously, they really are using In Na to sell this show. The first long shot is the camera following her as she walks, and In Na has one of the finest . . . uh . . . rear views . . . in Kdrama. People on Vikii were recognizing her just from that.

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To be honest I like this drama better than Discovery of romance (DoR).

This drama has it all (mystery, rivalry, vengeance, bittersweet romance and love triangle) and it is keeping me engaged (even though the ladies in this drama scream unnecessarily :-P )

Whereas DoR was "meh..."

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i actually like discovery of romance better simply because i like the characters (or rather, the actors/actresses portraying them & how they're portraying them) more. but i'll stick around for a few more episodes before i make my final judgment...
also, this is really random but does anyone else think that jin yi-han looks a bit like jang geun suk here? maybe it's the voice, his eyes, or his facial expressions somehow...or maybe it's just me.

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YAY! I'm so happy this is getting recapped. There's definitely a lot to love about this show and the leads are fantastic together :)

All in all, it was a pretty satisfying first episode. I can understand why people fault it for being slow though because it definitely dealt mostly with introducing it's characters and setting up the wedding conflict. It hasn't really delved into it's mystery yet, but there was enough to get me intrigued because there are a lot of different players amongst the hotel staff. It should make for some great fun as soon as the wedding comes along. Most of my enjoyment came from watching actors I really like playing characters I really like. Once the investigation gets going, they should be even more entertaining so I am stoked!

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I have a love/hate thing for Yoo Inna. I love her when she's the lead, and hate her when she's not. (I don't really hate her, just her characters.) But I really like her here.

Namgoong Min is just great. I did not watch INR3 so I don't know about his character in that, but, so far, I like his character here. Very mysterious. And hot. Just sayin'.

Jin Yi-han, on the other hand, I'm not familiar with (I didn't watch Empress Ki) so I don't know what to make of him. Character-wise, I don't like Hae-young. He's immature and just silly. I don't really care about his past or his future, so I don't want him to end up with Sang-hyun. But then, he might be the lead so..... ugh.

I may follow the next episode, but after that, I'm not sure.

Thanks for the recap!

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Agreed about Hae Young. What a jerk he is to his employees and can't seem to make any effort to be nice to the girl he's marrying. I don't love the actor but feel bad he has to bear that dreadful pama hair.
I also am a Namgoong Min lover and am sad to see him as yet another wry, thoughtful and effective boss who doesn't get the girl. Sigh. I hope there's something interesting in store for him, like maybe being the murderer? Wheeeee!

Really liking all the side characters, esp Eun Joo. It seems strange that an asst mgr in the wedding office would also be the actual ice sculptor, but - okay! I think he's the dead body, too.
And glad to see the actor playing General Mgr to be a bad guy after he was such a teddy bear in Masters Sun.
This looks like a good time!

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yesssssss I loveeeee this drama it's just so much fun and I like that it's not just a romance its got other things going on to hold my interest, also loving the leads I even quite like the second lead even if he was a bit of an ass with the fake date thing and playing the two women against each other, I like it because he's not just a straight forward "nice guy". Yoo Inna is so adorable with the best wardrobe!

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They should just call this the Yoo In Na show. hehe Love Yoo In Na and she is so adorable in this drama.

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I like it! It feels like clue, where every character has a secret and you ave to sort through them all to figure it out .

Also, cheers for the divorced couple being portrayed semi-realistically, ie. showing realistic feelings whilst not regressing to the behavior of 5 year olds on a playground. There is some pettiness, but it's the I'll-Show-Them-Make-Them-Jealous variety, which is believable in exes. That's one thing that really got me annoyed with the behavior in Emergency Couple- Human Adults, even divorced, have to maintain a professional veneer when they see each other in a professional setting.

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I'm loving this drama so far. The main couple has explosive chemistry and I love that they still love eachother, so that makes it easier to root for them. I feel for the second lead already because he's already lost. I like that this drama is like an live action drama of Clue and so far there are many people that I suspect of being the killer.

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I was in a drama slump for awhile, but this tickled my fancies and now I'm back. Really enjoyed the first two episodes. It's fun, quirky, and heart-tugging, and the OST + cinematography is a huge plus! I hope it carries through the rest of the drama.

On a shallower note, I'm really loving the stylist for this drama.

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Thank you for recapping this series! I was anticipating it.

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I like mystery mixed with romance and comedy and so far this one is hitting a lot of the proper notes.

I hope that finding the resolution to the mystery also helps us find out about how all these characters came to be here, not just our romantic leads.

I like Yoo In Na. I like how she's worked her way up from second banana to lead. She's paid her dues and now is the time for her to reap the benefits.

The costume designer for this show is doing excellent work. A really good mix of character appropriate pattern and color and clean lines. I particularly like Yoo In Na's wedding dress, her high waist pants and the bamboo pattern shirt. I love the character statement that the fiancees clothes make. Soft and feminine but not over done. I really like what is going on with the outfits the other women are wearing as well. I don't remember noticing the men's stuff. I'll have to pay extra attention next time.

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I agree! The stylist is doing a great job with In Na's outfits.
Also, the whole show's aesthetics is in line with it, so it is a pleasure to watch...and so is the main leads chemistry. Hope the storyline is good enough to fully enjoy the series.

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I will talk about what I dont like about this drama first. I'm an architect and I feel a bit offended seeing Hae Young playing game on a concept meeting. I will be really mad if my boss acting like that. That is not competent. Then again portrayal of architects in kdrama never amused me. Just look at Personal Taste.

And second, am I the only one who thinks that actor playing assistant manager hwang is a little bit too over the top? I can't take him seriously because his acting combines with that moustache is just too ridiculous.

But that aside, I like first two episodes of MSH. And I reaally like Yoo Inna's acting and character. She feels realistic and well, human. She's witty and funny. And I am sailing away with her and Hae young ship already. Their chemistry is on fire! I mean I could feel their sadness, anger and a bit of longing just seing they stared at each other.

I feel a bit worried about the mystery part though. Usually the mystery is about the main character personal story but right now it's concerning the secondary character--which honestly I dont really care right now. Hoping I'll be proven wrong.

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Thanks odilettante for recapping. Glad that Dramabeans picked this up too along with Discovery of Romance. :)

Anyway, liking it so far. Yoo In Na plays this type of role really well. As for the guys, have yet to root for one.

At this point, Hae Young's antics are less than desirable but since we don't know much about their backstory, will have to hold back on my opinion. However, he better have a really good reason for his current treatment towards Sang Hyo.

Since I've watched Episode 2, really looking forward to next week. :)

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I love this drama sooooo much, thanks for the recap odilettante!

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Yoo In Na and Jin Yi Han couple! Hae Young and Sang Hyo! Let the ship sail!

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Thanks for recapping, Odilettante! After watching the first 2 eps, I really like the flavour of this show.

I'm always happy to see the world's cutest and most stylish Bunny Yoo Inna in a leading role!

I recognised Jin Yi-han as the soccer player groom from Master's Sun, and it struck me that he really doesn't have much luck with his brides! He was pretty childish at first, but they did a good job portraying the lingering feelings between the two, which they find increasingly difficult to hide.

The supporting characters are also promising. The be-wigged and moustached Assistant Manager Hwang is a bit over the top, but I won't discount a guy who waves his ice picks around with such nonchalance and indulges in random acts of violence while carving beautiful ice sculptures and seemingly playing cupid to our OTP... (are we meant to think he's dead? Somehow I don't think so)

It's a bit of a Master's Sun reunion, really - nice to see teddy bear Secretary Kim in a shady role, not to mention the jealous co-worker Kim Bo-Mi. I think they even used the same hotel setting!

This one's right up my alley - and 2 episodes a week! Yay!

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My only comment in this drama: I want this drama's OST!

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The lead actress is not that good at acting...
Especially at the begining, when she was poking her face because of headache or being annoyed.
I still like the drama though and hope she give a better performance on the next episodes.

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Yoo In Na is charming and lovely as always. And I'm really loving her wardrobe. Smart, sexy, professional and individual, the way a working woman should dress.

The drunken scene though, was quite over done in my book. Still, both leads are evenly matched, I'm looking forward to more episodes. I liked ep.1 although, it didn't exactly pull me into the drama yet.

As for Namgoong Min - he seems to be playing the same character as he did in INR3. And I wasn't too fond of his role there either. It's a new drama, so I hope they switch things around for him at least. The worst thing he can do is be stereotyped. He may want to play it a little differently, so the viewers can see another character in him.

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Does anyone know where I can find the OST for this drama?

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Yes! The Empress Ki's Taltal feels!!

I really like JYH in EK. Really happy that he finally gets to stretch his acting skill...some more. I thought he was quite impressive in EK. Not anybody can convey so many range of emotions with so little words.

Hope this drama stays this awesome to the end
*fingers crossed*

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A great 1st episode. It's been a long time since a 1st episode hooked me like this.

The lead actress shows us straight both strentgh and fragilty, i can foresee what will the love triangle will be -even if my preference goes to the Hotel manager at first sight-
Both male actors are fine, and secondaries are nice. And some really give me the creeps : Hwang and GM!

I do appreciate the smart writing and the way its reflushing the drama cards with a "in medias rei" introduction followed with the flashback parts, wich avoid us a long 3-6 episodes intro.

Thumbs up!

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Thanks for such an interesting recap! I think this is a very good start and I really hope they keep going with this momentum. Loving Yoo Inna and Jin Yi Han to bits. :D

Not sure if I got this wrong or does anyone else also notice that the timing of events is a lil' bit off...? The missing purse case was supposed to be on Hae Young's wedding day. But when we jumped back to 2 weeks ago, Sang Hyo was checking the CCTV footage on Hae Young's wedding day..? It was the same spot where the bride's aunt was about to give her cash gift..

Nevertheless, great start with great leads! Can't wait to see upcoming episodes! :) :)

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i'm confused… i thought the wallet was stolen the day the main lead was getting married? (as you can notice from the main girl's clothes being the same) but then the two week jump and the main girl lead is looking for the missing wallet? but.. isn't that in the present time? i'm so confused.

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The stealing of wallets has actually been "a thing" before the one we saw at the wedding. When she's going through the CCTV evidence in the flashback (so, two weeks before Hae-young's wedding), she mentions that this has been happening lately at the weddings. It didn't happen just once, but has been a regular occurrence for at least a month prior to Hae-young's wedding.

So it's likely that's another mystery that will be addressed -- who's the wedding pickpocket?

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Is it me or Yoo inna's forehead doesn't crinkle like a normal forehead? Been fascinated by her heavily Botox or altered forehead.

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Well I started to read this drama because of Namgoog Min and Yoo Inna. For the first episode it wasn't that bad. Let's see what will happen next

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