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Secret’s writer heads to SBS with Mask

Scriptwriter Choi Ho-chul scored a surprise hit for KBS with his angsty melodrama Secret in 2013, and now SBS will be hoping he can re-create that success for them with his next drama, titled Mask, which has been granted a slot on the schedule for late spring.

The drama is about people “who live hiding their true faces behind the masks they wear,” and centers around a determined woman who “by chance” enters into a chaebol family. The wording is very vague so it’s not clear whether that means she works for them, marries into them, or otherwise gains entry to the household. Well, I suppose you don’t marry by chance, so maybe that possibility’s out.

Initially planning to air in December, Choi had reportedly completed scripts for the first six episodes as of late last year, which puts him in good shape for Mask’s launch in May. True, it’ll have some tough competition, with the tenth drama from the Hong sisters scheduled in the same timeslot over on MBC. But Secret held its own against the highly hyped Heirs, with each episode netting higher ratings than the last, so that doesn’t always mean much.

Furthermore, Secret drew a pretty devoted audience during its run, enough to get fans perking up to see what the writer conjures up next. I found Secret to be a pretty wild and histrionic drama, but also addictive; everyone was so bursting with emotion all the time that it wasn’t hard to get swept up by the force of their misery. If Mask can create a similarly compulsive watching experience, I can see it scoring another hit.

The drama will be a 20-episode Wednesday-Thursday series premiering in May, following The Girl Who Sees Smells, which follows currently airing Hyde, Jekyll, Me.

Via E Daily

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While I don't like Secret, cause too many angst will kill you.. I get that it's pretty well-written drama and addictive and lead couple who can act and create great chemistry..

But seriously is drama about average, mediocre people not interesting? Why always chaebol?

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because it is easier for the writer. writing about regular people and seeing the interesting aspects of their lives takes research and writers are too lazy to do that. it is easier to imagine a "life of a chaebol" even if it aint realistic. cause viewers have the same stereotypes and relate to them.

is my version. not necessarily correct

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Agreed. Most people don't know what chaebol life is really like, so it's easier for the writer to create a fantasy world based on established tropes and invite people into it. And chaebol make an easy villain.

There actually is a subset of dramas that have nothing to do with chaebol. Usually weekend or daily long-running series that focus on everyday interactions of modest households, many generations of family, and the like. So there is audience for both.

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I think it's a cultural thing, Koreans love their Chaebols. Thankfully this past year we had pretty good dramas that revolve around regular people.

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I completely agree with you. The secret is overly hyped. I did not enjoy the drama and barring a few episodes..i just skimmed through most just to finish the drama. A compelling boring story if i may combine both the word!!

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If Secret is over-hyped, i dont know what word should i use for Heirs.
Regarding whether you like it or not, the drama is very well-written and well-acted ( and the script and acting are 1000x better than Heirs, its direct competitor)

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Wahahaha
There will always be someone who likes/dislikes a drama, but I do agree with you, Secret is a good drama. Whether they said it's a drama for K-Ahjummas so it has good ratings, whatever... hahaha

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watch tvn dramas.

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well i guess the main girl might work her charms and what ever oportunity(she makes),by "fate" and marry the rich dude...and all be made to look like concidence and of course fate

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to be honest Secret stood much upon Ji Sungs´ passionate acting and his good click - it is not JUST chemistry, more like mindreading - with HJE. the script seemed repetitive in fact. the ending resolution for side characters was really cheesy. if the writer can make it a bit more diverse and tune down the cheese, it can be great - IF they find an actor who can take a script like that as seriously and act as passionately.

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The only word I could think of to describe Secret was 'toxic,' esp. in its portrayal of women. Misogynist writer. Thanks for naming him, I'll remember.

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The main writer was Yoo Bo Ra (female).

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women can be equally misogynist writers - Kim Eun-seok is a woman, and look at the male characters and otp of Heirs.

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Unfortunately the number of Korean dramas out there with interesting and dynamic female characters are few and far between. I wouldn't single out Secret as being the only culprit.

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i like secret but few latest ep dissappointed me, what make me interested is the relationship between bae so bin n hwang jung eum, i find HJE love to jisung kind of sudden n rush which make unbelievable to me, n i see there's no reason to make bae so bin kill HJE father, it's more real if in the end HJE charracter doesn't love anybody in the end

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I get were you're coming from, but the OTP or better the leads in Secret are obvious from the beginning as her former fiancé (2ed lead) constantly treated her so horrible for selfish reasons. And that never changed throughout the show. So that it was painful to watch her acting so long so selflessly for her fiancé almost to the point of her self destroying. For me it was understandable that the lead had fallen in love with her while bullying and stalking her. His love has developed from the urge to protect her after realizing what a person she really was and how she innocently endured been mistreated to protect her love once. He would never have tortured her, if he had known she was innocent and stopped and tried to help as soon as he realized it. While she used to protect her fiancé unconditionally (at all means e.g. innocently go to jail for him!!!) and had trouble to let anyone protect her, because her former fiancé was n-e-v-e-r there for her. Not even for their child!

IMO, her struggle to even like the lead and eventually love him was way longer, than her sudden decision to give in and to forget her guilty feelings for him and his dead girlfriend. The thing that really felt rushed was how they suddenly acted on their love at the end of the show with all the cute scenes, while the rest of the drama was all angsty and mostly emotional torture. But I could relate to the fact that after all the drama two broken souls have found comfort and peace in each other's present. Their entangle fate gave them the possibility to let go of the painful past together. Had it to be love? I don't know, but never was there a way for her and her former fiancé to get back together (even if he would have redeemed himself).

The second lead was consistent: an A** !!! Very well played by BSB. Everthong he did was just for himself. To kill her father showed once again his cowered ways to cover up and to ditch any responsibility for his actions. It stays true to his character and to the way he dealt with problems. Not always rational! Once he chose the cookies to the dark side he never left that road again.

That's just my opinion and in retrospective I don't really know why I was so addicted to this show. I dislike the whole premise. Nevertheless, great acting (not 2nd female lead, though), fantastic chemistry within the cast, great OST and gorgeous cinematography.
I will definitely check out Mask to see what the script writer has in store. A new addiction? ;)

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As much as I loved Secret, I can say that half of it's success was because of Hwang Jung Eum and Ji Sung's off-the-charts chemistry along with the writing and the directing.

I'm looking forward to what will happen in May. May both of the writers (Hong Sisters and Secret Writer) find the most suitable leads for both of their dramas so we can see a great competition in ratings :)

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Yeah. Without that pair, we may have actually seen all the problems clearer.

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Definitely, and the same can be said about KMHM too. JS and HJE are building up a reputation as the super-pairing that always saves the day lol

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I loved Secret<3

Honestly, what I felt about the plot is like the "Queen of Ambition" vibe. I remembered how Joo Da Hae entered the family with her very ambitious personality and somehow, destroyed the relationship between some of the members..

I don't know but somehow I really think that the writer's new drama would also be a dark melodrama.

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OT but what happened to the 16-episode dramas? am i missing something why are all dramas now 20 episodes long?

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Haha. I was wondering the same. Seems like its the trend of 20 episodes nowadays. Not that I'm complaining :P

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I liked Secret. So im excited about this. It's surprising to see how it turned this way, Hong Sister heads to MBC while Secret's writer heads to SBS. I think I'll watch both dramas.

Seems SBS has planned it's Wed Thurs line up far more early this time, which is great. Although I'm surprised they even has start preparing drama that will take over the slot once "Girl Who Sees Smell" ended. Btw, does GWSS has even locked its main leads yet?

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If Park Yoochun accepts the role in Girl Who Sees Smells, I would love to see him team up with Park Ha-Sun again. In Three (3) Days, they had really great chemistry with one another even though their romance was limited and more of a side-note.

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I like PHS, but personally, there are many other actresses that better than her. For ex: moon chae won, chun woon hee, Han groo, etc

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I still can't believe that I watched Heirs instead of Secret.

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hehehe me too.

but even if I did watch Heirs, I enjoyed seeing the Little Drama That Could (aka Secret) catching up to and eventually kicking Heirs' ass in the ratings. No one thought it would pass double digits but it was definitely one of 2013's sleeper hits.

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I SUPER LOVE SECRET ♥ That was the angst worth having. Secret tugs me everytime. I miss it! Ah! And MASK's premise intrigues me to be honest.

HAHAHAHAHA at chingu @Fab's comment! I remember dropping Heirs at Episode 5 lol, and focused on watching (and rewatching Secret) instead. Never regret that decision. Heirs was a living hell— but maybe that's an unfair judgment, because Secret was REALLY good, so maybe the unfair comparison was cast between the Heirs and Secret, I mean, SECRET and heirs.

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To add maybe I am not afraid of Mask's timeslot with Hong Sisters Drama. Because Heirs was written by Kim Eun-sook, their (crowd) favorite (Not mine. But I ADORED only 'Lovers in Paris' in her credentials. That drama is THE GREAT STANDARD!), but Secret remained atop despite the great Heirs hype formed by global, online and local fans. Maybe if Mask picks it up fast, the momentum will stay until the finale. Ha! I'm thinking too fast! Delighted by this news, thank you very much, dramabeans!

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OMAIGAD. Imagine if they cast JS and HJE again for this drama. I will so tune into it. I will never get bored of their chemistry.

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me too :)

I can totally see them paired again in a drama :)

I don't know why, but it will be hard for me seeing them with another lead in a new drama after KMHM ends.

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hey they'll have only just finished Kill Me Heal Me, let the poor things have a break lol. (and I think Ji Sung will probably want some time out since he's becoming a first-time dad in June or so.....not a time he'd want to spend being overworked on a drama set!)

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haha..oops..lol, my bad.

Yeah, I think they really needed a longer break because just like Ji Sung, Hwang Jung Eum also recently wrapped -up her drama 'Endless Love' and she was supposed to have her long break but when she saw the script of KMHM, she was instantly hooked and joined in eventhough she barely had a decent break.

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i definitely wouldn't mind seeing JS and HJE in another drama again :D MOAR MOAR!!!

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Secret's success was thanks to Ji Sung and Hwang Jin Eum's magnetic chemistry and awesome soundtrack. Yes, writing is very important but they sold the show for me, and again with Kill Me Heal Me. I'd have to say that this is one of my favorite pairings, and it's refreshing to enjoy them for their performances onscreen and what they bring out in each other, and not ship them because one is married and the other in a serious relationship.

I hope Mask can recreate the same magic and bring together two amazing actors. :) (I am forever waiting for a Kim Woo Bin-Kim Ji Won reunion, lol)

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don't make me wish for what I can't have :( (Kim Woo-bin/Kim Ji-won reunion after Heirs cheated them)

but I don't know if they should reunite in a drama by the writer of Secret - like many of you guys pointed out, Secret worked largely because of the excellent work put in by Ji Sung and Hwang Jung-eum, who deserve to be called masters of their craft. I'd hope for KWB/KJW to be in something with a more promising script...

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Let's keep hoping for Kim Woo Bin and Kim Ji Won in something else. :) I won't give up! I also want Choi Jin Hyuk and Im Joo Eun to reunite too. These four deserved better in Heirs, and were the only reasons I FF through, lol. The latter pair will have to wait at least another two years, sighs.

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hell yeah for Kim Woobin + Kim Jiwon pairing!!

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for me secret success isn't because of Jisung n HJE pairing, i even surprise that jisung acting not as good as usual, the story that make me wanna see it, Bae so bin charracter n acting stand out the most for me, but i truely enjoy Kill me heal me, the story is good n jisung acting is good too, much better than in Secret. For me HJE is OK, not bad n not awesome too

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Another thing that adds to a success of a drama besides the actors and the script is the perfect timing of the pilot episode.

If ever both the writers selected the best leads for their dramas, it will be a great competition with the script, directing and which one of them starts first.

If the first drama would have a devoted loyal audience, It would be harder for the other one to steal those viewers.

Whatever happens, I might support both dramas if ever the leads are cast and if they are, for me worth their roles. :)

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I have a feeling this will be something like Temptation Of Wife... :P

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I've heard that the female lead is supposed to play two roles so I'm guessing she's a doppelganger for a chaebol wife/sister?

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maybe it will be like Ringer series by Sarah Michelle Gellar then

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Secret was one of the most addictive dramas I've ever watched. While there were certain aspects of the writing that could have been better, there was a lot that was genuinely good, so hopefully the writer can capitalize on those strengths in his next drama.

I'm glad to see that he's getting a next drama, because when they added another writer to be the main writer of Secret, I was worried that they weren't going to let him break into the industry just because he won a writing competition. But I guess Secret was successful enough to get his career started.

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Just seeing the photo with HJE and JS made me click on this, lol.

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haha..the power of their chemistry and brilliant acting :)

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hahaha you're not the only one xD their chemistry is undeniable

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Secret was cracktastic because despite its million flaws, it had:

1. An abundance of chemistry between the leads,

2. Great characterizations (ie, HJE's character was a unique type of Candy whose emotions were believable and real; JS's character was crazy but fascinating; BSB's character was worth hating on, etc.),

3. Great pacing to keep the audience engaged, and

4. A great OST.

That's why, I'm not too big on this new project because writing alone won't help it. It needs good directing (to keep a good pace) and great actors (to keep us hooked on their chemistry) as well.

Still, I always like to keep an open mind for everyone and hope this is just as fun as Secret was.

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I suppose it could be considered an accident to be included in a family if a close relative marries into one and they also get sucked in then somehow.

Then there is the fake, temporary engagement that turns real plot.

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I Love Secret and hope we get the same everything in Mask.

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Secret was really dramatic and intense for everyone's taste, but I think a lot of people enjoyed the rich chaebol redemption and him finding love again. And they really owed it to Jisung and Hwang Jungeum chemistry. He literally grown from spoiled chaebol who doesn't have a care for the world, to cruel guy who tortured the girl who supposedly killed his fiancee so he can continue living, to the guy who just want to protect the girl he fell for. I enjoyed it regardless, I couldn't recall how many times I cried with Hwang Jungeum. I didn't realized it was airing against Heirs at the time, so I watched Secret on its timeslot and downloaded Heirs instead. I dropped Heirs after a couple episodes, the eye candies couldn't even save it for me.

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suddenly, i thought moon chae won gonna be great for this role... she can be so innocent and turn totally cruel. That is how talented she is. Maybe they want song joong ki but i miss him in light hearted comedy like sungkyunkwan scandal. Ji Chang Wook is great too. I found him got a lot of range and should have a breakout role. Empress Ki has make people start taking seriously about him but he is not the main character there. He is also great in Healer but that drama is so underrated. He should get same fame like kim soo hyun got.

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i want lee da hae,the description of the charrcter reminds me of her character in misss ripley, she's good, i want her in leading role that allow her to show her acting fully not just lover of the male charracter

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queen soo ae is the best for all melodramas .... i am hope be great story ..

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queen soo ae is the best for all melodramas .... i am hope be great story & received many many awards with actress soo ae ....

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I really loved Secret/Bimil drama. It was way too angsty and over the top, but then again so are plenty of asian dramas- even the romantic comedies are silly and unrealistic, so for me it's not really a question of looking for perfect realism in these things. They also aired and dubbed this in my country, where it was also popular. I think what made so many people (maybe not in this site but everywhere else) like it was the chemistry between the leads. Fantastic performance by Ji Sung and especially Hwang Ji Eum, and the story was just incredibly romantic, if one can just wade through the layers of angst and what is called 'makjang.' I think one poster above me got it right and that lots of people in general like redemption arcs. They also like how lead guy went from disliking the girl to falling for her. I personally also like how they went for an opposite dynamic when it came to the second male lead Ahn Do Hoon- who went from harmless nice guy to complete scum bag.

I was incredibly satisfied to see him slap his face over and over in the last episode. Satisfying. :P

I believe they even spoofed his character in one of the Korean comedy shows. Bae Soo Bin was pretty good playing a bad guy, who can blame them?

I don't think I've ever seen a drama like this and I've seen Chinese, Thai, Japanese but Secret is kdrama gem not found in other countries. If they decide to remake this for another nationality (since remaking kdrama seems to be a thing these days) they better get good actors because the performances here were top notch.

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