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Secret Love Affair PD returns with new drama Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food

PD Ahn Pan-seok, who was awarded Best Director at the 50th Baeksang Arts Awards for Secret Love Affair, is returning to dramaland after a three-year hiatus with a new project called Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food. It’s already been tentatively scheduled for JTBC’s spring lineup, but no other major details have been released. I’m curious to see what direction Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food will take because the title obviously suggests a noona romance, but Ahn Pan-seok is also known for his quiet melodramas that are poignant critiques of sensitive societal issues like teen pregnancy and adultery.

He’s no stranger to JTBC, having done three of his last five dramas at the cable station including his critically acclaimed Secret Love Affair, so my expectations are pretty high for a high-quality production. Secret Love Affair was centered around two lovers with a large age gap of twenty years, a rarity for a female-male pair in dramaland at the time. So if the new drama is indeed going to be a noona romance, I trust this PD to pull it off with amazing chemistry.

His previous casts include likes of Kim Hee-ae, Yoo Ah-in, Jang Hyun-sung, Kim Myung-min and other notably gifted actors. He’s worked with Kim Hee-ae twice in Secret Love Affair and A Wife’s Credentials, which broke 4 percent ratings for JTBC for the first time. Although pandemic sci-fi thriller End of the World wasn’t a huge success, Ahn Pan-seok’s medical drama White Tower is still held as the golden standard for medical dramas.

It’s hard to predict at this point whether Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food will be a conventional melodrama or the PD’s attempt at a completely different genre. But given his filmography, I’m hoping for a nuanced version of an unconventional couple grounded in emotional struggles.

Ahn Pan-seok’s next drama Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food is programmed to air during the first half of next year on JTBC.

Via Osen, Xports News

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Nuna, Ajusshi..
Is cable trying to tell us something with those 2 dramas announced today in 2 cable stations :P

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Two wonderful news today. Happy hump day it is.

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Am I the only one who doesn't enjoy Secret Love Affair? I love Yoo Ah In + Kim Hee Ae and also their acting, but I don't know, somehow it doesn't 'click' me ._.

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You're not the only one, I also didn't like SLA, and I don't care for either of these two (something about their acting doesn't click with me either).

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hmmm maybe is it because the adultery issue or I have a problem with KHA (I feel that she doesn't match with YAI)

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That makes sense. I recommended it to a couple friends and one loved it, and one didn't. It's totally one of those love it or hate it dramas. A lot of the dramas I can't get into are ones where I don't like one of the OTP's and can't connect with their love. Plus there was a lot of politics in SLA too.

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I loved it, and appreciated it even more after reading these reviews (warning: contains spoilers) -

http://www.koreandrama.today/review/secret-love-affair-spoilers/

https://thefangirlverdict.com/2014/09/12/review-secret-love-affair/

I felt like it was more than a typical drama. It was a work of art. And it made me want to play piano again!

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I loved it, too! There were times I had to pause mid-episode because it was so intense. And it cemented my adoration for YAI.

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I worked backwards - Chicago Typewriter was my first exposure to YAI, which led me to watch Six Flying Dragons (and a 50 episode drama was something I never thought I'd do - even the 20+ episodes of Jealousy Incarnate and Gaksital was pushing it for me - but only for YAI), and finally, he brought me to Secret Love Affair. To say my love for YAI is cemented is probably an understatement!

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Whoah, you completed all 50...that was quick!

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wow. You watched 50 eps of SFD. Does the power of love for YAI drive you? I wonder if I can watch all of those episodes too...for the sake of our country *tehee

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@caesalpinia - I started it for YAI, but the show itself is just good! I put all other dramas on hold while I zipped through all 50 episodes. Byun Yo Han is amazing in it, and the husband from SLA plays dual characters and he totally slayed both roles. It's just a good drama that's completely deserving of the accolades it's received - the story, the acting, the music... the FIGHT SCENES!! I even got my husband into it!

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@coolbeans you are cool as your username that you could finish that 50-episodes-drama (hehe).
If you could make your husband to get into it, I guess I'll try watching it too (after finishing what's on my watch list ofc hehe)

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Thanks for sharing these links. I loved SLA and probably watched each episode twice when it first cane out. Even now I enjoy reading in depth reviews and other people's thoughts and theories about the show. My favorite dramas are the ones were you can go back and rewatch multiple times and still find something new because they are so layered.

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Agree! One of my criteria for a drama making my Top 10 list is that it needs to be a drama I can/will rewatch again.

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SLA is my gold standard for obsessing over a K-drama: Three years + of piano lessons, a music theory class, starting a blog and now Korean language lessons. That show that changed my life!
Link to my favorite SLA fan created site: https://pianoconversations.wordpress.com/

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Wow amazing how it's impacted your life! And oh my goodness, it's going to take me some time to dive in and digest the site - there's a lot there. Thanks for the link!

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Yeah. I have read in many blogs that review that drama, and almost all of them say it's a masterpiece. That urge me to watch the drama, but I can't enjoy it :(. I tried watching it for several episodes but sadly dropped it. I like the direction, acting (YAI was hot), but I don't know what things that make me stop watching it.

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Crap. Now I have to watch Secret Love Affair all over again. I know its been a while, but thanks for these!

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I'm curious, why did it not click for you? What were your expectations when watching the drama?

Yes, not everyone liked this drama. I'm one of those who love the drama, and puts it on a pedestal. SLA is a work of art for me.

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I don't know why it didn't click for @caesalpinia, but for me the reason I couldn't get into it because I felt like it took itself to seriously as a masterpiece work. It was beautiful to work at but emotionally it didn't really appeal to me.

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Hello @minnetter, I didn't get a notification for your mention.
Yes, it feels like it didn't appeal me emotionally. I do love YAI, the directing was beautiful, yet I couldn't bring myself finishing that drama :(

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sorry, but I can't point out what things that don't click me. I spent some time wondering why, but come out with nothing. Is it the adultery issue? But I can finish On The Way To The Airport. Is it because KHA? I don't watch any of her drama, and I feel she doesn't match with YAI. So... Is it because of noona romance? IDK.

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I couldn't finish On The Way To The Airport either even though I was enjoying it so much in the beginning. I think I lost interest the minute Kim Haneul and Lee Sang-yoon actually started having the affair. I enjoyed when they were still toeing the line and they were stuck in that weird in-between place where they know they have feelings for each other but tried to be just friends. I just couldn't continue watching after that, especially after Kim Haneul's character got all self-righteous when she found out Choi Yeo-jin's character used to date her husband. I thought that was a little hypocritical of her.

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hmmm, so the actor and the actress do influence me to finish the drama. For example, I've watched Kim Haneul drama and I like her. Plus, I really love Lee Sangyoon. So basically actor+actress > adultery issue. hahaha

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Me too, I fast forwarded a lot before I realised I didn't have to finish a drama I didn't enjoy so much. I remember it was a treat to the eyes though!

This happens sometimes, maybe it was our mood at the time? Like everyone was raving so much about Secret Forest and Age of Youth, and I agree that they are well made, yet I got so bored while watching and only finished by reading DB recaps.

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Hi five! I tried watching Secret Forest too but I kept waiting for the magic moment all the beanies fell in love with but it never came. I feel the same way about Voice too. I watched 8 episodes of Voice because I really love crime solving shows but it just wasn't catchy so I stopped. I love Age of Youth though, the characters were extremely relatable. So much so that I could pick each girl out in my group of friends.

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Yeah I experience this too when I watch dramas that everyone seems to love. Some I get. Others I don't get. I go in with excitement and I would wait for that "omg this is amazing" moment but nothing. It's just a testament to how varied people are in how we perceive things.

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@celine that's exactly what's on my mind

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he he.. for me that drama is cloud moonlight thing with bo gum

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It's unfortunate that PBG can't entice you to watch his drama xD

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I'm glad that I'm not the only one (^^;)
Maybe it's true that that drama not everyone's cup of tea.

As for SF and AoY, I do enjoy both of drama.
SF didn't appeal me at first episode, but it got better in the next episode. I haven't watched JSW and BDN's previous work, but they are really great (and their sparkling chemistry!).
AoY is relatable for people who do sharing house with their friends. And I love how it brings the slice-of-life topic.
But once again, everyone has individual likings.

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I also didn't like the drama. I couldn't connect with the characters for some reason and it felt somewhat boring. I remember falling asleep watching a few episodes before I decided the drama wasn't for me. I can't say it was a bad drama though, but I guess I wasn't the intended audience for the show.

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"I can't say it was a bad drama though, but I guess I wasn't the intended audience for the show."

Agree with you. While I loved Secret Love Affair and even Heard It Through The Grapevine, it is at the the end of the day depends on our personal preference. I remember reading a comment saying that some viewers get a poor taste just because that particular drama gets a low rating. I appreciate people's opinions and recommendations, but it is still me myself who will decide what I want and can watch. I didn't watched few drama of beanies' favourite, but I don't feel I missed anything.

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me too. I remember falling asleep watching a few episodes when I tried so hard to enjoy the show :(
So, maybe the drama wasn't for me too.
Yes, It's not a bad drama, the directing was beautiful. But I guess in the end it does depend on personal preferences.

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Oh. I don't expect my comment to be replied in long discussion. I don't get notification about these replies.

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Interesting title. Hope they don't change it to something more simple like Pretty Noona.

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Oh, I hope not! I love this long, cute title just the way it is!

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I just read that TVN is doing one, where the premise is the other way around. At least I know which one I'll give preference to. Noona's romance is the best.

As I said in the other commentary, I hate it when people criticize the age of difference when the woman is older and we have rare cases when it is the opposite.. FIGHTING!

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Well this is a noona romance, not an ahjumma romance. Even though I don't speak korean, but I think that the equivalent to Ahjusshi is Ahjumma not noona. So noona would be equivalent to oppa. Therefore, I'm pretty sure that the age difference here will be much less.

I will wait for a synopsis for this drama before I decide whether to check it out or not (if it becomes available with English subs).

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Wow! drama gods do answer prayers. PD Ahn Pan-seok ?(my favorite). I'm so glad he is still with jTBC.
"Pretty Noona" ...most anticipated drama.

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Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food can lead to a Secret Love Affair

Probably a prequel.

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Now that would be neat!

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Omg, I LOVE the title! Ahaha. It's so cute. But realizing the PD's list of previous works and how they're not exactly "cute," makes me wonder how this drama will be like, too. Nevertheless, will look forward to this one!

Dream pairing: Kim Go-eun and Park Bo-gum. ?

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Kim Go Eun as a noona to Park Bo Gum? LOL while it will be cute, but I guess in this drama it will be a huge difference between actors, maybe at least around 10 years. It will be something like Song Hye Kyo-Park Bo Gum imo.

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Gummy and Gong Hyo-jin!

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gong hyo jin please! ^^

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Oh no! I'm imagining a rom com with her and Park seo joon.

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I'm in!!!!

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Heard It Through the Grapevine was far and away the best drama of 2015 imo, it was merciless and refused to be feel-good and was all the more brilliant for it. If this is even half as good, I'm in.

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Agreed and "End of the World" in 2013 for me.
Every Ahn Pan-seok drama has been a standout. "White Tower" is still my favorite medical drama, "A Wife's Credentials" etc.
I'd watch "Yesterday" If I could find it with sub.

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I JUST finished Secret Love Affair and loved it, so I'll be keeping my eye on this one!

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THIS COMEBACK IS ALL I'VE EVER WANTED!!! bring back the writer for SLA and HITTG and I'm sold.

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yess please..... they are an awsome combo... Kim Jin won come back and now Ahn Pan Seok and kim won suk PD? wahhhh korean drama heaven?

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This sounds like something Jung Sung-joo would write. Make it 4 in a row. They are so good together.

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Why does Malèna come to my head?!!!
Maybe it will be telling the story of the pretty noona from the young boy observations?!!! Well, I hope so =D

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What a great title for a drama. Just from the headline I knew this was the drama for me

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Can I instead get a pretty oppa that buys me food? Haha. This sounds interesting by the title alone. The casting will ultimately be the deciding factor for me.

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Any word on who is teaming up with Ahn Pan-seok to write the script?

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Can't wait to hear more details of this drama!

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The next instalment: Ugly Oppa Who Lets Me Starve

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Sad Hyung Who Eats Kudzu Root

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NO DO NOT

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Handsome Oppa Who Left Me Heartbroken

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Good-Looking Ahjussi Who Buys Me Ramen

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Amnesiac Policeman Who Bakes Shitty Donuts

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Neighboorhood Hyung Who Craves Noodles

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Pretty Bride Who Eats Subway on Her Wedding Day

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Handsome Boy Next Door Who Loves to Collect Chicken Coupons

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Tae Coupon ??

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Three Oppas a day with handsome guest

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Ten Oppas Who Eat Subway Three Times A Day with Ten Handsome Guests

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Subway isn't a PPL in 3 Meals a Day , fortunately , but National Geographic is an obvious one with Yoon Kyun Sang clothes hahaha :)

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Strange Hyungnim Who Blogs Everything He Eats

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The Mask Hyung Who Blogs Everything He Wears

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OMG! That gave me such a case of the giggles.
I loved SLA. Also, considered it an Art Movie. It wasn't just about 2 people who are far enough apart in age to make society go "tsk tsk", it had many different forms of angst, and was tastefully done. The "wash your pits and peanut" had me laughing so hard my stomach hurt.

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how about:

Tuck of DOOM Jumps Sidewalk, Chases Down Jogger

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RATS! As you know, I meant TRUCK of Doom. Hard to type in dark w/cellphone flashlight.

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Lmao!? y'all r hilarious. I also didnt get SLA back den n disliked all d characters so dint get d love 4 it here but recently my love 4 YAI has grown so much i'm willing to give it a 2nd try. It was a different drama though n since dis pd is quite good i expect sth interesting 4 dis new drama. Will have to wait see how the casting n storyline will turn out.

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I lurveeee Secret Love Affair!!! Yoo Ah In was frikkin hawt there! The best drama of 2014!! I wish PD Ahn takes YAI for this drama, but I heard YAI will be busy shooting Burning movie, soooo... just my wishful thinking.

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can pretty noona buy me food too

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