Rating:
Average user rating 4.6
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Her Private Life: Series review, episodes 9-16

The second half of this delightful rom-com explores Deok-mi and Ryan’s feelings for each other, their journey together as a couple, and some long-delayed reckoning with the past. The couple is hit with some over-the-top sad history at the eleventh hour, but they handle it with their characteristic grace, humor, and honest communication–and lots of kisses.

EPISODES 9-16

Deok-mi and Ryan both spend a rather miserable night after she tells him she wants to end the fake relationship. Ryan resolves to speak with Deok-mi the next day, but she’s resolved to protect her wounded heart by avoiding him as much as possible; even when they do talk, he’s unable to work up the courage to ask about her feelings.

Each feels rejected by the other while still yearning for them, making the atmosphere at the gallery uncomfortable for everyone. To make it worse, Deok-mi’s parents show up with food and the four of them go for a very awkward lunch.

That evening, Eun-gi comforts her, but is disturbed to see the evidence of how much Deok-mi actually likes Ryan.

Unable to sleep, Deok-mi logs on as Shi-an is My Life and offers to listen to members’ heartaches. “Latte” logs on and tells her about a person he likes who also seemed to like him, until they suddenly didn’t want to be close anymore. Deok-mi suggests that maybe Latte’s feelings felt burdensome to that person, and advises he keep his feelings to himself out of consideration. Ack! She’s counseling herself, but of course Ryan takes this to mean that she finds his feelings burdensome.

They have a meeting with Shi-an and Da-in the next day, which Deok-mi of course finds excruciating, and volunteers to go to the carpenter’s on Da-in’s behalf. While she’s waiting, Deok-mi cries as she thinks of all the happy times she spent with Ryan–and then she sees Latte’s unread message asking if his feelings are really just a burden. She confesses that she lied, and that the reason she ran away was because she was afraid of her heart getting hurt: “We should both have a little courage,” she tells Latte.

At that moment Ryan enters, and she bravely asks him what he hated so much about fake dating her, which she found enjoyable and even heart-fluttering. Ryan confesses that he hated it because wanted it to be real–and they kiss. And kiss…and kiss. I’ll just be a puddle in the corner here, gimme a sec.

They spend a delightful first day together, complete with a night tour of Seoul, and on his way back from taking Deok-mi home, Ryan spots Eun-gi on his way to Deok-mi’s, dressed in a suit.

Eun-gi has dressed up to confess his feelings to Deok-mi. Before he can get the words out, Seon-joo shows up, spitting fire because her husband made a negative documentary news program about fangirls. They spend the night consoling and drinking with her.

Ryan shows up at Deok-mi’s place in the morning, only to see Eun-gi and Deok-mi walking out together–and she promptly hides, because she’s in her fangirl getup. Ryan tells Eun-gi to excuse them, because they’re dating and this is between them. Eun-gi is shocked by this, but says it concerns him too, because Deok-mi is the woman he likes. (Not how that works, bro.)

Ryan reveals that he knows about her fangirl life. This leads to their first argument: Deok-mi is mad that he knew she was Shi-an is My Life and pretended not to, while Ryan is mad she lied about it to begin with, and spent the night with Eun-gi. They easily forgive each other, although Deok-mi does yell at him a bit when she finds out he’s Latte.

Eun-gi tells Deok-mi again about his feelings, not allowing her to dismiss them as a joke, and promises to wait for her. Deok-mi tells Ryan in the spirit of openness, and he tells her that since Eun-gi is family to her, there’s no need to rush into any decisions.

Ryan has a nightmare about being abandoned at the orphanage as a child. Unable to sleep, he goes to Deok-mi’s apartment, and though he pretends to be okay, she hugs him and tells him it’s okay to cry. He does, and tells her about the recurring dream, and she promises to stay up with him all night the way her mom used to with her.

Meanwhile, Hyo-jin’s (Cindy) mom has discovered that the exhibition involves Shi-an and has kicked her out, so Deok-mi puts her up at her parents’ home while they figure how to resolve things.

As the gallery staff continue to look into finding and restoring Lee Sol’s paintings, Hyo-jin starts actually working hard and becoming part of the team, even managing to stand up to her awful mother.

The staff go to an orphanage to provide art enrichment for the children, and although Deok-mi expects him to skip it, Ryan joins them, and actually enjoys himself with the kids, although he still can’t bring himself to draw with them. At the end of the day, Deok-mi asks him to draw for her–taking his hand and helping him trace around their hands with pencil. On the way home, he tells her his Korean name was Heo Yoon-jae.

Ryan tells Deok-mi that he stopped being able to paint when he saw Lee Sol’s paintings three years ago, but that’s not when he first saw them; the first time was when he was a child, watching Lee Sol–his mother–paint. Even as Deok-mi comforts him, we see that Shi-an’s mother has arrived in Seoul. Shi-an announces to her that he’s putting on an exhibition of the paintings she did as Lee Sol. Dun dun.

During her research, Deok-mi discovers that Lee Sol is Shi-an’s mother, and while she’s wondering how to break the news to Ryan, Shi-an brings his mother to the gallery. Deok-mi asks her about it privately, but she says she no longer has any right to that identity, which she failed to protect.

At the very same moment, Shi-an tells Ryan that his mother is Lee Sol.

Ryan agonizes over this revelation all night. Deok-mi tells him to meet his birth mother and ask all his questions, even if he doesn’t have any intention of forgiving her. She promises to avenge him if he wants. Ryan says that the paintings evoke happiness in him, and longing, so he’s going to give it a try. So he brings Lee Sol to his home and shows her the paintings–and tells her that he’s Yoon-jae.

Ryan tells Deok-mi afterwards that his birth mother said she was sorry, which may mean she abandoned him after all. The next day Shi-an contacts Ryan to ask him to give their mother a chance to explain. While Ryan thinks about this, Deok-mi tells him that she’s figured out the theme of the bubble paintings–they contain things that children like, and she thinks they’ve been painted with a mother’s love.

Ryan hears his birth mother out. She tells him that she’d left him briefly at the playground to meet someone about her art, but gotten into a serious accident on the way back, and by the time she recovered he was nowhere to be found. She promises that she never meant to abandon him, apologizing profusely, and asks if she might be allowed to see him occasionally. He tells Deok-mi afterward that he wants to believe her, but that his memory of being left at the orphanage still bothers him.

Eun-gi comes to wish Deok-mi an early happy birthday. His present is himself: her best friend of 33 years, come back to her. He tells her that his feelings were sincere, but he’s realized that he just wants her to smile, even if he’s not the one next to her–and isn’t that the meaning of family?

He apologizes for making her uncomfortable, and she thanks him. They both tear up a little, and so do I.

Deok-mi tells Ryan that she’s found the last painting, and he meets her at a church, only to find that Shi-an and his mother are also waiting.

She shows them the painting of Yoon-jae she left here years ago with the prayer, Protect this child. The painting triggers a memory for Ryan, a happy memory of the two of them. “We’re both smiling,” he tells her, and she nods.

Soon Deok-mi’s birthday arrives, and she asks Ryan to draw her for her birthday present. When he resists, she shows him how she’s set things up so he can trace her profile onto the canvas. He hesitates, but with her encouragement, he manages to do it.

They kiss, and tell each other, “I love you.”

Eun-gi, having overheard Ryan’s birth name, asks Deok-mi’s mother about it, triggering a series of conversations that reveal that little Yoon-jae had gone home with their family that day when his mom never came to pick him up.

They’d taken care of him for a month, until one day Deok-mi was in a car accident with her little brother Deok-soo, who didn’t survive–and whom Deok-mi erased from her memory.

Unable to take care of Yoon-jae, Deok-mi’s mother left him at the orphanage, and when she’d emerged from her grief enough to go and look for him, he’d already been adopted abroad.

As her memories of Deok-soo return, Deok-mi and her parents cry and remember together, and the whole family, along with Ryan and his birth mother, go to visit Deok-soo’s resting place. Ryan’s birth mother tells Deok-mi’s mother that Ryan doesn’t blame either of them, and that he wants them to forgive themselves as well.

The exhibition goes off perfectly, and Hyo-jin reconciles with her mother and goes home. Seon-joo decides to give her husband another chance, and I kind of wish we could watch a drama about their story, because I love them.

Ryan recovers his full painting skills, turning his sketch of Deok-mi into his first real piece. She worries that he might want to return to the art scene in New York, but he tells her he’s not ready, and not to worry that he’s staying in Korea because of her. A few days later, Deok-mi receives an offer to go to New York to oversee an exhibition, and she agrees–and tells Ryan to come too, saying that to her curator’s eyes, he’s more than ready for a comeback.

Before they leave, he asks her to marry him, and she says yes: they’ll be each other’s number-one fans.

One year later. Deok-mi returns triumphantly as the vice director of the gallery; Ryan is busy in his New York Genius Artist life, but comes to visit because he’s dying to see her after only a week. Adorable Gun-woo has started school, and Seon-joo is expecting another baby. And Eun-gi seems to have a little crush on Hyo-jin, who has actually become a decent grown-up. All is well.

We witness one last embrace between the couple in the corridor where they first pretended to kiss, and Deok-mi, in voiceover, wishes for the audience to become successful fans.

 
COMMENTS

Looking back on the second half of this show after watching it week-to-week allows for a broader perspective than my usual experience of recapping a show as it airs, and with this show in particular it really highlighted the shift in tone that happened in the latter episodes. Like with most rom-coms, there really isn’t enough story for sixteen episodes. After the supremely satisfying mutual confession of feelings and the initial giddiness of the person I like likes me back, what a miracle! in episodes 9 and 10, the tension slipped slowly out of this story and left us with a pleasant, relaxing watch.

That’s not necessarily a criticism; after all, it’s difficult to maintain any suspense between a romantic pair once they’ve admitted that they’re into each other, and the sexual tension also breaks once they’ve kissed for the first time. The romances I’ve really loved in the past spent the time after a couple got together exploring the realities of what that actually means, the low-stakes but often make-or-break dynamics of a grown-up relationship. We didn’t quite get that here, but these two have such amazing chemistry (and they are so inhumanly pretty) that it was no hardship to watch them enjoying the honeymoon phase of their love affair.

Even the storyline with Lee Sol and her connection to both Shi-an and Ryan was well-executed and fit organically in the story. Unlike the childhood connection between the leads (which I’ll get to in just a minute, not to worry) this “secret” was well-telegraphed from the first week, and Ryan’s relationship with art and his abandonment issues have always been integral parts of his character. Lee Il-hwa was also wonderful in the role of his birth mother, giving the character a surprising amount of gravity and pathos for someone introduced so late, and who might be seen as just a plot device.

You might even say that her story nicely mirrors the experience of losing the ability to create art that’s shared by Ryan and Deok-mi, and which they bonded over–except that her journey is more like Deok-mi’s–she permanently lost her son, her ability to paint, and her career as an artist, whereas Deok-mi lost a brother and not the ability but the opportunity to make her dream come true. On the other hand, Ryan not only overcame his slump (and in fact is even more of a genius than before, color me surprised), he regained all this almost solely because of the support of his girlfriend and his reconciliation with his birth mother. This drama started out being about Deok-mi, but in the second half it became almost solely about Ryan–his trauma, his history, his talent.

Even Deok-mi’s family is no longer solely hers, but is tied to their old connection with Ryan, somehow managing to make Deok-mi’s mother’s act of leaving Yoon-jae at the orphanage carry more weight than her losing her toddler son and then never even being able to talk about him.

I do dislike the Yoon-jae/Deok-soo plotline for coming out of nowhere and adding no value to the story; it’s so clearly a tacked-on cliche to give this drama two more episodes when it had already come to a perfect conclusion in episode 14. But what makes me madder the more I think about it is that adding this plotline functionally turned all the women in this drama into mechanisms for Ryan’s character development. No woman was allowed to exist independently of his shining presence. Even Deok-mi’s history wasn’t allowed to be solely her own, and her journey as a fangirl was almost completely abandoned, even if we got a throwaway line about it at the end.

I didn’t notice this at first, but as I was screencapping I realized how many of the images I have are of Deok-mi providing Ryan with some type of emotional or physical comfort or healing. That in itself isn’t a problem; no relationship is ever perfectly balanced, and as you live your life together, sometimes one partner will need more support from the other, and vice versa. But I’m sad that the Deok-mi of earlier episodes, who was able to balance her fangirl life with a successful career, got so little exploration. I wanted to see her grapple with going from a fan of Shi-an to his future sister-in-law; I wanted her to at least consider using her amazing photography talent to transition to an actual artistic career. I can understand Deok-mi deciding that for her, curating art is how she fulfills her artistic vision, but I certainly wish her thought process and her inner life had been given more than a perfunctory acknowledgment.

That’s why the tacked-on amnesia, tragic death, and actually-not-so-unforgivable abandonment leave a rather bad taste in my mouth, because those two episodes could have been devoted instead to a reckoning with Deok-mi’s fangirl life and her career. I would have like to see her ponder whether, like Seon-joo, she’ll continue to find new idols to support even while working and raising a family, or if she no longer needs the fandom and what it brings to her life now that she has Ryan by her side.

All this aside, I did love a lot about this show, even if my feelings about it have mellowed from obsession to affection. Ryan is still an incredible, too-perfect-in-the-best-way hero, and Deok-mi was funny, lovable, passionate, and confident from beginning to end, a heroine that I loved to root for. Park Min-young and Kim Jae-wook were perfect in their roles, and I think I’ll be seeing their heated, loving gazes at each other in my dreams–this might be the drama that finally ruined me for real life relationships. I adored how Deok-mi and Ryan talked to each other about everything, and resolved their issues without noble idiocy once rearing its head; I was warmed by how clearly they expressed their affection for each other, in every way, even if by the end it became so sugary I felt my teeth begin to ache.

And although everyone’s endings were perhaps a little too neat, there was never a real villain beyond the rather toothless Director Eom, so I enjoyed seeing the entire cast get their happily ever afters. As much as I hated Eun-gi in earlier episodes for his belligerent and inconsiderate behavior towards Deok-mi, I found myself tearing up at his realization of what she truly meant to him, and needed from him, and I appreciated his sincere apology. I even rooted for him to get together Hyo-jin by the end, who had a surprisingly satisfying arc of her own, even if it was mostly played for comedy.

I think what this show did best, and what I’ll remember most fondly, is its moments, whether those were moments between the leads, as they realized and expressed their feelings, or between family members and friends, demonstrating in small ways how important they were to each other. Every line of dialogue was well-written, and this top-tier cast unfailingly delivered in their performances. I think that late-night conversation at No Seok’s home, and Ryan softly saying “Hello” as he looks at Deok-mi, is burned into my brain. I’m pretty sure that was the moment he realized his feelings for her were real.

And how wonderful was Deok-mi’s fangirl comradeship with best friend Seon-joo, which I’m sure we can all relate to so hard–squealing together over oppas, cursing together at men when they disappoint us, always being on each other’s side. Seon-joo and her family were adorable in every way, especially little Gun-woo. (I’m still waiting to see Park Jin-joo as the heroine of her own rom-com, by the way, Dramaland.)

So yes, I was a little disappointed with the ending. But we finally got Kim Jae-wook fully inhabiting the dreamboat leading man we always saw in him, and Ryan and Deok-mi will go down as one of my favorite rom-com pairings of all time. I think I’m okay with that.

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Thanks for the Series Review Laica! I am in complete agreement with all of your comments! Although this show was a one time watch for me it has made me a an even bigger fan of Park Min-young, and a huge fan of Kim Jae-wook and Park Jin-ju. I plan on watching all the shows of these actors from now on!
No doubt about it, they have been one of the best K-drama pairings!
However this show was executed, I'll be really thankful for one thing, it educated me a bit on fangirling, and gave me terms for the some of the feelings I experience as a fangirl of my favourite actors. (I am nowhere as active or as crazy though!) Another amazing thing this show achieved is it got us all fangirling over Ryan Gold! He is such a good boyfriend! I'm happy that Kim Jae-wook got this role!
Her Private Life is the very first show I started watching live, and Abyss the first along with recaps. So I have really enjoyed watching both shows in this way, and I have keenly waited for the upcoming week's episodes of them both. So I won't be able to get them out of mind for a long long time!

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I was so dissapointed with the final four episodes of His Private Life that I could hardly sit through them. I'm sure this was supposed to be Deok-mi's story - the promotion said so, and the story followed suit for long enough. Of course then, like heroines past (The Best Hit comes straight to mind, but also W, Shopping King Louie, and so many more) she was demoted to a pretty, feminine supporting role. I expected the show to at least tie back to the previously expressed themes about whether a fangirl's idol can coexist with her boyfriend. Although I doubt a lot of us were that curious about it, I can't be the only one who would have loved the consistency.

Despite my rage, I don't regret picking up this show - when I did love it, it was a wholesome and pleasant watch with the most engaging romantic relationship at the center I'd seen since last year's Thirty But Seventeen. And we all knew Kim Jae-wook was going to blow our minds as soon as he was promoted to a romantic lead, but His Private Life went a step further by throwing the culture of toxic masculinity out the window and making his character thoughtful and emotive. That's what I've decided to take away with me.

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I'm not sure if you called the show His Private Life for ironic reasons, but I definitely agree that although I appreciated the thoughtful exploration of Ryan's past and present, I wish Deok-mi's story remained her own. I would have loved more emphasis on Deok-mi transitioning into becoming Shi-an's sister in law or even how her career promotion affected her fangirl life.

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It's absolutely ironic! 😂

And yes, the focus on Deok-mi's relationship with Shi-an should have been better stressed. I'm kind of sad that no one discovered her identity actually, because that was the crux of the conflict in the first half! I would have liked the shenanigans which would have arisen if Cindy found out.

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@frabbycrabsis,

And we all knew Kim Jae-wook was going to blow our minds as soon as he was promoted to a romantic lead, but His Private Life went a step further by throwing the culture of toxic masculinity out the window and making his character thoughtful and emotive.

Amen and amen! Ryan Gold is a gem of a character. He's "living" proof that male protagonists can be something other than chauvinistic jerks.

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Thanks for the review, @laica! You summed up my thoughts perfectly. It was an enjoyable watch for me, but by the end my interest had cooled. The thing I most appreciated about this rom-com was that the leads were honest and respectful of each other. For once we got a relationship between two grownups who acted like it! I also really liked both Deok-mi and Ryan as characters, although I certainly agree that Deok-mi got the short end of the stick by the end. That's what most disappointed me, since I wanted to see her development more, particularly as it pertained to the fangirling.

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Thank you for this review @laica, you captured my vague thoughts perfectly. As nice as the second half was, I was disappointed to see Doek-mi's fangirl side take a back seat (become totally non-existent). The fangirl is what drew me to the drama, and despite its somewhat problematic portrayal, it made Doek-mi unique amongst the thousands of female leads in dramaland. I truly identified with her love for Shi-an and how happy he made her, all from a distance. Haha.

The show tried its hardest to sanitise fans, but gave away glimpses of the mania of fandoms. When a character suggests another one by 300 copies of an album just to get into a fansign for instance - this is how it is in K-pop. For groups like White Ocean's supposed popularity, one might need to buy a 1000. The show's justification of fans' behavior during Shi-an's dating scandal was unforgivable, but also true to the character of Doek-mi and those fans. That is what they think and they believe. The show is merely portraying that - which is not problematic per se.

What I found truly problematic was that even though Doek-mi now knows Shi-an in person she treats him like an idol she likes from a distance. Doek-mi never sees Shi-an the human and never tries to look beyond his idol facade. Which is fine if she were a regular fan - it would be intrusive if she did try any of these things. But as a personal acquaintance, I'd have liked to see her go from fangirl to personal acquaintance. As you say, it would have indeed loved to see her feelings as she goes from fan to sister-in-law. Instead Shi-an remains something to be admired from a distance. A product, nothing more.

So yeah, that's that. I came for the fangirling - which I loved in the first half - and stayed through the second half to see how the fangirling would pan out. As a noona fangirl myself, I must say I am happy my kind got some representation in dramas. HAHA

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Yeah I wish there was atleast one more episode showing this.

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Like DM, I’ve been blessed to work with my idol. For many years he knew I was a diehard fan and was always being on his best behavior when we met. However once I started working with him and we became more familiar with one another, the dynamics completely changed. He dropped his celebrity persona and I was not a nodding bobble head. Actual conversations broke my fangirl mode. He’s a really nice down to earth guy so I have no regrets getting to know him better, but it really killed the “romance” in fangirling. We still connect through social media and he knows I’m into another idol now😂.

So you can see how unconvinced I am about DM remaining a fan after dating his brother.

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Whoa, that is really, really cool. O-O You're the successful fan! I'd love to be in your shoes. 😄

And yes, my point exactly - how is she still a fan after getting to know him personally? Seeing that transition would have been nice.

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I feel like Shi An himself got lost in the second half ~ in the first several episodes I loved his scenes with Lion in the elevator, or when he showed up drunk and swam to the couch. He liked Lion because he didn’t have to be perfect with him, and I thought we would continue to see more beneath the nice guy persona as the show went on, but instead he stayed a perfect statue, pretty but with less personality than he started with.

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Well said. In essence, the show is telling fans that idols will always be only that - idols. They aren't human. *grumble, grumble*

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I share the disappointment over Deok-mi's new reality as Shi-an's future sister-in-law not being fully explored, since that was what I was looking forward to the most out of last week's reveal. If ep 15 had completely refocused on that aspect, instead of on the cliche childhood connection, the show would have left off on a much higher note for me. That said, I did appreciate ep 16 for giving me more of what I wanted. While the past few episodes did start to feel more like His Private Life, this episode felt more like Their Private Life, which is what I'd loved so much about episode 11.

Really though, there was just a lot more fun to be had with that. Ryan got two front row seats for the concert right? Did he go with her and did he wear a disguise himself? Lol, I would have loved to see more of that play out. They will definitely get caught eventually and it's a shame we don't get to witness it.

"Instead Shi-an remains something to be admired from a distance. A product, nothing more."

- I'm not sure if I completely agree with this, though, even with the lack of development in their relationship. I loved the moment when Deok-mi had to intervene and give advice to Shi-an about Ryan in last week's episodes and just would have loved more moments like that. That said, this was enough to at least make me not feel concerned about her ability to treat/see him as a real person. It just felt like the drama didn't get how much more of that I wanted to see.

Still, I think because the drama ultimately wanted to be supportive of Deok-mi as a successful fangirl, they did shy a bit away from making him into a more flawed individual, just so that she could continue to do that. I do like that they stick to their belief that she had a right to "her private life", but I'm not sure it's what I wanted from the show, since more characters finding out could have lead to an acceptance of her lifestyle that would have also been satisfying.

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Hmm Doek-mi's brief moment of giving advice to Shi-an didn't really satisfy me, but I can see what you mean, when you explain it in those words.

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(I'm probably just too salty over the lost potential of the fangirl subplot, but I do see your point haha)

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Haha, yeah. I honestly can't say I was 'satisfied' either, just not left with the same overall impression. But I can definitely agree in wishing it had all been much better.

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What a great summary.

I really really liked this drama.even though it didnt deliver on it's premise. I was so hopeful that the last two eps would refocus on her fangirling. But, oh well.
I do think the fangirl/boy story is still wide open to be told. Since falling into the Kpop world I've come across a podcast and a blog run by women in their 30s to 40s who are devoted fans but also have careers, relationships, and so on.
I now want to see Kim Jae Wook as another romantic lead. Something like the pace of Because This Life is My First. He has such a great falling in love face that I want to see it in slower motion, lol.
Also, his acting style is so present and easy. As if he is reacting to his partner and so would love more interactions with a varied cast. I wish we'd been able to see Ryan and Shi an really bond.
Speaking of One after seeing him in his cameo in AC I want to see him in a anti hero role.

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This is my first time seeing One in anything, and he's actually pretty appealing. His charm here as Shi-am was so different from One the rapper, it stood out nicely. An anti-hero role would be quite perfect. I'd love to see it.

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I had never heard of him and then was surprised he was an actual idol. I'll have to remember he goes by One and not Shi an.

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It’s funny you say this because he recently plays the young Jang dong Gun in Arthdal chronicles

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I followed one since SMTM and then saw him in hwayugi. His acting was really novice then but he's clearly improving. Can't wait till he's in a bigger role.

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Then I guess I have seen him before. I watched the majority of Hwayugi.

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He was the young boy selling magic object in the streets.

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Ah, the review I’ve been waiting for. Thank you, Laica, for giving some ‘Her Private Life’ content on Dramabeans. You’ve encapsulated a lot of my thoughts into your review!

What a ride this drama was, whew. I won’t divulge all my extensive thoughts but I will focus on the positive aspects of it, including the fact that despite having multiple tropes thrown at it last minute, the drama still managed to deal with them with commendable grace. It is based on a webtoon, lest we forget, so all of its faults can’t be directly placed on the writers of the show. Despite the lack of fangirling in the second half, I was very pleased by the concert ticketing scene in the last episode; through personal experience, I can tell you guys that they absolutely nailed it.

Career wise, they managed to give both leads a satisfiable path in my opinion. Deok Mi is an amazing leader and professional, and while I do wish she wouldn’t have to keep her photography skills a secret hobby, her role as vice director feels natural and comfortable. I mean, we’ve already seen her awe inspiring ability to grasp an artwork’s depth and true meaning at Writer Noh’s house and with Lee Sol’s paintings. As for her Lion? Well, I’m a huge fan of his art to be honest (serious props to the actual artist) and I loved how absolutely supportive he is of her, even at the expense of his own career. I absolutely loathed the fact that Min Young had to stay a secretary in WWWSK in the end and how unreal the power imbalance was, so this really makes up for it.

As for the actual couple themselves? Well holy hell. Min Young has this unreal ability to create sparks with literally any costar but with Jae Wook, we finally (FINALLY) see her in a decent drama with an older man, and it’s absolutely incredible to watch. Note to dramaland: no more younger leads for Min Young. Period. On screen and off, they were so so beautifully matched that it was a joy to watch them. They had a blast filming this and you could tell. Thank you to the angel in disguise who cast them together - we all owe you one! To somewhat echo Laica’s words, they will now takeover the spot of my top dramaland couple ever, and I highly doubt anyone will top them for a while. Probably ever.

Overall, I really loved the show, I will dearly miss it and I already need Min Young and Jae Wook to be in another drama ASAP. Separate is fine, together is preferred. Make it happen, drama gods!

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The second half of the drama was a drag for me. What made it special took a backseat. You name a drama her private life and after the couple become official the fangirling somehow disappears. I did like how they glorified Ryan by making him boyfriend goals and i did somehow connect with the whole mother-son connection but i lost it when they went the overused cliche childhood meeting way. I was disappointed in how the plot shifted but i am overall satisfied. I thought the end would be like Deokmi doing her fangirling and Ryan helping her by the side as he did in the early episodes but you can't get everything in life. All in all i leave with a knowledge that Kim Jae Wook is beyond ready to take lead roles. His smile is everything. Good job to the casts.

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A drama where Deok-mi kept fangirling and Ryan became more involved would have been the dream! I wouldn't have robbed him of his story, but female-centric romantic comedies (that, you know, don't borrow the whole Sex and the City dynamic like I Need Romance) are rare in Korean drama.

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Nice summary!I couldn't agree more.

Especially about this:

"...adding this plotline functionally turned all the women in this drama into mechanisms for Ryan’s character development. No woman was allowed to exist independently of his shining presence.

I discussed this on the fanwall with another beanie, but I'm especially irritated that in the end, Deok-mi was just kind of there to "heal" Ryan's trauma, and that HER OWN issues were never quite as deeply explored.

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That is the best line. Thinking about it, Deok-mi came to embody feminine, maternalistic stereotypes. It was probably just implied that Deok-mi had already made peace with the fact she couldn't draw anymore, because you know, most people believe women are better at coping with emotional pain because we're given more room to feel it than men normally are. Which isn't true! 😂

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I was so annoyed by this because even DM’s mom became only another character in the story of Lion’s childhood trauma....

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I agree about many negative thing already said so here is the thing I did like:
Having adult act as adult in a relationship. Seeing them navigate their newfound relationship and how it evolve true the second half of the drama. Seeing how Ryan manage to paint again and finding his family. Not just his biological family but also finding family in Deok mi parents. Also learning that his adoptive parents where good people make me happy as often adoptive parents is painted as not so good people.
I like how we also get to see Deok mi getting some confidence to pursue the man she liked. beside getting to watch her being a good girlfriend. She already did great in her carrier so to me this was more about her finding her confidence and finding her happiness outside of that. Her fangirling was a way for her to cope with low confidence so to me it was no surprise that this side of her was mellowed down a bitt even tough we still could se that this was there. I also think she need just time to adjust to suddenly finding out that her bias is her boyfriends brother. To me there was smal scene where she could see him as a human person like their scene in the church.

All in all i did enjoy this drama and gonna remember Ryan and DM for a long time.

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Thanks for the recap.

I’m tired of writing about this drama but I still like ready others’ thoughts about it.

I’ll paste some old fanwalls here while I try paying attention to Anthdal

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REPOST

I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy Her Private Life, since it’s the only drama I’ve stayed current to airing episodes lately. However, I feel very awkward reading fan walls after each episode as I never got to the point of deep connections to the characters and OTP as many beanies feel, and it’s disappointing because I hoped to love it more.

First off, I expected a silly romcom. It started out parallel to my taste as the fangirl story is right up my ally. I really enjoyed the first few episodes. Ryan Gold being Latte was awesome. But soon they dropped all the silly stuff and went for the all perfect mature couple. Ummm…. I could have been fine with that if they made the lead characters more real to life.

I liked Ryan Gold in the beginning, a lot, with the arrogance of an artist, a somewhat culture shocked look on Korea and fan culture, and an open mind on LGBT. Somewhere along the way the writer crossed the line from ideal man to surreal man. The writer simply tried too hard to make him perfect and it backfired a little (maybe a lot) for me. He’s not alone. Deok Mi also became too wonderful of a girlfriend overnight. Like, if you are so wonderfully capable of dealing with relationships, why were you single and completely invested in fangirling again?

I guess I could have suspended belief and accepted they were fated to love one another and perfectly solved every misunderstanding before the next commercial break. Yet, I can’t help feeling the writer/webtoonist became delulu of her characters. If you want to be delulu, go farther, go silly, make me laugh histerically. Unfortunately that didn’t happen either. They both stopped acting silly. The plot tried to get serious but came across as mere drumroll to the next kiss. The tropes came and left like a checklist. The support characters lost their point (Hello Cindy??!!!). And now I feel like I’m just watching for the sake of finishing.

In hindsight, I wish I binged this drama and didn’t have so much time to benchmark RG and DM to real people.

(It’s like I’m watching Zero 7 date Zero 8)

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I forgot about Ryan's acceptance and desire to protect Deok-mi as a (perceived) non-binary person! That was what drew me to the drama! 😍

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"Somewhere along the way the writer crossed the line from ideal man to surreal man. " THIS! You hit the nail on the head with the writer going delulu with their characters. As the story progressed, I started from "Omg they're perfect, he is the dreamboat!", only to end up in "Pffft what? Why are they so perfect, this is just unreal." *dropped the drama then and there*

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REPOST re: Fangirling

So after the initial episodes of balanced (actually not balanced because average fans were not represented, only the extreme cases) portrayal of different types of fans, they just left the negatives in the closet. Then eventually left the entire fandom on a bench. That’s when I lost complete interest.

I would be ok if they kept Si An a distance idol throughout the show, like how Tony was just mentioned throughout Reply 1997. Yet they made him part of the family so they should at least made him a more realistic man, not an idol persona. All the guys in Top Management felt more human than Si An. How underwhelming.

The shows trajectory was suspectedly driven by poor ratings. What started off refreshing and fun soon reduced to mere fan service. Not complaining about having abundant sexually charged scenes but it was apparent that kiss scenes was their only leverage on ratings and buzz. These scenes got longer and other parts and characters got cut down. So much that I felt nothing was going on for weeks.

After all the pure fluffy fan service, they end it the worst way possible … making up last minute stuff to remind us the MLs can cry and our great veterans actor parents had a point in this drama.

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REPOST

... it started getting typical when the fangirl story was put on pause and became another “save your wounded man” story. And only to realize at the end that he wasn’t so deeply wounded at all and just needed to find his mother to remember how happy and fortunate he was to be loved by a good artist mother, a nice ahjumma temporarily, and a pair of wealthy adoptive parents for 2 decades. Gosh, the more I write this out the more unsympathetic I feel towards Ryan. This ain’t helping😂.

If they continued the fan girl path and used some of the other characters to add more humor, left all the moms out of these grown up 30-something’s life, I would have enjoyed this much more.

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I agree with you @laica !

All the childhood part is big mess and the drama could have been better without it.

But I like the couple and for a rom-com, it's the most important thing :p

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Since everyone said everything, I want to add this drama gave us babies falling in Judo, for that I will be forever greatful. Watch Geon Woo and his little friends fall, just made my day, everytime.

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Yes yes yes... he’s my favorite character ❤️

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Geon-woo is the most precious little boy. The scene where he asks his dad about love made me so happy.

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Yes! Gun-woo's falls! ❤️

If I knew how to put a gif of him in my post, I would have.

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I loved that the final test for their yellow belt was falling in all directions 😂😂

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Thank you so much for this review Laica ♥️

I swear it was just the other day I was waiting on stills and previews and even the slightest bit of news everyday for 2 months and now it’s over 😭😭😭

Truth be told i was in a rom-com slump and was afraid that the leads chemistry was going to be wasted on this show but I could not be more satisfied with what I’ve seen. One thing I feel shows lack in the romance department, namely in rom-coms, is the development. These two had so many meaningful conversations that helped me understand and be able to connect to as a romantic pair. More than that we were given an amazing male lead who was super woke, insightful and kind hearted despite having a prickly exterior. One of the biggest flaws these types of male characters have is they lack personality or they turn into a marshmallow too quickly that it seems unrealistic, but with Ryan we got to experience a stable character with steady characterisation as the episodes went such as him learning to view himself better than his art pieces which we saw initially, making him a harsh boss and an artist who seeks perfection. I also really liked how smartly the writer incorporated the female leads fan girl element to drive the romance in a unique way such as editing pictures as a form of love, her fangirling over Ryan by taking pictures of him and falling for him first thus making her more affectionate and open with her feelings for him.

The relationship was probably the best thing about this show as we all know that was filled with so much warmth, understanding and open communication and I could not rave enough about the ‘mature romance’ we were promised by the actors themselves. PMY and KJW nailed them to a tee and I honestly could not have asked for anyone else to play them. Story wise there were flaws and honestly speaking I missed the uniqueness of the first half of this show. Their interactions kept me guessing and filled with so much and I mean so much tension (the number of times I held my breath in anticipation was insane). It’s not everyday that you see a male lead trying to protect and be intrigued by the female character’s unique hobby as a fan girl which I thought was the cutest thing every time he covered for her without her knowledge. I also loved that although they were fake dating he never overstepped his boundaries as her ‘boyfriend’ or had irrational jealous moments which is why I find the whole fake dating iffy at times. It also made me excited to see what shenanigans they were going to get themselves into during their time as a fake couple.

On the other hand I wasn’t quite happy with how basic the second half become and all these old tropes began making an appearance. They could have used director Eom in a more antagonistic way to drive the angst or the scandal that Deok mi got herself into, dangerous sasaeng fan behaviour and more insight into the life of an idol by Shi An in a negative or even positive way (how fans are a...

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(how fans are a source of strength). They touched lightly on these aspects but turned into a standard rom-com with unnecessary plot points just to fill up time. Other then these small quibbles this was a delightful story about a fangirl’s love that turns to real love as she connects with someone on a deeper level, not that fan girl love is any less or important. For what it’s worth I think it delivered on the message it was trying to tell about being someone’s favourite and was a super squeal worthy and entertaining show.

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Thank you for that great review @Laica! I agree on all terms. Binging it brought out my problems with Deok Mis development even more, and I totally agree with you: she could have been a photographer. Shi-An could have helped his favourite fangirl and sister-in-law to get a foot in the industry.
I feel the conclusion of curating being her art was just mentioned in brief conversation in bed with Ryan, where he explained it to her (!!!). Meanwhile we watched him cry heavy tears about his inabilities for about 4 episodes.
But other than that, there was much to love and I will remember it fondly! I loved that they talked about homosexuality in a very positive light and that Ryan was such a non normative male drama lead. Also the falling of the judo-baby will forever be cute. One time I think even Eun-Gis actor broke character laughing.

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I am so going to miss this drama! I didn’t really like the childhood connection, Deok Mi’s past and how Ryan Gold’s mom lost him. It all felt kind of forced and not well thought out, but I really really loved how mature RG and DM handled all this and how it made them fall in love even more. PMY and KJW’s chemistry is out of this world, and I would love for them to reunite in a melo! It’s gonna be hard for other kdramas to beat this romance. They actually communicate with each other and aren’t afraid to show their affection to each other, when so many other drama have the leads go through millions of misunderstandings and look like they are afraid to touch each other.

Also, I think I’m one of the few who don’t mind that DM never revealed that she is Shi An Is My Life to Shi An, because it’s her private life in the end :) There’s been enough hints that he knows she’s his fan and to me that is satisfying enough.

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Liking this drama so far -- at episode 12. One thing that's confusing to me. Ryan Gold lived in the US since his childhood, and yet his English has a very strong Korean accent. He even pronounces "Gold" with two syllables instead of one. Whereas Sung Deok Mi has lived in Korea all of her life and her English is much less accented. She says Ryan correctly and when she is teaching him Go Stop she says "war of the flowers" quite well. Maybe it should have been the other way around, with her coming from America and him coming from Korea.

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To be honest, I was kind of waiting for the moment in the series where Park Min-Young's character would lose her role as main lead. I am beating a dead horse here, probably, but it truly does feel like most of the korean dramas I watch have the female lead just sort of become the love interest of the male lead, no matter how important or interesting she was at the beginning. This was just another drama where the female lead's interesting background, story and personality got pushed back to become a comfort pillow for the male lead.

I DID appreciate the series' dedication to have a loving and healthy relationship most of the run, where the leads talked and communicated. That is one thing I can appreciate from the Three dramas I have seen Park Min-Young in; she mostly Plays in dramas where the leads communicate effectively, or mostly avoid the Noble Idiocy if possible. Still, I would like to see her in a drama where she is the lead and STAYS the lead.

Park Min-Young IS super as an actress, though! Ever since Seven-Days Queen, I have been a big fan of her and want to see her in all kinds of roles. I have now seen her as a naive but self-assertive Queen, a professional secretary and an avid but respectable fangirl. I do not know if playing a villain hurts one's career (I only heard that from a jerk-character in Absolute Boyfriend), but I would LOVE to see her as a villain, and see what she does with the character then. Honestly I want to see her back in sageuks, perhaps as a villainous Queen or concubine, a role I am sort of tired of, but at the same time think she would make fresh. Or, just see her as a Queen, because she hardly got to be one in SDQ (it's sort of in the title :')). As a Queen, most likely she would have had to see her man get concubines no matter how much they loved each other, and I would love to see her in the role of the most powerful woman in the country (or second after the dowager), asserting her authority but also being fair. I think she would have nailed the role, which is why I hope SDQ's bad views did not scare her from sageuks forever.

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This was just another drama where the female lead's interesting background, story and personality got pushed back to become a comfort pillow for the male lead.

Yes and I am honestly salty about that. When synopsis was released and they casted the ML, I was thinking she finally gets her own drama. But nope, didn't happen. If it doesn't happen with a male actor of less "Lead" experience, I'm afraid it will never happen. That glass ceiling is extra thick in SK.

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Yes, this is sadly true. Thank you for nailing why I was disatisfied with this series

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@pensola,
I agree that Park Min-young was excellent in SEVEN DAY QUEEN -- as was Park Si-eun playing her younger self. I have a feeling that the drama wasn't more popular because the history is so darned tragic. Plus Kim Ji-suk had just turned in a beautifully sympathetic performance as Yeonsangun in REBEL, and the timing was just too soon. Sageuk fatigue is real. -- That said, PMY had great chemistry with Lee Dong-gun in a beautifully-nuanced powerhouse portrayal of Yeonsangun, and Yeon Woo-jin as the tyrant's brother, future King Joongjong.

My first Kdrama was DR. JIN, so I didn't know any of the actors in it. Danged if PMY wasn't the female lead in both timelines. ;-)

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Thanks for the review, Laica.

I was rewatching the early episodes of the drama when I noticed that hints about Deok-soo were present from the beginning in the 1st frame of ep 1 and in ep 4 when Deok-mi's grandmother needed her knee surgery. Thus his story was already planned from day 1.
However I will have to agree that they could have found a better way to execute that portion of the plot than how they eventually did it.
Well for all it's flaws, this drama gave us one of the best rom com couple in recent history and it was a pleasure to watch the sizzling chemistry between Kim Jae Wook and Park Min Young.

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your comments are so accurate!! going back i will probably only rewatch til ep 14, but i am sooo sad that in the last few episodes the fangirling was not more explored. its the whole reason i picked up this show and consequently lost my mind in delight watching it. tho, ryan definitely gained a full fangirl in me! someone is gonna have to write some fanfiction so that we get the ending we deserve, while fully disregarding the storyline involving the ~childhood fate~ trope, but this remains one of my absolutely favorite dramas for sure!

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‘Her Private Life’ was the number one for me in the list of the upcoming dramas. Because I had been looking forward to seeing Kim Jae Wook as the male lead and especially in a romantic drama for years. He is so sexy, so cool and gifted in many fields; then it would have been great watching him in the leading role in a romantic setting.
Park Min Young is a beautiful and talented lady, so my pleasure would have been double. First few episodes were very promising, I kept smiling by myself while watching it. I was so ready to see only the good in the show. But very unexpectedly things turn out to be rather different for me. I got bored. I still cannot believe that I experienced the boredom while watching this lovely couple that looks wonderful together.
1. Fangirling concept became only a décor and the writer didn’t do anything meaningful with this raw material.
2. Fluttering Warning, What's Wrong With Secretary Kim, Heart To Heart, Just Between Lovers, The Smile Has Left Your Eyes… These are only the first titles that come to my mind when I think about a certain plot: two people that was shaken by the same trauma in their childhood years and find each other by chance years later and become lovers… It is an extremely worn-out material unless the writer uses it in a very innovative and convincing way.
3. I can safely say that there wasn’t a clear story in the drama. A love story that makes you impatient and curious? No. Any puzzle, struggle, ambition, etc? None.
4. A nice cast team and an attractive couple were the pros of the drama.

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The moment Kim Jae Wook was confirmed, I was in for the Rom!! And boy did he and Park Min Young blow all other OTPs out of the water!!! I loved the communication, openness in problem solving and expressions of affection of the OTP. Once they were together, the closeness, cuddling, kisses, touching - realistic. I have seen other dramas where skinship were limited to momentous occasions only.
I too have "Annyeong" reverberating in my brain (accompanied by mild palpitations).
As Laica so succinctly pointed out - the childhood trope could have been done away with. And as others have pointed out - more on Deok Mi transitioning from fan page manager to sis-in-law would have been fun. Shi-An was so sad that SiNaGil went on hiatus - would have loved to see his face when she told him the reason!
But - I am happy to be counted among those who will love this pairing of Ryan and Deok Mi as one of my favorite rom-com pairings of all time, and this drama as one of the better executed RomComs to date.
The other characters were wonderful, as Laica said - it was the moments which were captivating. Thank you Laica!

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Part 1 of 2

Thank you for your series recap and final summation of HER PRIVATE LIFE, @laica. I agree with your opinions on the drama. I initially watched the first two episodes when they aired, but put Show on hold because I couldn't juggle another live-watch. I marathoned it from the beginning on May 30 and finished it in the wee hours this morning. If I had live-watched it, I would have been really peeved by the way Show strayed from its original premise, although not enough to toss my laptop.

Episode 5 had a dandy story arc involving a novelist who was left in charge of the final self-portrait works of his photographer friend who died of an illness. Deok-mi thought that the title "Goodbye" was actually a mistranslation, and should have been more along the line of "this is who I am to you," based on where the subject was looking – all of them constituting an unspoken series of pictorial love letters, which the novelist had overtly ignored. But Ryan Gold was deeply affected by what he saw, and told the novelist that he had the sense that the photog knew the novelist's true feelings towards him, which touched the novelist deeply as he stated that it was too late. The photos were intensely private, and yet it seemed that they were a validation of the pair's long friendship that dated back to small kid days. I found it quite touching, and because of that high emotional bar the show set for itself early on, I felt let down somewhat as the main story unfolded in the second half.

Alas, the plot diverged into a silly makjangfest with ridiculous coincidences, a lost child who was later abandoned after the tragic death of another child in a car accident stressed out the mom who took him in – and the family went broke when the husband's business failed. It felt like Job had joined the cast, for crying out loud. (Who doesn't report they've found a lost child to the police?! I couldn't wrap my head around that.) Ryan discovers he has a sibling after all – idol Shi-an. Real-life idol One did a nice job in his role, and was actually quite cute. The first half or so was overall better than the second. As with WHAT'S WRONG WITH SECRETARY KIM, the original premise of the show morphed into something different and more serious (but a lot less gruesome), complete with Eun-gi facing off against Ryan over Deok-mi. Her total amnesia since age 7 over the death of her kid bro got short shrift.

Rival fangirl Cindy and her obnoxious mom the former gallery director somehow mellowed out and
became non-evil.

Kim Jae-wook was great in his first lead role. After his epic turn in GUEST, it was a relief to see him play a lighter character minus opponent Park Il-do, although there was plenty of heartbreak and abandonment in his past. KJW was hilarious in drag as his fake online fangirl persona "Latte." He has come lightyears since the shyly-enigmatic Waffle-Meister in COFFEE PRINCE.

- Continued -

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Part 2 of 2

I enjoyed Ahn Bo-hyun as retired Olympic judo silver medalist and pseudo-bro Nam Eun-gi. He
really grew on me, even when he was being a jerk. Kim Mi-kyung was her usual excellent self as Deok-mi & Eun-gi's mom. Yoo Yong-min was good as feisty fangirl Lee Sun-joo's butter-fingered barista and aspiring musician Joo-hyuk, who later teamed up to record with Shi-an. Im Ji-kyu was good as her PD hubby Kang Seung-min – and their little boy was cutetastic. Actually, all the child actors were great little scene stealers, especially little Heo Yoon-jae.

I liked Park Min-young more as Deok-mi than in WHAT'S WRONG WITH SECRETARY KIM. They're both similar kinds of title roles in which the female lead loses her agency and ministers to the male lead's woundedness. She was so good in SEVEN DAY QUEEN that these lighter rom-com roles seem unworthy of her talents. On the other hand, she has great chemistry with her castmates, and was excellent with Kim Jae-wook, who simply sparkled.

This Fangirl’s Final Verdict:

I'm not sorry to have spent 16 hours watching the show. Much of it was done well, in particular the relationship in which both leads actually communicated like functioning adults who weren’t noble idiots. It was a treat to finally see KJW as leading man. He's got great timing, and has really come into his own after languishing in Kdramaland (I’m looking at you, TEMPERATURE OF LOVE). His performance in GUEST was an absolute tour de force. Now someone please cast him in a sageuk. I would love to see him give that genre another whack. He was pretty good in his supporting role in KINGDOM OF THE WINDS. I'm sure he'd be excellent like Kim Ji-suk, who tore it up as Yeonsangun in REBEL: THIEF WHO STOLE THE PEOPLE.

-30-

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I think this show was better than Wwwsk, but that’s about it. By the end, I was FF a lot, so thanks for the mini-cap there. I’m still halfway though the last episode. What the show did well for me was show how a relationship could navigate some pretty out of left field scenarios with just old fashioned talking and listening. Wow, imagine that, communication as the cornerstone of a romance. Also, I’ve been a fan of Kim Jae Wook for a while and finally someone gave him a leading role, and I’m left a little thirsty for more! So, find another rom-com-melo, Pali!!!

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I hope pmy finds good projects in the future bc i like her.

and everyone who was a kjw fan pre hpl too -you guys have great taste.

thanks for the recap and review ms laica

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The review and comments have said what I want to say...

So I'd just point out several things.

1. I don't really mind that the second half is focused on Ryan while the first one focused on DM. I don't see it as putting DM as backburner and as a tool to console Ryan. I've seen and learnt about DM in the first half and second half is where I learned about Ryan (his story wasn't told at all at the first half and he was kinda a closed book).. I don't think DM even knows him as a person who's got history prior to their real dating period. The second half makes DM shines even more as a person. It shows how understanding, assertive, and intuitive she is as a person.

2. I need moooreee scenes of Ryan and Sian bonding after they know they're brothers and how DM is involved in their dynamics. I love how it's already showed that Sian turns to his noona already when he thinks something happens to his hyung hehe. It'd be funny if he knows his favourite noona is also his favourite fansite master... Ryan's cackling at Deokmi's almost slip-out in episode 16 is hilarious. I need more of this.

3. I agree about your points on DM's photography talent.. I wish they can explore it more. Like when she goes to NY, she actually learns and develops a career in it.. But I guess, she loves being a curator and keeps photography as her hobby... Side note, I kinda want Ryan sees his edited pics by Deokmi and her telling him that it's how she finds out about her true feelings for him..

4. This drama is a rediscovery of Kim Jaewook for me. I haven't watched any dramas or works of him since Coffee Prince and Temperature of Love (which I dropped). I kind of forget how good he is as an actor... Glad he takes this role. I guess he was interested inRyan's character which is unusual for romcom... xD I'm so happyyy that his first partner in this genre is PMY.. Girl can act and match a her co-stars so well.. I liked watching her dramas.. But goodness...her chemistry with KJW is electrifying and sizzling hot haha...

5. I like how balanced is the relationship actually. Ryan supports her fangirling, even before they start dating for real. She supports him in overcoming his trauma and inability to draw. He respects her works and acknowledges her talent as a curator and photographer, while she puts so much conviction in his works and convinces him that he's ready to come back as an artist. And do you notice how unfazed Ryan is when Deokmi tells him she's going to NY, then she ASKS him to come come with her and readily offers financial support for the jobless boyfriend (and he's shamelessly asking for steak lol). There's no 'hey I'm a man so I'll do this and that for you so you don't hv to make any decision'

Overall, it has some ridiculous plot, but it's all got resolved quickly without noble idiocy and drags. The OTP is the best thing happens in dramaland and I wouldn't mind watching them playing Hwatu, cooking, and smooching each other for...

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... smooching each other for 2 full episodes. Plus, their BTS scenes are even cuter than the drama cuts how is this possible...

To summarize, Kim Jaewook's honey eyes is my welfare.

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Honestly if some beanies hadn't asked I would've finished this show and just forgotten about it, probably not writing anything except the odd snark. I honestly cannot be bothered writing anything more about it. It's all on my wall. I cared so little in the last four episodes, I was fast forwarding kiss scenes.

My overall opinion of Her Private Lyfe therefore, despite good and bad is: Meh.

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So many people say they could have done without the events of the last two episodes. But imagine the sound effects if they had cut them like they cut Surplus Princess :)

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I was surprised by the recap setting of 1, 2-8, 9-16 because I recall dramabeans usually do the recap each episode. Is there a reason behind this?
I love Her Private Life and think the story development is nice, the characters are nicely written. Ryan Gold being a boyfriendgoal, I wonder if there is a character similar to him in real life. For Deokmi, unlike some people who thought she was degenerated as supporting, I choose to disagree becausr her character shows maturity as a girlfriend who stand tall in curing her boyfriend's emotional trauma. She has Her Private Life to handle, that's why she's not that active anymore as fangirl. The drama depicted and Deokmi mentioned about it. I myself as fangirl know very well about that phase, when we're busy with real life or there are important things we need to handle, fangirling will naturally reduce its intensity. So in that regards, this drama serves its purpose in all angle of fangirling. The last I want for myself if I was Deokmi is for my cover to blow in front of Shi An, my soon to be brother in law, so I also like that the drama doesn't reveal Deokmi's identity.
Overall, this drama has it all for me. I love everything and will remember this drama as the best rom-com ever existed (previously hold by Full House since 2004). I even doubtful future drama will come close with this drama on how well described and built the characters and their stories are.
Now I'm having my first withdrawal syndrome that I can't enjoy other dramas after this drama ends. I used to not believe such thing as withdrawal ever existed, because I never experience it. Even though the drama is good, I can always watch other dramas. But now I have that syndrome. Funny, because I have no expectation watching this drama at first other than the fact that Kim Jae Wook is in that drama and I'm going to finish it no matter what. But it stole my heart and Ryan Gold took part od my soul.

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DB has been experimenting with other forms of recapping besides full play-by-play for each episode. I suspect it has a lot to do with availability of Minions, and how many shows are airing at a given time. In addition to the three main terrestrial TV networks and established cable outlets such as tvN, OCN, and jTBC, other cable and web providers are now releasing dramas, too. So many dramas, so little time to watch -- let alone recap -- them. I'm grateful to uri Minions for doing so much for us already.

It's a big commitment to recap an entire series of 16 episodes, not to mention longer shows such as weekend dramas of 50 one-hour episodes that run for 6 months. So sometimes there's a recap of just the first episode. Other times the first episode plus the series's mid-point and finale are recapped. It's a nice compromise that gives viewers a place to gather and squee. Thanks, DB. ;-)

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Okay. Thanks for explaining.

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First of all, let me say this: I love that here on DB, people actually comment about the content of the drama, the plot, the characters development, etc. and not just merely spazzing about the main couple.

My sentiment and thoughts about this drama have basically been voiced more eloquently by other beanies here, so I won't repeat it. The story is average at best, slightly better than WWWSK, which I really wished I had dropped after 2 episodes, but I won't go there now. The best part for me is indeed the depiction of a mature relationship between two adults who can actually sit down, talk it out, and not afraid to say they're sorry, that and the explosive chemistry between the main leads both on and off screen. KJW has proven his talent even in a lighter genre, and he deserved to be a main lead in any drama, although Mo Tae Gu is probably still his most memorable character for me. I hope PMY will take a break from rom-com for a while, although I think she's cute and endearing in rom-com, I enjoy her performance more in meatier roles such as the one in 7DQ. And I honestly kinda dislike her Deok Mi character in the beginning 'cause it showed too much similarity with her role as Sec. Kim. All in all, I enjoyed this drama for what it is.

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Thanks for reminding me of Mo Tae-gu in VOICE. KJW was horrifyingly incredible in that role. After that performance and his tour de force portrayal of exorcist Priest Choi in supernatural thriller GUEST, I really needed to see him in a lighter, brighter genre. HER PRIVATE LIFE fit the bill.

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Having live-watched VOICE when it aired, I felt as if I'd gone through the meat grinder along with the rest of the Beanies obsessively commenting on the recaps. The fact that I needed to be reminded of Mo Tae-gu is a sign that I may finally be recovering from one of the darkest Kdramas I've watched to date. Either that, or Mo Tae-gu is simply buried under an even thicker layer of Priest Choi Yoon, psychic Yoon Hwa-pyung, Detective Kang Kil-young, and baksu Yook Gwang battling to the finish with malign spirit Park Il-do. The exorcism scenes in GUEST were riveting -- and the stuff of nightmares. All four actors -- the entire cast, actually -- were magnificent. GUEST set an incredibly high bar for exorcism dramas.

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Mo Tae Gu is a totally different character than Priest Choi Yoon, perhaps that's why I keep them in two separate 'world', so to say 😄 Although KJW totally rocked both characters. But I have yet to encounter a more insane villain in k-drama after Mo Tae Gu, he still take the no. 1 spot in that department, at least in my book LOL. I hate watching Voice towards the end, the plot holes were just so glaring, and the ending was... you know. Not the actors and actress fault obviously, Jang Hyuk and Lee Hana were doing a great job. Anyway, I'm looking forward to see what kind of a character KJW will tackle next, he has this way of turning any character he played into a riveting one.

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@strawberry13,
And you know what is mind boggling? Mo Tae-gu's dad is one of the honchos in ARTHDAL CHRONICLES! That might explain a thing or two about the ruthlessness. Sheesh!

Like you, I'm keen to learn what KJW picks for his next project. After he gets a chance to catch his breath, that is. ;-)

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Well I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt like the sudden childhood amnesia thing was definitely random and sudden ^^;

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Everything you said is on point! And a sad but true fact - we live in a world where even if the title is HER Private Life, it somehow always revolves around HIM.

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Thanks laica for the review! I have read some of the comments on Naver (korean portal) and A LOT of people seemed to be put off by the fangirling theme. And except for fan of KJW people were kinda dissing even the one who were immature enough to watch it. So I am not surprise the fangirling took a back seat and the romance was prioritise since their chemistry was the only positive talking point of this drama on Naver. But the writer( he is one of the good ones) lived up to his reputation and gave us a good and mature romance! Sad but that's the reality in SK you have to go with the trend to not be a complete failure of a drama ( because some bad rating follow you a long time). Anyway the good overcomes the bad I really like it overall so I will put it in my rewatch list up to ep 14.

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I'm embarrassed, I spent the whole series thinking I was watching Kim Gau-eun playing the bestie when it was actually Park Jin-joo. (hangs head in shame)

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@ Bob,
You're not alone. For a long time I had Park Jin-joo confused with Moon Ji-in (Seo Hyun-jin's bestie/manager in THE BEAUTY INSIDE; Jin Se-yun's maid Ggeut-dan in GRAND PRINCE; and Gil Da-jung in TWO COPS). Oy vey!

*puts on dunce cap, sits in corner*

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I'm reminded of a k-drama (perhaps it 'Temperature of Love'?) where the lead was a drama writer, frustrated by the hot-shot head writer who had covered a white board with an absurd number of interconnecting lines linking all the characters with childhood traumas, past lives, feuds, etc. 'Her Private Life' could've done without three of four of its more absurd coincidences. You could feel the heavy hand of the 'writer's room'. Ryan really didn't need to be the K-pop idol's half bother.

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How closely did Her Private Life follow Noona Fan Dot Com? Was the web novel about her fangirl life? Did it have childhood trauma(s)?

Her Private Life turned boring after Deok-mi stopped fangirling and started dating. From 부회장님 (What's Wrong With Secretary Kim) to 관장님, Park Min-young is always calling her boyfriends by their titles. This drama lacked a plot, which forced the writer to manufacture abandonment and a repressed little brother.

Deok-mi's mom kept Yoon-jae for a month? That's practically kidnapping. Why did she never call the police? A seven-year-old must know his mother's name, home address, and birthday. If Deok-soo died on the school bus, did Deok-mi's mom not send Yoon-jae to school? Was the police looking for missing Yoon-jae? Did the police even know Yoon-jae's mom had a son? Where was Yoon-jae's grandfather who threw out Lee Sol's paintings? If Deok-mi got PTSD from her car accident, how did Yoon-jae get amnesia? He knew ajumma was the one who left him at the orphanage.

"By any chance, are you my fan?" Sian never finding out curator-noona is Si-Na-Gil is the biggest disappointment of this show. I wished Sindy found out Deok-mi's secret identity. Da-in sucks as a visual director. Sian's new album being in a jewel case is BS. Eun-gi and Hyo-jin do not match. Eun-gi should have ended up with Da-in. Ahn Bo-hyun and Hong Seo-young are not charismatic enough to act as second leads. One is really pretty but overacted badly.

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Frankly, I forgot about the mother entirely once the romance kicked off. It was jarring to see the flashbacks and think "oh yeah, his mother ". I frankly would have been satisfied with just the romcom like you said.
I was also really moved by Seon-joo. The fact that she would do anything for her child was used to hurt her by the man she loved. That part hurt!

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couldn't agree more with this! thank you :)

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