Now with all the attention on “The World of The Married“, the highest rated cable drama in Korea’s history, ,it also piqued my interest in its charismatic female lead , Kim Hee Ae, which brought me to watch her previous title “Secret Affair” in which she was ironically the adulteress.
Interestingly, “Secret Love Affair” was also aired on JTBC, same as “The World of The Married”.
“Secret Affair” stars Kim Hee Ae and Yoo Ah In and tells the story of how a 40-plus year old married career woman Oh Hye Won fell in love with her prodigy piano student Lee Sun Jae and began a whirlwind secret affair.
Slow-paced Contemplative Watch which makes the Affair Beautiful to watch
While politically incorrect to say so, the treatment of the affair and the chemistry of Kim Hee Ae and Yoo Ah In makes me feel that their love is beautiful to watch. That their affair is a result of two souls connecting on a deep level. Not something dirty and sexual but true love.
There was an iconic scene of two of them playing the piano and pouring all their heart out into the “duet” and connecting on a deep level with all the notes played. To me, the piano scene was a grand display of passion and the exciting possibilities ahead between two strangers who just met but connected instantly.
Charismatic Leads that win Viewers’ Sympathy and Support
For “Secret Love Affair”, there were many of such scenes whereby not many words were uttered but which just a glance between both or companionable silence between the two speak volumes of their suitability and yearning for each other.
I think it boils down to the charisma of both actors as well as their chemistry to make this forbidden love a pleasure to watch. If it is a less charismatic actor, seeing such slow scenes can be incredibly boring.
Kim Hee Ae is really well-groomed sophisticated and beautiful in this drama. Even though she engages in the dirty corrupted dealings in a music school, however she is just so elegant yet lonely inside that I find her so attractive and could totally understand why a younger man could fall head over heels in love with her.
As for Yoo Ah In, I also really love his rendition of the talented and pure hearted piano student who just cannot control his yearning for his poised piano teacher. In fact he is really endearing in this show and thus you can’t help but understand why the older woman with so much to lose would fall in love with him.
Tense Atmosphere As You Hope The Adulteress Couple doesn’t get Caught
Because the 2 leads are so likeable and happy together, I feel nervous on their behalf whenever they are on the verge of being caught.
We know that adultery is wrong, and the stakes are high for the couple and there would definitely be a huge loss in reputation and job security for Oh Hye Won (who is really into success and appearances) if they got found out. Especially since Oh Hye Won’s husband works in the same school!
Also, due to the politics in the school work life, there are many eyes on Oh Hye Won , all eager to get the damning evidence of her adultery to see her crumble. Therefore as much as I savour their sweet and passionate scenes, it is still worrying to watch.
Corruption and Politics Make It Difficult to follow
The story revolves around the Oh Hye Won’s work in which she deals with corruption of her rich bosses. Actually I find all these politics and corruption parts quite boring and a bit difficult to follow and would prefer to see more scenes of our two lovebirds.
Anyway, the ending is that our female lead Oh Hye Won got pricked by conscience and decided to lose all and admitted to her corruption, resulting in a jail sentence.
Yet, for once, she felt free as she no longer had to deal with her really complicated suffocating life that revolved around all her rich bosses and their dirty mess. No longer poised and groomed in the jail, with even her luscious locks being cut by jail mates, yet Oh Hye Won had never felt freer in life.
Thankfully, “Secret Love Affair” had a romantic and positive ending which hints at the promise of a normal relationship with soulmate Lee Sun Jae who would wait for her after she gets out of jail.
All in all, “Secret Love Affair” is a bit different from the usual Korean dramas as it is a serious show with no comedic moments, slower-than-usual pacing, and touches on a more taboo topic of adultery. In spite of the adultery theme which may sound sleazy, it is anything but that, and interestingly have a really classy vibe to it too, probably due to the music and piano references.
If you enjoy the romantic comedy type of dramas, you probably wouldn’t like it. But if you are a fan of Kim Hee Ae or Yoo Ah In, then this is a total must-watch as both were captivating in “Secret Love Affair”.