Secret Garden Episodes 1-2

*shouts*

BINNIE-AHHHHHHHH!!! BOGOSHIPEO!

*takes a deep breath and calms self down*

Now, that that’s done with can i just say how much i missed Hyun Bin in a romcom?

And i’m so glad i finally got this chance to see him once again in a vehicle where he doesn’t need to cry and shout at every given moment but rather where he can just be broody and hot and funny and act his little heart out while giving me butterflies in my stomach, shiny ajusshi track suit and all… (BUT IT’S MADE IN ITALY! LOL!)

CHINCHA! Nobody does cold, arrogant billionaire and dorky smitten lovesick man the way that Binnie does! (or maybe that is just my inner fangirl speaking)…

From the very beginning of watching this series, i already found the shots whimsical, the musical scoring fanciful… As if it was giving off a foreshadowing of magical things that are bound to happen later on in the episodes and as we all know, that will really occur given the synopsis that was released for this series…

Episode 1 opened with a shot of the lush autumn foliage of a very, very pretty landscape somewhere in Korea while a weathergirl on TV drones on about the origins of the term “indian summer”(which we all get to learn is the time of month where a bit of summer appears after autumn and before winter and the indians use it to hunt calling the time a gift from God, hence the term…)

Here in a gorgeous glasshouse that would put Keanu Reeves The Lakehouse to shame, we meet our main protagonist Kim Joo Won looking impeccable in a suit and played even more impeccably by Hyun Bin…

At first glance, Joo Won seems to be the stereotypical kdrama male lead who seems to have it all… Looks, money, the gorgeous house, the cool sports car, the multi billion won conglomerate (in this case a whole mall! Oh be still my heart!) replete with the aloof, unfeeling attitude to boot…

He is the type of man who’s blunt to his dates, impatient with his subordinates and not dictated by norms but Joo Won has an achilles heel that he is taking great pains to hide… He has an acute fear of closed spaces and strictly does not use the elevator (Lord knows for whatever reasons) but it is during these moments when he shows this weakness that we get to see glimpses of the frazzled side of his persona and that makes his character all the more interesting in my opinion…

Gil Ra Im (Ha Ji Won) on the other hand is an oxymoron of all the things that we have ever come to expect from a drama heroine… She’s tough but meek, tomboyish but womanly and her eyes seem to harbor a vulnerability that perhaps pushes her to keep to herself even when she’s being put at a great disadvantage…

However, Ra Im has a champion to her cause in the person of Jong Soo (Philip Lee) , her boss and the director of an action school who judging from the way he cares for her and looks at her appears to be in love with her secretly from a long, long time ago…

As all Kdramas are wont to go, Joo Won and Ra Im first met because of a misunderstanding stemming mostly from a case of mistaken identity… As expected, there were some funny moments thrown in between sarcastic banter but this is also the moment when we see a more warm adorable side to Joo Won as he gets smitten by Ra Im while watching her practice for her action scenes and after that our boy seems to be pretty much under her spell as he follows her around like a lost puppy in an obvious desire to be put under her good graces…

(GAHHHHHHHH!!! How can anyone resist Joo Won’s persistence?However, Ra Im seems to be holding her ground even if Joo Won daydreams of her like a loony, stalks other people just to get her phone number and Heck! even auditions for a stunt role just to see her… Tres cute and adorable!)

It is not all smooth sailing for Joo Won though as he barely registers on Ra Im’s radar and it doesn’t help that he has a formidable rival in his famous singer cousin Choi Yun Woo who otherwise goes by his screen name Oska (Yoon Sang Hyun)…

Joo Won and Oska live in the same house but is in a sort of love hate relationship as they one up one another, Joo Won mostly with the upper hand as he gets Oska out from one scrape to the next (mostly with women) but not before milking him for all his worth in terms of promotions for his business…

Not that Oska is half in love with Ra Im as much as she is fangirling over him…

To Oska, flirting is second nature as he is always sorrounded by women and no matter how boyish Ra Im tries to appear to be, there is still that womanly part of her that gets tickled pink at the attention that he seems to be throwing her way…

Thank goodness for Joo Won’s brazenness though as the way he talked to Ra Im when he visited her and showed her his care seems to be impinging on her consciousness as she now begins to take note of his presence… (which she tries to wash off by kicking his @ss and making his hidden life as a stuntman a living hell… 

OMONAAAAAAA!!! Can anyone tell how much i’m having a kick out of this whole “i’m a chaebol but pretending to be a commoner drama” that Joo Won has going for him just to get the girl?)

In general, I have not really expected this drama to be this funny… Sci Fi plotlines do not appeal to me and aside from the fact that i find the premise of body swapping between Binnie and Ji Won ridiculous (Dang it! I want my Binnie manly… not acting girly!) I was also not too hot on this pairing… (What can i say? I can’t imagine Binnie being smitten with anyone else but Sun Ah…)

Having said that, i was pleasantly surprised to find myself grinning a lot throughout these episodes thanks mostly to the wonderful scriptwriting… (I swear i LOL’d when Joo Won thought that Ra Im was a hooker and he was asking her how much she gets paid and she answered that it depends on the location whether it’s outside, on bamboo trees or inside the car!)

And even if the story is just beginning i find myself teary eyed in a couple of scenes where i can feel the love blossoming between the leads in a very, very subtle quiet way… (When Joo Won was doing that voice over about how Ra Im seems to be way cooler in person than in his dreams, i swear i almost died and don’t even get me started when he checked out her scar and then went on his way… *spazzes like crazy*)

It does not hurt at all that the cast is made up of such brilliant actors and that all the characters were written so interestingly that i can’t wait to get to their back stories…

(Oska’s for one and his ex Seul who is now setting her sights on Joo Won and whom i decided to hate in the first episode for her snobbish ways but now i think there’s more to her given how she also seems to be affected by Oska’s presence even if she pretends that it doesn’t…)

Though i love Binnie with all my heart, i can’t help but mention how Sang Hyun seem to also ace this role as he constantly brings in the laughs but also managed to tug at my heartstrings in the span of mere seconds …

(The transition between happy go lucky, funny guy to that naked vulnerability on his face when Seul and him accidentally met? Now, that’s acting!)

I’ve always thought that Sang Hyun really, really does well with these type of roles… A little slow…a little dimwitted but a total player with a heart of gold… (though i’ve yet to see the gold in these past episodes although he scored major points with me when he remembered Ra Im even if she was just an extra in a movie that he previously shot… )

All in all, i couldn’t find faults with the direction this series is taking… The musical scoring is superb (that song by Baek Ji Young is sooooo good that it’s enough to make me spazz or teary eyed depending on the scene), the cinematography is gorgeous, the acting is brilliant, the scriptwriting intelligent (yes, despite the body swap premise) and the actors magnificent…

And the love story? MY GOSH THE LOVE STORY!

It is absolutely the kind of adult love story that this writer is so famous for and which i go crazy over…

No cutesy stuff, no high school protestations of love… Instead you get the kind of love that comes only once in a lifetime and which takes your breath away…

(See what i’m talking about? That Smile that Joo Won gave Ra Im at the end of episode 2 says it all!)

This early, i am already In love with it’s story and if i am feeling this way about it, Binnie Factor aside, then Prosecutor Princess better be on its toes because i think she now has a stiff rival in my list of favorite dramas for this year and need i say more, i think this is it…


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About donnapie

Kdrama fanatic, Kim Hyun Joong obsessed, MinSun shipper, closet writer
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2 Responses to Secret Garden Episodes 1-2

  1. Khin Nwe Aye says:

    I’ve been hesitating to watch this drama because I’m one of the tens of thousands SKKS addicts, and I feel I’ll be betraying the SKKS Quartet if I start enjoy a new drama. But this evening, I decided to take a look at “Secret Garden” and starting from Ep. 1, I’m totally hooked. I love the main lead actor and actress and the chemistry between them from their very first meeting. Hyun Bin’s (JW) kooky character and his irresistible feelings for RI which he tries to find excuses to make them disappear are hilarious. His true feelings become so apparent when he’s telling his mother about his dream woman, though he tries to maintain his standards for his future wife, which is really an exercise in futility as he’s hooked line and sinker for RI, whatever her status is. I think the swapping of bodies will make them realize the true nature of each other’s life and will deepen their mutual understanding and also their love. JW will learn the harsh reality of how the poor live, and RI will also come to understand what a lonely life the poor rich man has. I know I’m going to enjoy the drama, but I’m curious how the plot (body swapping) is going to contribute towards the development of the love between the two main characters. It’ll be funny to see JW in woman’s form taking the masculine role and RI in male form to become more submissive and womanly. We’re going to have barrels of laughs ahead.

  2. webby says:

    hey donna, i love this drama too. i liked oska more in epi 1, and then reverted to joo won for epi 2. lol. oska kept yelling most of the time i had a earache, though i think the channels the singer fashionwear pretty well. Hyun Bin simply has to stick to the clean suave image, really! My love for him since samsoon time has blossomed again! while everyone is picking on his gaudy tracksuit, i just thought ‘he looks so good in this!’ LOL.
    I have to say Philip Lee’s role sparkled in that convo he had with ra-im when he told her matter of factly that it’s no surprise joo won is back again to look for her. After all, she’s quite a terrific woman! Oh wow. I love how forthright he is, instead of harboring it in his heart and be all jealous.
    The bodyswap plotline is gonna bring this up a notch i’m sure. not sure where the plot will be heading except for comedy. But i think they should be more to that.
    But really, i have to also commend the drama for the superb editing and OST. The song oska sang at the concert and the other by baek ji young immediately caught my attention after the first epi. Esp loved the scene transition they did using oska’s music from the filming location to the locker scene straight to the concert scene. It is just totally new and cool how they did it! I’ve never particularly liked Ha Ji Won, but i like how they show ra-im’s fierceness during the robber chase on the streets, perfectly showcasing her skills as a stuntwoman without appearing fake. This is my favorite drama airing right now, following which is ‘mary’. as a last note, pls dun forget to update your fanfic. (i know drama watching is so addictive so i def have to plead here..lol.). stay cool!

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