Secret Love Affair is Number One Drama This Week: Reasons to Watch It
Secret Love Affair Opening Title
JTBC’s Mondays-Tuesdays new drama Secret Love Affair is paving its way to a new drama mania and sets a piano craze trend in Korea.
First aired on Monday, 17th March, Secret Love Affair took number one spot for two days in a row among other cable networks at the same time slot, with 2.547% and 3.104% viewerships respectively, based on Nielsen’s Pay TV Households Nationwide. It recorded the highest viewerships ratings-by-minute of a whopping 5.3% during the broadcast.
For cable network, 2% viewerships ratings is considered high, with the calculation of 1% ratings in pay tv/terrestrial network is equal to 5% ratings in national public network.
Even before its airing, people could see its popularity coming. According to JBTC on the 17th, Secret Love Affair recorded 400 thousand hits in just the highlight video, and has been chosen as the most anticipated drama this year yet.
The highlight revealed the most important scenes from the first half of the drama and they have been going around on Daum TV Pot, Gom TV, TV Cast and YouTube. The highlight video is 21 minutes long and the piano playing scene is 9 minutes long. Half the video is made up of piano playing but not a single second can be wasted. The reason it’s so long is because Yoo Ah In played the song so perfectly that it surprised everyone. He has been practicing the piano extensively.
News also reported that Secret Love Affair is a top trending in South Korea, gaining popularity on various search engines. It’s currently one of the top trending topics on Naver, South Korea’s most popular search engine. From the title, the cast names, to the scores that Yoo Ah In and Kim Hee Ae play, they spotted on the top 10 real-time search. People also started searching how to play “Schubert Fantasy for piano four hands in F Minor D940”, a duet that Yoo Ah In and Kim Hee Ae perform in this drama.
So, what are the reasons people watch, or why Secret Love Affair is worth watching?
Kdramastars quoted as saying, “If you like your K-dramas with lots of emotional classical music, sensually choreographed photography and more than a few heart-melting longing glances, Secret Love Affair may be just the romance you are waiting for.”
Yes, it’s totally true, but no, it’s actually more than that. If a provocative yet realistic story you can relate with current society tickles your fancy, this is the drama you’ve been craving for.
fandomscape gives more insights from Director Ahn Pan Seok’s interview who described the drama thoroughly, and Yoo Ah In’s statement about the topic.
“Basically this is a love story between a 20 years old guy and a 40 years old woman. Of course, the society will not give a break for such a relationship.
“If judging from the tradition and ethics established by our society, this relationship is a damnable crime. But if we see it from a different context, it is not necessarily so. Oh Hye-won is a woman, who always chooses a safe path with regard to eduction, career and marriage. But has she ever asked herself simple questions, like do I really love the man I am involved with? Is what I choose really what I want? Does the man next to me (i.e. the man I have been living with/married to) and I really love each other? For the most part, the answers for these questions are likely to be negative.
“In other words, the majority of us in this society is living a calculating life and taking an easy way out. Oh Hye-won, a 40 years old woman, intends to follow a safe path to live her life. Until she dies, she will not have any chance to look back on the reality of her life. Once she commits the “crime,” ironically it is the moment when she examines her life and realizes that her “safe” self which presumably adheres to ethics is in reality one loaded with problems. From a social perspective, isn’t her predicament to a certain degree also the self portrait for all of us, who strives to have a deceptively easy and comfortable life?“
Yoo Ah In: “I really do not understand why the older woman involved in a relationship with age difference should suffer criticism. A man who gets involved in a relationship with 19 years difference in age will be considered capable, while a woman involved in a relationship with 19 years difference in age is always discriminated, even regarded as dirty. I really cannot understand why, and this is the society we live in.”
Secret Love Affair is an intriguing multi-layered drama, it gives room for people to discuss an issue. Solid and subtle acting performance by Kim Hee Ae and Yoo Ah In just struck all the right chords with audience, just like all the music this drama applies as the background. In addition to that, the flawless cinematography gets us the feeling that we are watching a movie rather than just a TV drama. Ahn Pan Seok also said, “All of the actors act in a documentary style, as if things were actually happening for real as we filmed them.”
getitk notes four points why Secret Love Affair is a gem~
★ Adding class to an unconventional subject
Secret Love Affair gained much attention with its unconventional subject: ‘secret affair’ of a married woman in her 40s, and a 20-year-old man. But is it not a typical drama that beautifies an affair.
One day, Seon-Jae jumps into the mundane life of Hye-Won. Because of her, Seon-Jae regains his passion towards music, and their relationship that started with the music slowly turns into love.
★ The chemistry of Kim Hee-Ae and Yoo Ah-In
Secret Love Affair made a stir with the casting of ‘Kim Hee-Ae,’ whom every woman wants to resemble, and attractive ‘Yoo Ah-In.’ Especially, Yoo Ah-In’s challenge as an actor is gaining attention. With his unique character, fluent speech, and great fashion sense, Yoo Ah-In is gaining much love. His delicate acting that covers various areas will also capture the hearts of the viewers.
★ Music drama – pleasing to the ears
Since Secret Love Affair is set in the classic music scene, music will be an important element. The emotions of Hye-Won and Seon-Jae will be recreated through the music of Schubert and Mozart.
Hye-Won and Seon-Jae’s collaboration in the pre-released highlights, their performance expresses their emotions without any words. Especially, Yoo Ah-In and Kim Hee-Ae learned piano for the drama.
While the sound was recorded by professional pianists, they did not use substitute actors for their pictures. Pianist Kim So-Hyung, who coached the actors, said that Yoo Ah-In is a “genius” to be able to memorized all songs.
★ The combination of Ahn Pan-Seok and Jung Seong-Joo
The fact Secret Love Affair is written by Jung Seong-Joo and directed by Ahn Pan-Seok, creates more anticipation for the drama.
With director Ahn’s great production skills and the delicate and catchy story of Jubg Seong-Joo garners audiences’ curiosity. They have always been showing ‘well-made dramas’ that reflect our society. Will they create another masterpiece?
I say yes. More power to Secret Love Affair!
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Secret Love Affair with English substitles is available on Viki