Critically Acclaimed Secret Love Affair Ends With A Blast

Time to say goodbye to the piano man, Rachmaninoff, Brahms, Mozart, Schumann, Schubert, Dvorak, the beauty of classical music, Sun Jae the Angel, and his goddess Hye Won, the former Elegant Slave who gets her freedom at last.

A soulful journey for Hye Won, popular series Secret Love Affair ends its 16 episodes-run with a blast. The curtain calls following the beautiful ending. At the same time, this is not the end, but in fact the beginning of the couple’s journey of true life and love.


Secret Love Affair becomes a critically acclaimed drama of this year, in addition to its phenomenal ratings records achievement. The last four episodes broke their own records consecutively.

Riding the high tides of the upper-class conflict, episode 15 rated 4.56% and 5.3% for the national and metropolitan area viewership respectively, and it peaked to 7.3% based on by-minute-ratings during the broadcast.

Episode 16, which was the finale, hit the highest ratings of all episodes. It rated 6.6% for metropolitan area and peaked to 8.8% during the broadcast based on by-minutes-ratings, on the scene where Hye Won gives her heartfelt speech in the court for Sun Jae. While for the national viewership, the drama got 5.372% and ranked #1 among all General Cable Programs. [Note: 1% ratings in cable/non terrestrial networks is equal to 5% in national/terrestrial networks, thus this is a very high ratings drama]

As a matter of fact, Secret Love Affair became the highest rating General Cable Drama and the second most watched drama of all cable networks this year.


Secret Love Affair sets a new phenomenon in the cable drama trend. One should remember that being a cable drama, the series got only limited exposure. However, it managed to become the most popular drama on its slot, being the most watched Monday-Tuesday drama, superseding the KBS2 TV Monday-Tuesday drama “The Full Sun”.

TV drama critics are citing a number of reasons for why the drama was so successful both in terms of quality and popularity. First of the reasons is the impeccable acting skills of the two main characters, Kim Hee Ae and Yoo Ah In. Secondly, the quality of the storytelling was another reason the drama was able to become so popular.

The two actors, with the help of supporting characters and the production team members, were able to perfectly tell a statement for the society through a love story, that invokes the true meaning of social morality and inspires people to take charge of their own life.


Positive feedback are flying towards Yoo Ah In. He received a lot of attention and love so much that now he’s got a new nick “The National Younger Boyfriend” (국민 연하남). People were so drifted by his piano playing and amazed by his own interpretation.

Although he was just mimicking the playing, Yoo Ah In did the fingering on the keys correctly. As a matter of fact, he did play the pieces during the shooting.

Check the video and photos of Yoo Ah In practiced playing the piano for Secret Love Affair in the studio~




Joynews quoted as saying, “Secret Love Affair has a ‘divine’ casting line. Expectations do not always bring satisfaction. With the exception of these two actors, Kim Hee Ae and Yoo Ah In. For the last two months, the two actors showed great harmony and gave the beyond satisfaction performance that deserves a lot of praise. Since the first broadcast last April, Secret Love Affair breaks down the barrier between the terrestrial and cable drama, which is a precedent over any dramas that will broadcast in the future.”

Yoo Ah In and Kim Hee Ae shared their thoughts on the ending of this drama while saying goodbye to their characters.


Yoo Ah In shared his thoughts on ending the drama on his personal Facebook page last Wednesday. He started the post by saying, “It is a Wednesday morning after the hot Monday and Tuesday. Lee Sun Jae was a genius pianist, but also an angel for Oh Hye Won, whom he had rescued from the upper class society.”

“TV series is one of the easiest and familiar way to entertain yourself when you feel tired from your daily lives. At times, it is the mirror and the pathway that reflects the aspects of people’s lives. While playing ‘Sun Jae’, I was able to become the honest mirror and the straight pathway for the viewers. It was the greatest honor for me to meet the people this way,” he wrote.


Yoo Ah In added in the post, “Writer Jung Sung Joo and director Ahn Pan Seok created the world of Secret Love Affair. They show all things possible through by the means of the drama. I really appreciate them for being honest and handling situations well. I thank everyone including Kim Yong Geon. I was happy to work with all the staff members and the senior and junior actors. And I really appreciate Kim Hee Ae, my greatest partner of all. I felt great even if you pinched me and scolded me”.


Kim Hee Ae also shared her last thoughts on the drama through the production team on Wednesday. Kim Hee Ae said, “It was only possible for me to shoot this drama as I had trust in writer Jung Sung Joo and director Ahn Pan Seok. Yoo Ah In is a thoughtful person like his character in the drama. I was happy to work with him”.

“I was so lucky to play such an attractive character like Hye Won. I feel sad to finish acting Hye Won. But I will say good-bye to everything about Secret Love Affair. I will appreciate every little thing in my life, such as the blue sky and the flowers exactly like Hye Won does”. She showed how much she loves her character.


The drama staff stated that during the filming, they all felt the love and sincerity in the air. Despite the tight schedule, there was both sincerity and fun in the filming location.

Director Ahn Pan Suk, who received great reviews and the love of the public, showed a detailed production, strong leadership and soft charisma while leading the on-site vibe of Secret Love Affair.

Rather than ordering actors from behind the camera, he exchanged opinions with a smile on his face and allowed actors to focus even further. He managed to bring out necessary scenes and emotions in the most caring way. When they changed the scenes, instead of “cut”, he said “Great” or “Good” as words of praise which gave more courage to the actors.


A staff member said, “Thanks to the great leadership of the director, acting is always fun. In times where there were supposed to be strong acting, he helped focus and joked first, so that the staff and actors didn’t feel under-pressured.”

Actress Kim Hye Eun (who plays Yeong Woo) shared the story on how casually she could talk to PD Ahn. On War of Words (Ssul Jeon), she said that she was Yoo Ah In’s fan and asked PD Ahn to give her a hug scene with him, which of course did not happen :p


Good acting, good storytelling, and good cinematography made Secret Love Affair the best production of the year so far. The beauty and sincerity of music brought people together, to also feel that the supposedly illicit world of affair is, in fact, PD Ahn’s way to tell us to regain control, examine our life, and be a better person.

Be still and watch
Look deeply
Have a go and try to love
That’s what it tells me
Ah… it’s said that you don’t hit the keys when you play this piece, but you touch them
There are a total of 2770 chords
Of those, there are more than 500 harmonizing notes
I touch you in this way every day
You, who are always awfully sexy
I’ll be back.

– Lee Sun Jae –


 Goodbye angel!


Photos: JTBC

10 Responses to “Critically Acclaimed Secret Love Affair Ends With A Blast”
  1. jomo143 says:

    ♥♥♥ and tears

  2. ichahan says:

    Reblogged this on ichahan's World and commented:
    what a great drama. sad that it’s already over. thanks for the article!!

  3. zee says:

    I dont wanna say goodbye 2 u lsj and ohw.i demand sla season 2 right after ur military service yoo ah in ♥

  4. curlynoona says:

    Reblogged this on Cousins Blog Korea and commented:
    Frankly, I liked Secret love Affair too much to be able to talk about it coherently. The quality of the acting, writing and directing were out of this world- something you only see every few years. What’s the phrase? The perfect storm? Well, it really touched me. Check out this blog for analysis of everything from the songs used to the set pieces. And can you believe the actors really played the piano?

    • cecilia ellis says:

      Hey, curlynoona, you missed mentioning the cinematography which is different, novel, fantastic and, with the music and pace, frames this magical piece. I don’t agree you see this “every few years”; I say it’s more in the realm, for me, of “never before have I seen such an excellent piece of ground-breaking work” – can’t be praised enough. And I’ve lived a long time, seen almost everything north america/britain has produced. It’s beyond words – as is the acting of course and everything you said in your reblog. Sorry, I meant to be more reined-in with my comments, but what the heck.

      • curlynoona says:

        Frankly, I agree with you. What I meant was that I only come across things that touch me every few years– and that is really not a comment on quality, but on how amazingly immersive the show is. I think the quality can’t be compared to anything else.

  5. jomo143 says:

    I am still floored that is him playing that Beet. I thought he would sound bad, but he sounds good!
    Don’t you love the part where he throws off at the end? .Fangirl sigh.

  6. Laura says:

    I’m busy replaying this drama and I always cry watching it. Their love story is so perfect and beautiful ❤ Congrats for the achievements, Yoo Ah In!

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