One of the few dramas I enjoyed recently is Secret Garden starred by Hyun Bin and Ha Ji-won. It’s far from perfect but it is endearing and romantic and awesome in so many ways. And here are the reasons why I like the Korean drama Secret Garden.
- Hyun Bin as Kim Joo Won – Hyun Bin is clearly one of my favorite Korean if I watched almost all of his dramas and movies. And Hyun Bin as Kim Joo Won? Man, I was blown away by the solid acting. I never knew that he can make me laugh like that with all the craziness and egocentrism. I admit I am not so crazy about the hairstyle and weight loss but you easily forget these things once he delivers his lines as the haughty CEO of LOEL Department Store.
- Ha Ji-won as Gil Ra Im- Ha Ji-won may not be the prettiest Korean actress out there but her acting chops easily trumps the faces of Kim Tae Hee and Song Hye Kyo combined (I know, the jealousy shows ). She can do all sorts of genre…horror, sageuk, drama, comedy, romance…name it! Her eyes are so expressive and she can easily shift from being tough to vulnerable in a heartbeat. And she’s awesome in her fight scenes. It’s all there — the finesse, the fighting form, and the sexy kick-ass costume.
- Classic k-drama plot- I know, Korean dramas tend to use the rich, hot boy meets poor, beautiful girl card because it works every time and Secret Garden is no exception. Here, Hyun Bin is a department store CEO who stalks a struggling stuntwoman (played by Ha Ji-won). How cute is that?
- Awesome supporting cast and characters- If you decide to watch Korean Garden, you’ll like Oska and how he interacts with Seul and Tae Sun. You’ll also think that Secretary Kim is funny especially when he is with Ah Young. And you’ll also love to hate Kim Joo Won’s mom. And before I forget, the guys at the action school are also worth mentioning.
- Amazing scenery- Kim Joo Won (played by Hyun Bin) likes to be surrounded by beautiful things so it’s expect him to live in a gorgeous, very modern house with a sprawling lawn. Kim Joo Won likes to take walks if he has to think things over and the way those scenes were shot, whether it’s snowing or not, just takes your breath away.
- Wonderful Official Soundtrack. There are lots of great songs in the drama, and I know they used many because they released the OST in parts (5?) and there’s even a special OST. I love, love the songs That Woman, Here I Am and You Appear. The Secret Garden OST is now available as well as a number of Secret Garden merchandise and collectible. I want to get my hands on the Secret Garden mugs and desk calendar…RAWR!
- Outrageous costumes and hairstyles- Well, some of the characters in Secret Garden do have the most outrageous clothes and hairstyles. And both men wear clothes that call attention to themselves. Kim Joo Won and Oska have hairstyles that made my eyes roll for the first few episodes. And the rich women like Seul, Oska’s mom, Kim Joo Won’s mom are always elaborately dressed you’d think they drove poor animals to extinction. And they are always so neatly coiffed I assume 2 or 3 hairdresses form part of their regular household staff.
I have listed 7 reasons why I liked the Korean Drama Secret Garden and I’m sure some of few can add a few more. As I’ve said, it’s not perfect as there were scenes and plot devices that were kinda off, but they successfully pieced everything together by the final episode.
Having said that, I hope ABS-CBN purchases Secret Garden. Because to put it bluntly, the drama is a cash cow. Perfect Match doesn’t come close Secret Garden in terms of plot, acting, casting, and production value and it was a hit. Secret Garden is a ratings giant in South Korea and it consistently remained 1st in its timeslot for the last 5 episodes. So I’d be terribly disappointed if ABS-CBN doesn’t get it.
Note: I will update this post with more screencaps.