Weighing in on Secret Garden

Posted: November 15, 2010 in Drama Reviews/Recommendations, Korean Drama
Tags: , , , , ,

Secret Garden is turning out to be very, very winning. The characters are interesting and layered, the dynamics funny and the premise engaging. I can’t say I’m hooked, but I AM committed to it already!

Hyun Bin as Kim Joo-won, CEO of a department store

I knew this guy has comic chops, but I’m still pleasantly surprised! I’ve seen the most of Hyun Bin in melodrama Snow Queen, and bits in Kim Sam Soon and Worlds Within. Here in Secret Garden, he’s so engaging a character! He’s outwardly cool and aloof, but we’ve also caught a bit of his sincere side. Besides, he’s a tad immature (thus providing endless entertainment for us), has a glib tongue (naughty witty?), and knows how to get his way (you want your man to be a MAN, don’t you?). Shall I say, flawed in the most attractive way possible? Teehee.


Ha Ji Won as Gil Ra-im, a stuntwoman for action movies

Omg Ha Ji Won rocks my socks. She’s so very charismatic that I’m really buying how Hyun Bin is smitten with her almost right away! I would be too, if I were a guy!

I also really like how Ra-im’s a relatable character. When the snobby Yoon Seul (played by Kim Sa Rang) complains about her being allowed into the VIP room, Ra-im shows us she’s not all brawn by keeping her cool and offering to leave (why stoop to the same level as that crazy, arrogant bitch?)

We also see how she’s a reluctant hero(ine) when she takes off on bike after a thief. (You have to watch to find out; I shan’t elaborate!) When Ra-im asks Yoon Seul to give back her friend’s nametag in return for helping to catch the thief, Seul lied that she had thrown the nametag into the trash. She later gives in when Ra-im demands that she picks it out from the trash, and takes it out of her purse. Ra-im responds by stuffing her friend’s used tissue into Seul’s purse and said she’s putting it into the trash can. Nice way to throw that dirty lie right back at her face.

And how much do I love it that tomboyish Ra-im hides an inner girlish side (aww I feel her), and even a star-struck side of her when she’s with Oska (played by Yoon Sang Hyun)! Granted, I would prob get more excited if Yoon opts for a different hair, ANYTHING other than the current center parting. He also has another hairdo which is, arguably, just as ugly.

Philip Lee as Im Jong Soo, director of the action school (Ra-im’s boss)

I suspect Jong Soo is gna turn out to be a bit of a Jae-Shin, nuff said. When Joo Won turned up at the action school audition to speak to Ra-im (basically expressing his interest in her, SO OBVIOUS), she’s quick to clarify herself to Jong Soo (she’s not afraid he’s jealous or anything, just sorry to have caused some trouble indirectly, imo) that there’s absolutely nothing going on between them, “he’s a strange guy right from the start..” 

To which Jong Soo replied coolly, “It’s not strange at all. He’s a man. And you are … a very attractive woman.” Implication: All men should be able to see her for her worth. This makes me think Jong Soo may be shy to openly declare his feelings for Ra-im because he thinks he might not be worthy of her. Swoons.


First, I don’t see  Joo Won’s attraction to Ra-im as abrupt even though it began in the middle of episode 1, and I actually enjoy the set-up between the two. I expected bickering right from the start, but not the extra sparks that came with it. Ra-im IS an attractive character, and we’ve all seen how opposites attract, so I think it’s actually pretty natural that Joo Won is drawn to her. I also like that Joo Won is considerably forthright about it e.g. actively seeking out her number, queueing up just to meet her during the action school audition (despite saying that he NEVER has to queue up for anything, and aww he’s doing it just to speak to Ga-im). I like how their relationship kickstarts this way, and I believe the body swap will probably allow the two to understand the other better and true love shall blossom!

I’m also dying to find out how the love square (if i’m not wrong, Oska will be falling for her as well) will work out after the body swap. Really, how will the 2nd (and 3rd) male leads score points in Ra-im’s book if they were to start directing their affections towards the *gulp* wrong body?!

The thing about this drama: there’re funny and light scenes, and also nicely nuanced ones, like how Ra-im keeps appearing next to Joo Won, of course in the latter’s imagination, to show how his mind is preoccupied with thoughts of her. (The way Joo Won starts chanting random animal names to distract himself afterwards is HILARIOUS. Love him.) It also makes me think that the drama’s paving the way nicely for their body swap later on, by introducing a bit of ‘fantasy’ in here.

Just HOW will this swap take place? Dying to find out as well.


The kiss that took 20 NGs and will take place in episode 6:

The production team even hinted that knowing what took place between the pair before the kiss will make things even more interesting!!

  1. Thislove says:

    I know this is late, but very nice overview! 🙂 love this drama!!

  2. poachedpeach says:

    What took place between the pair before the kiss??

  3. Nemu says:

    wasn’t it the reason why they were in the first place? ie. all fairytales are solved by a–oh wait. must’ve been the in public..haha^^;;

  4. baran says:

    i love this drama thanks

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