Drama Review Lucky Romance Episode 14

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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Romance" Episode 2

In a somewhat perplexing plot twist, right after the recap of the one night stand, there's a three year time skip and all of a sudden Jin-wook and Yoo-mi seem like completely different characters. Far from being the playboy we last saw, Jin-wook is now taking his corporate responsibilities very seriously. Yoo-mi has picked herself emotionally and shows remarkable dexterity as a cafeteria chef. About the only commonality they have is their shared wistfulness about meeting that one special person from three years ago.

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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Romance" Episode 3

So even though we saw Yoo-mi fantasizing about meeting Jin-wook by chance again last episode, this time, Yoo-mi is doing everything she can to avoid the reality of the situation. Which makes sense. Let's recall that, three years ago, Jin-wook was kind of a jerk, and that they were both just a tad drunk. So it's easy to empathize with Yoo-mi viewing Jin-wook's dictatorial demands here as being part and parcel of a mean personality rather than an overbearing effort on his part to be cute.

And indeed, it would be a little remiss for us to completely ignore the power imbalance here. Jin-wook is Yoo-mi's boss, and his attempt to jump start a relationship with her here is textbook sexual harassment. For all that, it's hard to hate Jin-wook that much when we can see from his perspective that Yoo-mi was his one moment of genuine empathy. Unless we count the cat, who sadly does not feature here. I was kind of hoping the cat would be a regular character.

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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Romance" Episode 6

It turns out Yoo-mi has one impressive quality that Jin-wook is unlikely to find anywhere else. She's good at apologizing. The irony, of course, is that Yoo-mi hasn't done anything wrong in regards to Jin-wook or his relationships. All the same, at the slightest indication that she has made either Jin-wook or Hye-ri uncomfortable, Yoo-mi demurs. And of course, Jin-wook is left in an even worse mood than usual as a result.

I like the difficult position Jin-wook has been put in. His personality is naturally abrasive and he does stuff all the time that would actually justify a person demanding an apology out of him. So Yoo-mi's ability to be so incredibly passive that it makes Jin-wook feel ridiculous is a good thing. She can make Jin-wook slow down for a minute and appreciate life, or at least the fact that other people are in it and trying to make a positive go of the experience just like he is.

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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Romance" Episode 7

One of Yoo-mi's more comforting qualities is her sincere desire to be helpful. At least, that's the sense I got from the odd scene where Jin-wook contrives a work-related reason for him to cook dinner for Yoo-mi, and Yoo-mi simply looks at the entire situation like it was an actual job and not merely a thinly veiled excuse for Jin-wook to spend time with her. Although I suppose it helps that Jin-wook himself probably believes his own ridiculous excuses.

Of course, this sounds like the last several episodes really. "My Secret Romance" does not appear to be in any hurry to get us to any direct romance, even if it constantly teases us with scenes like that kiss. Which for once is actually enhanced by the epilogue, which states fairly explicitly that the kiss didn't actually last that long. It was just all the sparks flying off in Yoo-mi's head that made it seem like a protracted dramatic moment.

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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "My Secret Romance" Episode 8

Everything Jin-wook does in the pool with Yoo-mi was taking things a bit too far. It's hard to hate him too much, though, since everyone knows full well that Jin-wook is taking things too far, yet they just can't bring themselves to hate him. It would be nice if we had more people's word to take for it than just Yoo-mi's. Recall that Woo-jin's softened demeanor toward Jin-wook is entirely a result of Jin-wook's actions during the time timeskip.

Elsewhere, the earlier part of this episode has an interesting parallelism wherein Jin-wook and Yoo-mi's more naturalistic approach to romance is compared to Hye-ri's philosophy, as explained to Hyeon-tae, about the proper technique necessary in order to make a potential romantic partner want you. It's obvious which strategy is supposed to be character because Jin-wook makes progress and Hyeon-tae does not.