Showing posts with label She Would Never Know (Kdrama) 4.9 || 4.8. Show all posts
Showing posts with label She Would Never Know (Kdrama) 4.9 || 4.8. Show all posts

16 July 2023

K Drama Review: She Would Never Know (2021) 4.9 || 4.8

It's always nice to chance upon good dramas, especially when you're just aimlessly browsing for something to watch. I loved this show so much and I honestly want to hold on to it a bit longer. But we're watching another good drama right now and my heart only has space for one great drama at a time. So I have to do this review now to make room for another great show. 


She Would Never Know (or Senior, Don't Put on that Lipstick) tells the story of employees of a cosmetics company. The show is focused on the marketing team of the Klar brand, specifically, Assistant Brand Manager Yoon Song Ah (Won Jin Ah) and her trainee, Chae Hyun Seung (Rowoon). It was quite apparent that Hyun Seung liked Song Ah but he held back because office romance was frowned upon in their company. But he decided to confess when he found out that Song Ah was seeing their boss, Brand Manager Lee Jae Shin (Lee Hyun Wook), who was actually engaged to the company owner's granddaughter, photographer Lee Hyo Joo (Lee Joo Bin of Money Heist: Korea - Joint Economic Area Parts 1 and 2, Love in Contract, and Mr. Sunshine). The story takes us through how Song Ah breaks free from her painful relationship and how Hyun Seung helps her find herself again. 

Won Jin Ah as Yoon Song Ah

It was our first time watching Won Jin Ah and we were thoroughly impressed. Yes, she's not your typical flawless and perfect female lead but she acts so well that you can't help but feel happy when you're watching her. 

She's perfect in showing us the different sides of Song Ah - funny, cutesy, noona, girl boss, sweet, and caring. I loved how she displayed great restraint in her breakdown scenes especially the one with her mom (Lee Ji Hyun of Thirty-Nine and Hospital Playlist) when she confessed that she was aware that her dad had an affair. 

And while Song Ah was not perfect either -- I was conflicted with how she didn't break up with Jae Shin right away after she found out that he was engaged to someone else and I didn't like how she broke Hyun Seung's heart -- I loved how she seemed like a real human being with whom we can all relate. We're certified Won Jin Ah fans now and we hope she'll do more dramas. 

Rowoon as Chae Hyun Seung

I admit that I'm quite wary about K pop stars who go into acting. But I was pleasantly surprised with Rowoon. He was not K pop-ish at all. He can definitely act and he does not just bank on his good looks to get by. 

As a character, I loved Hyun Seung. He's secure and thoughtful like how he let Song Ah have some private time with Jae Shin during the wake of the latter's dad. 

And he does not back down against abusive superiors like BM Seo (Baek Sung Chul of Extraordinary Attorney Woo, Happiness, and Crash Landing on You). Although of course I realize that he's a privileged rich guy who can probably afford to lose his job unlike other employees who need to kiss ass to keep their jobs. 

I also enjoyed Hyun Seung's relationship with his intern/trainee (Choi Woo Sung of At Eighteen). How he was patient with him despite knowing he didn't intend to stay. And how in the end, he made him stay. That's proof of what a great person Hyun Seung is.

Rowoon definitely deserves a spot in my Oppa list. And I'm happy to note that he has an upcoming drama in August. :D

Hyun Seung and Song Ah

I missed watching noona romance dramas and it was nice to see one that was well-done again. I loved Hyun Seung and Song Ah's chemistry - especially their banters, petty fights, and the intensity of their dramatic scenes. 

Yes, it was initially creepy for Hyun Seung to keep dropping hints to Song Ah about Jae Shin's engagement. I wished that he just told her right away. Or he could have just congratulated Jae Shin in front of everyone. But knowing how kind-hearted Hyun Seung was, he probably did that to be considerate of Song Ah. 

I loved how sincere Hyun Seung was towards Song Ah from the very start. Like how he blocked everyone from entering her room during the university job fair so she can enjoy her lunch break. There's just so much love and intensity in the way he looks at her. 

I super enjoyed their cute moments. Hyun Seung's smirk when Song Ah held his hand when Jae Shin confronted them. It was so cute how he still managed to look giddy despite the tense situation. Or how he gamely did the make up trial with Song Ah. And how he followed her to the club and quietly watched her dance. Or that broom dance when she told him she was not going to Europe. 

But the greatest thing about Hyun Seung was how reliable he was. How he was always there for Song Ah and how he always reassured her of his presence and support. Like when he told her he was fine with her keeping her distance as long as he can still see her. And how he  hugged and let her cry after she fought with her mom. And how when Song Ah said that she was scared to give it her all in love because of what happened to her parents, he told her that he'll be the one to risk it all for them. 

It was so refreshing to watch a couple that felt real and was relatable. Their relationship had depth and they communicated what they felt honestly (most of the time, at least). 

Hyun Seung never backed down even if Song Ah kept on rejecting him and even if Song Ah said she can't be with him because he's had an easy life and might not be a good fit for her. Yes, Song Ah tended to be repetitive but I appreciated her effort in constantly reminding Hyun Seung that she can't like him back (yet!). At least she didn't mislead him. While I sort of resented that Song Ah said she can't accept Hyun Seung's feelings but she wanted to keep him by her side when Hyun Seung said he'll keep his distance, I liked how she was honest about her feelings. 

I was hoping they would no longer encounter other issues when they were finally together. But that would not have been a real K drama if that happened. Still, I loved how they did their best. They felt very authentic. Like when Song Ah asked Hyun Seung's thoughts if she moved to another job. Or how Hyun Seung trusted Song Ah to speak with Jae Shin privately after the latter resigned. Or those cute moments they spent with Hyun Seung's niece (Park So Yi of Law School, Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol, Encounter, and Ms. Hammurabi). And how they naturally and casually met each other's families. No grand dinners or announcements. How Song Ah was genuinely proud of Hyun Seung achievements because he perseveres and he does not merely rely on her. I loved how the show didn't overdo the mushiness and gave us just the right amount of romantic stuff to keep us giddy. 

Lee Hyun Wook as Lee Jae Shin

I was definitely not fond of Jae Shin. Yes, we can't totally blame him, knowing he was forced into that situation by his boss and friend, Director Lee Jae Woon (Lee Kyu Han of My Name is Kim Sam Soon), and by his suicidal girlfriend, and how he was greatly indebted to Jae Woon. But he should have still come out clean, especially since he seemed to genuinely care for Song Ah. And it really didn't help that he kept on clinging to her even after she found out and wanted to break up. And how he was a very petty, vengeful, and unprofessional boss for messing up with Hyun Seung's assignments. It was becoming exhausting seeing him all depressed and acting like a puppy around Jae Woon. 

His resignation (which meant he had fewer scenes) helped me empathize with him a bit, especially after seeing how even his mom was mean to him. At least he found himself again, free from the burdens of his past. And he got his closure with both Song Ah and Hyo Joo. 


After getting the gist in the first episode - boss who was engaged to someone else was having a secret relationship with his subordinate and is discovered by another subordinate who also likes the girl - I was concerned if the show could stretch that limited storyline to 16 episodes. Especially since Hyun Seung confessed right away and Song Ah learned about the cheating immediately too. But the show pulled it off nicely. 

The characters definitely grew on me, especially the Klar Team. They all felt organic. I even ended up loving the characters who seemed annoying at first like Jae Woon. 

This was definitely drama done right. It was never over the top or weepy even if they could have exploited Song Ah's situation. Yes, there were crying moments but no wailing and bratty tantrums. 

And funny was done right here too. It was never slapstick. Yes, Jae Woon tended to be exaggerated at times but that's just how he was and I loved how his relationship with Hyun Seung's sister, Ji Seung (Wang Bit Na), somehow tamed him. I super loved the Klar Team's hilarious moments especially when they were interrogating Hyun Seung on who his crush was and when they were guessing Hyun Seung and Song Ah's relationship. 

I liked the show's takes on some controversial topics. Like that toxic office culture where you have to drink til you die in the guise of teamwork. And how unhealthy the competitions were between teams like when BM Seo wanted to steal Hyun Seung's thunder by releasing his product at the same time. I was happy that there were still professional people in their company like Jae Woon who was level-headed in dealing with Song Ah even after he found out that she had a relationship with Jae Shin. How he valued competence over personal issues. 

And the dilemmas that stay at home moms face like Hyun Seung's sister, Yeon Seung (Ha Yoon Kyung of Hospital Playlist and Hospital Playlist 2 and Extraordinary Attorney Woo). How they're judged most of the time even if some are happy and contented caring for their families. 

I appreciated that the show touched on same sex relationships with regard to Yeon Seung's husband (Lee Dong Ha). Their struggles in hiding their true selves to the point that they're even forced to get married. I liked how the show presented this as a long process - how even the people involved can be in denial and how they need the support of people around them to help them finally accept who they truly are. 

And problematic parents. Like Jae Shin's dad and Song Ah's mom. How some parents hold their kids hostage for money or emotional dependence. The show acknowledged that yes, kids are somehow responsible for their parents but excessive clinginess is unhealthy too. 

And how arranged marriages are mostly problematic like Jae Shin and Hyo Joo and Yeon Seung and her husband. The success rate is fairly low. And things can get even dangerous when it's a one-sided love. And how if there are kids involved, they end up being the real losers. 

And on the issue of marital problems, how negatively it impacts the children, especially if the parents are not careful enough in explaining stuff to them. Like how Song Ah carried the burden of her dad's infidelity for a long time. I loved that Yeon Seung and her husband were there for their daughter when they finally decided to divorce. And I loved how mature their daughter was - telling dad not to break mom's heart anymore because it broke her heart too. 

And my most favorite hot take would probably be the one against fake paid influencers who either do it for clout or to satisfy the highest bidder. I wish more companies or people would be like Klar who would push back against these professional trolls so they'll be more responsible. 

I was not too happy with the Europe storyline but I do realize that the show needed one more conflict before it ended. It just didn't make sense to me that Song Ah would keep it from Hyun Seung when she consulted him before when she considered moving to another company. And I didn't like how Hyun Seung seemed imposing when he told Song Ah not to go. Yes, he could have told her how he felt but he should have still left the decision with her. And I really didn't like that she let go of his hand when she told him she was going - that was so ominous that they were going to break up. I'm happy that they didn't make a big deal out of it before she left, but of course, I was unhappy that they broke up eventually. But I'll just think of that as a necessary hiccup to get us to the finish line. Because everything still turned out well in the end. 

The Klar Team was still intact and stronger than ever. Song Ah was back and the supportive, fun, and professional Klar group was complete once again. 

Time and distance seemed to have helped Jae Shin and Hyo Joo heal their wounds. I was hopeful, seeing how they seem to to truly appreciate each other this time. But I was also happy that the show didn't force them to be together. At least it's the start of something good. 

Jae Woon and Ji Seung are as cute as ever with their cute petty fights and they're finally getting married. I also loved how Hyun Seung now goes to Jae Woon for love advice. 

It was bittersweet to see Yeon Seung finally setting her husband free, knowing that he can now accept himself. Yes, it was tough on their daughter but she has such a strong support group so I'm sure she'll get by really quickly. I appreciated how Yeon Seung and her husband waited for things to settle down before pushing through with their divorce. They didn't quit when emotions were high. At least, they're sure this time that that's what they really want. 

It was also nice to see Seong Ah's mom with friends. She's too busy now that she does not have time to fuss over Song Ah anymore. And it was super cute how she took Hyun Seung's side when she found out the two reconciled. How she didn't approve of Song Ah because Hyun Seung deserved a better girl. 

My most favorite reconciliation was probably Jae Shin and Jae Woon's. I truly hope it's the start of a genuine friendship because I know Jae Woon had been sincere with Jae Shin from the very start. 

Towards the end of the show, I realized that this drama is replete with strong, secure, and confident women. Ji Seung bravely proposing to Jae Woon. Yeon Seung accepting her husband whole-heartedly and her daughter bravely facing the divorce. Hyo Joo bouncing back from Jae Shin and now surviving on her own. And of course, Song Ah wooing Hyun Seung. 

While I was not happy with the break up, the show really made up for it with the cute storyline of Song Ah wooing Hyun Seung. Her moves and pick up lines were hilarious. And I really loved how vocal she was about being sorry for her thoughtlessness when she broke up with him and acknowledging how badly she hurt him. And I loved how mature they were about getting back together - fully realizing that there were consequences, that if things go wrong again, there might be no turning back. It was a major bonus that Hyun Seung didn't prolong Song Ah's agony and that they were getting married too. 

I super loved how the show ended with Song Ah trying on her wedding dress. Yes, it was simple and nothing grand but to me, it was a sign that their lives will go on and there's more in store for them. 

We thoroughly enjoyed watching this show. It's a nice testament of how a cute little crush can blossom into something more beautiful and meaningful with perseverance and patience. 

Oppa says...4.9.

Noona says...4.8.