Showing posts with label What's Wrong with Secretary Kim (Kdrama) 4.2 || 4. Show all posts
Showing posts with label What's Wrong with Secretary Kim (Kdrama) 4.2 || 4. Show all posts

17 June 2022

K Drama Review: What's Wrong with Secretary Kim (2018) 4.2 || 4

After watching Park Min Young in Forecasting Love and Weather, Oppa's fallen in love with her. So we now have to watch her dramas. And a fair compromise was What's Wrong with Secretary Kim since it has a member of my oppa list, Park Seo Joon (Parasite, Youn's Stay, Record of Youth, Itaewon Class, Fight for My Way, and She Was Pretty). Although the story did not come out that deep, it was good enough to get our Min Young and Seo Joon fixes. 


Kim Mi So (Park Min Young) is the long-time secretary of Yumyoung Corporation's heir and vice chairman, Lee Young Joon (Park Seo Joon). After nine years of working for Young Joon, Mi So resigns from her job. Perplexed and desperate to keep his reliable staff, Young Joon thinks of various ways to keep Mi So, including proposing to her. Mi So, tired of her narcissistic boss, ignored Young Joon. As Mi So's last day nears, the two grow closer and get to know each other better. They discover that they have actually met in the past under traumatic circumstances. The show takes us through how Mi So and Young Joon try to overcome their traumas together and how Young Joon tries his best to keep Mi So in the office and in his life. 

Park Seo Joon as Lee Young Joon

The nice thing about Park Seo Joon, apart from the fact that he's very good looking, is that he can hack both funny and serious roles. And it was a treat to see him do a little of both in this drama. Yes, his character here was quite reminiscent of his role in She Was Pretty. But I found him more natural here. And he was not as cruel and mean too. 

Seo Joon was perfect as the vain and narcissistic Young Joon who thinks he's God's gift to mankind, when he's actually clueless about interacting with people. It was always hilarious when he did that "aura" thing and whenever he praises himself and thinks that people see him the same way too. 

Don't expect Young Joon to be perfect though. He is very flawed, actually, and problematic at times too. Like how he does not respect the boundary between him and Mi So. Yes, she is his secretary. But she has a personal life too. So I found it rude that he would gatecrash her blind date or he'd go too near her without her consent. Even when they were about to get married, I still found it problematic that Young Joon would decide on huge stuff like Mi So's wedding gown and hair style without consulting Mi So herself. 

But Young Joon has a good side too. I loved how he worked hard to prove himself to Mi So's sisters (Baek Eun Hye and Heo Sun Mi of Hospital Playlist). And to Mi So's dad (Jo Deok Hyun). Young Joon was so cute when he was all drunk after that hilarious drinking session with Mi So's dad. 

Park Seo Joon's talent was highlighted during his panic attack scenes. He did that traumatized/torn character really well. You can feel his fear and confusion and strong desire to overcome his trauma. No matter how shallow a drama is, my time spent watching it will always be worthwhile when it has Park Seo Joon.

Park Min Young as Kim Mi So

Although this is only our second Park Min Young drama, I think it would already be safe to say that she's the Korean rom com queen. Acting cutesy is really her forte. Doesn't matter if she's jealous, drunk, or angry. She does everything so well. 

And that's the reason why she's perfect as the patronizing secretary Kim Mi So. She has such great facial expressions (especially her eyes and mouth). I love how her face conveys the messages she's typing on her phone or the snappy lines she's exchanging with Young Joon. 

Just like Young Joon, Mi So is not perfect too. Although she's definitely the much better person between the two, she also has her flaws. Like I can't quite reconcile how she always says she hates her boss for being a cruel slave driver yet she agrees to go with him to a theme park. Was she giving him mixed signals? Although I would like to give her the benefit of the doubt that she probably thought it was still part of her job as a secretary. 

But as the show progressed, it was evident that Mi So truly cared for Young Joon despite what she said. Although he kept sending her mixed signals (was he seriously proposing or did he just want to stop her from resigning), she was genuinely after his welfare. She was concerned about his ankle scars, his trauma, and how he'll run away if he thinks that Mi So likes his brother (Lee Tae Hwan of Thirty-Nine). 

Any Park Min Young fan should definitely watch this show to get that Min Young cuteness overload. 

Young Joon and Mi So

Park Min Young and Park Seo Joon have great chemistry. They're both very good looking and they can really match each other's energy on-screen, especially when it comes to those snappy exchanges they had. Now, I understand why people are ship-ping this Park couple. 

Yes, the way their current relationship started was quite weird and odd and silly. Young Joon's analogy that  he had to date and propose marriage to Mi So to stop her from resigning because off-the-rack won't do for him and Mi So was like a tailor-made suit for him was just really absurd. And it didn't help that Young Joon was so pushy and he couldn't understand why Mi So kept on rejecting him. 

But as their relationship developed, I found myself growing a bit fond of them. My turning point was probably when they began to show how far the two have come from when they started working together 9 years ago. All the stuff Mi So did for Young Joon and all of Mi So's flaws and mistakes that Young Joon forgave and accepted. And while admittedly, Young Joon was so full of himself, I saw that he did care for Mi So too. 

And I loved how they became more sincere towards each other as they grew closer. Young Joon, who never apologized in the past, humbly admitted that he made a mistake when he got angry after finding out that Mi So was being friendly to his brother. 

And how they matured over time. Although they were quite awkward with their set up when they first started dating, I'm glad they eventually overcame that. And it was really nice to see Young Joon turning into a selfless guy in the end when he let Mi So go so she can find herself, which Mi So sweetly reciprocated by staying with the company so she can support the man she loves. 

Stuff that Worked for Me

I loved that the show started out with a catchy episode - making us think that all's well with Mi So and her job then she quits all of a sudden and her resentments start coming out one by one. The snappy dialogues and witty analogies were good enough to keep us hooked. 

And just when you're about to complain that the show does not seem to have something more serious to offer, the drama introduces some depth around the third episode as it builds up the issues and back stories about our characters. 

When watching K dramas, especially when we're so in love with the main couple, Oppa and I often complain that the couples are not getting enough date time/scenes. Well, that was definitely not a problem here. A huge part of the show was spent (or wasted, depending on how you look at it) on date scenes. And if you find the lack of skinship in K dramas problematic, then you'll be happy to watch this one. Lots of kissing here. And the first kiss really made all the missed and almost kisses in the past all worth it. 

I was glad that after the show's major conflict (which I'll talk about later) was resolved, the show didn't waste time introducing other made-up conflicts just for the sake of having some issues in the drama. But I'm actually torn about this part. Because I suspect that this could have contributed to how stretched the later episodes felt. 

And I was pleasantly surprised that even if we have a rich heir here (with a mom (Kim Hye Ok of The Producers) who came from a wealthy family), the family did not really object to the relationship. I actually expected mom to complain because not only was Mi So not rich, she was also his secretary. People were sure to talk about them. Mom's objection was more acceptable because it was a legit concern that the brothers might have a rift because they both liked Mi So. Although personally, I would not have meddled with it and I would have let my sons resolve it. Good thing, Young Joon's brother cleared things up right away and gave way to his younger brother. So yey for non-judgmental mom and selfless brother. 

And I loved that family time bit Mi So and Young Joon had before their wedding. It was poignant to hear Mi So's sisters say that it would have been lovely to have mom (Jung So Min of Monthly Magazine Home) during their baby's (Mi So) special moment. And dad even cutting his hair to look presentable during the wedding. 

I loved the cameos too like Lee Min Ki as the young dad of Mi So (together with his Because This is My First Life partner Jung So Min). And Jung Yu Mi (Train to Busan and Youn's Stay) as Young Joon's best friend. 

Stuff That Didn't Work

Unfortunately, I found more things to complain about than to appreciate in this show. Like how the characters seemed inconsistent. For instance, I found it odd that Young Joon actually knew who Mi So was from the start. Yet, he treated her quite shabbily, until she revealed that she actually remembered the kidnapping incident from the past. I mean, he could have been firm but kind as a boss if he really cared for her. 

And typical of our older dramas, flashbacks were used quite excessively here especially during the earlier episodes. I'm glad that things got better halfway. 

I didn't like Gwi Nam (Hwang Chan Sung of Now, We are Breaking Up, So I Married an Anti-Fan, Vincenzo, and Dream High) and Ji A's (Pyo Ye Jin of Lovestruck in the City, Hotel Del Luna, and Fight for My Way) storyline. I didn't like how Gwi Nam was bullying Ji A, which was already tantamount to harassment. And they had to resort to slapstick too like how he hid under the rooftop table to avoid being seen by their colleagues who were visiting Ji A. Although they were okay when they were doing normal stuff together like when he helped her fix the shredded documents and of course, when they ended up together. But most of the time, their story felt contrived to stretch the drama. 

And as if the Gwi Nam-Ji A story was not enough, the show had to replicate it through Manager Bong (Hwang Bo Ra of Vagabond and Fight for My Way) and Secretary Yang (Kang Hong Seok of Hotel Del Luna). My problem was more with Manager Bong who tended to be over the top most of the time. She actually started to win me over with Secretary Yang who did the funny parts really well. I guess the bottomline here is stuff could have been okay or even better if they were not overdone. Yes, that includes that company president and Young Joon's good friend President Park (Kang Ki Young of At Eighteen and Exit). 

I was not too happy with the show's main conflict too - the kidnapping incident from several years ago. Yes, I acknowledge that nothing will probably be left if we removed this part too. But I wish it was done in a better way. I found it too confusing in the beginning. I felt that the show was overcomplicating stuff to make it seem more serious. Although I would have to say that the actors here (the kidnapper Son Seong Yoon and the kids Moon Woo Jin of Vagabond and Kim Ji Yoo) were really good (and creepy!). 

While the story could have possibly happened, I found that some stuff felt farfetched. Like Young Joon's brother taking on Young Joon's story to assuage his guilt. The brother seemed to have mental health issues, especially with the aggression he displayed. Did those problems just magically go away when Young Joon claimed that he lost his memory about the abduction? I don't think that made sense given how as an adult, he said that he resented Young Joon's arrogance in pretending that he forgot about the incident because he thought his older brother can't get over his guilt. And can someone young like Young Joon be that selfless and mature that he could hide his trauma for the sake of his family? And didn't Mi So's family look for her? 

I also didn't like the show's tendency to stretch stuff, especially towards the end. Like when Young Joon was acting all clingy, immature, and annoying when he wanted Mi So to be around him all the time. Or Mi So's dad objecting to their relationship. Or the episodes when both Mi So and Young Joon got drunk on separate occasions. These storylines felt contrived. 

And while all's well that ends well because our couple got married, I didn't like how Young Joon was acting all groom-zilla and deciding stuff on his own without Mi So's approval. 

Despite my gripes, I can still say that I enjoyed watching this show because it was light, funny, entertaining, and most of all, it had such good looking leads. 

Oppa says...4.2.

Noona says...4.