not really just a one-night stand after all…

Cinderella left her glass slipper while Yoo Mi left her boob pads. I’m utterly charmed by My Secret Romance, its OTP, and Sung Hoon and Song Ji Eun. I don’t care how cheesy or been there-done that the plot is, the main point is how the characters are being written, and how the actors are portraying their parts. What attracts me most of the drama is the lovely, emotional nuances that punctuate the critical moments. The shift of mood and emotion in those split seconds really get me and heightens my appreciation for this cute little drama. That, and the fact that Sung Hoon and Song Ji Eun are full-on entertaining and beguiling, and simmering with physical awareness despite the idealistic, campy loveline. I’ll try my best to review the episodes every week, depending on my real-life commitments…reality bites!!!

Anyone else squealed or melted at the fact that Jin Wook was infuriated and wounded that Yoo Mi ran away that morning after three years ago because she thought all that was between them was “just a one-night stand’’? I love how outraged and disturbed he was because he obviously slept with her hoping for the start of something deeper and well, more long-term. I liked how that insight was revealed through how Jin Wook was so crestfallen at Yoo Mi’s confession that he was nothing to her other than a fling. To me, that was the single, biggest moment of this week’s episodes.

But let’s chat about the hilarity. It all started with the big reveal of Jin Wook’s identity… only for Yoo Mi to blink in horror, feign ignorance, and pretend that she does NOT recognise Jin Wook. I genuinely cracked up at that, more so because of Song Ji Eun’s guileless play of expressions across her face, and the abrupt manner she tore out of Jin Wook’s office. Jin Wook is so stunned and confused by her reaction that he wonders out loud whether his face has no “impact” – meaning it is so unmemorable that Yoo Mi can’t recall him. HA. When they bump into each other later and he asks her to get into the car, she blurts out indignantly that she isn’t that sort of woman who would just get into a car of a man she doesn’t know. That is the height of irony since she DID have have a roll in the hay – in her case, front seat of car on beach – in his car and at that point, they were little more than strangers. Jin Wook too snorts at the incredulity of her words.

So we know that Yoo Mi hiccups when she is lying, or when Jin Wook is within heart-racing proximity to her. She is extremely comfortable with Hyun Tae, who was Yoo Mi’s high school friend who defended her when she was being bullied in school because of the nature of her mother’s job. Jin Wook looks as if he has figured out when and why she gets the hiccups. Anyway, Jin Wook is a scream too himself, trying various ways to “jolt” her memory by driving past her in his white convertible, displaying pictures of the hotel bathroom where she “fainted”, and beckoning her with a bottle of wine. He attempts to return her the money he owes her from three years back and ends up being in kissable space… damn the effortlessly chemistry between Sung Hoon and Song Ji Eun…but he isn’t in the mood for romance, railing that he doesn’t trust her one bit, thus doesn’t trust the meals she prepare for him.

Jin Wook goes on with his juvenile ways until Yoo Mi flares up at him in frustration. He finally asks the burning question: why did she leave without a word that day three years ago? Yoo Mi is flustered and snaps at him, wondering why he is so curious about that. But the camera pans back to Jin Wook and we see it is more than curiosity – he is needs to know why she left him high and dry. The vulnerability in his eyes crushes me and I think besides his mother, Yoo Mi is the only other person that makes him second-guess himself, his self-worth. Yoo Mi obviously has affected him beyond the pure physical.

Yoo Mi answers that what happened between them was purely a one-night stand – inferring that nothing special happened between them. She is obviously lying, but Jin Wook is too bewildered and hurt to see her true feelings. Yoo Mi narrates forlornly that she was frightened because she had never such a thing before and it was her first time. She thought she could forget about it… but keeps feeling worried. Poor Jin Wook looks as if he is waiting for her to take back her words… and declare that night meant something to her…like it certainly did to him. But Yoo Mi walks off, leaving him staggered, not knowing how to respond. When she is alone, Yoo Mi collapses, admitting to herself that she hasn’t completely wiped him off her mind and heart.

So Jin Wook has an annoying so-called fiancee which he refuses to acknowledge and when she insists on cooking for him, he announces that he only eat meals prepared by Yoo Mi. Cue wrist-grab and he takes her to a fancy restaurant. There, he agrees to start on a clean slate and forget their past because as she said, all they has was a one-night stand. Jin Wook watches Yoo Mi’s reaction like a hawk and she hiccups, which is a dead giveaway. He tells her to take notice of the chopped steak they are having. When they leave, he pulls her back when she is about to walk into the door and they share a moment. Overflowing with chemistry, these two. That’s what make these done-to-death scenes work for them.

So Yoo Mi preps chopped steak later for Jin Wook and his colleagues. It tastes good. Knowing Yoo Mi is anxiously hovering nearby, he flashes her a thumbs-up. I love this guy. He gives credit when it is due. He may act like a pouty three-year-old half the time but he does have a streak of professionalism in him.

Oh man, I can’t believe he kept her boob pads as a souvenir in such a box – on his desk, in front of him. This is crazy nonsensical and even Jin Wook wonders why he is doing so, when he isn’t a pervert or anything. Hahaha. What was he thinking??? If the boob pads fit… he would have found his missing one-time lover? Anyway, he kept them more out of churlish revenge, to remind himself of the humiliation Yoo Mi unwittingly bestowed on him when she left him to the nosey ajummas. He screeches to the innocent sea that “I did great!!!!” Hahahaha. He is totally overreacting but it’s funny all the same.

Jin Wook orders Yoo Mi to cook for him on the weekend, and she does so grudgingly since she has to babysit her little bro. She goes over to his house, which is surprisingly empty, except his study. She cooks and freaks out when she sees that her little bro has knocked over Jin Wook’s treasure box. She thinks it contains jewellery for his so-called fiancee and frets he would discover it is broken. She leaves before he returns, leaving his coat behind, too.

Hye Ri, Jin Wook’s sticky so-called fiancee disturbs him at work. When Yoo Mi sees her wearing a necklace, she thinks it is from Jin Wook, and was the item kept in the treasure box. Hahaha. She does have a wild imagination. Jin Wook realises his box is broken and thinks that Yoo Mi has seen the boob pads and is silently mocking him. HA. These two. When he questions why she kept his coat, she answers that it is because it looked expensive. He doesn’t quite believe her but she sticks to her guns.

Jin Wook continually tortures himself about the boob pads and can’t contain himself any longer. He rushes off to see Yoo Mi to force out the truth from her. It is a comedy of miscontrue as they refer to different things in their subsequent conversation. When Jin Wook gets a bit too loud, Hyun Tae comes to the rescue.

Jin Wook reminds me so much of Jerry Yan’s Dao Ming Si in Meteor Garden. The extreme childishness, the one-track mind when it comes to the girl they have set their eyes on, their blunt directness, how they boyishly wear their tender hearts on their sleeves… and how they can somehow make me swoon out of the blue.

The central romance continues to take a simplistic path despite the many hijinks and I like it this way. Nothing too complicated and somewhat predictable. The big BUT is really how endearing Jin Wook and Yoo Mi are, individually and together. Both have moved from that night though there are still many unresolved questions between them. They are obviously still physically attracted to each other but both seem to be seeking more than that. It hits Yoo Mi that she hasn’t managed to erase her one-night with Jin Wook, while Jin Wook has been bogged down by Yoo Mi’s true intentions that night three years ago.

I can’t wait for them to dig deeper and draw each other out, insecurities and all. And please, give them a second night… and a third… and a fourth.

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