Cheerful, sweet and engaging, this show is easy to love.
The conflicts and character journeys all feel relatable and real, with poignant coming-of-age struggles taking centerstage. The friendship-to-romance is treated with sensitivity and good humor, and the search for meaning and identity underscores everything with a lovely heartfelt poignance. The excellent cast makes everything pop, and Nam Joo Hyuk is more melty – and more excellent – than I’ve seen him, ever.
Plus Nine Boys is a lovely little drama that’s cute without being cutesy; emotionally engaging without being overwrought or sappy; funny without being OTT campy.
Its plot points are everyday and unremarkable, but therein lies its slice-of-life, I-can-really-relate-to-that appeal. In just 14 episodes, I grew to really enjoy these characters. And after 14 episodes, I didn’t want to say goodbye.
These characters had started to believably feel like the folks next door; folks whom I watched through their living room window as they lived their lives and I lived mine; folks who felt like real people, and with whom I wouldn’t have minded spending another 10, 20, or even 40 episodes with.
A drama that is a lot more measured and contemplative than its title – or its poster – might suggest.
To my knowledge, a good number of viewers hesitate over this show for one or several of these reasons: it’s about adultery; it probably condones adultery; it’s probably salacious, titillating audiences with an affair between a much older woman and a much younger man.
Secret Love Affair is not at all the cheap watch that some might assume it to be. Thoughtfully written, expertly directed & executed and excellently acted, Secret Love Affair is an absorbing, immersive watch that is at once the story of a man, the journey of a woman, and an uncompromising study of human nature and what it means to really live.
Substantial, poetic and thought-provoking, and well worth your time.