To all the skeptic hearts out there who haven’t checked out tvN’s hit drama “Whats Wrong with Secretary Kim” yet, this article is for you.
From June 2018 to July 2018, this tvN drama was the talk of kdrama town, national and international fans loved it. It was the most buzzworthy drama for the majority of its run-time remaining at top despite the heavily advertised high budget drama “Mr. Sunshine” that premiered as “Whats Wrong with Secretary Kim” was wrapping up.
The drama also achieved great viewership rating numbers staying at the top of its time slot during its runtime.
But is it worth it? Is this romantic comedy worth the hype or your time?
Let’s discuss why it might not be the best drama for every kdrama fan.
“Whats Wrong with Secretary Kim” is based on a webtoon, its about a secretary named Secretary Kim (played by Park Min Young) who hands in her resignation after spending more than 9 years with the narcissist vice president (played by Park Seo Joon).
The clingy vice president panics and tries to stop her with all his power, good looks, and money. Plot twist, they share a twisted dark past. They end up falling in love with each other in the process.
This is the outline of the drama which is with all honesty boring, I had to spice it up a bit. The drama is based on a webtoon and judging from experience Koreans haven’t had the best results with adapting from webtoons *cough* cheese in the trap *cough*.
I didn’t go in extremely excited because of a variety of reasons, first being that Park Seo Joon is playing yet another retarded rich entitled smart man with power who thinks everyone loves him and bows before him, I also didn’t like that Park Min Young is playing yours truly the stereotypical kdrama female lead who is perfect and doesn’t exist in real life.
Secretary Kim is hardworking and has a good heart despite all the shit her family put her through, she’s almost picture perfect. I know Park Min Young unnie is better than choosing such a stale character, but I was slightly wrong.
I have watched almost the entire drama (except the last 2 episodes, only snippets) we’ll touch on that later. It was fun, lighthearted, sweet and had an okay storyline.
The storyline was fueled by the characters past connection but since this is a spoiler free review I’d rather not get into the details.
In summary, their dark past is what kept the drama going for me because otherwise, it would have been just another romantic-comedy kdrama that I have seen at least 100 times already.
The plot itself is slightly weak, which is why I said previously that it might not be the drama for everyone. If you’re too crazy about innovative plots or like a well-written kdrama that makes you think you’ll most probably find this drama stupid.
The plot is very simple, too simple aside from when they decide to touch on the main characters dark past.
The characters themselves are very very entertaining and fun to watch. They’re very easy to like, they have been written in a way that would make viewers inclined to love and care about them.
They all have their own flaws and are typical in a way but still blend very well together. Touching on that specific point, I must say the cast chemistry is 110%.
Even when you watch the first episodes where you would usually find the main leads awkward around each other, this wasn’t the case for “Whats Wrong with Secretary Kim.”
Park Seo Joon and Park Min Young blend so well together, they have worked so hard on trying to establish a good relationship before the drama began because their characters are supposed to have known each other for almost a decade.
They don’t feel awkward at all; they suit each other so well. Park Seo Joon and Park Min Young are also some of the best Korean actors in their 30s currently promoting on Korean TV.
The rest of the cast is just as exquisite and interesting. They all care for each other, they do have their difference and can be quirky but still very real and relatable, and we all know someone who resembles a character in “Whats Wrong with Secretary Kim.”
The OST is also extremely cute and nice, the drama is directed very well which contributed to its success. Director Park Joon Hwa is one of my favorite kdrama directors these days.
He had directed the epic 2017 hit tvN drama “Because This Is My First Life.” He was one of the reasons I tuned in to see “Whats Wrong with Secretary Kim” I knew he wouldn’t have chosen a bad project.
Personally, I don’t think “Whats Wrong with Secretary Kim” is nearly as sophisticated, touching or refined as “Because This Is My First Life.” It remains one of my favorite kdramas in recent memory that touches on such important social issues kdramas choose to ignore/bypass because it can be heavy and hard.
Once “Whats Wrong with Secretary Kim” reached its peak in terms of plot development I was enjoying it so much. Around episode 12 all of the conflict and misunderstandings are resolved which meant that “Whats Wrong with Secretary Kim” became a cheesy cringe-worthy typical romantic comedy starting from episode 13.
We were left with episode 13, 14, 15 and 16 they all focused on characters being lovey-dovey and the plot was stretched which is the thing that annoyed me most with this drama.
I had expected Director Park Joon Hwa to keep the script interesting until the very end but I also realize that with this script he couldn’t do it if he had chosen to play with the script it would’ve driven people away.
So if you’re a fan of the pairing that is Park Seo Joon and Park Min Young you will enjoy the drama until the very last episode. Because 13, 14, 15 and 16 focus on establishing a happy ending for all, it will be cringy at times and you might scream while you watch them cutely interact and kiss (great kissers by the way) but you will enjoy it a lot.
Also, in case you don’t have a boyfriend, it might be even more painful to watch. It’s a sad world for us lonely hearts out here!
I believe that “Whats Wrong with Secretary Kim” could’ve ended with 14 episodes and would have still made the same impact, but of course, kdramas usually don’t have 14 episodes and besides, “Whats Wrong with Secretary Kim” was making shit ton of money for tvN so it would only make sense, from a business point of view, to capitalize on that.
In conclusion, the drama is fun, light and sweet. It does have a heavy element that includes our beloved lead characters but aside from that side plot, the drama is your typical romantic comedy.
The actors are fabulous and every single one of them did the best they could, they were all very entertaining to watch. There are a couple of iconic scenes that you will probably continue to see fans share for another 10 years, there are a couple of them that still come into my mind whenever I am sad.
If you want something with a slight kick, tvN’s “Whats Wrong with Secretary Kim” is the drama you should watch. If you enjoy romantic comedies you probably shouldn’t have read my review because you would’ve liked the drama anyways (regardless, thank you for reading).
I have personally enjoyed it a lot. I wouldn’t label it one of the best kdramas of 2018 because the plot isn’t that great but its definitely one of the most entertaining kdramas of 2018.
If you like this review and want to watch the drama you can click the link here.